Kids Music That Rocks

Kids have a natural love of music. They love to dance, shake and explore sounds and movement. Like with so many things in their lives, music is much more fun when it is shared with the grownups and siblings in their lives!  Music can help focus their attention, music can lift their spirits and research shows that music can help make them smarter!  

Many researchers believe that the earlier kids are exposed to music, the more their sponge-like brains absorb and respond to tones. In Early Literacy research, this is beneficial to their pre-literacy development and is known as Phonological Awareness. There are lots of ways you can help build this skill in and with your child including:

  • clapping with the syllables
  • using spoons to bang on pots and pans (note: do this with asprin handy!)
  • making shakers by putting rice into and empty water bottle with a secure screw cap
  • using scarves or sticks or anything to play! There are more ideas about making your own instruments here

Good Kids music is not something that is easy to find. A lot of the albums are hit or miss with quality and enjoyableness for the grownups who have to listen to it too.  We read a blog called Kids Music that Rocks and are introduced to lots of new artists and albums through there. Kiera wrote a piece a while back with links to some of her favorites from our collection like Elizabeth Mitchell, They Might be Giants and the Terrible Twos.  To her list, I'd to add some World Music presented by Putumayo (Kids):

Hawaiian Playground

Reggae Playground Folk Playground African Playground







 And now I leave you with some fun music from Feist from a guest appearance on Sesame Street. Have fun listening to music with your little one!!!

Baby Play

Babies learn through their senses. Ever wonder how a baby can be so fascinated with an object? They are exploring the texture, color, shape and even taste of the things they come in contact with.  Just like with words (the more you expose them to, the more they absorb) play is an essential part of your child's development. They don't just learn about the objects however. They are learning important concepts like cause and effect; when they touch the rattle, it makes a noise.  And boy do they like to move!  Just watch this short video of a baby at play (note: the adults were edited out of the video for streamlined baby adorableness).



Interested in learning more?  Talk to a Librarian and check out some of the great books we have in our Parents Section (F5 Parents) in the Children's Library:

Baby Steps: A Guide to Your Child's Social, Physical, Mental and emotional Development in the First Two Years by Claire Kopp

Baby Minds: Brain Building Games Your Baby Will Love by Linda Acredolo, PhD and Susan Goodwyn, PhD

Games to Play with Babies by Jackie Silberg

125 Brain Games for Babies: Simple Games to Promote Early Brain Development by Jackie Silberg


Have fun playing with your baby!


Reluctant Reader Tip#2

If you're the parent of a reluctant reader, fear not!  There are many things you can do to encourage a lifelong love of reading without resorting to bribery. 

I'll be blogging Reluctant Reader Tips (check out Tip #1) over the course of the next few weeks.  Here's Tip #2:

Silly Does It! 

Almost all kids like things that are funny, silly, and gross.  Especially if reading feels like a chore, having a laugh-out-loud book can help reinforce the idea that reading can be fun (gasp!). 

Alright, so high-brow and sophisticated Captain Underpants is NOT.  But, it certainly has phenomenal appeal for young boys- and that interest can be just the spark needed to transition into more sophisticated chapter books. 

Here are some favorite Silly Books:




Reluctant Reader Tip #1

If you're the parent of a child who does not like to read, you are not alone. 

Studies have shown that reading tends to drop off as a preferred activity as children get older and progress through elementary school.  Getting your child (re)interested in books can seem like an uphill battle.

What can you do?  Here's my Reluctant Reader Tip #1:

Try a graphic novel!

The Babymouse series follows the  hilarious adventures of a little mouse and her school friends.  And don't let the pinkness fool you- boys like it, too!   Not so much into pink?  Give Jeff Smith's Bone series a try. It's got humor, adventure, and friendship. Consider Amelia Rules! the Peanuts of the 21st century.  A cast of kids who can make you laugh, cry, or both.


Comic books have come a long way!  Graphic novels have great appeal for children who are visual learners.  Like their more traditional cousin, the novel, they help increase vocabulary and narrative skills.  Graphic novels, however, have the added bonus of helping children develop an increasingly important skill: visual literacy.  Plus, they are super funny!

For future Reluctant Reader Tips, stay tuned to our blog.  And add your own tips in the comments section!

Booklists About Firsts for First Five Years

Books to accompany children's milestones; the exciting, the fearful, and the fun firsts!


