Welcome to our Weekly Online Newsletter and Virtual Bulletin Board!

Information about upcoming programs for kids, teens, and families at the Bridgewater Library and in our community. We also highlight useful websites and important information for parents, teachers, and young people.
Question or Suggestion? Please email us at bwljuv@sclibnj.org or call 908 526-4026 x126.
Searching for an item? Check our catalog here.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Reminder: Bridgewater Library (and the other branches of the Somerset County Library System) are CLOSED on Tuesday May 24th and Monday May 30th.

 

Please note, the library will be closed on Tuesday May 24th for staff training and Monday May 30th for Memorial Day.

There will be
NO Baby/toddler/PJ/storytime programs
the week of May 23rd.
Programs will resume May 31st.

Coming Soon @ Bridgewater Library:

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There will be NO Baby/toddler/PJ/storytime programs the week of May 23rd. Programs will resume May 31st.

 image_thumb16_thumbStorytime (For Ages 3-6, siblings welcome) Tuesdays  10:00 a.m. Second session at 1:30pm.

Toddler Time (For Ages 18 months-36 months) Wednesdays, and Fridays at 10:00 a.m.

Baby Time (For ages birth - 18 months) Thursdays  9:30 a.m.

Pajama Time (all ages) Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. (PJs optional)

No Registration Required for any of these. Join us for stories, songs, movement and fun!

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Click HERE to register for these programs.

Homework help through the end of May:

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Around the Community:

SEUSSICAL AND HENRY & MUDGE COMING SOON AT PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE

SEUSSICAL Saturday, June 11, 2016, at 10AM
Theatreworks USA For ages 5 & up

"Oh, the thinks you can think" when Dr. Seuss' best-loved characters and stories hit the stage in this unforgettable musical. The noble Horton the Elephant, the one-feathered bird Gertrude McFuzz and the antics of the Cat in the Hat steal the spotlight!

WHERE: Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Drive, Millburn
TICKETS: All tickets are only $12.75.
Tickets may be purchased by calling 973-376-4343, or at the Paper Mill Box Office on Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.papermill.org.

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A SPECIAL AUTISM-FRIENDLY PRESENTATION

HENRY AND MUDGE  Sunday, June 12, 2016, at 10AM Theatreworks USA For ages 4 & up

Sometimes it's tough being a kid, but life is a lot easier and a lot more fun when you've got a great big canine buddy to share your adventures! Follow the exploits of Henry and Mudge in this musical based on Cynthia Rylant's best-selling books.

An Autism-Friendly Performance planned in cooperation with the Paper Mill Autism Advisory Team.  “Meet Your Seat” Open House  Friday, June 10, 2016, 4:00 – 6:00 pm

Major funding for autism-friendly programs is provided by the Merck Foundation, with additional support from C.R. Bard Foundation, The Karma Foundation, MetLife Foundation, Nordstrom, and PSEG Foundation.


BRING THE KIDS TO RED BANK TO SEE “WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE”—TICKETS ON SALE NOW FOR LIMITED RUN

Buy
                                        Your Tickets TODAY!

Click here to learn more
                                        about student matinees!

Click here to buy tickets

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS!

WHERE: Two River Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank, NJ 07701  732.345.1400   tworivertheater.org   info@trtc.org


Looking for more fun ideas to do with your family? Take a look at: “MOMMY POPPINS-NJ”,  “FREE FAMILY FUN NJ” and FUN LINKS FOR FAMILIES -- EVENT LISTINGS (see list on the right side of the blog).


Let Your Fingers Do More Walking:

SAFETY NEWS YOU CAN USE:

MEMORIAL WEEKEND IS APPROACHING AND WITH IT, POOL FUN – DON’T LET IT TURN TO FAMILY TRAGEDY…

TRINETTE REED

WHAT EVERY PARENT NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT DRY AND SECONDARY DROWNING

In a harrowing 2014 blog post, writer Lindsay Kujawa described her family’s brush with secondary drowning after her son, Ronin, slipped into the water for maybe 20 seconds at a pool party. At first he seemed fine, if a bit shaken. But hours later, Ronin was being rushed to the hospital in an ambulance while his mother helplessly watched his oxygen levels fall. Though he recovered, Kujawa wrote that she was “forever changed since this happened.”

