Pom Pom Play Time

POM POM PLAY TIME | We love multipurpose items in our house – and pom poms are a favorite! It’s amazing
how many games and activities we can play with them. All of them promote the Basic – count, group and compare!

Claire, 16 months, loves to put them into containers. We tape paper cups to the wall (we
use painter’s tape) and help her sort them by various sizes and colors as she puts them
into the cups. It’s an easy activity with minimal prep and clean up, and it’s a great
learning opportunity!

Eleanor, 2 years, also loves pom poms! We string painter’s tape between two walls with
the sticky side up, and Eleanor will use plastic tongs to put the pom poms on the tape in
a line (Great pre-writing activity for increasing grip strength)! We make patterns with them and count how many we can fit on the line. It holds her attention and she’ll often do this activity independently if it is set up for her.

Of course, pom poms are also just fun to play with! My favorite is when the girls are
under the kitchen table and tossing the pom poms back and forth. The giggles are

By Lizzy Tahsuda

Her Own Voice

HER OWN VOICE | Claire turned one this month! She has her own little language these days. She can say a few words (“mama”, “hi”, “yes”), but most of the time she’s babbling to us with the tone and inflection like she knows exactly what she’s saying. It’s hilarious!

To help with her speech and communication, we frequently incorporate simple words and receptive listening into our play. For example, she’s in the phase where she loves to put something in a container and then take it out again. We started by narrating this for her by saying “in” and “out” as she does these actions on her own. Now, we can say “in” and/or “out” and she will follow the action. Soon, she’ll be saying the words herself! It’s a fun way for her to learn through play as we talk, sing, and point with her!

The Magic of Reading

THE MAGIC OF READING | Since we’ve been incorporating The Basic – Read & Discuss Stories, we’ve realized that reading to Titus; even as a baby, it’s never too early to start! We used to think, “He’s too young to understand,” but we were wrong. Starting to read to Titus right from the start has been one of the best things we’ve done.

When reading to Titus, we know he won’t get every word, but we do know that it’s helping build his language skills. There’s so much value in helping him understand how sentences work and planting seeds for his vocabulary. But even without words, it helps stimulate his imagination and we can have an adventure without even leaving home.

Cuddling up to read a book is such a special time. It’s our chance to bond and create beautiful, cozy moments together. It’s amazing how a simple story can make him feel safe and loved. And honestly, it’s not just good for him, it’s good for us too. It’s more than just reading; it’s about growing, learning, and making memories that last a lifetime and it’s worth every minute!

By Candace Martin

Basics Guilford PlayDaze – September 9

The Basics Guilford PlayDaze with Greensboro Parks and Recreation is a morning of outdoor play and exploration at Keeley Park in Greensboro, NC. PlayDaze celebrates the value of play and is designed to provide diverse play activities for preschoolers and families of all ages. Activities include:
– Outdoor play and games
– Fun activities and community resources
– Museum exploration
– Opportunities to read
– Food Trucks and more!

  • Saturday, September 9
  • 10 am – 1 pm
  • Keeley Park
  • 4100 Keeley Rd
  • McLeansville, NC 27301

Email us with questions


Ultimate Baby/Toddler Summer Reading Guide

Going into a new season is always a fun time to discover new books and Read and Discuss Stories. Because reading to babies and toddlers is an integral part of preparing them to learn to read themselves, here are a few books to explore to jumpstart your summer. Guilford County libraries also offer wonderful summer reading programs for children of all ages to keep older children learning and reading, and to feed the curious minds of babies and toddlers, so take a look at the links below to get involved!

Summer Books for Toddlers & Preschoolers

How to Talk Like a Bear by Charlie Grandy

The Octopus Escapes by Maile Maloy

There’s a Beach in My Bedroom by Kevin Jonas and Danielle Jonas

Hot Dog by Doug Salati

Counting to Bananas by Carrie Tillotson

Hattie Harmony Worry Detective by Elizabeth Olsen and Robbie Arnett


Summer Books for Babies

The Smell of a Rainbow by Dawn Goldworm

Spot Goes to the Beach by Eric Hill

A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka

Duck Duck Goose by Tad Hills

Hello Zoo by Nicola Slater


Guilford County Summer Reading Programs Information

From reading lists and competitions to story times, check out these sites to find out more about what local public libraries are offering this summer.

High Point Public Library

Greensboro Public Library

Gibsonville Public Library

Book Was Her Second Word

BOOK WAS HER SECOND WORD | Eleanor loves to read. “Book” was her second word! We’ve been reading with Eleanor since she was born and we try to go beyond just reading the words. We discuss the story and how it might relate to her life: “The caterpillar is eating strawberries. You had strawberries for breakfast!” We
also look for opportunities to count: “How many balloons do you see?”, and search for recurring
characters: “Where is the mouse on this page?” At 21 months, she grasps the storylines and will
even “read” to us by reciting what she remembers.

Eleanor recently received Goodnight, Gorilla from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. At first, I
wasn’t sure if she would like it. The pictures are colorful, but most of the story must be
interpreted through the illustrations. She doesn’t have any other books that have pages without
words. To my surprise, it has become one of her favorites! The first couple of times I read it to
her, I would describe what was happening. Now, she tells me what is happening! Sometimes it’s
accurate, and sometimes she uses her imagination.  I love how it inspires her to be creative.
I’m currently on the hunt for more books that are open to interpretation! Find out more about how to integrate Read and Discuss Stories into your caregiving approach.

By Lizzy Tahsuda

Find out more about why picture books are powerful!

STEM Skills Start Early

Start Building STEM Skills Early

Construction paper and teddy bears are good for counting and sorting! How? Let me explain. My two-and-a-half-year-old son started being interested in learning his colors. We would start by identifying colors in his natural environment and the colors on his clothes. One day, he began playing with the teddy bear objects and asking their colors. This simple observation led to helping him visually discriminate between colors and learn the color names. I used the same colors of construction paper to match the teddy bears that he played with. I then laid down each piece of paper side by side on a table and let him decide where to place each teddy bear by looking at their colors.

As children are comparing by color, it is important to resist the urge as parents to do it for them or quickly correct. Encourage and celebrate them when they can match correctly, let them figure out when it is not correct, what is different? Your role is to facilitate. Ask questions such as “What color looks the same as the object?” This can help them visually process and self-correct if they get it wrong. Another role is to build their language. Math literacy skills are equally important is reading ability. They can learn key vocabulary words like “compare,” “same,” or “different.”

Even if you do not have teddy bear objects, any multi-colored item can be used in this simple activity. You can try using colored cereal, large beads, toy cars, blocks, or any other item that you have at home. Most of the time finding objects that you already have and using them to teach important skills is most convenient. Giving children experience with Count, Group, and Compare provides an important foundation for building lifelong STEM skills.

By Airreia Pierce | Visit Airreia’s website |  Follow her on Facebook


Guilford Basics