71 Monell Avenue
Islip, NY 11751

T: 631-581-5933

F: 631.277.8429

71 Monell Avenue
Islip, NY 11751
T: 631-581-5933
F: 631-581-8429

71 Monell Avenue
Islip, NY 11751

T: 631-581-5933 

F: 631-581-8429


All posts by Jane Hoffman

Board Games Galore!

The Children’s Department at the Islip Library currently has an abundance of board games available to play anywhere in the library - Chess and Checkers, Candyland, Operation, Connect 4, Ants in the Pants, Legos, Life, Monopoly and Monopoly Junior, just to name a few.

Not only do they offer a bonding opportunity for families and friends, they offer an enriching experience to our youngest players…

  • Rules - They present participants with the concept of rules and the art of following them.
  • Math/Color Skills - Basic math and color skills are introduced, practiced and reinforced.
  • Impulse Control - Participants practice impulse control by focusing on the game and not fiddling with the board game pieces.
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    Patience - Children demonstrate patience while waiting for their turn.
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    Problem solving - Each child makes tough decisions by weighing the pros and cons of a move and thinking ahead a few steps.
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    Consequences - Children learn the consequences of their actions and inactions.
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    Filtering - Participants practice filtering out information that is and is not important.
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    Teamwork - It gives children the opportunity to work together as a team.
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    Good Sportsmanship - Children learn how to be a good sport by seeing other participants win and lose gracefully.
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    Break from Electronics - It separates kids from electronic devices.

So come on down and try out a game or two and watch your child exercise some life skills!

1000 Books Before Kindergarten / 1KB4K

It sounds like a monumental task to read 1000 books to your infant/preschool-aged child, but many caregivers around the country have done just that. Not only does this activity provide the opportunity to bond with your children, it also helps them to develop early literacy skills in preparation for kindergarten. Literacy experts have determined that children are ready to read after hearing approximately 1000 books!

Any story your child hears read aloud counts towards your 1000 books goal including story time books, eReaders, audio books, and iPad stories. Your child may ask you to read the same book more than once and that counts too! You may “double dip” and use the same titles for 1000 Books Before Kindergarten (1KB4K), and for our summer reading club.

Ask one of the Children’s Librarians for some
good book suggestions!

For more information on our 1KB4K program, pick up a flyer at the Children’s Reference Desk at the Islip Public Library. Track each book read to your child either in a book log provided by us, or onto an online tracking app using your iPhone or Android device. For every 100 books read, receive a prize and sticker. Your child’s photo (including first name) will also be posted on the Islip Library’s Facebook page (with parent’s permission) after every 100 books read. Then receive a certificate upon completion.

Fun Facts:

  • If you read 3 books a day for 1 year, you’ll have read 1,095 books.
  • If you read 1 book a day for 3 years, you’ll have read 1,095 books.
  • You can do it! Get your child off to a good start!

Children’s Summer Reading Club | Learn all Summer and be a Great Student this Fall!

The New York Libraries’ website, Summer Reading Club link https://www.summerreadingnys.org/kids/ shares the following information about children who read over the summer:

  • They maintain and build their reading skills
  • They avoid summer learning loss*
  • Their love of reading grows
  • They are more confident in reading
  • They read what interests them and become avid readers
  • They become better spellers and writers
  • Their vocabularies grow
  • They have a better grasp of grammar
  • They are prepared for a successful school year

Children who do not read over the summer lose up to an average of one month of school learning. Make sure that doesn’t happen to your child!

The website above also provides links for additional summer activities for children aged infant through teens. You’ll find games, puzzles, reading and writing activities, crafts, and more on this website!

10 Easy Ways to Get Children to Read this Summer

1. Get your child a library card - it’s free!

2. Sign your child up for summer reading at the Library and enjoy free programs with fun activities, storytelling, reading contests, crafts and more.

3. Read with your child every day. Read during “waiting” time on trips, at the doctor’s office, in line at the grocery store….anywhere and everywhere!