“Before [that day] I had never heard of secondary drowning,” she continued. “If I had heard of it before, I would have done things differently.” With that in mind, and with summer swim season upon us, here are five basics about dry and secondary drowning all parents should know.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Build and Play at the Library in May. Music, Movies, and Art coming soon in June–plus Family Art Day at Princeton Art Museum, Spamalot in Chatham, an Autism-Friendly performance at Papermill and lots more to do around our area.

 

Please note, the library will be closed on Tuesday May 24th for staff training.

There will be
NO Baby/toddler/PJ/storytime programs
the week of May 23rd.
Programs will resume May 30th.

Coming Soon @ Bridgewater Library:

image_thumb3_thumb_thumb

There will be NO Baby/toddler/PJ/storytime programs the week of May 23rd. Programs will resume May 30th.

 image_thumb16_thumbStorytime (For Ages 3-6, siblings welcome) Tuesdays  10:00 a.m. Second session at 1:30pm.

Toddler Time (For Ages 18 months-36 months) Wednesdays, and Fridays at 10:00 a.m.

Baby Time (For ages birth - 18 months) Thursdays  9:30 a.m.

Pajama Time (all ages) Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. (PJs optional)

No Registration Required for any of these. Join us for stories, songs, movement and fun!

415bc5f5-339e-4be6-92f8-a0b2bdc837cf

image

image

Click HERE to register for these programs.

Homework help through the end of May:

image

 

Around the Community:

ENJOY FAMILY DAY 2016 @ THE PRINCETON ART MUSEUM SATURDAY, MAY 21

WHERE: Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton
ADMISSION: free

If you attend the event, tell them you learned about it from the NJ Arts Maven! Subscribe to get free daily updates!

OLDER KIDS AND TEENS MAY ENJOY CHATHAM PLAYERS’ POLISHED PRODUCTION OF “SPAMALOT”

It's comedy fit for a king! Lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL, SPAMALOT retells the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, and features a bevy of beautiful show girls, "a chorus line of legless knights”, men in tights (with legs), not to mention cows, killer rabbits, and French taunters. This show features one of the most energetic, tuneful scores of the last decade. The 2005 Broadway production won three Tony Awards, including "Best Musical," and received 14 Tony Award nominations.

 

The Guards

Monty Python’s own Eric Idle wrote the book & lyrics and composed the score with John Du Prez. “Spamalot” takes liberties with everything and everyone, including history, royalty, decorum, bravery, musical theater and just about everything else. Audiences also will meet showgirls, flying cows, dancing monks, coarse French soldiers, an armless and legless knight and a killer rabbit. Does this sound like a something you would want to miss?

PERFORMANCE DATES

FRI, May 20 @ 8:00 pm
SAT,
May 21 @ 8:00 pm
Tickets are $25 for adults and $23 for youth/senior.  For more information, visit ChathamPlayers.org.  Hearing impaired listening devices are available. Please inquire at the box office.



SEUSSICAL AND HENRY & MUDGE COMING SOON AT PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE

SEUSSICAL Saturday, June 11, 2016, at 10AM
Theatreworks USA For ages 5 & up

"Oh, the thinks you can think" when Dr. Seuss' best-loved characters and stories hit the stage in this unforgettable musical. The noble Horton the Elephant, the one-feathered bird Gertrude McFuzz and the antics of the Cat in the Hat steal the spotlight!

