Children’s Book News: April 2020

With the closure of schools along with so many public venues, I have decided to postpone the April Book News I was just about to send in. Instead, I thought I would simply share ideas and websites that might be helpful to you and your children during this time. Many of these you may have thought of already.

We are so fortunate to all be living in this beautiful area. What a perfect time to take walks/hikes with your children. Look for the first signs of spring. One could even make it into a Scavenger Hunt with a list of items the children could find and then check off. Or perhaps collect interesting stones on your walk – once back home use them to make a design outside in your courtyard. Both of these activities could lend themselves to science as they could open up opportunities to learn more about some of our native plants or types of rocks.
Speaking of “Hunts”, create a Treasure Hunt for your children. Children love to follow numbered clues to find a treasure whether it’s a sticker, cookie or whatever. For children who are still non-readers, draw pictures.

Soon the children will want to try their hand at making a treasure hunt for you. If you have a variety of children’s books at your home, the clues could be tied into them. For example, “For clue #3 look inside the
book about a cat in a hat! “Puzzles are a great family project when needing to stick around home. Children can even create their own puzzles. Cut up a cereal box and children can create a work of art on the back of the pieces of cardboard and then cut it up to make a puzzle you or a brother or sister can try solving.

Cooking together can be a practical and fun way to learn concepts in math and science as well as reinforce reading skills. And then there is the reward of something delicious to share in the end! A reading activity that can involve both you and your child, or possibly the whole family, is to read a book aloud with each person/child taking a part, whether it’s the narrator or one of the characters. You will have created your own
Readers’ Theater!

Don’t forget to check out the Kid’s Zone under online resources on Placitas Library’s website. Tumble Book Library includes story books, read alongs, eBooks, graphic novels, non-fiction, videos, picture books in Spanish and French and even educational puzzles and games.

Finally, listed below are a few more websites that can extend your child’s learning:

The director of the NM State Library Youth Services also shared the following list of resources. I have not had a chance to check them all out, but hope some prove to be helpful:

  • Storyline Online  7 (Don’t forget this resource of celebrities reading picture book
  • An online calendar of KidLit events 3, including schedules for creators reading from their own work/sharing things online. The Mo Willems Daily Doodling for Grade School looks particularly fun!
  • Reading Connects Us: A newsletter about virtual learning that is full of links to lessons, things authors
    are sharing, etc.
  • Picture Book Read Alouds 3 – this is made up of authors reading their own work, including a list from
    the Indianapolis Public Library with over 100 titles, and titles in other languages.
  • Read, Wonder, and Learn 2 – this is a lot of authors sharing lessons, excerpts, etc from their books.
  • Authors Everywhere 3 – A YouTube channel with authors sharing their books and work, will also, hopefully, host panels and other discussions.
  • Scholastic’s Learn at Home 2 – Daily lesson plans that include books from Weston Woods, activities, and more
  • Jarrett Lerner’s Activities Page 3 lots of print outs/activities that encourage creativity and story creation

Another source of stimulating material are podcasts for children. Do a search on your phone’s podcast website for appropriate children’s programs. This is a difficult and uncertain time for all of us. Perhaps a silver lining might be the opportunity to create special memories with our family members as we spend more time with each other learning and playing together.

Stay well.