4. Take a basket of books for reading breaks at the beach or pool.

5. Read on your own and talk to your child about what you’re reading! Teach by example - families who share reading raise good readers.

6. Visit the Library every week for a fresh supply of books for everyone!

7. Ask a librarian if you’d like books in languages other than English.

8. Turn on the closed captioning during TV shows or movies so children can see the words as they hear them. Check out an audio book and read the book while listening to it.

9. Keep a list on your refrigerator of the books everyone has read during the summer.

10. Choose a subject of interest to the entire family, get everyone reading about it, then share what you’ve all learned.

Beginning Friday, June 16 through Saturday, August 19 children in the Islip School district, ages infant – 6th grade may register for the Islip Library’s Children’s Summer Reading Club. Teens entering grades 7-12 are invited to join the Library’s Teen Summer Reading Club (call the Adult Reference Desk for more info about Teen Reading Club). Beginning Monday, June 26, children in completed grades K – 6 may bring in their books and tell a children’s librarian about their favorite or not-so-favorite part. Logging books online is also an option. Earn prizes and raffle tickets as your child comments on books. Children in completed grades 4 – 6 will earn prizes for the number of pages read. Infants and preschoolers earn prizes after they have had 20 books read to them. Learn more from the Children’s Department.

Call the Islip Public Library at 631-581-5933 and look for our July/August newsletter arriving in your mailbox during the last week of June!

- Jane Hoffman, Children’s Department Head

Helping Your Child Love to Read

Unfortunately, some children find reading to be a chore. The process of decoding letters and their sounds, along with the many rules and exceptions that the English language includes may discourage some children from loving reading. The following tips may inspire your children to read.

  • Let your child choose the books he likes including joke books, graphic novels, comic books, or picture books. Your child needs to feel comfortable with a certain reading level before he voluntarily moves on. It is alright if your child rereads the same book. Each time he reads it he will discover something new and it will give him more confidence the next time he tries a new title.
  • Some children have trouble connecting with stories if they have nothing in common with the characters. Let them choose stories they can relate to. Reading about a subject of interest is more appealing than having to read about a dry topic. If your child has been to camp and would like to read about someone else’s camp adventures let her read about them. If he enjoys baseball, find sports books. Show him the sports page in the newspaper and read it together.
  • While your child is watching television or a dvd, have him or her read the closed captions. Pause the movie if it’s moving too rapidly. This form of reading helps children with word recognition since one cannot always sound out every word.
  • Read aloud with your child. Have her read a page and then you read a page. By alternating back and forth, it takes some of the pressure off of her. Stop reading at a very exciting part and tell her that you’ll continue later. She may not be able to wait for your return and read on by herself.
  • Have your child read as he listens to the accompanying audio book. Comprehension improves when you use two senses simultaneously. The Islip Library has many titles available in CD format, and you can download many audiobooks onto various devices of your own at no charge through the Islip Library website: www.isliplibrary.org (please call us or visit a reference desk if you’d like to learn how to do this)
  • Let your child see you reading and enjoying books, magazines, and newspapers. Tell him how and why you enjoy reading every day. Talk with him or her about what you’re reading. Bake together and ask your child to read the recipe aloud so you can gather the ingredients and determine the measurements.
  • Give books as gifts. Have your child choose a book as a gift for someone else.
  • Children like to read books that tie in with TV shows or movies; the Islip Library has quite a few of these books.
  • Play board games like Scrabble or Boggle with your child. Board and word games are helpful in building vocabulary and improving spelling.
  • Subscribe to a magazine that your child has an interest in. Children love to receive mail.
  • Some children need additional help in learning to read. Ask your child’s teacher or doctor for resources. We are fortunate to have reading teachers in the Islip School district who can assist your child.

Libraries are an excellent resource for finding books or downloads on almost every topic. A children’s librarian will be happy to find a “just right” book for your child. Stop in and visit us!

