Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category


Sign with Students: Baby Signs® early childhood educator training

Sign Language BoySigning isn’t just for babies! Teachers, attend this free workshop if you care for infants and toddlers or teach preschool through second grade. On Thursday, April 18, 2013 from 7:00 to 8:30pm, certified Baby Signs instructor Jamie Stevens will teach the benefits of signing, how to incorporate ASL into your daily routines, effective ways to teach signs, and much more! With signs, songs, books, and games you will be eager to bring what you learn back to your classroom. Professional credit for Illinois DCFS and ISBE will be issued to all who stay for the entire workshop. Parents are welcome to attend.

Register online with your Skokie Public Library card or with a reciprocal card registered at Skokie Public Library or by phone at 847.324.3149.

Posted under Early Learning News, LibraryLinks, Parenting, Special Needs, Youth

Preschool and Child Care Fair

If you have a young child, you won’t want to miss the Library’s 10th annual Preschool & Child Care Fair on the evening of Tuesday, January 22. Representatives from over 40 early childhood organizations will be available to talk with you about the programs and services they offer. This is a valuable opportunity to learn about many different programs without having to make phone calls or set up appointments. Whether you are looking for child care, preschool, enrichment classes, special education resources, or financial aid, stop to see the range of available services in our community. The Fair will be open from 6:00 to 8:00 pm in the Mary Radmacher Room and Youth Services Department. Entertainment will be provided by A-Squared Theater Workshop, which is performing Maurice Sendak’s Really Rosie at Skokie’s own Gorilla Tango Theater this spring.

Preschool and Child Care Centers:
Baker Demonstration School, BJE Early Childhood Center at Beth Hillel Bnai Emunah, Cherry Preschool, CNE Early Head Start, College Nannies & Tutors of Glenview, Cradles Cribs & Crayons, Devonshire Preschool, District 65 Family Center Doorway to Learning Child Care Center, District 68 Early Childhood Center, East Prairie School, Elizabeth Meyer School, Kids Academy Daycare Center, Morton Grove Park District Preschool, Mosaic Early Childhood Center, Oakton Community College Early Childhood Education Center, Pearl of Israel Gan Israeli Home Day Care, Roycemore School, St. Joan of Arc Preschool, St. Peter School, Solomon Schechter Day School Early Childhood Center, Swift Childcare and Kindergarten, T.O.P.S. Preschool Program, Tot Learning Center

Child & Family Services:
Clearbrook Children’s Services, Illinois Action for Children, Jewish United Fund Right Start, Maine-Niles Association of Special Recreation, National Lekotek Center, SHORE Early Intervention

Enrichment Programs:
Center for Talent Development – Northwestern University, Enopi Skokie Learning & Enrichment Center, Exploritorium, Language Stars, Leaning Tower YMCA, Morton Grove Public Library, Music Institute of Chicago, Skokie Public Library

Join Skokie and Morton Grove Public Libraries for this resourceful event!

Preschool and Child Care Fair 2013 program (PDF)

Posted under Community, Early Learning News, Events & Programs, Parenting, School, Special Needs, Youth

Helping Children Cope with Violence and Tragic Events

Below you will find some helpful resources for talking to your children and helping them cope with violence and tragic events. These resources were gathered by the Indianapolis Public Library.

This video contains advice from the makers of Sesame Street:

Professional Advice about Helping Children Cope with Violence and Tragic Events:

A sampling of books available from the library that address separation anxiety, fear and grief:

