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 Record Me A Story You will need:  Smartphone or tablet  Free voice-recording/memo app or program Printable storytelling cards (optional)   Process:  This is a storytelling game! We’re going to tell a story and record it together. What will it be about? Who will the characters be? Will it be sad, scary, funny? How does a story start and end? Press “record” and start your story! Take turns—you can say “what happens next” to prompt your child. If using storytelling cards, take turns picking a card and using...


Many early childhood educators are already struggling to make meaningful connections with their young students remotely in the midst of a global pandemic. Now, in the wake of the murders by police of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and the brutal killing of Ahmaud Arbery, educators are challenged to find a way to discuss race and racism with young children in a way that is developmentally appropriate, honest, and impactful. This is already hard, but connecting on such an emotional topic remotely with an age group that learns best by seeing, feeling, hearing and interacting– that is a...


 Color Hunt with Khan Academy Kids  You will need:  1. Smartphone or tablet  2. Khan Academy Kids app  3. Logic  Primary Colors game  Process:  Khan Academy Kids has a ton of FREE language, literacy and brain bulilding activities for children 2-5.  Try the Primary Colors game to go on a color hunt together.  Looking for colors helps hone observation skills!  The game uses a song to teach color names! You can use this song in your daily routine to help teach different color words.  Go on a REAL...


Tech Play Recipe: Sink or Float   You will need:  Smartphone or tablet  PBS Kids Play and Learn Science App Low bin with water (optional)  Varied objects that may sink or float (optional)   Process:  Be a scientist! Observe, ask questions, and test your hypothesis!  Play the “Sink or Float” activity in the PBS Kids Play and Learn Science app.  Ask questions like: what do you think will happen if? and why do you think that happened?  Use words like: sink, float, heavy, light, buyoant, absorb  Re-create...


Many grandparents, close friends and relatives love catching a glimpse of their young family members via video chat. They may, however, find it challenging to keep young children engaged for more than a few moments. The standard How was your day? What did you do? may not go very far with a toddler, and even a 6 year old will likely give a 2-3 word response. While video chat can be a valuable and meaningful way for young children to interact with and get to know family, and even learn language and other skills, it can also be chaotic, brief, and sometimes frustrating for all...


This week, many parents and caregivers started a new routine. Some may be working reduced or increased hours, telecommuting from home, or not working at all. Children will be home more, and even if not, the things we rely on to engage them might not be available. With many schools and libraries closed, children's programming cancelled, and even playgrounds and playdates discouraged for now -- there are a lot of hours ahead of us to fill. We are here to help. Check the BKLYN Kids blog for an ongoing round-up of e-resources, activities, learning materials and ways to help your child read...


There are so many things that young children need to be ready for Kindergarten!     There are also a lot of mixed messages out there for parents and caregivers on what skills to focus on, and the best way to help their children learn them. At Ready Set Kindergarten, BPL’s popular school readiness storytime (10 years and counting), we focus on ways parents can weave early literacy, math, science, and social-emotional skills into their daily routines in ways that are fun and developmentally appropriate. For example, did you know that singing helps children develop...


On January 22, 2019, families all over New York City submitted Kindergarten applications for the 2019/2020 school year. Thanks to the expansion of Pre-K for All, many of those rising Kindergarteners are currently in Pre-K, learning skills and having experiences that will hopefully prepare them for Kindergarten next year. Even so, the transition to Kindergarten can be a challenge, so if you are looking for ways to help support your 3-5-year-olds develop early literacy and school readiness skills using developmentally appropriate practices, join us for Ready, Set, Kindergarten starting...


  On June 26th, Pre-K and Pre-K-for-All programs all around the city graduated a new crop of Kindergarteners-to-be! My son was one of them, which made my job as Coordinator of BPL’s Ready, Set, Kindergarten! program all too real, hitting close to home in a brand new way.  Even though I think about Kindergarten readiness as my job, I was not prepared for how it made me feel as a parent.  It prompted me to think in a new way about all the many, sometimes mixed messages we get from varied sources about Kindergarten readiness, and to try to distill it to the most important...


  What do a pool full of shredded paper, stack of foam blocks, and sticky wall begging to be covered in an array of colors and textures have in common? They’re all explorations awaiting babies and toddlers at the Big Brooklyn Playdate! On the day of the Playdate, children ages 0-3 and their caregivers enter a magical world of play and learning at Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Library. Hands-on, open-ended activities, known as Play Recipes, not only enchant and engage children, but activate their brains and spark learning. Pulling a colorful scarf out of a tissue box is...


Play at the Library

JRalli
January 17, 2018

A young toddler carefully pokes long glittery pipe cleaners, one after the other, through tiny holes in a large plastic colander.  After he finishes, he places it on his head and screams, delightedly, “HAT!”  Nearby, a group of crawling and rolling babies maneuver around a brightly colored, multi textured surface made of bubble wrap, textured bath mats, towels, and reflective fabric.  They reach for crinkled colorful pieces of cellophane, and brightly colored textured balls. In another corner, seated babies play in a baby pool full of shredded paper, as more...


Back to PreSchool

JRalli
August 29, 2017

Picture Books for Babies, Toddlers, and PreSchoolers The back to school aisle at the drugstore still thrills me.  I don’t think I am alone.  There is a back-to-school fever out there in consumer-land: mix-and-match clothing sets, colorful school supplies (I still have my rainbow hearts Trapper Keeper), mom-blogs filled with healthy lunch recipes, and parent facebook groups with 100+ thread discussions on finding the best bento-box snack container!   My one year old daughter reading books with pictures of other children to help prepare her for daycare in...


Outside in the City

JRalli
August 1, 2017

Early Literacy Nature Explorations for Children 0-5 When I was growing up, I remember my mother saying “If children are cranky, you should put them in water.” This sensory version of a timeout now makes perfect sense to me after years of teaching and parenting two children under 4.  Nothing resets a tired, frustrated, or bored child like some good old fashioned sensory play.  But did you know that sensory play in nature (think mudpies), improves attention, helps us organize and release thoughts and emotions, inspires language development, and even makes us smarter (and happier...


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