Art Table: Fun With Texture

The next time you’re at the Downtown branch, check out the new art project at the art table in the Youth Department! Sometimes 2D art can have the feel of something soft, fuzzy, smooth, or bumpy, simply by using paint and a canvas. Budding artists will enjoy using bumpy boards and crayons to create their own masterpiece.

Developmental Screening for Children

Are you interested in learning more about your young child's growth & development? If you do and live in Washtenaw County, you can take part in the Ages & Stages Questionnaire or ASQ-3 This screening tool can help you understand more about your child's development from 2 months to 5 years of age. On-going developmental screening in the early years can help to ensure that children are on track, and can help identify areas where additional support may be needed. The ASQ-3 includes questions about your child's communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving, and personal social skills. If you live outside of Washtenaw County and have concerns about your child's development, you my want to contact: Early On, call 1-800-Early On or go to 1800earlyon.org.

Challenged Children's Books

Books for audiences of all ages have been challenged over the years. Here is a sampling of some of the challenged titles and the reasons they were challenged.

A Wrinkle in Time, 1963 winner of the Newbery Award, was one of the most often challenged books of the 1990s. In the story, a girl named Meg is transported through time and space with her brother and a friend to rescue her scientist-father from the evil forces that hold him prisoner on another planet. This novel has been challenged for undermining religious beliefs.

The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm have been challenged many times for a number of reasons including racism, violence, anti-Semitic references and negative portrayal of female characters. More specifically, Hansel and Gretel has been challenged for teaching children that it is okay to kill witches, as well as portraying witches as child-eating monsters. Little Red Riding Hood has been challenged for violence, considering Little Red Riding Hood's actions upon the Big Bad Wolf. Also called in to question was the appropriateness of the girl bringing wine to her grandmother and her grandmother later drinking the wine. Snow White was also challenged for violence because a hunter kills a wild boar, and because of the wicked witch's evil wishes toward Snow White.

Other classic fairy tales have been challenged, too. A 1994 version of The Little Mermaid was challenged its illustrations. Bare-breasted mermaids were called pornographic, and the book was seen as containing "satanic pictures."

Speaking of Satan, the Harry Potter books have been challenged for containing Satanism as well as witchcraft, wizardry, cults, death, hate, and dark content.

The Narnia books, a series of seven high fantasy books, have been challenged on the grounds of portraying graphic violence, mysticism, and gore.

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, a story about a boy from a ruined town who endeavors to find out how the town was destroyed, has been challenged for criminalizing the foresting industry.

Wild Swan Theater: The Ugly Duckling

Wild Swan Theater will present "The Ugly Duckling" Oct. 17-Oct. 19 in the Morris Lawrence Building at Washtenaw Community College. Resident playwright Jeff Duncan has put his own spin on the classic tale by H.C. Andersen. The performance is designed for children in preschool through second grade. More information is here.

LEGO Lovers Take Note! Build the Change Call for Designs!

If you have entered our famous LEGO contest or are just a LEGO enthusiast who has made a project that conveys sustainable design there's a contest just for you! Connect4Climate recently partnered with LEGO® to launch the Build the Change Call for Designs. The Build the Change Call for Designs invites individuals and groups from all over the world to showcase their talents and create LEGO® brick sustainable cities.To participate, participants post a photo or video of their LEGO® brick creation to the Connect4Climate Facebook Page and include a brief description of their creation, the hashtag #BuildTheChange, the name of the LEGO® brick creator and, optionally, their city of residence and age. The deadline is September 28, 2013.

Selected photos and videos will be featured at the LEGO® Build the Change Workshop at the EcoCity World Summit in Nantes, France.

Show the WORLD that Ann Arbor has the biggest and best LEGO fans!

More Than Words: For Parents of Children with Autism

As in the past 13 years, More Than Words - A Hanen Program for Parents of Children with Autism will be offered through the Washtenaw Intermediate School District beginning on Tuesday, October 15, 2013.

More Than Words is a family-focused program that was developed to meet the needs of children with social communication difficulties and/or autism spectrum disorder. This program teaches parents of young children (5 and under) practical ways to help their child interact and communicate during everyday activities. Children DO NOT need a diagnosis of ASD, or be involved in other programs or interventions, such as special education, to participate in this program.

