If you are the parent or caregiver of a toddler or preschooler, you may be very familiar with one phrase: LET’S PLAY!
Despite the immense benefits of play, sometimes it can be downright draining to come up with new ideas to keep your little one happy. That is where imaginative play comes in.
Pretend play is hugely beneficial to development. By acting out everyday scenarios, your child gets lessons in vocabulary, social skills, and problem solving.
In an effort to inspire pretend play, we have come up with a simple game for you and your child.
How to Play Shop:
Encourage child to play shop with you. Together select items in your home to be the merchandise for your shop. Your shop can be specific (such as a hat shop, toy store, grocery store) or it can have various departments.
Once your items are selected, display them in various different parts of the room. In this case, you can encourage your child to sort items that are alike. For example, if you are playing grocery store, group together dairy items, sweets, etc.
Time to price your items! You can either print the price labels we have provided below or simply pretend stickers are price labels. (suggestion: this soccer sticker means the item is $5!)
Ask your child if they would prefer to be the shopkeeper or the shopper. You may take turns while playing.
Open your shop! You may use the printable sign provided below or create a sign yourselves using crayons and construction paper.
“How much is this item?”
“Do you have any milk?”
“Can I have a bag?”
“What hat looks best?”
“Can I help you find anything?”
“Oops! I dropped the oranges. Can you help me clean them up?”
“Can you help me to restock the shelves?”
When you’ve completed your shopping, it’s time to pay. Use the free printable money included below or use play money or precut pieces of green paper.
When finished, reserve all your items used to play the game so that you can explore pretend play again.
We hope this activity helped your child learn, explore, and discover! Check back for more pretend play ideas and free printables from Lindenhurst Memorial Library!
FREE PRETEND PLAY PRINTABLES
These can be printed on regular paper or sturdy cardstock. To ensure future use, you may also choose to laminate these printables. In an effort to save paper, you do not need to use printables to play this game. Any stickers, signs, etc. will do, as long as you use your imagination!
There are simple but effective ways to encourage sustainability in your household. Whether you make your own compost, reuse plastics to make crafts, or are mindful of recycling items, the steps you take are not only beneficial to the earth, but also beneficial to your child as they learn and grow from your choices.
The Lindenhurst Memorial Library is a proud member of the Green Business Partnership, and we make an effort each day to make greener choices for our library, the community, and our planet. Our library has paper, plastic, and battery recycling, and we make a conscious effort to only order sustainable supplies or utilize recycled supplies in our inventory.
Did you know that many of the craft supplies used in the children and teen departments are eco friendly? From the construction paper to the cups used to hold our glue and paint, we are always thinking about how we can lessen our impact on the world and change our habits for the long term. We aim to buy less, make more and re-use what we already have.
If you are interested in teaching your child about sustainability, start by stopping by our green library and checking out a few of these wonderful picture books. Or check out some of our sustainable programs in our newsletter. Every step towards a sustainable earth makes a difference!
Do you like to read or listen to award-winning books? American Library Association announced the top books, digital media, and audio books for young adults of 2021!
Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults:
Everything Sad Is Untrue (a true story) by Daniel Nayeri, is the 2021 Printz Award winner! The Michael L. Printz Award is an American Library Association literary award that annually recognizes the “best book written for teens, based entirely on its literary merit.”
This story is about a boy who flees Iran as a small child, detours through a refugee camp in Italy, then winds up in middle school in Oklahoma, where he is met with both curiosity and suspicion.
The four Printz Honor titles were:
“Apple (Skin to the Core),” by Eric Gansworth, “Dragon Hoops,” created by Gene Luen Yang, color by Lark Pien, “Every Body Looking,” by Candice Iloh and “We Are Not Free,” by Traci Chee.
The 2021 winner of Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults is Kekla Magoon! Margaret A. Edwards was an educator and librarian who was at the forefront of the movement for young adult services in the 20th century. Some of the winner Kekla Magoon’s books are: “X: A Novel,” co-written by Ilyasah Shabazz “How It Went Down,” “The Rock and the River” and “Fire in the Streets.”
The Odyssey Award is an annual award given for Excellence in Audiobook Production. The winner of the 2021 Odyssey Award is “Kent State,” by Deborah Wiles and narrated by Christopher Gebauer, Lauren Ezzo, Christina Delaine, Johnny Heller, Roger Wayne, Korey Jackson, and David de Vries.
Kent State is a free-verse novel that explores the killing of four American students who were protesting the Vietnam War.
