Parenting and Kids Blog

News, events and resources.

Warm up with Great Events at Kalamazoo Public Library!

Here's a quick listing of great events for children and families coming up at KPL!

  • Jim Gill’s Family Room Tour - Wednesday, February 16th, at 7 pm. Awesome children's musician and family play facilitator. To miss this show would be like saying no thanks to fun! Free ticket required.
  • Music and Make Believe - In collaboration with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra's String Quartet, kid friendly and a craft for children ages 3-6. Registration required. Free.
  • Storytelling with Sid "The Rock" Ellis - Kids of all ages enjoy Sid's dramatic weaving of tales from around the world that teach principles of sharing, caring and just plain fun. Free.
  • Movie and Popcorn - Watch Disneynature’s Oceans at the Central Library. Popcorn!! All ages. An adult caregiver must accompany children. Free. MPAA rating G. No registration required.
  • Chinese New Year Lion Dancers - A special show about the animals of the Chinese zodiac complete with a performance by the Kalamazoo Lion Dance troupe! All ages. Free ticket required.

And there's more to come in March! Have a look at all the upcoming events at Kalamazoo Public Library and save some dates with fun! 

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Warm up with Great Events at Kalamazoo Public Library!
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http://www.kpl.gov/kids/calendar.aspx
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Evening Baby Storytime

Evening baby storytime is every Tuesday at 6 pm in February. We'll share songs, practice finger rhymes, read stories, play with puppets, and simply share some nice moments with our little ones.

One of my favorite things about programs for babies and caregivers at the library is that babies have the opportunity to interact with one another in a safe environment. Hearing songs, stories and rhymes is nice, but it wouldn't be the same if the babies didn't have their community of fellows to enjoy it with. Little ones engage in parallel play, tentatively interact with one another, and, of course, enjoy the time with you - their caregiver.

Evening Baby Storytime is open to babies from birth to two years old and their caregivers. Older siblings are welcome to attend as guests. No registration is required which means you can simply come to the library and have fun. I hope you'll attend and have some special moments!

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Evening Baby Storytime
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http://www.kpl.gov/kids/storytime/baby-storytime.aspx
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Reading with Bailey – Not Just for Summertime

The Eastwood Branch Library is currently hosting an exciting program called “Reading With Bailey” every Thursday in January from 3:30 to 5:30 pm. Children (and their parents) can sign up for a fifteen minute session to read to Bailey the lovable and easy going Schnoodle (Schnauzer Poodle mix) dog. Bailey is certified through Therapy Dogs International. His credentials even include the Canine Good Citizen Award! Nine-year-old Bailey and his owner, Anita Lawson, have been involved with this successful program at KPL for three years. Thanks to a generous donation in support of Reading with Bailey, as of mid-2010 the library even has a special collection of dog books with Bailey’s name on them!  

Reading out loud to therapy dogs has been recognized as an effective and positive way to improve reading /literacy skills in a unique, fun and non- threatening way. While it is especially helpful with children who struggle with reading and possibly low self-esteem, reading to a therapy dog like Bailey is a wonderful way to spend time at the library for all children. Reading Education Assistance Dogs, or R.E.A.D., promotes Reading with Dogs programs.

Call the Eastwood Branch Library at 269-553-7811 to Read with Bailey!

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Reading with Bailey
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/kids/events/reading-with-bailey.aspx 
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Aerial Angels and Yo Ho Holiday Pirates

It's become a holiday tradition. Aerial Angels, Kalamazoo's own high-flying female circus artists, will perform at the Central Library on Wednesday, December 29th, at 11 am. Performing feats of grace, strength, and beauty suspended between floors of the library rotunda, the troupe presents a new show in which pirates invade the library. If you've yet to see an Aerial Angels performance you will be amazed at the artistry, athleticism, and just plain fun that these experienced performers bring to your library in a program with the highest "thrill" factor around.

Children and families can enjoy a special circus themed storytime in the Central Library Children's Room immediately following the Aerial Angels' performance.

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Yo Ho Holiday Pirates with the Aerial Angels
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Starting to Click

It's so interesting to watch reading skills start to click for children. While the process of learning to read is different for everyone, you can often recognize those kids who have been read to a lot. It must be so much easier for them when they know that those little black blocks of sticks and squiggles correspond to the words they hear and say. And when they know about turning pages and going from left to right (for most of the books in this culture) and which way is up. All of these concepts about print are more easily learned when kids are read to early and often. Then, when the decoding part "starts to click" early readers have a more enjoyable time on top of that solid foundation. Building this foundation of concepts about print most often requires only a consistent and caring pleasurable effort- sharing books with your children every day. Singing easy songs - whatever you like. Saying those rhymes you remember or find some new ones. Your kids will love them. Choose books that you'll both enjoy. Visit your branch library for lots of great read aloud choices and you can watch it start to click from the very beginning.

