Warm weather brought old and new PlayBook Group visitors, and water play. Directed alphabet and sidewalk painting activities gave way to spontaneous "tree washing" with for some. Inside, cooler and quieter activities gave a break from the very bright sunshine, including story times -- with group and solo! These few pictures capture just a slice of activities and people: too much going on for me to remember to keep taking them! It was a lovely day to be at the Park, and a wonderful little group for us. Join us June 10!
March 18th's PlayBook Group meeting had a small and mostly very young, enthusiastic turnout on a cool, grey day. Activities were adapted to the crawling-age audience who moved from outside to inside, getting their yah-yah's out with push-and-pedal vehicles shared with each other; participating in story times and table-top play-dough and pen letter and shape creation. We were very happy to welcome two volunteers, seniors at UCB, Goka and Anaiya. They are great additions to our Groups, we look forward to their smart, capable assistance at future meetings!
On February 18th Berkeley Police Officer Sergeant Emily Murphy and her partner visited us. She read a story, then we all went outside where children got to see - and hear - her BPD motorcycle,ask questions, even sit on it. Many thanks to BPD and the Police Officer's Association!
We started 2017 with a lively PlayBook Group meeting. Lots of babies! Activities were full of movement, outside in the courtyard for a color sorting-and-tossing game with bean bags -- and lots of running back and forth. Inside for play-dough and story times on the carpet. We had a short, conversational Parent time, focused on Book Sharing with infants and toddlers. Not many pictures this time, I was busy talking and moving around. For February, I'm looking forward to having a volunteer who will focus on picture taking.
We had a good turnout for our last PlayBook Group of 2016, in spite of the chilly wet weather. There was play-dough at the big table, making gingerbread men, candy-cane shapes and snowmen with the different colored doughs. Then, a sorting activity with lots of running back and forth, then story time. In between and at the same time, books to choose from, conversations, tea, hot chocolate and snacks. Tangerines were very popular, as were Clif Bar Z-Bars, as always, thanks to a generous donation from ClifBar.
We're looking forward to 2017:PlayBook Groups will moving to 2nd Saturdays, 10 AM to Noon each month except July and December. Jessica Wheelis will again be leading children's activities, we'll have information for parents with short presentations, often with Guest Presenters.
We love hearing about your children and the books they receive and read at home, or in other places: reading and sharing books can happen just about anywhere. Anecdotes, stories and observations about book sharing are always welcome: in person at our meetings, in emails, or written on paper. Hearing about what you and your children do with books, how you share and read them is always a delight and helps us learn how best to support early literacy building activities and habits in daily life. Drop us a line, send a picture anytime. It helps us learn, keeps us inspired, and helps us show and tell our supporters what you and your children are doing with books they receive from us (or anywhere!), which helps us grow the Imagination Library book delivery program and improve our family engagement events.
Thank You for good first year of PlayBook Groups!
A small enthusiastic group joined us on a drizzly morning for Pretend Play activities and stories, including building a fort that served as a storytime hideaway, a grocery-store shopping trip, and a quiet place for a serious grocery item sorter. Mr. Vincent Cheng from Alameda County First 5 gave a short, informative presentation - and a tote bag - to parents on hand. Hot Chocolate was more popular than chilled water this month, a trend we expect to continue for our November 26 and again in early months of 2017. Happy Halloween!
On a hot day it was cool inside Frances Albrier Center's Art room. Stories and activities today revolved around Shapes and Colors. Many copies of the beautiful book City Shapes led directly to color mixing with play dough and shape making and identification. A short presentation about early literacy tips and information outside for included parents telling about sharing books in their homes.
Cold drinks and cool grapes were popular refreshments this hot morning.
School starts in a few days. We had our August meeting outside. Grey & breezy weather did not cool enthusiasm for fans of Jessica Wheelis's activities and story reading. A few preferred to concentrate on always-available paper and pens; one little girl spent quite a long time covering the entire table-top with her carefully considered colorful work. Plenty of take-home books and some new Imagination Library registrations made it a very satisfying end-of-summer gathering for us! Thanks for coming out!
(Not many pics, I know. I totally missed getting any of the great story reading time Jessica had with attentive and engaged listeners after the active bean-bag games!)
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY! Come to the PlayBook Groups and other events and take photos with my camera! It would be a great help!)
As usual, Children's Director Jessica Wheelis provided lively and engaging activities and stories. At the same time parents in the courtyard enjoyed guest Esther Suarez, literacy teacher from Berkeley Public Library's family READS program. Ms. Suarez gave a conversational presentation on the importance of early literacy including strategies and information. For children, inside, Letter Awareness was the theme. There were a variety of activities and tasks: letter identification and sounds; Big Book storytime; beginning sounds and letters of objects in sight. A highlight was enthusiastically placing a post-it with a letter on those objects. There was snack time, more beginning sound awareness with small objects placed on a letter chart; play-dough fun forming letters on the table. We are blessed to have Ms. Wheelis leading rich, powerful, fun children's activities for our program!
Our March PlayBook Group meeting featured Sorting activities and stories. Jessica Wheelis, lead Teacher, led a small, happy turnout of preschoolers in thinking, reading, hearing, talking and, of course, hands-on activities involving Sorting. They sorted objects representing things we eat/things we don't eat (food/not food), straws by length (short/long), paper squares by color, and laundry by type and color. Jessica read stories, inviting talking about comparing and categorizing things in them as the story unfolded. Jessica is a wiz at inviting children to be actively engaged at all levels. Even a shy Little Brother finally joined the food/not food sorting activity on the rug. Children got to take home a bag with all the table-top activity supplies they used to continue sorting, and talking about it, at home.
We look forward to April's (the 30th -- Last Saturday! 9:30-12:30) meeting. Jessica will again lead stories and activities, so it's sure to be fun and engaging.