Here are the other teen Odyssey Honor Audiobooks that were also selected:
“Clap When You Land,” written by Elizabeth Acevedo and narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo and Melania-Luisa Marte; “Fighting Words,” written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley and narrated by Bahni Turpin; “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You,” written by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi and narrated by Jason Reynolds
YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults
YALSA stands for Young Adult Library Services Association. “The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh,” written by Candace Fleming, is their 2021 Excellence in Nonfiction winner.
The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh is the biography of an American hero who was deeply flawed.
The four other books that were finalists for the award were:
“All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team,” written by Christina Soontornvat, “The Cat I Never Named: A True Story of Love, War, and Survival,” written by Amra Sabic-El-Rayess with Laura L. Sullivan, “How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Adventure,” written and illustrated by John Rocco and “You Call This Democracy?: How to Fix Our Democracy and Deliver Power to the People,” written by Elizabeth Rusch.
The William C. Morris Award is for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens.
The 2021 winner was “If These Wings Could Fly,” written by Kyrie McCauley.
If These Wing Could Fly is about a girl dealing with domestic violence, first love and her town in chaos due to thousands of crows.
Four other books were finalists for the award:
“Black Girl Unlimited: The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard,” written by Echo Brown, “The Black Kids,” written by Christina Hammonds Reed, “It Sounded Better in My Head,” written by Nina Kenwood and “Woven in Moonlight,” written by Isabel Ibañez.
If you enjoyed this list, check out the rest of the award winning books here.
Citizen science, also known as crowd science, volunteer monitoring, or crowd source science, is scientific research conducted in part by amateur scientists. Citizen scientists often partner with professional scientists to achieve common goals. This allows scientists to complete research that would be too expensive or time-consuming to accomplish on their own with large volunteer networks.
When I was in fourth grade I had the best science teacher; Mrs. Schwartz and she was really great at teaching us how scientists are working all around us to learn new things about our environment and how those things were relevant to us and how they could be fun. Citizen science feels like a natural extension of things I learned from Mrs. Schwartz back in fourth grade; a great way to learn about my environment and have fun doing it.
Want to learn more about citizen science and how you and your family can get involved? Register for our upcoming Zoom program on March 25th, 7:00-8:00 pm, Conservation Science & Citizen Science with Ranger Eric of CEED LI and learn how to help local plants and animals by contributing to Citizen Science Projects.
Want your teen to actively participate in citizen science and earn community service credit? Register them for our Citizen Scientist program on April 20th at 3:00 pm. Students in Grades 6-12 will meet at Irmisch Park; go for a walk and take pictures of different plants and animals we see and upload them to iNaturalist to connect with nature and generate scientifically valuable biodiversity data.
Looking for more Citizen Scientist Activities to participate in with your family? Check out these resources:
Citizenscience.gov; the EPA’s website on citizen science projects and click on citizenscience.gov/catalog. They have an extensive catalog of projects that you can get involved in that are supported by the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies. Is someone in your family interested in a particular field of science? You can search for that.
Scistarter is an online citizen science hub with more than 3,000 projects searchable by location, topic, age-level and more. Projects have been listed by NGO’s, universities, federal government’s and more. Everyone in your family is sure to find a project that fits their interests and level of participation here.
March is Women’s History Month. Now, more than ever, girls need inspiration to help build up and motive themselves. Women’s History Month commemorates all those who have contributed and made a difference in American History and every year since 1987, we have been celebrating all that they’ve done and continue to do. The National Women’s History Project recognizes and promotes these women by providing information, educational materials, programs, and choosing themes each year to mark the beginning of Women’s History Month. Themes like 2020’s when we honored Women who fought for voting rights or in 2009 when we honored Women for taking the lead to save our planet. You can find a full list of themes for Women’s History Month here.
This year the theme is being extended from last year, “Women for Vote,” since the Pandemic put a stop to many of the celebrations. The organization is determined to recognize and celebrate the important roles of multicultural suffragists and voting rights activists…their voices will not be silenced! The honorees are:
Here, at the library, we can help you recognize and learn more about these ladies and the Women’s Suffrage Movement both past and present. “Ask a Librarian” on our website, peruse our catalog online, or come in and we’ll direct you to the books you need.
Recently, the local sheriff’s department released a list of the top 15 apps parents should be aware of. These apps can reveal your location, data mine, and expose your children and teens to strangers on the internet or in person. Here are the apps and what you need to know:
MeetMe is a dating social media app that allows users to connect with people based on geographic proximity. Users are encouraged to meet each other in person.
WhatsApp is a popular messaging app that allows users to send texts, photos, make calls and video chats worldwide. This app uses an internet connection on smart phones and computers.