WHERE: Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Drive, Millburn
TICKETS: All tickets are only $12.75.
Tickets may be purchased by calling 973-376-4343, or at the Paper Mill Box Office on Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.papermill.org.

clip_image002

A SPECIAL AUTISM-FRIENDLY PRESENTATION

HENRY AND MUDGE  Sunday, June 12, 2016, at 10AM Theatreworks USA For ages 4 & up

Sometimes it's tough being a kid, but life is a lot easier and a lot more fun when you've got a great big canine buddy to share your adventures! Follow the exploits of Henry and Mudge in this musical based on Cynthia Rylant's best-selling books.

An Autism-Friendly Performance planned in cooperation with the Paper Mill Autism Advisory Team.  “Meet Your Seat” Open House  Friday, June 10, 2016, 4:00 – 6:00 pm

Major funding for autism-friendly programs is provided by the Merck Foundation, with additional support from C.R. Bard Foundation, The Karma Foundation, MetLife Foundation, Nordstrom, and PSEG Foundation.


BRING THE KIDS TO RED BANK TO SEE “WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE”—TICKETS ON SALE NOW FOR LIMITED RUN

Buy
                                        Your Tickets TODAY!

Click here to learn more
                                        about student matinees!

Click here to buy tickets

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS!

WHERE: Two River Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank, NJ 07701  732.345.1400   tworivertheater.org   info@trtc.org


CRAFTS SERIES THIS SUMMER @ HISTORIC SPEEDWELL VILLAGE

www.morrisparks.net



UPCOMING LIBERTY HALL EVENTS

WHERE: Liberty Hall Museum is located at 1003 Morris Ave, Union, NJ 07083

Toys Through Time: History of American Fun

Our toy exhibit Toys Through Time: The History of American Fun encompasses five rooms in the museum and has interactive and hands-on features. The collection ranges from about 1850 to 1950 and includes board games, dolls, trucks, rocking horses, puppets, doll houses and so much more!

WHEN: Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tours leave every hour.
FEE
: $12 for Adults; $10 for Kean Alumni; $8 for Seniors & Children (3-17).

Afternoon Tea in the Gardens

Back by popular demand, enjoy our tremendously popular tea service outside in our beautiful gardens! The tea includes a sumptuous selection of scones, assorted pastries, traditional finger sandwiches, and the freshest of fruit.  As you enjoy your afternoon tea experience, listen to a talk about the history of the gardens of Liberty Hall and receive gardening tips on the proper care of roses. A tour of Liberty Hall Museum including the exhibit Toys Through Time: The History of American Fun will immediately follow the tea.

WHEN: Sunday, June 12 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
FEE:
$40 per person. Reservations required,  call 908-527-0400

A Child’s View of History

In this unique tour, children and their parents will view the Museum through the eyes of its youngest former occupants: the children who inhabited Liberty Hall over the past 240 years. History has never been so "hands-on," with each room your child visits featuring a variety of artifacts they are welcome to touch! The tour also includes our interactive exhibit Toys Through Time: History of American Fun and light refreshments, and are all conducted by our friendly and knowledgeable staff  in period clothing. Recommended for ages 6 - 12.

WHEN: Tuesdays in Jul & Aug at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., or 3 p.m.
FEE: $8 per child; $10 per adult. Reservations required, call 908-527-0400.




Looking for more fun ideas to do with your family? Take a look at: “MOMMY POPPINS-NJ”,  “FREE FAMILY FUN NJ” and FUN LINKS FOR FAMILIES -- EVENT LISTINGS (see list on the right side of the blog).

Free Things To
                                                    Do in May

Put Your Wallets Away! Enjoy Some Family Fun This Month Without Spending a Cent read_more2.jpg

We've rounded up the best things to do this month for free.

 


MORE OUTDOOR FUN:

Waterfalls in NJWhere To Find NJ Waterfalls

All This Rain Has Made for Amazing Waterfall Viewing. Head Out to See Them At Their Peak.

read_more2.jpg

Where to go to find the best waterfalls in NJ.




