Kids summer reading: What to read, listen to, watch & do!

Summer Reading June 1-August 31: Oceans of Possibilities with two children reading and listening with headphones while riding a fish

Summer is almost here! And so is this year’s summer reading program: Oceans of Possibilities.  The program starts on June 1 and runs all summer long. Here at the Oak Park Library, we are so excited about all the possibilities that the summer reading program provides for kids and families. Everyone is encouraged to read … Read more

Exploring social-emotional learning: A new virtual tutorial for caregivers & early learners

A side view of Ruthie the camel puppet

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris At the library, we often hear from parents, teachers, and other caregivers that social-emotional learning (SEL) is important to you. What exactly is SEL? Let’s take a brief look and then dig in below. What is social-emotional learning? Social-emotional learning is a learning approach that helps people understand their emotions, feel … Read more

Spring sensory play: Videos & activities for early learners

Toddler touching a flower on a bush

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Play is how kids learn. We say this so often because it’s one of the most important things for adults who raise or work with kids to remember. Librarians included! Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers learn best when they can explore the things and world around them in their own way and … Read more

April is Autism Acceptance Month

Librarian Shelley Harris points to an AAC board

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Did you know that April is Autism Acceptance Month? This month devoted to celebrating autistic people and autistic experiences was created 11 years ago by advocate Paula C. Durbin-Westby. In this interview, Durbin-Westby explains, “The word ‘acceptance’ is much stronger than ‘tolerance,’ especially the begrudging sort of tolerance I saw … Read more

Learn to cross-stitch: A virtual tutorial, in-person event, books & more for grade 4-8

Cross-stitching materials: a hoop, embroidery floss, needles, and a pencil on a table

By Children’s Librarian Hal Patnott If you’re looking for a relaxing craft that’s easy to learn, try cross-stitching! Once you know the basics, following a pattern is a lot like doing a paint-by-number. Even a beginner can create beautiful designs. Join us for an interactive crafting workshop, check out our virtual tutorial On April 28, … Read more

Nature fun: Videos & activities for early learners

Cartoon kids playing in tree outside

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Jenny and I are huge fans of nature programming at the library. We’ve offered nature classes for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, elementary-aged kids, and kids of all ages with disabilities, for years. That’s because nature allows us to expand learning in both reading and science! As Anne of Green Gables would … Read more

STEAM Discovery Kits: At-home learning & exploration for grade schoolers

STEAM written inside a circle and surrounded by different line-drawn icons: a laptop, a pencil, a paint brush, the numbers 1, 2, and 3, a compass, a microscope, and clouds, all with a square grid background

By Children’s Librarian Eileen Saam At the Oak Park Public Library, we are always looking for ways to foster learning experiences for the children who we serve. We have done lots of research into ways that we can emphasize STEAM learning in the resources that we offer our young patrons. In particular, we have developed … Read more

Women’s History Month: Videos & activities for early learners

Women's history BINGO card

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris How young is too young to introduce kids to history? There’s no such thing as too young! There are so many delightful and age-appropriate ways to share information on fascinating people from all time periods. Below are some suggestions for videos, books, and activities to share with your early learners! … Read more

Scary things in the news: Videos for early learners, resources for caregivers

Jenny holding the book Ruby Finds a Worry

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Scary things are back in the news. Even when we try to insulate children from the news, we often underestimate how much they can overhear and how much they can pick up on tension in their caregivers. It’s very challenging for kids and adults when kids get worried and have … Read more

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