Bumble is similar to Tinder however it requires women to make the first contact. Kids have been known to use bumble to create fake accounts and falsify their age.
Live.Me is a live-streaming video app that uses geo-location to share videos so users can find out a broadcaster’s exact location. Users can earn “coins” as a way to “pay” minors for photos.
Ask.FM is known for cyber bullying. The app encourages users to allow anonymous people to ask them questions.
Grindr is a dating app geared towards gay, bi and transgender people. The app gives users the option to chat, share photos and meet up based on a smart phone’s GPS location.
7. Tik Tok
Tik Tok is used to create and share short videos with very limited privacy controls. Users are vulnerable to bullying and explicit content.
Snapchat is one of the popular apps in recent years. Even though the app says that photos/videos will disappear, new features including ‘stories’ allow users to view content for up to 24 hours.
Holla allows users to meet people all over the world in just seconds. Reviewers even say they have been confronted with racial slurs, explicit content and more.
Calculator% is only one of several secret apps used to hide photos, videos, files and browser history.
Skout is a location-based dating app and website. While users under 17 are not allowed to share private photos, kids can easily create an account using a different age.
Badoo is a dating and social networking app where users can share photos, videos and their location. The app is intended for adults but teens are known to create profiles.
Kik allows anyone to contact and direct message your child. Kids can bypass traditional text messaging features. Kik gives users unlimited access to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
Whisper is an anonymous social network that promotes sharing secrets with strangers. It also reveals a user’s location so people can meet up.
15. Hot or Not
Hot or Not encourages users to rate your profile, check out people in their area and chat with strangers. The goal of this app is to hook up.
The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) of the American Library Association (ALA) announced its 2021 Best Fiction for Young Adults list!
The list is made up of 85 titles that are selected from 124 nominations, which were posted and discussed in YALSA’s blog The Hub. The nominees can also be found on this blog. After receiving feedback from teens, the team created a list of the top ten titles.
Be Not Far from Me by Mindy McGinnis
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
Deeplight by Frances Hardinge
Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson
More Than Just a Pretty Face by Syed M. Masood
Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
This Is My America by Kim Johnson
We Are Not from Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez
What I Carry by Jennifer Longo
The suggestion form for the 2022 Best Fiction for Young Adults list is open. If you’d like to suggest a title to the blogging team for consideration as a nominee, you can fill out the form here.
On January 25, 2021, the American Library Association announced the winners for outstanding books, digital media, video and audio books for children and young adults. Some of the more notable awards given were the Newbery, Caldecott, and Printz awards.
John Newbery Medal is awarded to the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature. This year’s winner is:
“When You Trap a Tiger,” written by Tae Keller, is the 2021 Newbery Medal winner. The book is published by Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House. “When Lily and her family move in with her sick grandmother, a magical tiger straight out of her halmoni’s Korean folktales arrives, prompting Lily to unravel a secret family history. Long, long ago, Halmoni stole something from the tigers. Now, the tigers want it back. And when one of those tigers offers Lily a deal–return what Halmoni stole in exchange for Halmoni’s health–Lily is tempted to accept. But deals with tigers are never what they seem! With the help of her sister and her new friend Ricky, Lily must find her voice… and the courage to face a tiger”-Goodreads
Randolph Caldecott Medal is awarded to the most distinguished American picture book for children. This year’s winner:
“We Are Water Protectors,” illustrated by Michaela Goade is the 2021 Caldecott Medal winner. The book was written by Carole Lindstrom and published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings. “When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth and poison her people’s water, one young water protector takes a stand to defend Earth’s most sacred resource”.-Goodreads
Michael L. Printz Award is awarded for excellence in literature written for young adult. This year’s winner:
“Everything Sad Is Untrue (a true story),” by Daniel Nayeri, is the 2021 Printz Award winner. The book is published by Arthur A. Levine, an imprint of Levine Querido. “The story of a boy who flees Iran as a small child, detours through a refugee camp in Italy, then winds up in middle school in Oklahoma, where he is met with both curiosity and suspicion.”-Goodreads
Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans to the United States. It honors all Black people from all periods of U.S. history, from the enslaved people first brought over from Africa in the early 17th century to African Americans living in the United States today.
“In 1915, in response to the lack of information on the accomplishments of Black people available to the public, historian Carter G. Woodson co-founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. In 1926, the group declared the second week of February as “Negro History Week” to recognize the contributions of African Americans to U.S. history. Few people studied Black history and it wasn’t included in textbooks prior to the creation of Negro History Week.” – National Geographic Kids
In 1976 , U.S. president Gerald Ford extended the week to a month long recognition. Black History Month has been celebrated in the United States every February since.
