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Read, Play, Create

Happy Valley Library Youth Services Blog

Books & Beyond

Very Beginning Readers

Is your kiddo ready to start reading? Each kid is ready in their own time, but sharing simple text with lots of repetition can help develop their literacy skills. The world of early readers can be a complex place with leveling (set by publishers), movie/franchise tie-ins (with complicated words), and lots of very little spines. Here are our suggestions of great first books to share with your kid.

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Create!

Drawing Adventures

Everybody can use a little spark of creativity. Some amazing authors/illustrators have stepped up with videos that encourage your child to explore art in new and exciting ways. Check out some of these video links for creative fun!

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Parenting Place

Local Parent Support

Parenting can be really hard. And with so much uncertainty and isolation, finding support can really make a difference. Fortunately, there are several local groups offering parenting classes, support groups, and other services for Clackamas County families.

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Books & Beyond

Diverse Board Books:  A Place to Begin

When should you start talking to your child about race?  Today!  Babies as young as 6 months old notice and categorize people by race.  Ibram X. Kendi, in his new book, Antiracist Baby outlines nine steps to raise an antiracist child.  Number one is, “Open your eyes to all skin colors”. Here is a list of board books that illustrate the beautiful range of skin tones in our world.

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Books & Beyond

Weeding…Books

Parting with things, especially books, is never easy. Here are some tips on how to go through your book collection with your kids.

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Explore Your World

Homemade Science Lab

Kids are natural scientists. As a grownup without much of a science background, it can be daunting to try an experiment at home, because I feel like I don't have the vocabulary or knowledge to answer my kids' questions. But, it really doesn't matter! Science is about discovery, questioning and exploring. Look for the answers together! And just enjoy the process. 

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Create!

Sidewalk Chalk Summer

SIDEWALK CHALK Out of ideas for how to occupy the kids? Give them some sidewalk chalk and set them loose on the sidewalk or driveway.  You can also draw indoors with black or dark colored paper.   Free play is always a great option, but here are some ideas to spark creativity, imagination, and movement. GAMES ...  

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Explore Your World

Kiddie Pool Science

Have a kiddie pool (or a bathtub)? There's something magical about those 4-6 inches of water! Kids are content to splash and sit in water for a ridiculous amount of time. Here are some simple ideas to extend that play, that require just a little prep.

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Explore Your World

Virtual Trip: Outer Space

It orbits around the Earth every 90 minutes and has for the last 20+ years! The International Space Station acts as a home, research facility and exploration tool for many countries. Here are some of resources to start your own adventure to the great unknown.

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Books & Beyond

Rainbow Reads: Chapter Books

Looking for elementary and middle school books featuring LGBTQIA+ characters?   We’ve got you covered!  Here are a few new titles we love.   Chapter Books with Lesbian Characters The Mighty Heart of Sunny Saint James by Ashley Herring Blake Hurricane Child by Kacen Calendar One True Way by Shannon Hitchcock Redwood and Ponytail by K. A. ...  

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Books & Beyond

Juneteenth: Honoring Black History and Culture with Picture books

The Juneteenth holiday  (a portmanteau of June and nineteen) commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union general Gordon Granger read federal orders in Galveston, Texas, that all previously enslaved people were free — finally freeing slaves in Texas over two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.  The Juneteenth holiday is a time to celebrate ...  

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Books & Beyond

Rainbow Reads

LGBTQIA+ kids, teens, parents, and families: we see you! LGBTQIA+ authors and stories are in our collections. Your stories matter.  We have picture books and parenting resources for gender nonconforming kids, queer comics for all ages, books to support questioning kids and teens, and more.  We are here for you. You are part of our ...  

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Listen Up

Podcasts for Parents

I'm a librarian, so of course I love books and reading, but when I'm feeling wiped out it feels so much more appropriate to plug in my earbuds, press play, close my eyes, and listen.

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Books & Beyond

Social Justice for Kids

Parenting is hard. Having big discussions, even with other grownups much less kids, can feel daunting. Navigating what to share, how much detail and all of the other decisions can make you feel like it’s easier just not to talk about it. But kids know stuff happens. They hear it from friends, hear their grownups ...  

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Explore Your World

Virtual Trip Adventures

With actual trips taking a bit of a hiatus, it's a great time to go on world travel from the comfort of your home. Grab a globe or a map, your imagination and your computer to craft an amazing adventure for your family. These resources are fantastic for planning your virtual trips.

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Explore Your World

Flower Colors

With so many flowers blooming, now is a great time for some science exploration. Collect some various colors to see what colors (if any!) they produce. What can you do with the colored water?

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Books & Beyond

Asian & Pacific Islander Voices

We believe kids need to see characters who look like they do in stories, and we strive to have a collection that allows all children to see themselves in books.  We hope that these titles can offer kids who may not often see themselves reflected in the media, the chance to imagine starring in their own adventures.  

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Books & Beyond

Podcasts for Kids

Podcasts can be completely overwhelming, but once you’ve found ones you like it’s great to have new episodes queued up and ready to go! Here’s some of my current favorites for sharing with my kids.

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Parenting Place

Hedger Humor

At this moment, life at home with kids has many of us struggling to keep our balance. Adrienne Hedger has an inspired eye for finding the humor in our current situation.

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Books & Beyond

Time for Comics!

Hey kids! Do you miss coming into the library to check out what’s new in the comics section? I know I do.

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Parenting Place

Wide Open School

How's it going with structured activities in your home? For me, it's a balancing act, and some days I feel successful if my kids have eaten food, gotten some fresh air, and cracked open a book.

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