Reasons to Visit Your Local Library This Summer

Red Apple Reading - Reasons to Visit the Library This Summer

When was the last time you visited your public library? If you already have a hefty collection of books in your own personal library, you may not see a need to make a trip to the library in your community. However, your local library may have a plethora of resources for you and your child that you are unaware of. Check out these hidden gems that are available at your local library.

Story Time
Many of us have fond memories of circling up on the carpet and listening intently as the librarian read to us while she held the book open so we could see the pictures. How did she read upside down like that? This time honored tradition is still alive and well at most libraries across the country. Check your local library’s calendar and see when your little one can participate.

Downloadable Products
Many local libraries have links on their web sites where you can check out free downloadable books. eBooks, audio books, and videos are a few of the options that are typically available through a digital library. Is your child obsessed with electronics? Why not offer him a book to read on your e-reader? Do you have a long trip coming up? How about downloading some audio books onto an MP3 player to help your youngster pass the time?

Events
A quick perusal of your library’s calendar will reveal a variety of events offered to patrons. Homework help, craft time, creative writing classes, book clubs and movie showings are just a few examples of the extra activities that may be available to you and your little ones.

Books
Yep, this one is a no-brainer, but it bears reminding that libraries offer access to a wide variety of reading materials. How great is it that we can visit a library on any ordinary day and borrow a book for free?! Another great perk of book borrowing is you don’t have to find a place to keep the book when you’re finished and someone else gets the opportunity to enjoy it as well.

Quiet
Not many things in my life could be described as peaceful and quiet. But you know what? A visit to the library provides a little tranquility to my otherwise hectic day. An outing to the library may be the calming activity that you and your kid need.

Fun
Libraries are just plain fun! When we visit the children’s section of our local library, my son can use the cool interactive Promethean table, visit the pet turtle, and play with all of the cool blocks and games that are available. What fun “extras” does the kid’s portion of your library offer?

Is the public library an overlooked resource in your community? Today is a great day to explore the many benefits of your own local library! What do you think? We would love to hear about some of the resources/events you take advantage of at your public library.

 

Fun Book and Activity Pairings for Kids

What’s more fun than reading a good book? Pairing the book with a cool project, of course! If you want your kiddo to get the most out of her reading experience, try adding an activity that enhances the story and allows for further discussion. If you’re not sure where to begin, Red Apple Reading has a few ideas to help get you started. Check out these pairings!

 

The Listening Walk  by Paul Showers

If you have a particularly chatty early elementary school child, this book may provide the encouragement he needs to simply listen. In this classic story a father and daughter go on a “listening walk” and pay close attention to all the sounds around them.

Activity:  Take a Listening Walk

This story lends itself to a super simple activity that requires only walking shoes. Take your kiddo on a listening walk! Ideally, this walk would take place outside, but if the weather doesn’t permit, a walk could be taken in a supermarket, mall, or library. Make sure to take note of all the different sounds you hear along the way.

 

Diary of a Worm  by Doreen Cronin

What does a young worm do all day? Kids will find out in this funny book written in diary form by the main character. This amusing book will be a big hit for preschoolers and early elementary aged children, and parents will enjoy it just as much. Get ready to giggle!

Activity:  Vermicomposting

O.K., this may not sound like much fun, but trust us, your kids will love it! To put it simply, you and your child will make a worm bin. Vermicomposting (worm composting) is a great way to take care of your food waste. Afterwards, the compost can be used for your garden! Read more about worm composting here from Cultural Care Au Pair.

 

A Rainbow of My Own  by Don Freeman

Preschoolers will enjoy this simple story about a boy who wonders what it would be like to have a rainbow of his own.

Activity:  Rainbow Nesting Blocks

Surprise your kiddo with a rainbow of their own! Young children will love pairing these rainbow nesting blocks from Grimm’s with this cute story. After reading, present these fun building blocks to her and let her imagination take over!

 

Only One You  by Linda Kranz

Filled with colorfully painted pebble fish, this inspirational book encourages children as they swim through the sea of life.

Activity:  Painted Pebble Fish

Sun Hats & Wellie Boots has the perfect activity pairing for this story: paint your own pebble fish. Kids will let their artistic side shine when they create their own unique and colorful fish using only small rocks and acrylic paints.

 

The BFG  by Roald Dahl

Here’s a book for the older elementary and middle school crowd. When Sophie is carried off in the middle of the night by the Big Friendly Giant, adventure ensues. Kids will probably already be familiar with this book that was recently made into a major motion picture.

Activity:  Making Frobscottle

Frobscottle is the delicious drink served up by the B.F.G. in the story: “It was sweet and refreshing. It tasted of vanilla and cream, with just the faintest trace of raspberries on the edge of the flavour.” Take a shot at making this yummy treat with your kids after reading the book. Don’t have a recipe for Frobscottle on hand? No problem! Check this one out from Food in Literature.

 
Perhaps after tackling one of these book and activity pairings, you’ll be inspired to create a project of your own to go along with a favorite book! Be sure to leave us a comment below sharing what books and activities you enjoy putting together.

10 Things Your Kids Should Know About Martin Luther King Jr.

On January 16th our country celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This holiday is the perfect time to reflect with your child on the amazing life of one of civil rights’ most important figures. Why not take some time as a family to discuss some of the significant events in King’s life? Red Apple Reading has compiled a list of 10 things your kids should know about Dr. King to get you started.