Check out these amazing books written to educate and highlight the accomplishments and contributions of African Americans to U.S. History.
Plot: The book as a whole is about the Sinclair family who have great wealth. The grandparents own an island in which every summer their three daughters and all of their grandchildren come to visit and have fun together. The story revolves around cousins Cadence, Mirren, and Johnny, as well as Gat, Johnny’s cousin that by blood is unrelated to the Sinclairs. The four of them spend every summer together and are best friends until there is an accident that changes everything. The story goes through their relationships and memories, through love and trauma.
Review: Overall, I did enjoy this book. The build-up to the main plot twist was very long so for some people it might get boring but it is definitely worth it. The twist changed my entire perspective on the book and changed the meaning of everything (that is how influential and crazy it was). I do think that other teens would enjoy this book, especially those that love twisted endings. Its hard to put into words without giving anything away but I know for sure that it has an ending that you would never expect.
Plot: This book is a zombie thriller who’s main character is Joe Ledger. He is brought in to run a team out of a secret government program called the Department of Military Sciences (DMS). He and the rest of DMS are there to stop any major scientifically advanced weapons from being used on the public. They have to destroy a terrorist cell network that have figured out how to make a zombie plague.
Review: This book was really, really good. The entire series is genuinely one of my favorite series of books I’ve ever read. Even though I enjoy it, I don’t really know how others would see it because the plot is very difficult to understand and if you do, you still have to be into zombie horror stuff.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
~Jonathan, Teen Book Reviewer
Carry On: The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow by Rainbow Rowell
Plot: Simon Snow is the most powerful magician in the world. He is the Chosen One who will save the future of magic; except he can’t control his power. Watch as he and his friends solve the mystery of the evil Insidious Humdrum all while dealing with his bitter rival and roommate Baz. The good are not always good and the bad are not always bad; everything resolves itself in the end…with a twist. Bad things may happen, but you have to remember to always carry on.
Review: This book is one you will not be able to put down. It is a little confusing at first, since so much information is revealed and it is slow to start but it is worth it in the end. A thrilling story with plot twists and an unforgettable romance; I’d recommend this book to anyone, especially fans of the Harry Potter series as there are many similarities. The author has gotten the nature of teenagers spot on and she definitely puts a modern twist on the witches and wizards of fairy tales. This book has such an important message and amazing representation. It is a great read for all teenagers.
Plot: Apollo is on the last leg of his journey, almost ready to become a god again. He and his demigod friend, Meg, have traveled the U.S. freeing oracles from Python’s grasp and destroying the evil emperors of the Triumvirate. Now they are back in New York, ready to face Nero, the most powerful emperor and Meg’s ex-stepfather. With their friends at Camp Half-Blood, what could go wrong? Will they succeed in defeating Nero? Will Apollo survive and finally take down Python, his greatest nemesis? Will he live to reclaim his throne on Mount Olympus?
Review: I really enjoyed this book. I think it was a great way to end the Trials of Apollo series. Any teen that enjoyed the Percy Jackson series would love this. I would recommend this book to any lover of Rick Riordan’s works; it is funny and tells such a deep message about acceptance that many teens struggle with. The ending is so sweet and will leave you in tears. Overall, it is such a wonderful story to read.
Plot: Kaz Brekker, a feared gang leader, is given the job of breaking into the most secure building in the world and stealing a wanted man, who is the creator of a drug that will change everything. He assembles a team of five other outcasts, each with their own problems to complete the job and collect the huge reward. Unfortunately, they must overcome many challenges on the way: they have to outrun rivals, deal with past trauma, and keep each other safe, all while staying under the radar of the government. Deals are broken, plans are rethought, and many other surprises await these six. Will they make it in time?
Review: I love this book. There is no other book that includes such a well-orchestrated diverse group of characters. This book shines a new light on disabilities, both mental and physical, without making them the main theme of the story. This is a must-read book for any fantasy-loving teen, it has an addicting plot with twists and turns at every corner. Trust me, you’ll love it.
Plot: Two teens are in love, but there is one thing keeping them apart. They are both hospitalized with cystic fibrosis. They can’t be closer than five feet apart without risking cross contamination. The novel dissects their love story, and whether or not they ever touch.
Review: I liked the book and did not like it at the same time. I personally loved the concept, and liked reading about both of their experiences. However, I wanted more of the book to be based around their romance, and less about their personal lives.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
~Michelle, Teen Book Reviewer
Want to see your teen’s book reviews here? Have them fill out our Teen Book Reviewers Request Form. Three hours of community service available for each review; up to three reviews a year.