[kids-lib] storytime activity idea

Katie Anderson katie.anderson at state.or.us
Thu Feb 27 08:28:26 PST 2014

A great idea was just shared on ALA's Association for Library Services to Children listserv that I thought you might be interested in because many of you are moving away from crafts in storytimes to play and other types of activities to develop early literacy and other skills. Ready to Read recipients may use their grant to purchase Lego Duplos, Quatros, shape sorters, cardboard, crayons, wire-bead mazes, foam shapes, and other materials for storytimes activities.
I have had success with my Baby Builders Club. It's about 10 min of story and song and then 45 min of unstructured free building geared towards children 6 months to 2 years, with caregivers. I average about 10 kids and 8 adults.

I use LEGO Duplos and Quatros, large cardboard blocks, shape sorters, blank sheets of cardboard and crayons, wire-bead mazes, foam shapes, and a display of touch and feel board books.

It has gotten positive responses from all the parents. The little ones love building, and especially destroying their creations. It gives them a social experience and allows the parents/caregivers to connect too.

Steve Nichols
Children's Librarian
Reynolds Corners
Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Looking to justify blocks and other building material in storytimes or your library in general? Here are four particularly good quotes from this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/28/nyregion/with-building-blocks-educators-going-back-to-basics.html?_r=0

*         Studies dating to the 1940s indicate that blocks help children absorb basic math concepts.

*         One published in 2001 <http://www.freepatentsonline.com/article/Journal-Research-in-Childhood-Education/80711096.html> tracked 37 preschoolers and found that those who had more sophisticated block play got better math grades and standardized test scores in high school.

*         And a 2007 study by Dimitri Christakis<http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071001172822.htm>, director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children's Hospital, found that those with block experience scored significantly better on language acquisition tests.

*         But perhaps the hottest pitch of late, particularly to high-stress, high-strung New York City parents, is that blocks can build the 21st-century skills essential to success in corporate America.
Katie Anderson, Library Development Services
* Youth Services Consultant * Oregon Center for the Book Coordinator *
Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97301
katie.anderson at state.or.us<mailto:katie.anderson at state.or.us>, 503-378-2528

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