Book Beat!

music kidsAre you ready for some musical fun with your preschooler?

Join us on the “third Saturdays” for Book Beat, a program for children ages 3 1/2 – 5 years with a parent or family member, and get ready for some rollicking musical fun! Chant to the beat, dance to the rhythm, and enjoy an interactive book. Have fun with music and with rhythm instruments!

Registration is required and may be in person, online, or by telephone.

Next program: Saturday, September 20, at 2:30 p.m.

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Our Final Event for Kids for Summer 2014!

Daria photo2Join us to close a wonderful summer of reading with Daria’s World Music Concert!
Thursday, August 21 @ 7:00 p.m.

For Daria, Its all about empowering kids… letting them explore the world of music in a way that unlocks the amazing talent and inner beauty they naturally possess. For that reason, she’s adapted many of her multi-cultural activities for this website as a resource for parents, teachers, homeschoolers and kids of all abilities (each activity has all abilities notes). Whether it’s building a pow-wow style drum that can be played by a large number of people or recycling objects by transforming them into instruments, this website shares many great ways of bringing folks together through music.

You can visit Daria’s website (and learn how to make musical instruments of your own) at www.dariamusic.com.

You can register for Daria’s live concert at the library by telephone, in person, or online at the library website.

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Fizz Boom Read! 2014 NJ Summer Reading Program

WholegroupIt’s here! Summer reading registration begins June 15 and continues through July. Visit the library’s home page and click on the summer reading tab to register for either Fizz Boom Read for Kids or Fizz Boom Read Toddler and then follow the onscreen directions to sign up.

Fizz Boom Read for Kids: Ages 4 – 11 years

Kids ages 4 through 11 years will be keeping track of how much time they spend reading. Try to read every day! Try reading 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes in the afternoon, and 10 minutes at bedtime, and see how quickly you can add up your time to reach a prize level. Read what you like! Read for fun!

RobotboyinchairFizz Boom Read Toddler: Ages 0 – 3 years Little ones may be read to by family members, and this summer features some early literacy activities that help develop a love of reading and learning. Try to read or do one activity each day. See the photo below for some suggested early literacy activities that will help develop your child’s vocabulary and teach pre-reading concepts. Read a favorite book together some time during the day! You may enter books read or activities shared online to reach each prize level.

 

 

Try some of the activities in the photo below (click on it to make it large enough to read), and most of all, have fun! Early lit activities photo

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Summer Reading is coming!

Sign up beginning June 15th!

Stay tuned for more details!

 

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We won an award!

Award Photo 2.1The New Jersey State Library gives its “Best Practices in Early Literacy” Award to four libraries each year, and Franklin Township Library is one of the four chosen for 2014 for its Scribble Time program.

Scribble Time introduces toddlers, ages 12 – 36 months, to the type of art media that helps develop the fine motor skills used in writing. This introduction is more about the experience than the final product. The child uses a single crayon and a large piece of paper in one session, while other sessions introduce the use of a glue stick and bits of paper, or cotton swaps and paint, or play dough.

We talk about what we do as toddlers explore what they can do with each type of media, thus developing vocabulary and language skills as they explore.

We sing songs, making up words to familiar tunes to describe what we are doing, and best of all, we have fun!

Scribble Time is offered at both the main and the branch libraries.

We look forward to seeing you at Scribble Time soon!

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Bedtime Math!

BedtimeMathLogoSemi3One of the partners of the national summer reading program that takes place at Franklin Township Library (as well as other libraries around the state and across the nation) is a New Jersey organization called Bedtime Math. Its mission is to make math a part of everyday life, just like reading.

The easiest way to try it is to download their mobile app for smart phone or tablet, which you can find here:

http://bedtimemath.org/join-the-movement-2/our-iphoneipad-app/

(You may also see each day’s problem on the website at bedtimemath.org.)

Once you install the app, you can visit daily for the “Math Problem of the Day,” available at three levels of difficulty from preschool to older students, and find a “surprise” math activity as well. The problems are fun and intriguing and are accompanied by colorful photos or graphics. If you miss a day, no problem! All of the earlier problems are available when you click on the “Explore” button.

It’s fun, it’s free, it takes only minutes per day, and it works on both Apple and Android formats.  Let us know how you like it!

 

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Planning Programs for Children and Families

family crop 3 photo
Did you know that it takes approximately five hours of planning for each program that we present? We were surprised, too! That time includes finding just the right stories and materials, preparing what is needed for crafts, working on publicity, contacting performers that we hire, sending contracts and arranging payment for performers, rehearsing the stories we will use in programs we present, setting up, cleaning up, and much more.

Programming is just one part of what children’s librarians do for you: We also read reviews, select materials (books and media) to purchase, check in those purchases when they arrive, hunt for missing books, determine when a book is beyond repair and must be replaced, create lists and displays of recommended books, and – the most important thing – we answer your questions, help you find books and information that you need, and recommend some good books to read.

Did you enjoy the Winter Reading Program? We hope so – because planning that program, from choosing a theme to how it will work to setting up the online components, purchasing prizes, and creating the support materials are all part of what we do.

We are already planning the 2014 Summer Reading Program, Fizz Boom Read, which will feature a science theme and begins on June 15.

We love your feedback on children’s programs, and we try to honor requests when we can, so please do let us know what you are thinking.

If you think that you might enjoy a career as a librarian, visit www.becomealibrarian.org to learn more about it.

