Posted in Kids & Parents

Kids & Parents

Grow A Little: Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

Being a classroom teacher for over fourteen years, I tried to encourage the students in my class to never let fear or challenges get them down. 

This idea was sometimes met with excitement and at times, with some tears.

However, I repeatedly had seen for myself that if a child adopted a mindset of working through their obstacles, fears, or mistakes, that experience of overcoming adversity empowered them to meet future fears or difficulties head on. 

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Kids & Parents

Museum Adventure Pass: Learn Through Play

Have you ever wanted to touch a stingray? Go down into a coal mine? See a real mummy?

Chicago's collection of wonderful museums makes all of this, and more, a possibility!

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of exploring different museums with my family. Just like many children, field trips and museum visits were the highlights of my school year, but this was especially true as a home schooling family.

Libraries and museums go hand-in-hand with the Museum Adventure Pass (MAP) program. 

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Kids & Parents

Read to Connect: 1KB4K and Patch Club

We all know that the brains of young children are primed to notice everything.

I was reminded of this one day when my (then) 3-year old child, eyebrows furrowed, tapped me on the hip until I turned the vacuum off.

3-year-old: “Who’s coming ovah?” (I miss those days of r-less speech!)

Me:  “What do you mean?”

3-year-old: “Well, you’he vacuuming.”  

Me (sputtering indignantly): “I do vacuum other times, you know.”

My inner voice: "Sometimes. Not very often. Oh no. He's probably right."

Me (reluctant sigh):  “Grandma will be here in half an hour.”

In case you were wondering, 3-year-olds do self-satisfied smiles quite well. 

So I had unintentionally created an association that “vacuuming = guests coming over.”

Could be worse, right?*

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Kids & Parents

Saying “Yes, And” to Storytime

I did theater for a long time. Twenty-three musicals a long time.

So, when I started working in the youth services department, I didn’t think that storytimes wouldn’t be too much of a stretch. 

I had experience singing, dancing, and storytelling in front of crowds of people, so why would 20-some children and their caregivers be any different?

But I was wrong. 

What I quickly learned was, storytime isn’t theater, it's improv.

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Kids & Parents

Board Books: Your Baby’s Start to a Love of Reading

I vividly remember one morning during my maternity leave.

I had been up for hours already, we had already played with different toys and done tummy time, and we had just watched Dad leave for work.

I turned to my baby and said "What are we going to do for the rest of the day?"

My kiddo loves to pull down all the books.

It was 7 AM.

We read. We read a lot those first few months.

I read board books, picture books, poems from Where the Sidewalk Ends (I've always been fond of this one). One day I left for work while Grandpa was reading aloud from The Wall Street Journal (hey, we all have our go-to favorites).

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