8 Tips for Teaching Your Child to Ride a Bike Without Training Wheels

 

 

 

 


Let Your Fingers Do More Walking:

KNOW SOMEONE WITH AN ANAPHYLATIC FOOD ALLERGY? READ THIS.

Sometimes you don’t recognize anaphylaxis right away. Heather Braverman, age 19, shares her experience with her first anaphylactic reaction in 16 years, and what she and her family learned about not hesitating to use epinephrine, the first line treatment for anaphylaxis.

This powerful video is important to share with people with food allergies, especially teenagers, who are at the highest risk for fatal food allergy reactions.

☑ Learn more about anaphylaxis at http://www.foodallergy.org/anaphylaxis

☑ Download an Emergency Care Plan at http://www.foodallergy.org/faap



Stop telling kids you’re bad at math. You are spreading math anxiety ‘like a virus.’ 


(Photo by Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

By Petra Bonfert-Taylor

“How was skiing?” I asked my 14-year old daughter as she hauled her boot bag into the car. “Well, the ratio of snow to ground was definitely low,” she replied, adding that she had tried to figure the ratio of snow-to-ground during practice but had received only mystified looks. “Stop the math!” demanded a coach. “You are confusing us!”

Why do smart people enjoy saying that they are bad at math? Few people would consider proudly announcing that they are bad at writing or reading. Our country’s communal math hatred may seem rather innocuous, but a more critical factor is at stake: we are passing on from generation to generation the phobia for mathematics and with that are priming our children for mathematical anxiety. As a result, too many of us have lost the ability to examine a real-world problem, translate it into numbers, solve the problem and interpret the solution. READ MORE.

Looking for a fun way to keep your kids math skills sharp? Check out the daily problem at Bedtimemath.org

From chocolate chip cookies, to unmatched socks, from the real facts behind what it took to build Mt. Rushmore to the hypothetical number of snacks it would take to fill the planet earth – everything is fair game for math puzzling!

Monday, May 9, 2016

This weekend: Spirit of NJ History Fair, SMASH (Spectacularly Merging Art, Science & History), Junie B. Jones at the Papermill Playhouse, local Anime Convention or a Classical Concert. Next Monday, Backyard Games afterschool at the Bridgewater Library.

 

Around the Community:

HISTORY ON THE HOOF – BRING THE WHOLE FAMILY TO THE NEW JERSEY STATE HISTORY FAIR May 14th

Now in its 12th year, the Fair will again be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday May 14th at Monmouth Battlefield State Park, Manalapan, NJ, Rain or Shine.


The 2016 Fair will feature some familiar faces from the past like Clara Barton, George Washington and Walt Whitman as well as such favorite activities as 19th baseball, horse-drawn plowing demonstrations,  Phydeaux’s flying flea circus and period music.

New to the Fair will be several Civil War themed programs to coincide with the exhibit of President Lincoln’s replica casket.   A local Civil War reenactment unit, the 14th NJ Volunteers, Co. H, will provide an honor guard for the casket and the Fort Delaware Cornet Band will perform music of the era on period instruments. 

Another exciting new program will be a fictional U.S. Army radio and live show, “SPAM Time”, which is modeled on actual entertainment presented to U.S. military personnel from WWII to the Viet Nam War era.  A full day of pre-recorded and live musical entertainment will be presented.

There is something for everyone - so come on out and enjoy the Fair!  It’s a fun-filled experience for the whole family! You don’t want to miss it.

www.njhistoryfair.org


www.statemuseum.nj.gov

Special Events:   SMASH Series  May 14, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

SMASH stands for Spectacularly Merging Art, Science & History and explores the fascinating intersection of these topics through events in the series. The May 14 event will focus on animals - movement, adaptations, migrations, diet, habitat and more. There will be crafts, games and activities, plus we'll be celebrating National Astronomy Day in the Planetarium with help from the Amateur Astronomers Association of Princeton. 