Open-Ended Play, A Necessary Part of Playtime

Large and small cardboard boxes, fabric scraps, bottle caps…although these items may appear to be destined for the trash, wait up! Children can utilize these items and engage their imagination in an experience called open-ended play.

Open-ended play includes utilizing simple items such as paint, water, blocks, clay, twigs, leaves, acorns and more. If you can create a different outcome with each play session, then it’s an open-ended experience. When there are no rules to follow, no problems to solve, and no expectations, your child learns to express patience, creativity, visualization, cooperation, and self-regulation.

Close-ended toys can only be used in one way, have a specific outcome, and have a correct answer. The Islip Library has puzzles and board games which engage closed-ended play. Many toys found in toy stores are close-ended. These are also important to your child’s development but remember to balance it out with open-ended play.

The train table in the Children’s Atrium has many individual train tracks, bridges and other parts in which your child can build a new set-up. Using her imagination she can build a new city each time she comes to play. Markers, chalk, crayons and paper are always available for your child to utilize and create a unique masterpiece during each visit. A container including cotton balls, socks, pipe cleaners and more can be found on the window seat in the Children’s Atrium. Encourage your child to use their imagination and create something with all of the items. You can assist your child by playing with them a bit to model the idea but be sure to pull back so your child can have his own playtime. Be an interested bystander and motivate your child to explore. You can even play alongside of your child. Be prepared to watch your child’s imagination blossom before your eyes!

Why You Should Read to Your Child Daily & 8 Tips for Doing It Better

As a Children’s Librarian, one of the saddest stories I have ever heard was about a mom who waited to start reading to her child until he learned how to speak! According to the U.S. Department of Education, “The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.”

Children have a reading level and a listening level. They can understand books on a higher reading level by listening to them which also develops their listening skills. When you read a book aloud to your child you are exposing him to vocabulary words that you may not use. Since many children don’t learn how to read until they are 3 years old and older, caregivers can start exposing them to words that build a foundation for reading.

There are many reasons we read to our children: entertainment, information, and inspiration. But in the process of reading aloud, you’re also bonding with your child, expanding their vocabulary, and modeling how to read. Reading aloud also helps children expand their imaginations.

Tips for reading aloud:

  • Reading a book together more than once is perfectly fine. After you’ve read it a few times, ask your child to retell the story in his own words.
  • Some children find it difficult to listen to a story without doing something else so providing crayons and paper helps them to concentrate.
  • Introduce puppets and props while reading.
  • Vary your voice.
  • Make connections with whatever you’re reading. If there’s an illustration of a truck, show your child how it resembles his toy truck.
  • Ask your child to point to things in the story, or repeat interesting ideas.
  • Some children prefer non-fiction books. Remember to also read books with rhymes and alliteration.
  • Talk about the parts of a book: title, author, illustrator, cover, and the correct way to hold it.

The Islip Library has a display case dedicated to board books in the Children’s Atrium for our very youngest patrons. The thick cardboard pages are much harder to tear than a regular book and generally have varying amounts of words. We subscribe to monthly magazines that are suitable for very young children, Babybug and Zoobies. We have an extensive picture book collection with stories on nearly every topic. Our illustrated book collection is ideal for school-aged children interested in a picture book format with content appropriate for more mature readers. Check out the following links for read-aloud book suggestions for that perfect bonding time with your child.




Summer Activities on Long Island and Manhattan

Free and Affordable Family Activities:

Long Island and Manhattan

This summer, and year round, take advantage of free and affordable family activities that Long Island and Manhattan have to offer. The Islip Public Library’s free museum passes/vouchers are a great way to get started. You and your family can enjoy visits to the following venues:

  • American Museum of Natural History, Manhattan
  • Cradle of Aviation, Garden City
  • Fire Island Lighthouse at parking field #5 on Robert Moses Causeway, Bay Shore
  • Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, Manhattan
  • Long Island Children’s Museum, Garden City
  • Old Bethpage Village Restoration, Old Bethpage
  • Museum of Modern Art, Manhattan
  • Sagtikos Manor, Bay Shore
  • Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium, Centerport
  • Walt Whitman Birthplace Association, Huntington Station

Reserve a museum pass by clicking on the following link, https://isliplibrary.org/museum-passes/ Have your Islip Public Library adult card handy. Read and accept the terms. Each pass is reserved and checked out for 3 days.