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2014 Winter Reading Program

You haven’t missed the train!

train+magical+vintage+image+graphicsfairy9bsm

 

It isn’t too late to sign up for Franklin Township Library’s 2014 Winter Reading Program, “Travel the World on the Reading Train.”  Register online at the library’s website or visit the library in person.  You will need your own library card to register, and you will need your PIN to log your reading online (if you don’t know your PIN – Personal Identification Number – call the library and we will help you).

Read 20 minutes each day.  You can read all at once or spread your reading throughout the day.  All reading counts – even homework!  Log your reading time on the library website and when you reach a prize level, make a selection from the online screen and then visit the library at your convenience to claim your trinket prize.  What will you choose … a coupon for a free book from the ongoing Children’s Book Sale … or a sticker … or a trinket from the Library Treasure Chest?

Get on board soon – the last day to register is Friday, February 14!

 

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Read to a Dog!

Did you know that the library has volunteer therapy dogs? Children who are independent readers may sign up for an appointment to read to either Carmela, who usually visits two Tuesday evenings per month, or Danny, who usually visits two Monday evenings per month.

Reading to a dog builds confidence in the student’s reading ability and helps improve skills.
The student spends one-on-one time with the dog and its owner in our Reading Education Center, and parents may peek through the glass wall to watch yet remain unobtrusively.

To sign up for an appointment, call the Children’s Desk at the Main Library. Carmela will be visiting on the evening of Tuesday, January 7, and Danny will visit on Mondays, January 13 and 27.

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Special Story Apps for December

lightsThe objective of our iPad Digital Storytime is to help children make the connection between digital media and physical books, and to extend the story with other activities whenever possible. Early reading skills such as predicting outcome, developing vocabulary, and reading comprehension are also incorporated into the program.

We look for apps that are based on actual children’s books but also include apps that have the qualities found in good literature for children in any format. Sometimes we even include some educational games or music – but our main focus is on literature and encouraging children to love reading.

In our experiences with apps and digital storytelling, we have learned that apps come in a wide range of prices. Many are free, but some of those include distracting ads. Some have in-app purchases, which we think are not the best choice for children or for our programs. App prices change from time to time as publishers offer temporary discounts. Some have even gone “out of print” and are no longer available! One of the resources that we use for finding apps that are free or on sale is Smart Apps for Kids: www.smartappsforkids.com. Smart Apps offers a free email newsletter that arrives each day with lists of apps (including apps for kids with special needs) that are available at a discount for that day only. Before purchasing an app, you can find reviews on the Internet by searching for the app by name combined with the word “reviews.”

The apps below were used during the December Holiday Fun iPad storytime at the library.

biscuitBiscuit Gives a Gift
This app is based on the series of books by Alyssa Capucilli and features easy-to-read text, some simple animations, and a few activities to extend the story. Designed for iPhone and iPad, as of this writing it is available to download for 99 cents.

little critterMerry Christmas Mom and Dad
This Little Critter reading app, a new release for the Christmas 2013 holiday, was written by Mercer Mayer (author of the popular Little Critter books) and produced by Oceanhouse Media. The story introduces some of the traditions of Christmas – wrapping presents, trimming the tree, etc. – from the point of view of Little Critter, who wants more than anything to be helpful – yet things don’t turn out as planned. Vocabulary words appear when a word or picture is tapped, and the opportunity to record your own narration will help develop the young reader’s storytelling skills. Designed for iPhone and iPad, all of this can be yours for a cool 99 cents (limited time offer).

popoutxmas 2PopOut! Night Before Christmas
Produced by loudcrow Interactive, a company known for its quality apps, this is a pop-up version of the traditional poem written by Clement C. Moore that features a visit from St. Nicholas – the original Santa Claus – with classic illustrations by William Denslow. Every page has something to turn or touch or swipe that brings the drawings to life just as a paper pop-up book does. The “Read to me” version highlights the text as it is read aloud, while the “Read myself” version will highlight and speak any word that is touched. Designed for multiple formats, including iPad and Android, this app is currently available at a reduced price of $2.99.

peekaboo presentsPeekaboo Presents
Night & Day Studios has a series of Peekaboo book apps for toddlers, and all of them follow the same format. Something is hidden, in this case inside a present, and if you listen, you can hear a clue. Touch the box to open it and reveal the gift or Christmas item inside. At the end, all of the toys and items appear together, along with a beautiful Christmas tree, and then they all go to sleep. Although this app is meant for toddlers, the five- and six-year olds in our group enjoyed it as well, and took great delight in guessing. Designed for multiple formats, the price for the iPad version is $1.99.

DontopenDon’t Open Before Christmas
Written by Bill Doyle and produced by Crab Hill Press, an ebook company, this story is based on the idea that presents are like eggs and can’t be opened until they are “hatched” – which a boy named Seymour discovers when he sneaks a peek at his gifts. The gifts wreak havoc in his house, but all ends well and Seymour learns a lesson. The interactive elements in this app bring the story to life. Available for iPad, current price $2.99.

ACX-ACP44917Christmas Karaoke
PopcornGrenade.com offers 12 carols for Christmas sing-along. The attractive, snowy white and cloudy gray scene is highlighted with bright splashes of red, and the text for each carol highlights the lyrics to be sung in red. The cloudy background can be changed to a starry midnight blue or warm cozy yellow. The text is large and clear – just right for new readers! The “Lite” version is available to try for free (with two songs), but 99 cents gives you all 12 carols, including Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Winter Wonderland, Jingle Bells, Silent Night, and Auld Lang Syne. Available in multiple formats.

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