We’ll Link to That: Summer 2016

Every quarter we write a column for YAACING, a youth services newsletter published by the Young Adult and Children’s Services (YAACS) arm of the British Columbia Library Association.  This quarter we’re sharing some of our favourite blogs and websites from outside the world of librarianship. Make sure to read the entire summer issue! If you’d like to catch up on our past columns you can find them here:

We love us some children’s librarian blogs. Our fellow youth services professionals knock our socks off on the regular with their amazing ideas.  But we also know that there are a lot of other people who work with children sharing ideas we can adapt and use in a library setting. So this quarter we’re sharing some of our favourite non-librarian websites that provide us with inspiration for serving the children and families in our communities.

Non-librarian blogs

  1. No Time for Flash Cards: Written by a preschool teacher, this website features tons of literacy-based activities for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Browse through craft projects, book lists, hands-on activities that are fun and educational.
  2. Playing by the Book: Written by a mum of two girls living in the U.K., this blog features picture book reviews and author interviews. We love the craft projects that accompany the books such as this amazing hot air balloon. So much inspiration for book clubs at the library!
  3. Teach Preschool: Our friend Anna recommended this blog written by preschool teacher, Deborah. It is filled with literacy activities, STEM ideas, and sensory play inspiration. Deborah understands the importance of play, and many of her posts include early literacy tips for caregivers and teachers.
  4. Mama OT:  Our friend Cate recommended this website created by a pediatric occupational therapist.  There is so much we can learn about early literacy by reading about the developmental progression of handwriting skills and learning about the importance of crawling. Highly recommended if you need to boost your knowledge of child development.
  5. Pragmatic Mom: We call Pragmatic Mom Queen of the Booklists! Seriously, she provides great round-ups of books for kids all ages. We especially love her focus on cultural diversity. A mom of three, she often shares what her kids are reading too. A genuine and authentic voice.
  6. Reading Confetti: It would be easy to brush this off as just another site with beautiful craft ideas for little ones. But lucky for us Lorie was a reading specialist before starting Reading Confetti and it shows! Check out her list of Book Club Link Parties which include ideas from all over the web on all your favourite books or her Year of Preschool Books & Activities which would be an excellent tool for planning storytimes.
  7. TinkerLab: Once you’ve located the small, white arrow on the splash page and landed on Rachelle’s visually stunning site, be sure to navigate to her arts and crafts and science experiments tabs along the top for step by step instructions and bite sized information chunks to answer the how’s and why’s along the way. As readers, we also love her list of articles about creativity and kids. Thanks Beth, of BethReads for pointing us to this great resource!
  8. Sturdy For Common Things: Ok, you caught us Rebecca is a librarian but honestly it would be a crime not to include her blog on this list. Her booklists span all possible titles on a topic and cover babes up to older readers and her Storytimes Anytime are truly inspiring. Enough said, go check it out!
  9. Fun at Home with Kids: Asia, the author of this blog has published several books on engaging kids with art and science and her blog is no different. Her simple DIY kits to keep kids busy could be easily adapted for the library as could many of the sensory play activities.
  10. Not Just Cute: Amanda Morgan is a former preschool teacher who focuses on intentional child development. Let’s just say this blog delivers on the name and then some. Drop into her Read Along which is packed with current research about early to middle school children or browse her posts under the language and literacy tag for some seriously validating stuff.

Do you have a favourite non-librarian website that we missed? We’d love to hear about it, give us a shout at jbrary@gmail.com.

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