First Steps

Hold My Hand: Five Stories of Love and Family by Charlotte Zotolow Will You Carry Me? by Heleen Van Rossum Spot's First Walk by Eric Hill Pig Pig Grows Up by David McPhail


First Vocab, First Haircut, First Time Potty


Simms Taback's Book of Words by this Caldecott Award winning author/artist, runs the gammet of vocab words for toddlers and preschoolers.  Looking for easier, or harder?  More titles on this vocab book list No Haircut Today!by Elivia Savadier is about a toddler who does not want a trimming from his hairdresser mom!  More titles on this haircut list. A Potty for Me is a lift the flap storybook.  More fiction titles on this potty list.  Toilet training books (geared towards grownup readers) are here.




First Dentist, First Loose Tooth





  Harry and the Dinosaurs Say "Raahh!" is a relatable tale of dentist nervousness.  More titles on this dentist list . Loose Tooth by Lola Schaefer is for those learning how to read, which corresponds to the time we tend to loose teeth!  More titles on this loose tooth list.  


Parent Favorite: Classic and Modern FUNNY STORIES (a Booklist)

Did you grow up laughing along with books like Homer Price and Mr. Popper's Penguins?  Check out these modern read-alikes that will have you and your child busting a gut!

The Hoboken Chicken Emergency by Daniel Pinkwater

Stinky: A Toon Book

by Eleanor Davis




by Andrew Clements










The Talented Clementine

by Sara Pennypacker

Double Trouble in Walla Walla

by Andrew Clements

The Legend of Spud Murphy

by Eoin Colfer











For advanced readers with a refined sense of irony, try Richard Peck's The Teachers Funeral and Here Lies the Librarian

GIRL READS: A Booklist for Upper Elementary Girls


Click the attachment for the list! 

Rhyming Books

Rhyming books...they're fun to read aloud because they read like songs.  In storytime they are some of the most silliest and entertaining reads; my favorites!  I can do all kinds of activities that extend right from the book, making the books interactive.  

Click on the rhyming tag in the catalog to find some rhyming books for toddlers and preschoolers.  Of course, many more books are out there.  So if you come across one of your favorite rhyming books, tag it in the catalog, and it will totally be added!


Rhyming books also help with phonological awareness and sensitivity; the ability to hear the breakdown of sounds within words.  Being aware of phonemes as a small child, will help them when they are older and begin to read -- when they need to sound out words for themselves.  The Every Child Ready to Read site has lots of ways we can interact with kids regarding phonological awareness, as well as other emergent literacy skills for babies, toddlers, and pre-readers.  Check it out!

Some fun phological awareness activities:

  • having kids complete the rhyme by leaving off the last part of the sentence.
  • rhyming games such as, this story was about many other things rhyme with boats. 
  • In storytime, once we've thought of a bunch of words rhyming with boat, I make up a song about it, which turns the room into a giggle fest!  A coat was on a boat, it ran there to get away from that goat that had tried to get past the moat.  That's when maybe a question will come up what a moat is, which gets us talking vocabulary.  It's always fun! 
  • jump and move around to the rhyming parts in a nursery rhyme or song.  In storytime, if we do "hey diddle diddle" we jump on diddle, and fiddle, etc. and then freeze during the non-rhyming parts.

2008 Kids & Family Reading Report

THE 2008 KIDS AND FAMILY READING REPORT2008 Kids & family Reading Report cover - picture of family reading a book together.


Tweens and Teens who Participate in Online Activities Are More Likely to Read Books for Fun Daily

A new study released today finds that 75% of kids age 5-17 agree with the statement, “No matter what I can do online, I’ll always want to read books printed on paper,” and 62% of kids surveyed say they prefer to read books printed on paper rather than on a computer or a handheld device. The Kids & Family Reading Report ™, a national survey of children age 5-17 and their parents, also found that kids who go online to extend the reading experience – by going to book or author websites or connecting with other readers – are more likely to read books for fun every day.


Download the full report or watch presentations on the report in short sections here.  Parents, you might particularly interested in checking out Section IV; Parents' Roles in Kids' Reading (page 38 of the actual report). In it, they found the "High Frequency reading parents are six times more likely than low frequency reading parents to have high frequency reading children (42% vs. 7%)."  Those "high frequency reading parents" try more tactics to encourage their children to read for pleasure like;

Read the same books as my child so I can talk with him/her about the books.

Reward my child for reading books.

Have my child participate in book clubs or other reading groups that meet in person.

Use movies or TV shows that are based on books to get my child interested in a book.

Encourage my child to go online and exlore a book's website, an author's website or other types of website that exten the reading experience.


Those are definitely good ideas! There is a great website called and they have a TON of information about books, book clubs and authors. It is a good place to start exploring books online!

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