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Ten Fun Games From Around the World from Parenting Magazine

Your child might not be able to find Pakistan on a map, but teaching her about all kinds of cultures is no more complicated than playing a game. So next time you hear "Mommy, I'm bored!" spark your kid's sense of adventure by adding fresh international flavor to outdoor fun time. Invite her pals over, spin the globe, and pick out a location. Laughter needs no translation.

Chile: Corre, Corre la Guaraca The fun-to-say game name translates to "Run, Run, la Guaraca." Chilean kids typically speak Spanish, but Guaraca is actually a nonsense word. Players: Five or more, ages 5 and up What You'll Need: A handkerchief. How to Play: Players sit in a circle while a runner jogs around the outer rim with a handkerchief. The seated kids are not allowed to watch. They sing "Corre, Corre, la Guaraca who looks back will be bopped on his head!" Trying not to be felt, the runner drops the handkerchief on a child's back and runs. If he makes it around the circl…
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Get Healthy As A Family!

It's January again! Time to make some new resolutions as far as a return to eating healthily and mindfully.  One suggestion is to do so as a family! Here is an easy plan from Parents Magazine that is fun and doable!

Ready to take the challenge? Follow the tips below, and be sure to share your success stories and photos along the way using the hashtag #HealthyFamilyChallenge!DAY 1 Go for a walk after dinner. Give Netflix the night off and take a post-meal strollaround the neighborhood. (Bring flashlights to light your way if it’s dark outside.) Besides squeezing in some cardio, this outdoor adventure is also a great chance to wind down together. DAY 2 Have a gadget-free day. Tired of fighting with a tablet or phone for their attention? Try unplugging as a family and using the screen-free time to reconnect IRL. Hint: Store powered-down gadgets in an out-of-the-way spot so no one is tempted to sneak in a game of Candy Crush. RELATED:When Mom Needs to Set Screen Time Limits (for Herself)D…

5 Easy Holiday Treats to Make With Kids

Baking together is one Pinterest-inspired holiday fantasy that’s actually doable, thanks to our completely kid-friendly cookies from the author of the children’s cookbook Baking Class. By Deanna F. Cook from 
Cozy Cookies Use our sugar cookie recipe or bake up a mix. Either way, the fun is in the decorating. What You'll Need: Butter, granulated sugar, an egg, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, powdered sugar, milk, food coloring, sweetened coconut, assorted sprinkles and sugars for decorating. Countdown to Christmas: Crafts, Food and DIY GiftsActive Time:45 mins Total Time:2 hrs (includes chilling time) Get the Recipe

Sugar Cone Trees 'Tis the season to try a no-bake treat! Set out frosting, ice cream cokes, and sprinkles and let your little elves work their magic. What You'll Need: Vanilla frosting or recipe for Cozy Cookie Glaze, sugar ice cream cones, sprinkles, sugars, and/or sweetened flaked coconut for decorating.

Young Children and Social Media

It is difficult to know what to do when your child becomes increasingly persistent about wanting to have more and more of an online presence. Here are some suggestions from Kara Corridan, the health director atParents, as she keeps in mind her experience with her young children.

1. Children need a social-media mentor, someone in the know who can help them navigate the right way to behave online. Ideally, that would be a teacher or a librarian. But as keynote speaker Mega M. Subramaniam, Ph.D., explained, teachers and librarians rarely have the opportunity to guide our kids in that way, because school and public computers automatically filter out all social media sites. Of course, there's a good reason for that. But I hadn't thought of the downside until Dr. Subramaniam pointed it out. She's the associate director of Information Policy and Access Center at the University of Maryland, and runs several social media literacy programs for tweens, and she suggests that in place o…

Show Me a Sign, Baby!

Studies have shown that preverbal children flourish when they learn sign language.

Distinct from American Sign Language (ASL) and other sign languages, baby sign language typically features simplified gestures and is used with hearing children to help improve preverbal communication. Libraries are getting involved in teaching it, offering classes to parents who want to communicate with their preverbal children. Both library staff and parents give these programs high praise. Anecdotal and scientific evidence shows that baby sign language can have long-term benefits.
Advocates also note that communication is a core aspect of social emotional development , and boosting it with sign language can only benefit young ones.

We have many books on baby sign language; check one out today!

~Excerpt taken from School Library Journal, July 2017

Why Storytime, a Classic Library Service, Endures

A Foundation for School

Multiple reports and studies emphasize the need for young children to be surrounded with books, to hear and learn big and interesting words, and to interact with language through play. In addition to those vital elements, storytimes in libraries and other learning opportunities in the community are now viewed as a critical component of young children's preparation to enter school. They are also vehicles for giving parents guidance on how to encourage early literacy skills at home.

Beyond introducing young children to stories, book characters, and print concepts, storytime expectations range from encouraging executive functioning skills in children to introducing them to the latest technology and learning apps. It is no longer a passive listening experience- it is a much about play as  it is the stories, according to Susan B. Newman, and education professor at New York University.

Engaging Parents
It's no secret that parents also play a much larger role i…

Using Props in Early Learning Programs and At Home

In an article written for School Library Journal by Lisa G. Kropp, we discover how using props can add a new dimension to a storytime at home. Props are extremely useful for five reasons:

They make it easy to model play.  Using a simple prop such as a tissue box to pull out scarves or another surprise makes it more fun. Caregivers can easily do this at home.They don't need to be store-bought.  Use easy to duplicate flannel board pieces, made out of oak tag or card stock. Make stick puppets for children to act the story out or extend the book by creating a new ending. They help little ones sit through a rhyme or story. Sometimes young brains need a different visual than the book.  Perhaps they are sitting on a lap 15 feet away from you or the illustrations in the book are on the smaller side or very detailed. Having a prop, such as an enlarged photo, a puppet of a character from the story or a flannel board to supplement the "turn of the page", creates more interaction to …