Friday, March 3, 2017

Preschool and Elementary School Online Learning for Children

Last week while visiting my grandchildren I spent time walking backwards, chasing downhill and up, reading stories and, yes, watching shows on the Nickelodeon TV channel. I was surprised to see 'ABC Mouse' advertised during a show about humanoid monster trucks that my three year old grandson loves. "Wait!" I felt like saying, "don't buy that stuff, parents, get it free from your local library."

Whether you are reading this from your cozy spot in Berkeley Heights, NJ or have stumbled upon this blog post by Googling and are somewhere else in the world, here is what librarians want you to know:

Your library has so many resources available for free and librarians hate for you to spend money on something we can teach you how to use without getting out your charge card. 

Libraries have done a pretty good job letting people know that we have books. Most people realize that libraries also have DVD's and books on CD. Many people realize libraries have downloadable e-books for free. Students may know that we have databases that can be used for researching term papers. But libraries also offer streaming and downloadable resources for children. So if your child or grandchild really, really NEEDS to be entertained so you can cook that Mac 'n' Cheese in peace, you can turn on a fun and educational library resource and know that the child will not be bombarded by commercials or unsuitable content while you boil up that orange goop or even tackle something more challenging.
Several online educational resources for children including ‘ABC Mouse’ are offered free from the Berkeley Heights Public Library.

Go to our Database links at to find ‘ABC Mouse.’ Sign up for a free account and start learning!  Preschool to elementary age children will learn pre-reading and reading skills through fun online games. Other children’s online resources include:

‘BookFlix’: Animated children’s books and read-alongs. 

‘Hoopla Kids’: Movies, TV programs, music and e-books that can be viewed on your computer, tablet or mobile device. Use the Hoopla Kids Mode by toggling to ‘Kids’ in your Hoopla app settings. Hoopla offers content for adults and children. Parents can toggle from adult mode to children’s mode in the app. Each BHPL card holder can view, stream or download up to eight free Hoopla items per month. One item may contain a TV series or musical album but that only counts as one item. Lending periods vary by title and format.

‘TumbleBooks’: animated storybooks that also work on iPads. Children will be entertained and learn while using ‘Tumblebooks’ and the other library resources for children. There are no fees and no advertisements! If you watch Nickelodeon TV and see ‘ABC Mouse’ and other resources advertised, don’t buy them before checking out the free access that your local library provides. 

 I wrote about these online resources in our monthly email newsletter, The Buzz, which can be found on the library website here. You can read the Buzz online or you can have a link to it emailed to you monthly. Come in to talk to the children's librarian or reference librarians about these fun online learning activities and other library resources which are free, free, free, did I mention that? It's hard to compete with talking monster trucks, but libraries are trying.

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