  • A Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret M. Holmes - After Sherman sees something terrible happen, he becomes anxious and then angry, but whena counselor helps him talk about these emotions he feels better.
  • Jenny is Scared!: When Sad Things Happen in the World by Carol Shuman –  When Jenny and her brother are frightened by events in the world, their parents help them talk about their fears and feel better.
  • Love Waves by Rosemary Wells - While they are at work a mother and father send powerful “love waves” to their child at home, offering reassurance and comfort in their absence.
  • The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn - When Chester the raccoon is reluctant to go to kindergarten for the first time, his mother teaches him a secret way to carry her love with him.
  • The Kiss Box by Bonnie Verburg - As they prepare for a short separation, Mama Bear and Little Bear find a way to reassure each other while they are apart.
  • Mommy in My Pocket by Carol Hunt Senderak - A little girl gets anxious about separation from her mommy when she goes to school.
  • When Dinosaurs Die: a Guide to Understanding Death by Laurie KrasnyBrown - Explains in simple language the feelings people may have regarding the death of a loved one and the ways to honor the memory of someone who has died.
  •  Growing Up Brave: Expert Strategies for Helping Your Child Overcome Fear, Stress, and Anxiety by Donna B. Pincus - One in five children today suffers from a diagnosed anxiety disorder, and countless others suffer from anxiety that interferes with critical social, academic, and physical development. The author, childhood anxiety expert, is here to help. In this book she helps parents identify and understand anxiety in their children, outlines effective and convenient parenting techniques for reducing anxiety, and shows parents how to promote bravery for long-term confidence.
Posted under Community, In the News, LibraryLinks, Parenting, School, Youth

Oakton/Skokie CTA stop has opened

The new CTA Yellow Line train station on Oakton, right down the street from the Library, is finally open!

It’s been a long wait and since learning about the grand opening. My 4-year-old son Noah has been counting down the days. Every morning he’d ask what date it was and we checked the calendar: 10 more days, 9 more days…

They had already changed the station sign at the Dempster Street stop  and the new station signs at Oakton/Skokie were in place, but when Noah noticed last Saturday on the Red Line train that they had added the new stop on the CTA system map, he was thrilled!

Monday after preschool he was more than ready to take the Yellow Line and he couldn’t have been happier when he heard the loudspeaker announce “Oakton/Skokie” is next.

When we got on the train to go back to Howard Street, we met another family with three little boys who were just as excited.

Waiting for an event is a great way to talk about the calendar, the months and/or the seasons of the year. It’s also a fun way to learn to count down the numbers in a playful way. Check out some of these titles from the library to learn even more:

Posted under Books & Reading, Parenting

ABC and counting books for young urban explorers

Like to explore the city on public transportation? Bring a camera or shoot some pictures with your phone to put together your very own ABC or counting picture book!

It’s a great early literacy activity to have your child help you find letters and numbers around you. Point out capital and lower case letters, too. Sound out the letters and words as you discover print everywhere!


Here some titles in our youth collection to inspire you:




City 1 2 3 by Zoran Milich

Counting in the City by Jean Sharp


City Numbers by Joanne Schwartz

City Alphabet by Joanne Schwartz





Posted under Books & Reading, Parenting

Numbers on your commute

Is your preschooler fascinated with numbers? Does he or she like to count everything?

While early literacy and reading has been the focus for many years, early math skills now get the spotlight as well.

Here are some other examples of early math knowledge children will need as they get ready for school:

  • Read and write numbers, understand that numbers have meaning
  • Know about big, small, long, and short
  • Understand about near and far, today, yesterday, and tomorrow

Next time you’re out and about on the bus or the train, take a look around. There are many opportunities to foster early math skills.

Which bus are you taking today? What is the bus number? As the bus approaches, ask your child if it’s the right one. Have him or her compare the number on the bus to the number on the bus stop.

Which train is longer/has more cars: the Yellow or the Red Line?

How many cars each?

Math skills include so much more than just counting!

Posted under Parenting

Early literacy on the CTA

My 4-year-old loves riding trains and buses. It’s fun, but could it actually foster early literacy skills?

Decoding is one of the skills identified as important when teaching children how to read. Print awareness, or noticing print everywhere, is one component of this.

Check out the station signs, point to the schedules, and listen to the announcements. Yes, B is for ball, but it’s also for Belmont. See if you can find a train station for every letter of the alphabet. Which letter has the most? How many can you find that start with the first letter of your child’s first name? How many that end with that letter?