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. was born January 15th, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • King was intelligent. He skipped two years of high school and enrolled in Morehouse College at age 15. After he graduated from Morehouse he attended Crozer Theological Seminary where he received a Bachelor of Divinity degree. He then went to Boston University where he earned his doctorate in systematic theology.
  • Some of King’s primary influences were his father – Martin Luther King, Sr., Jesus Christ, Morehouse President – Dr. Benjamin Mays, and Mahatma Gandhi.
  • King believed that peaceful civil disobedience was the best and most effectual way of bringing about political and social change.
  • King wrote Letter from a Birmingham Jail (a stirring defense of civil disobedience) in April of 1963 after being arrested for participating in a civil rights campaign in Birmingham, Alabama. This powerful manifesto was written without reference materials or notes and was over 7000 words long. Click here to read or listen to King’s letter.
  • King presented his I Have a Dream Speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963. Dr. King delivered his speech at the March on Washington, which coincided with the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Click here to view King delivering his full speech.
  • Dr. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. He was the youngest person to ever receive the prize.
  • King was the influential force behind the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the March on Washington, and the Selma March. These events helped to propel the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the Voting Rights Act (1965).
  • King was fatally shot at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968 by James Earl Ray. He was in Memphis supporting a sanitation workers’ strike.
  • King is remembered on the 3rd Monday in January, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This holiday was observed for the first time on January 20th, 1986.

If you would like to further explore the life of Dr. King, check out the following websites!

 

Is the Public Library a Dying Institution?

When was the last time you or your children visited the library? Devoted patrons sing the praises of their local libraries, but others don’t really see the point of visiting any longer. In fact, with the rise of the digital age, many people are wondering if libraries are a dying establishment. We believe there are several reasons local public libraries are still a valuable resource to the public.Are Libraries a Dying Institution? Red Apple Reading blog

Red Apple Reading offers up a few reasons why visiting your local library is still a good idea!

  • It’s fun! – If you give me unlimited access to a building filled with books – that’s enough for me! However, there is so much more to experiencing a library than wandering the bookshelves (though you really should give that a try sometime!). I find that one of the best outings I can offer my younger son is a trip to the children’s section of our local library. He can use the cool interactive Promethean table, visit the pet turtle, and play with all of the cool blocks and games they have available.
  • Peace and Quiet – Parents know how challenging it can be to get work done at home. However, I can always pack up my laptop and head to the library. Not only do I have access to free WiFi, I also have access to a peaceful and relatively quiet environment.
  • Technology – It’s easy to think of libraries as antiquated buildings with dusty books, but in reality most libraries have changed with the times. Our local library has several computers available for public use. They also have a wonderful website that allows me to checkout or renew books online, download books, and view computer tutorials.
  • Public Services – Libraries also offer wonderful services to the community. Very often they present classes on government programs, personal finance, and computer seminars. They also often have weekly story time and activities for children. A quick check of the library website will show you what services are available in your town.
  • Socialization – While it is super convenient to take care of tasks from the comfort of your own home, this doesn’t allow you to interact with other people. Local libraries afford visitors the opportunity to socialize with one another. Book clubs, creative writing classes, story time, and movie viewings are just a few examples of ways libraries encourage socialization.
  • Books! – Yep, this one is a no-brainer, but it bears reminding that libraries offer access to a wide variety of reading materials. Sure, I could download any book I want onto my tablet, but it might not be free!

Perhaps, instead of heading toward extinction, libraries are merely evolving. Whatever your views are about the relevance of libraries, we think you will be touched by this heartwarming story about a secret library in Syria. You’ll be amazed at how one library has changed the lives of a war torn community.

 

Celebrate the 4th of July with Fun Literacy Activities!

Red Apple Reading image - Independence DayThe 4th of July weekend is upon us and summer is in full swing. If your kids are like mine they are really enjoying their vacation from school. While it’s good to have a break from the daily grind of schoolwork, kids can lose some of the progress they made over the previous school year. You can help avoid this “summer slump” by incorporating some educational content into the summer schedule. Why not start today? Take time to sharpen your child’s literacy skills with these fun 4th of July themed activities.

  • Patriotic Picture Books – If you’re looking for some patriotic reads to share with your kiddo, then look no further! No Time for Flashcards has compiled a list of 18 patriotic picture books that are sure to get your little one ready for 4th of July fun!
  • F is for Flag – This cute craft is a must for those of you with preschoolers! Your child will practice her phonics, exercise her creativity and learn about the Stars and Stripes when she constructs this adorable F shaped American flag. Thanks MPM Ideas!
  • 4th of July Word Search – Make your very own word search with Discovery Education’s free puzzle generator. Simply type in the patriotic terms you wish to use and your customized puzzle will be ready in a matter of seconds!
  • History Lesson – Older elementary, middle and high school students will enjoy the interactives, videos, articles and pictures about the 4th of July at History.com. Take advantage of this fun way to incorporate a history lesson for Independence Day.
  • Write a Thank You Note – The 4th of July is the perfect time to write a thank you note to a soldier serving in the military. Operation Gratitude helps facilitate this important volunteer activity. Visit their website today to learn more.
  • Patriotic Writing Prompts – Want to give your little one an opportunity to practice his writing skills? Give him a patriotic writing prompt to get his creative juices flowing! Writing prompts such as, “I love living in America because…”, “If I were President I would…” and “My favorite American hero is…” are just a few ways to get your kiddo going.
  • Compose a Patriotic Poem – If your kid enjoys poetry encourage her to compose her very own patriotic rhyme. The evening barbecue will be the perfect place for her to share her creation with the entire family!
  • A to Z Challenge – See who can come up with the most patriotic words this Independence Day. Give each of your kids a sheet of paper labeled A-Z. Have them write a patriotic word starting with each letter of the alphabet. Whoever comes up with the most words is the winner!
  • ABC Stick FlagsGrowing Book by Book has 3 great ABC stick flag activities that fit well with a 4th of July theme. Test these out with your preschool kiddo this Independence Day!

We hope your weekend is filled with lots of fun family activities. Happy 4th of July from all of us here at Red Apple Reading!