Eight Tips for Helping Young Readers Bloom

Spring is here, so many people are planning and prepping to work in their gardens. In many places, spring flowers are already blooming or daffodils and other spring bulbs are poking up out of the warming soil. Given the right conditions and care, gardens can be thriving, vibrant places full of life. And the same is true for young readers! So, to celebrate spring and gardens and reading, here are ten tips to help your young readers bloom and thrive, along with some garden photos for some garden inspiration. 1. Just like flowers, budding readers blossom in their own time. Encourage them, but let them grow at their own pace. 2. Gardens need the right nutrients to grow, and this can vary depending on the plant. The same is true for young readers. Fertilize young readers minds with consistent, nutrient-rich mind food. In other words, offer a variety of books! But remember, not all growing readers will respond to the same books the same way.  Cone flowers and black-eyed Susans in Rebecca'

Ten Story Time Activities to Pair with Fall Books

by Rebecca J. Gomez

There are so many things to love about fall, especially in a place where the seasons clearly change, and the landscape along with them. Because of the cooler temperatures, many people like to spend more time outside in the fall. Others take advantage of the coolness to bake more or to cook hearty, warm meals like chili and stew. And, of course, there's nothing quite like curling up with a book on a cool fall afternoon. 

Whether you live in an area where the seasonal changes are stark or not, now is the perfect time of year to enjoy some books about fall. Read some old favorites or discover some new fall books at your library to pair with some fun fall activities. These suggestions for fall activities to pair with books don't necessarily have to happen during story time, but can be great opportunities to foster discussions, build relationships, and create connections between books and daily life. With that in mind, here are some ideas for how you can enjoy some bookish fun with your kids this fall:

1. Make leaf art, such as rubbings, prints, or a leaf collage. Here's a tutorial for making leaf prints with real leaves and paint.

2. Crunch in fall leaves.

3. Look for fallen nuts like acorns and walnuts.

4. Take a walk and try to spot elements from your favorite fall books in your neighborhood.

5. Enjoy a book inspired snack, such as leaf or pumpkin shaped cookies. See our previous post for an easy haystacks recipe.

6. Print coloring pages to color. If you can't find printable pages for your favorite fall books, have your child create their own!

7. Carve or paint a pumpkin to look like a book character. Need an idea? Here's how to make a What About Moose? jack-o-lantern

8. Play book character dress up.

9. Visit a pumpkin patch or apple orchard.

10. Tell (or retell) spooky stories by firelight. 

What is your favorite fall activity? What are some favorite fall books?