Philadelphia Zoo's "Zoo on Wheels" will be on hand with performances at 1:00 and 2:00 pm; don't miss special demonstrations and exhibits from community partners Jenkinson's Aquarium, Trenton chapter of the American Chemical Society, and Princeton Graduate Women in Science & Engineering. Visit our Paleo Lab for an up close look at the fossils being prepared and more!

And stay tuned: additional SMASH events will take place August 20 and November 12. Visit our website for additional information.

Planetarium News & Events:

FREE Public Sky Observing

May 13 & 27, 8:00 pm

Join Bill Murray of the NJSM Planetarium staff and the Amateur Astronomers Association of Princeton (AAAP) for an evening of sky observing at the Simpson Observatory, Washington Crossing State Park, New Jersey. View craters on the moon and the planets Mars and Jupiter through AAAP's high-tech computerized telescopes.

The AAAP and Museum staff will be on hand to guide participants and answer  astronomy-related questions. Please visit the Amateur Astronomers Association of Princeton web site for a downloadable map with directions to the Simpson Observatory.  This event takes place weather permitting.

Planetarium Schedule:

Weekends from April 30 - May 29

Visit the Museum and see a Planetarium show!  Planetarium shows are available to the public on Saturdays and Sundays, and during school break weeks.



PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE ANNOUNCES SPRING 2016 CHILDREN’S PROGRAMMING LINE-UP

JUNIE B’S ESSENTIAL SURVIVIAL GUIDE TO SCHOOL

Saturday, May 14, 2016, at 10AM  Theatreworks USA
For ages 4 & up

Now that Junie B. Jones has been going to school for over a year, who better to write the book on EVERTHING you need to know? From bus rules to Band-Aids, carpools to cookies, Junie B. and friends deliver the definitive word on surviving and thriving in stlye, showing us all how school is sometimes scary, sometimes super-fun, and ALWAYS something to sing about!

WHERE: Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Drive, Millburn
TICKETS: All tickets are only $12.75.
Tickets may be purchased by calling 973-376-4343, or at the Paper Mill Box Office on Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.papermill.org.

Upcoming: SEUSSICAL  Saturday, June 11, 2016, at 10AM
Theatreworks USA For ages 5 & up

"Oh, the thinks you can think" when Dr. Seuss' best-loved characters and stories hit the stage in this unforgettable musical. The noble Horton the Elephant, the one-feathered bird Gertrude McFuzz and the antics of the Cat in the Hat steal the spotlight!

clip_image002

A SPECIAL AUTISM-FRIENDLY PRESENTATION

HENRY AND MUDGE  Sunday, June 12, 2016, at 10AM Theatreworks USA For ages 4 & up

Sometimes it's tough being a kid, but life is a lot easier and a lot more fun when you've got a great big canine buddy to share your adventures! Follow the exploits of Henry and Mudge in this musical based on Cynthia Rylant's best-selling books.

An Autism-Friendly Performance planned in cooperation with the Paper Mill Autism Advisory Team.  “Meet Your Seat” Open House  Friday, June 10, 2016, 4:00 – 6:00 pm

Major funding for autism-friendly programs is provided by the Merck Foundation, with additional support from C.R. Bard Foundation, The Karma Foundation, MetLife Foundation, Nordstrom, and PSEG Foundation.


Do you like Manga & Anime? -- CloverCon 2016! is this Sunday, May 15th

CloverCon is a small, non profit, New Jersey anime convention run by the Somerset County 4-H Anime and Manga Club! We've got an Artist Alley/Dealer Room, game room, manga library, panels, special guests, and much more!

This year's convention will be held on Sunday, May 15th, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Somerset County 4-H Center at 310 Milltown Road in Bridgewater Registration info.
You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr for updates and information on this year's convention!


RHYTHMS TRANSPORT YOU @ NJIO FREE CONCERTSUNDAY IN SUMMIT

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Looking for more fun ideas to do with your family? Take a look at: “MOMMY POPPINS-NJ”,  “FREE FAMILY FUN NJ” and FUN LINKS FOR FAMILIES -- EVENT LISTINGS (see list on the right side of the blog).


