On Thursday, June 5 at 10:30 a.m., Youth Services Librarian Julie Ranelli will present H“appy” Kids at the Kent Island Branch for caregivers of children ages 5 and younger. Children are also welcome to attend. Please RSVP by calling (410) 643-8161.
Following a short presentation about using apps with toddlers and preschoolers, participants will have an opportunity to try apps recently added to the library’s iPads, ten of which have been available for in-library check-out at both the Kent Island and Centreville branches since November. The iPads originally featured just ten children’s apps.
The additional fifteen apps for young children have been selected by Ranelli and Maryland library colleague Amanda Roberson of St. Mary’s County Library to correspond with the Every Child Ready to Read’s five practices: read, sing, write, talk, and play. “These are the same five practices we try to model each week during storytime,” said Ranelli.
Both branches of the library have been using the Felt Board Mother Goose on the Loose app in children’s programming since December. The majority of caregiver responses to using this app with young children have been positive. Adults have said the interface is intuitive for young children and that it helps families to practice rhymes and songs introduced in story time. The free app is designed for collaborative, at-home use between adult and child and promotes the same interactivity and sense of accomplishment as the traditional Mother Goose on the Loose storytime program.
In 2012, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media released a joint position statement in responseto the rapidly expanding public interest in digital media for young children. A key message of the statement asserts that “technology and digital media can be effective tools in early childhood education when used intentionally and appropriately, taking into consideration each child’s age, developmental abilities, and social and cultural life context. Under optimal circumstances, technology and digital media should be used when the content can enhance other activities, such as ‘creative play, exploration, physical activity, outdoor experiences, conversation and social interaction.’”
A recent report by Common Sense Media shows that 38% of children under age 2 have used a mobile device with ¾ of children ages 8 and under having access to mobile devices. While traditional screen time (TV, DVD, computers, game consoles) has declined by an average of 31 minutes per day, mobile screen time has increased by 10 minutes per day over the past two years.
Maryland public libraries are leading the way in researching the effective use of new media in storytimes and in providing access to digital technology. Queen Anne’s County Library is one of several county library systems loaning iPads for adult check-out and emphasizing the interactive, collaborative use of educational apps with children.
For more information about library events, please contact the Kent Island Branch Library, 200 Library Circle, Stevensville at (410) 643-8161 or the Centreville Branch, 121 S. Commerce St. at (410) 758-0980, or visit the website at www.qaclibrary.org.