Blog compiled and written by: Niamh Ennis, Leixlip library
There are lots of resources on the internet for children to use during lockdown, including many educational sites as pointed out by my fellow Librarian Dermot in a previous post on this blog. In terms of fiction, authors having been going above and beyond to make their work,and extra materials, available during these unprecedented times so I’ve listed a few of their contributions here.
For The Smallies – Ages 3 and Up
While librarians around the country (myself included) are hosting Story-Time frequently on Social Media, there’s an extra bit of sparkle that comes from hearing the author read his or her work. One such storytelling favourite is Oliver Jeffers who has been posting his work on his YouTube for awhile.
My all time favourite of his for the really small is Stuck but many people love his crayon stories, which alongside Neil Gaiman in his latest sharing, make perfect viewing for ages 5 or so https://m.youtube.com/watchfeature=youtu.be&v=OGJtCTm6pA8 If you want to catch-ups on Oliver’s book a day you can do so here: https://www.oliverjeffers.com/abookaday
If you want a Story-Time as Gaelige on the other hand, Futa Futa have been posting lovely little clips of board leabhair Gaeilge being read. Reading in another language is a great way to teach language skills in a fun way. If your small child has been learning Spanish,or indeed if it’s the first language of one or more of their relatives, a really nice initiative called Save The Stories online has some well known actresses reading in Spanish. You can check out the videos maravillosos here: https://remezcla.com/film/eva-longoria-selena-save-stories/
Extra Activity Tips from your Librarian: Along with your own Story-Time, it can be fun to do craft,colouring and drawing connected to the author or topics in your stories. For example, beloved author Mo Williams has loads of doodling videos to follow along with here: https://www.kennedy-center.org/education/mo-willems/.
Story-Time in the library is usually followed by a craft and some in the past have included: Cat in the Hat hats created by taping strips of red and white paper together, paper plate animals, superhero arm cuffs, toilet roll Paddington Bears and Gruffalo masks. All of these activities can be done with only a few materials and you can generally find ideas with a quick Google search.
For Ages 7 and Up
Any Librarian can tell you that authors like Dav Pilky, David Walliams and J.K. Rowling rarely stay on the shelves, even without weekly class visits. Thankfully, even if you’re waiting on the books written by these authors to come available on BorrowBox, there are materials for free on the internet.
As a grown-up fan of David Walliams, I appreciate the humour presented in his series of World’s Worst books. The good news is that audio snippets from World’s Worst Children are being released daily by the author,and you can start catching up on these right now at http://www.worldofdavidwalliams.com/elevenses-catch-up/
Meanwhile Dav Pilky is offering live doodle classes every Friday at 1pm. These videos will stream live on the Library of Congress Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/libraryofcongress/
For Harry Potter author JK Rowling , she’s created a whole new website for keeping your Potterheads of all ages happy https://www.wizardingworld.com/collections/harry-potter-at-home . It boasts it will place a “Banishing Charm on boredom” with reading, drawing demos, puzzles and games. Lastly, and most impressively, Irish author Helena Duggan has begun reading out a full book of hers A Place Called Perfect, a chapter a day, on her blog .
Extra Activity Tips from your Librarian: A lot of your child’s favourite authors will already have loads of activities on their respective websites and there are even full event packs for The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series that I’ve used before that include games such as Cheese Touch Tag.
A list of some of these websites is below, but why not challenge yourself and your child to draw your very own Gangsta Granny, Worst Teacher or Wimpy Kid and even give them a diary entry!