Parenting and Kids Blog

News, events and resources.

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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Read to Me!

"Dad's Golden Hour", an article by Clint Kelly in a recent enough issue of Motheringmagazine, is all about dads reading to their kids - how much fun it is and how it creates time away from the stresses of everyday life while creating a lasting connection. The article offers tips to dads and moms for making reading aloud to your kids even more fun. One of my favorite suggestions from the article is to try reading with your kids in a different, special space - underneath the kitchen table or even up a tree. The author also suggests reading stories at dinnertime, a nice way to combine two family strengthening routines in one busy day. I also like Kelly's suggestion to give kids parts in the story, a great way to read with, not just read to your children. Finally, a suggestion to make up your own stories to tell your kids is a good one. Kids are fascinated by their parents' real life stories from when they were children.

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Read to Me!
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Parenting Infants and Toddlers

Have you seen the trees decorated with 5,281 ribbons on the Kalamazoo Mall north of Michigan Avenue? Each ribbon represents a reported case of child abuse or neglect in Kalamazoo County. While there’s never any excuse for child abuse or neglect, there’s no doubt that the experience of parenting is often very frustrating in the moment. 

Unrealistic expectations of children’s abilities can lead to frustration for parents. Parenting Infants and Toddlers Today is a recent study for Zero to Three conducted by Hart Research Associates and funded by the MetLife Foundation. Researchers interviewed 1,615 parents of infants and toddlers to explore the experience of parents, to identify what information and support services parents of young children turn to, and to better understand how parents interpret and respond to their children’s behavior.  

According to the study “many parents lack a clear understanding of when young children are capable of reaching certain developmental milestones”. Parents of infants and toddlers most commonly mentioned tantrums, crying, and their children’s inability to control emotions as challenges. Children only begin to be capable of such emotional regulation from 3 to 5 years of age.  

Also fascinating is that “a significant majority of parents do not realize that by six months most babies can experience feelings such as sadness and fear and can be affected by their parents’ moods” or that “many parents are also not aware that most children are capable of feeling good about themselves between ages one to two.” The majority of parents believe this happens later in a child’s development. 

The good news is that “virtually all parents (93%) understand the value of reading to young children” though a smaller majority say they recognize the importance of talking (75%) and singing (70%) to very young babies and newborns to facilitate cognitive development. Kalamazoo Public Library has great materials for reading aloud to your little one. Come to Baby Storytime on Tuesday evenings in April to share some songs and rhymes for babies and young children.  

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Parenting Infants and Toddlers
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http://www.kpl.gov/kids/storytime/baby-storytime.aspx
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Create Your Own Book Reviews!

Ever read a book, watch a movie, or listen to a recording you loved so much you want to tell everyone all about it? Now you can create your own book reviews for the Kalamazoo Public Library website!

And, if you want, you can record your review with your own voice. We'll post your book review on our website!

Love that book? Didn’t like it so much? Be Creative and tell the world all about it! It’s easy.

  1. Write a short review of a book you read. You can do it right from our website or come to your neighborhood KPL branch to write your review.
  2. Come to library and we’ll help you record the review you wrote. You need to have a parent sign a release form before we can put your voice on our website.

Listen to an example. You can write and record a review about anything you read and make it your own with your own voice. Have fun with Summer Reading Games this year!

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Create Your Own Book Reviews!
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http://www.kpl.gov/kids/reviews/
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