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Starting to Click
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Parenting Topic Guide

Robert Munsch’s Love You Forever may be the weirdest yet most beloved picture book about unconditional love ever. It’s the illustrations. What’s not so weird is when the mother says, “This kid is driving me cra-zy!” after the baby flushes her watch down the toilet. Because it’s true, parenting is often frustrating work. Add to that the other stresses of life and, well, if you’re a parent, you know what it’s like. Take a look at the Parenting Topic Guide for great resources on all things parenting. When your little one is driving you crazy or when you’re looking for great parenting books, websites, magazines, KPL databases, and community resources – you'll find them on KPL's Parenting Topic Guide.

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Parenting Topic Guide
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http://www.kpl.gov/guides/parenting/
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The Last Butterfly Post

The second of two Monarch butterflies emerged from its chrysalis yesterday afternoon in the children's room. It emerged when one of the librarians stepped away to display more new books. When she returned, the butterfly was hanging from the open shell of the chrysalis where it had spent the last eleven days metamorphasizing. The chrysalis had been hanging in the jar since changing from a caterpillar into a chrysalis. In this picture of the chrysalis only a few hours before emergence, you can see the black and orange wings through the clear chrysalis walls.

Now that it's a butterfly, it's using the sun to stay warm and looking for food. Come to the children's room or any of the library branches and tell us what you're interested in. We're happy to help you find out more about it - whatever it is.

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The Last Butterfly Post

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http://www.kpl.gov/kids/
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Happy Birthday Butterfly!

This morning at Family Storytime, we made birthday cakes and even met the Very Hungry Caterpillar who surprised us with a visit! It was a good day for happy birthday stories because the first of our Children’s Room Monarchs emerged as a butterfly just before 10 am. At first, the butterfly’s wings were all wrinkled up. I guess anyone’s wings would be a little crumpled if they had been stuffed in a little bundle like that when they formed. It’s amazing that they formed all crumpled up in the chrysalis and then, after drying for almost three hours, were ready for use.

At Family Storytime in August, we’ve been reading the Very Hungry Caterpillar and following our real-life Monarch friends. Take a look at programs for children coming up in the fall. Some programs require registration. You can register for September registered programs online or you can stop in or call the library.

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Happy Birthday Butterfly!
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Very Hungry Caterpillars Part Three

“He built a small house, called a (chrysalis) around himself” - in space? The Monarchs in the Children’s Room are no longer in the caterpillar stage. Each has now gone through a final molt and is now a chrysalis. One should emerge as a butterfly next week and the other a few days later. 
Did you know that butterflies can go through their life cycle in a nearly weightless environment? I didn’t know until a patron told me about an experiment in which Painted Lady caterpillars were brought to the International Space Station and successfully went through metamorphosis. The experiment has been repeated with Monarch butterflies in space. I'm always amazed by what I learn when I visit the library. If you're curious about emerging butterflies, emerging space technology, or anything else for that matter, come visit. 

The YouTube video below is pretty amazing. You can see what it looks like when a Monarch caterpillar changes from caterpillar to chrysalis - right here on Earth.

Very Hungry Caterpillars Part Three

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http://www.kpl.gov/central/
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Very Hungry Caterpillars Part Two

" ... he wasn't a little caterpillar any more. He was a big fat caterpillar." The Monarch caterpillars in the Children's Room started out small but after lots of milkweed leaves - it's what's for dinner, and breakfast and lunch - they really are big.

This morning, one of the caterpillars was suspended with a silky tether. This afternoon, the caterpillar molted one last time and is now a fresh chrysalis. The amazing thing is how fast the caterpillar molted. Wriggling away hanging from its silky thread, it took less then half an hour to go from stripy to leafy green little bundle. The chrysalis will hang out for the next few weeks before it emerges as a butterfly.

For now, the other younger caterpillar continues to be very hungry. It won't be long before it, too, goes all chrysalis on us. Stop in to check on these little bundles of nature whenever you'd like.

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Very Hungry Caterpillars Part Two

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http://www.kpl.gov/kids/storytime/family-storytime.aspx
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