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@ Bridgewater Library

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Baby/toddler/PJ/storytime programs...

 image_thumb16_thumbStorytime (For Ages 3-6, siblings welcome) Tuesdays  10:00 a.m. Second session at 1:30pm.

Toddler Time (For Ages 18 months-36 months) Wednesdays, and Fridays at 10:00 a.m.

Baby Time (For ages birth - 18 months) Thursdays  9:30 a.m.

Pajama Time (all ages) Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. (PJs optional)

No Registration Required for any of these. Join us for stories, songs, movement and fun! 

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Click HERE to register for these programs.

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Let Your Fingers Do More Walking:

From the blog Katywrites:image
8 Small Tools That Make Reading A Big Deal

…There are simple things YOU can use, right now, right away, to rebuild a culture of readers from the ground up. One child, one family, one neighborhood, one community at a time. But to build – or rebuild – of course calls for tools.

You probably already have these tools. Now’s the time to dust them off and put them to work.

  1. Your library card: When you check books out of the library – for yourself, your kids, your spouse – even if you don’t read every book (or get it back on time) you have just made a change. You’ve increased library circulation. And those circulation numbers are key in factoring library funding and resources. Want more readers? Fund more and better libraries. Want more and better libraries? Use the ones we have!!
  2. Your Facebook account: and your Instagram and your Twitter and so on. You’ve seen how social media changes what people think about, how they spend their time, how they spend their money. You post about what you had for dinner – and a friend tries that new Thai place. You post about the TV series you just binge-watched – and 3 friends stay up all night doing the same. So post about the books you just read. Or the ones your kids loved. Or the book-signing you’re attending next week. Ask for book suggestions for your 4th grade son or something you and your teen daughter will love to read together. Follow and encourage teens to follow accounts that highlight books from genres you enjoy.  Shift the social media focus.
  3. Your wallet: You can make donations to non-profits that support literacy, but I’m talking about something much more down to earth. I’m talking about buying books. E-books, hardcovers, paperbacks and comics. Books for you, books for your kids, books for birthday and holiday gifts. Nothing moves culture like economics. If people are buying books, then books are what America is selling. When you have books in your house, kids are more likely to read them. When you prioritize budget for books over lattes, kids see how you value reading. When you ask your child to help pick out a book for Grandma, you are modeling life-long reading.
  4. Your opinions: You’ve offered your opinion on everything from organic strawberries to Uber drivers to presidential hopefuls. You once spent an hour telling Comcast just what you thought of their customer service.  But when is the last time you reviewed a book? Better yet, when’s the last time you reviewed one with your kids? When you involve your children in writing a book review, not only do you extend the reading experience, you show them that their opinions about books matter. Plus, you show authors, publishers, and booksellers that they matter, too!
  5. Your downtime: If your kids see you reach for your tablet or smart phone every time you have a free minute, they are even MORE likely to do the same. If you model reading for enjoyment, you’ll see that example pay off with kids who reach for books. Sure, it’s not quite that simple. For further discussion, check out my Copy Cat Kids post.
  6. Your open mind: The books your child (or grandchild, or student) enjoys reading may not always be the books you WISH he would read. (I’d personally give a lot of money to not have to discuss Captain Underpants any further!) But giving children the right to choose books that interest them, without judgement or criticism based on reading level or subject matter, is crucial. Ask questions about what your child is reading, and be enthusiastic about their choices. In this way you build confident, empowered readers – who are more likely to KEEP reading.
  7. Your bedtimes: We all love to listen to stories read aloud – no matter how old we are. Why else would the audio book business be such a booming industry, even with adults? Read to or with your child as part of a bedtime routine. Older children and teens benefit from continued read-aloud time – so don’t stop just because your child can read independently. Or because you’d rather be watching Game of Thrones.(Click here for more on reading aloud with older kids.)
  8. Your attention: Listen when the children and teens in your life talk about the books they read – but also when they talk about their favorite shows, the social causes that concern them, the funny thing that happened at school today. Listen attentively to kids, and when appropriate, bring books into the conversation. Reflect their interest with your own – and help them find reading materials that support and expand upon their interests.