The following Children’s Librarians Association of Suffolk Country, Inc. (CLASC), Inc.-sponsored link includes 12 pages of affordable things ($8.00 and under) to do on Long Island. Additional links are included for even more activities. The Islip Public Library offers free passes to some of the listed locations!


The Islip Public Library’s Children’s Department also has a display of regularly updated information that includes local and Island-wide activities. Check us out on your next visit!

Kindergarten Orientation Class of 2029 – Here We Come!

On Thursday, June 2, the Islip School district will be offering its Kindergarten orientation for the class of 2029 and then it’ll be back to school in September. As parents and caregivers, we all share in the hope that our children are prepared for their first year of school. There is still time to help your child have a more successful first year of formal education by checking out books that offer practical ideas to prepare them for Kindergarten. The internet also includes many websites that include practical ideas to help with this important goal.

Commonly emphasized points are:

  • Reading daily to your child. Your child learns new vocabulary, develops comprehension, practices listening, and learns to ask questions about the content. Ask your child to retell the story, predict what will happen, turn the pages, hold the book properly. Teachers can easily tell which children are being read to. Please note: The Islip Library offers a read-to-me program each summer. Children share 20 books with a caregiver, participate in contests, win prizes and are invited to attend our summer reading club party in early August.
  • Recognizing and identifying the following: shapes, most letters (upper and lower case), common colors, and numbers 1 – 5. Your child should be able to count from 1 – 10 and write his first name. Teachers expect to teach children the sounds of letters and how to write. You can teach your child all of the above while playing with your child. While sorting legos, shapes, colors and numbers can be reinforced. Playing with alphabet magnets on the refrigerator will help your child learn colors, letter shapes and counting.
  • Developing your child’s fine motor skills. Children need to be able to hold a pencil and write early on in their school experience. Make a bracelet by threading Cheerios onto a pipe cleaner. Mist houseplants using a spray bottle to exercise hand muscles. Use scissors to cut play dough. Color with crayons to practice drawing and writing.
  • Offering opportunities for independence. Encourage your children to use the bathroom and wash hands by themselves, set the table, open their own snacks and drink boxes, and hang up their coats. Regularly give three-step instructions, for instance, “Get your coat, put it on and then meet me by the front door.” Make sure they respond to their names and not just their nicknames.
  • Offer your child the opportunity to be social in social situations at the playground, the library, preschool, play dates and parties. With your help they will learn how to share, take turns, carry on a conversation without interrupting, learn to speak to adults and in class discussions, say please and thank you, and use language to communicate their needs.

9 Children’s Magazines Your Kids Should Read

I know, I know. You don’t want to hear another word about Common Core standards. However, it’s not going away anytime soon. Children’s magazines are a creative way to get your children, in grades K – 6, to read non-fiction and actually enjoy it. Starting them off early (infancy is not too soon) will get your child used to hearing and enjoying non-fiction and fiction as well. Children’s magazines include short articles and stories with loads of photographs and images. These elements aid your child in enjoying more of the content. With various topics, your child is certain to find a magazine that they can relate to. The Islip Public Library subscribes to 45 Children’s magazines with a variety of subjects. Children in grades K through grade 6 will find a magazine just right for their interest and level. Check out the Islip Library’s vast collection, borrow a few magazines and watch your child become a better reader. The Islip Library also accepts magazines as a valid reading option during summer reading club. Magazine subscriptions make great gifts. Everyone loves to get mail. What better way to encourage your child to read than to subscribe to magazines and receive them in the mail regularly.

American Girl bimonthly; for girls age 8 years and up, an appealing, age-appropriate alternative to teen magazines, featuring advice, crafts, contests, puzzles, games, giggles and more.