Take a look at the train map. Play “I spy.” How many Western (Avenue) stops can you find? Count down the stops to your destination.

Interacting and having fun with your preschooler makes the ride go so much faster!

…and, when you’re back at the Library, check out Subway Ride by Heather Miller to read about subways in other cities. This title, by the way, is also available on Tumblebooks.

Posted under Books & Reading, Parenting

Potty training

This month I tackled one of my least favorite parenting duties-the dreaded potty training. With the memories of the stress-filled training of my oldest still fresh in my mind, it was with a pit in my stomach that my husband and I started potty training our two-year-old. Armed with our potty training artillery-training pants, stickers for her potty training chart, M&Ms for rewarding her for her success, and most importantly, books and DVDs from the Library about potty training, we began. Before we actually started the training, we introduced the concept by reading to our little one the below titles. These worked well with our oldest and proved successful with our youngest as well.

Does a Pig Flush? available to check outDoes a Pig Flush? by Fred Ehrlich

This is a fun way to show children that animals have to eliminate as well.

Storytimes begin the week of September 21!

Storytimes begin the week of September 21!

Time to Pee! available to check outTime to Pee! by Mo Willems

Fans of Mo Willems will enjoy Mo’s humorous look at having to go to the bathroom. Be sure to look for the pigeon from Willems’ popular Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. He is hidden somewhere in the book.
Storytimes begin the week of September 21!

Once Upon a Potty available to check outOnce Upon a Potty by Alona Frankel

This classic potty training title still proves to work. It is a charming story about Prudence’s potty training experience. The animated DVD adaptation of the story is equally charming and includes the “potty song” which both of my girls loved to sing while sitting on the potty.
Storytimes begin the week of September 21!
Storytimes begin the week of September 21!

The Princess and the PottyThe Princess and the Potty by Wendy Cheyette Lewison

This was one of our favorites about a princess who refuses to use the potty. The whole castle is in an uproar over the matter and goes to desperate measures to get the princess on the potty. This title is ideal for little girls who adore princess books.Storyti

Storytimes begin the week of September 21!
Storytimes begin the week of September 21!

Many of these titles and more are featured on the Library’s potty training bibliography.

I invite you to comment on your favorite potty training books and DVDs or potty training tips on this blog. We parents always enjoy hearing tales from the front and success stories.

Posted under Books & Reading, Parenting

A new online resource guide for autism

(Cross posted from The Answer; authored by Kate.)

Rush University Medical Center has created an invaluable online resource guide for families with autistic children.

The site includes extensive information about services and programs for autistic kids in Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties.

Families without computers can call the Autism Resource Center at 312.563.2272 for information.

Posted under On the Web, Parenting

The love of reading

Today I read an article on the Web about the love of reading. How to Instill the Love of Reading– In Your Child or Yourself was written by a father of six in response to a teen who asked how he could get into the habit of reading instead of spending “too much time” on the Web and playing video games. The author’s short answer is this: Read amazing, fun, exciting, lovely books that you just can’t put down.

The much longer answer is three Web pages long and goes pretty much like this:

  • If you see reading as a chore, then that’s what it will be. Instead, try looking at reading as a time of peace, joy, adventure, exploration, and getting away into a good story.
  • Reading is good for you. But so is playing outside, exploring the Web, being in nature, playing sports, making art and music, dancing, talking with friends… and yes, even playing video games. Each activity has its own benefits and pleasures.
  • Make reading a fun activity that you enjoy together on a regular basis.
  • Go to your library regularly… sit down, read a bit, and look for books that interest you.
  • Visit book stores… new and used.
  • Read lots of magazines, newspapers, and websites, too!
  • Mark an “X” on the calendar for every day that you take time to read.
  • Join a reading group on land or a book discussion group online.

There’s a whole lot more in the article, but maybe these few tips will get you started on a reading adventure that you can look forward to each day!

Posted under On the Web, Parenting