The program runs from October 15, 2013 - February 18, 2014 and includes:
* A pre-program orientation on Tuesday, October 15th from 6:00-7:30 pm
* A series of eight parent education/training classes held at the WISD on Tuesday evenings from 6:00-9:00 pm (Oct. 29; Nov. 12, 26; Dec. 10; Jan. 7, 21; Feb. 4, 18)
* A pre-program consultation with a Hanen certified speech-language pathologist
*Three individual consultations for the parents and child with a Hanen certified speech-language pathologist during which:
-communication goals and specific strategies for their child are discussed
-parents are videotaped interacting with their child, so they can "see" what is helping and what else they can do to help their child learn to interact and communicate

Much more information is available at the Hanen website. There is currently no fee for participants. Enrollment is limited to 12 families. Parents can register online or call (734) 994-8100 ext. 1663.

The Animals are Out!

As you check out the farm party at the red barn on the tot table Downtown, don’t forget that the real McCoy can be found within a few miles in any direction. You can stroll through a corn maze, treat yourself to cold cider and warm donuts and even shop the farmer’s market with your favorite cows, sheep and chickens at the beautiful farms nearby. For us city folk there is sometimes nothing more soothing than a big red barn!

TalkAbility: For Parents of Verbal Children on the Autism Spectrum

As in the past 3 years, the Washtenaw Intermediate School District will be offering TalkAbility: The Hanen Program for Parents of Verbal Children on the Autism Spectrum to families of verbal children (3-7 years old) living in Washtenaw County. Children DO NOT need to have a diagnosis to participate and benefit from this program.

Research shows that children who have conversations with parents about what others think and feel learn to appreciate different points of view. This program helps parents learn to use this kind of talk at home, and how to apply it to help their child "tune in" to other people. The program guides parents in helping their child to make friends, providing many ideas and strategies such as finding the right friend, knowing when to step in to help the friendship along, etc.

The program consists of:

* An Orientation Meeting held at the WISD on September 24th from 6:00-7:30 pm. Participants will receive an overview of the program, and program materials.

*An individual consultation for parent and child with the Hanen certified speech-language pathologist before the program begins.

*A series of eight classes (for parent only) held at the WISD on Tuesday evenings from 6:00-9:00 pm (Oct. 8, 22; Nov. 5, 19; Dec. 3, 17; Jan. 14, 28)

*Three individual consultations for the parents and child with a Hanen certified speech-language pathologist during which:
-communication goals and specific strategies for their child are discussed
-parents are videotaped interacting with their child, so they can "see" what is helping and what else they can do to help their child learn to interact and have conversations

Much more information is available at the Hanen website. There is currently no fee for participants. Enrollment is limited to 12 families. Parents can register online or call (734) 994-8100 ext. 1663.

Rock-A-Bye Your Baby To Safe Sleep

Are you wondering how to create a safe sleep environment for your child? Come and learn how to keep your baby safer!

Washtenaw Area Council for Children presents Rock-A-Bye Your Baby To Safe Sleep

2nd Wednesday of each month at 4:00 pm
Academic OB/GYN Clinic, Reichert Health Center
5333 McAuley Drive
Suite 2110 - Waiting Room
Ypsilanti, MI 48197

This class is open to parents as well as family members having direct care with your infant. Class size is limited! Call to reserve a spot: 734-434-4215

Parent’s Corner: It’s Potty Time!

The Downtown library has a shelf in the Youth Department known as the Parent Shelf. On this shelf you’ll find a variety of parent-child related books on a multitude of topics- including everything from language to tantrums to safety to homework. These books are available for checkout, and can be found in the catalog when searching “parent shelf,” if you’d like to have one sent to a branch of your choice.

As preschoolers get into the new routine of going to school, potty training becomes more of a focus in the household. It’s potty time! If it’s a bit tricky there are some books on the parent shelf that offer guidance. We also have a slew of fun picture books about going potty to help get the little ones motivated.

For parent shelf finds, try Diaper-free before 3 : the healthier way to toilet train and help your child out of diapers sooner, Toilet training: a practical guide to daytime and nighttime training, and A guide to potty training.

And for lap time picture books see this great list of titles!

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