Babybug Magazine 9 issues; begins a lifelong love of books for infants and toddlers age 6 months to 2 years; for babies who love to be read to and parents who love to read to them; filled with colorful pictures, simple rhymes and fun stories that babies and parents will delight in reading together over and over again.

Highlights for Children monthly; for children ages 6–12 years; this wholesome magazine helps children enjoy reading, learning and thinking; its many recurring features include Hidden Pictures, the Timbertoes and Puzzlemania, all of which aid the development of children’s creativity and inquisitiveness.

Jack and Jill Magazine 6 issues; ages 6–12 years; entertaining stories, interesting kid profiles, hands-on activities, recipes, crafts, artwork and more.

National Geographic Kids 10 issues; ages 6 years and up; a fact-filled, fast-paced magazine, combining articles, photos, facts and fun, to entertain and inspire readers to learn about their world with amazing information about animals, science, technology, archaeology, geography, and pop culture, plus jokes, games and activities.

National Geographic Little Kids Bimonthly; ages 3-6 years; “the magazine for young explorers”; full of learning and fun for today’s preschoolers and their parents; encourages a child’s appreciation of the natural world with lively photographs, engaging stories, and interactive picture games, each issue is created by noted educators at National Geographic; no advertising.

Ranger Rick 10 issues; for children ages 7 years and up; amazing facts, stunning photos and outdoor adventures that help kids sharpen reading skills and develop a deeper appreciation of nature; published by the National Wildlife Federation.

Sports Illustrated for Kids monthly; for sports fans ages 8–14 years; articles focus on the positive lessons from athletes and the world of sports, including goal setting, overcoming obstacles and challenges, striving to be one’s best, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle; also exciting action photography, performance and nutrition tips, and imaginative artwork.

Zoobooks 10 issues; for children ages 6–12 years; each issue looks at one of 60 different animals through photography, illustrations, diagrams and descriptions; also features activity pages.

(Magazine summaries written by Christopher Rutkowski).

September Facebook Article

Are you looking for free infant, toddler and preschool-age activities? Do you want to meet other moms in the community?

The Islip Public Library has something for everyone. Borrow an iPad and show your child how to use it in the library or a Kid’s Kindle to take home for 7 days. The Kid’s Kindle features age appropriate books, movies, and games that are being updated regularly as per our subscription.

Show your child how to use a computer mouse and play games on one of our 8 PCs. 3 have preloaded games. Tumblebooks is a link found on the library’s homepage and includes stories, videos, music, puzzle and games and language learning. Enjoy the read-aloud feature. Exercise your imagination in our firehouse tent. Read aloud a board book, picture book, magazine, easy reader or non-fiction book and help your child read 1000 books before kindergarten!

If you check out the books on your child’s card and activate your account, it will track all the books that you are reading together! Color a picture using our crayons and seasonal coloring pages. Borrow a multi-themed book bundle, tied up with a red ribbon and ready to grab and check out - dinosaurs, princesses, sharks, trucks.

Check out our multi-themed backpacks that include books, dvds, and props that your child will love – feelings, fire trucks, trains, bugs and more. Learn a second language with a book that includes a second language cd. Your child can listen to our books with accompanying CD in the car while you run your errands. Listen to lullabies, karaoke, classical or movie-themed music from our tremendous cd collection.

Our preschool dvd collection includes Sesame Street, Baby Mozart, Baby Einstein, Veggie Tales and more. Draw on our chalk board to help develop fine motor skills. Help your child learn to read using our beginning reading books featured on a display just for this purpose. Connect train tracks on our train table for a unique configuration and then operate our many unusual trains. Assist your child in putting together our puzzles or borrow a puzzle from our vast puzzle collection.

We offer a sign language class every other month, multiple musical programs – PlayHooray, Miss Heather and Musical Playground, and an open playtime with our educational toys. Park in our stroller corral and meet new friends. Click here to register. Get an Islip Library card for your child today. Oh, did I mention, everything is FREE!!!

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