You have the tools, you have the blueprints. Let’s get building a culture of readers.  --Katy   

kateywrites.wordpress.com has many more posts on books and reading and families.

 

Looking to improve your child’s STEM skills -- 15 Picture Books That Support Children’s Spatial Skills Development

(iStock)  By Deborah Farmer Kris Having strong spatial skills — the ability to understand and mentally manipulate shapes and figures — has been identified by researchers as characteristic of those who find success in STEM fields and creative pursuits. Developing those skills can start early through activities and the language that caregivers use with children. Parents can also support young children’s spatial reasoning skills by reading them “spatially challenging picture books,” says Temple University’s Nora Newcombe. These includes books that examine scenes from various angles or perspectives, that include maps and spatial language, or whose illustrations require close attention to decipher their meaning.

The power of these books is both in the illustrations themselves and in how parents and educators talk about the pictures with children, says Julie Dillemuth, a spatial cognition geographer. Researchers have found a “vast range in the amount of spatial language that children are exposed to,” says Dillemuth, and this has the potential of creating an early spatial  skills gap.

Lucy in the CityWith these studies in mind, Dillemuth asked herself,  “What if I could write a kids book that would lay the foundation for spatial thinking?”  The result, “Lucy in the City,” follows a lost racoon who engages in three spatial activities to find her way home: retracing one’s steps, interpreting a map and being aware of one’s surroundings. She hopes books like hers will help parents talk about spatial concepts with their children and offer “a little extra nudge to help kids acquire these skills.”  

MindShift asked Julie Dillemuth and Kathleen T. Horning,  director of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, to recommend some engaging,  spatially challenging picture books for young children. Here are the 15 they selected.



Speaking of Children’s Books – Check out this real “Make Way for Ducklings” story.  Grade School Helps Mama Duck Get Ducklings to Safety for 13 Amazing Years

Vanessa knows a good thing when she sees it, and she loves the courtyard at the Village Elementary School in Hartland, Mich. She feels so safe and secure there, she returns like clockwork every year.

That school courtyard is where she raises her babies every year. You see, Vanessa is a mallard duck. She’s a fixture at the school each spring. For an incredible 13 years now, she’s hidden herself under her favorite shrub and laid her eggs.

The most surprising thing, though, is what Vanessa and her ducklings do every year when they’re ready to head to water for the first time. With the help of the entire school, the duck family waddles from the courtyard through the school corridors to the outside door.  See it happen for yourself here. It’s adorable. More duckling rescues HERE.   And if you want to read the original story Make Way for Duckings story by Robert McCloskey, the Somerset County Library System has it in book, e-book, cd-book, and DVD – check them out HERE.  You might also enjoy Lucky Ducklings by Eva Moore.


When Storytime Blows Kids' Minds: The Power Of The Plot Twist

When you’re entrusted with revealing literature’s most powerful secrets, like the identity of Luke Skywalker’s father, storytime can be just as fun for parents as it is for kids.

One of the profound pleasures of reading to children, says Barrie Hardymon, is the thrill of sharing a story's secrets for the first time.


News you can use -- with the recent findings of lead in area drinking fountains, here is:
 

imageEnvironmental Working Group’s WATER FILTER BUYING GUIDE

 



OUTDOOR FUN:

Waterfalls in NJWhere To Find NJ Waterfalls

All This Rain Has Made for Amazing Waterfall Viewing. Head Out to See Them At Their Peak.

read_more2.jpg

Where to go to find the best waterfalls in NJ.




8 Tips for Teaching Your Child to Ride a Bike Without Training Wheels