June 28, 2017

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Tired of Fidget Spinners? Embrace Them As Teaching Tools, Not Just Toys

Librarian Christina Keasler advises educators to embrace the recent fidget spinner craze—and incorporate them into lesson plans and summer activities.

Untethering the blocks: Building beyond walls and tables

Remember the scene in Singing in the Rain where Donald O’Connor magically dances on the walls?  Remember Fred Astaire’s famous ceiling dance in Royal Wedding?  Till now kids’ work with interlocking blocks has been bound to tables and floors and a few installations of LEGO walls. (See Diana Rendina’s epic instructions.) Till now blocks kinda […]

Toy “Sleepovers” Boost Kids’ Reading Skills, Says New Study

Children’s librarians are leveraging an old favorite, stuffed animals, to impart a love of reading. A new study shows their efforts make a measurable difference.

The Marvelous Thing That Came From a Spring

The Marvelous Thing That Came From a Spring: The Accidental Invention of the Toy That Swept the Nation Written and illustrated by Gilbert Ford Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2016 ISBN #978-1-48145-065-2 Grades K and up   Book Review In 1943, while working as an engineer for the United States Navy, Richard James […]

Why toys should be in every children’s department—and how to make it happen | First Steps

Here are easy ideas for integrating the learning power of play into your public library.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

SLJ Reviews Tiggly Words: An early literacy product mashes physical letter toys and tablet apps

Tiggly Words mixes touch-screen apps with real-world manipulatives to deliver a hybrid learning experience focused on long and short vowels.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Be a Player! Ten Tips for Building Your Library’s Toy Collection

Early childhood specialist at the Brooklyn Public Library Rachel G. Payne provides a top ten list for librarians looking to develop their toy collection.

By the Dozen at Toy Fair: Top Library Picks

The familiar faces of beloved book characters Madeline, George, and Eloise greeted visitors at the 110th Toy Fair at the Javits Convention Center in New York City this month, an industry-exclusive event showcasing toys and technology from thousands of companies around the world. Here are my top dozen of the best new items for children’s librarians and educators to incorporate into their programs.