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When It's Time to Give a Gift



When
we buy presents for new babies, infants, toddlers and preschoolers, we
usually think of toys first. But children need to be introduced to books,
nursery rhymes, songs and stories, from their earliest days for intellectual
stimulation.

Play
is truly the work of childhood. Age-appropriate toys develop strength and dexterity,
songs and stories encourage imaginative play, and attention from important adults
in a child’s life helps create strong, confident and intellectually curious
older children.

Even the brightest youngsters develop physical and intellectual skills in a predictable pattern. Some things can’t be rushed. Toy manufacturers label their products with age guidelines in mind, so pay attention to age recommendations when choosing toys not only for the enjoyment a child will derive, but for the child’s safety as well. Read the labels and follow the directions for use. -->Even the brightest youngsters develop physical and intellectual skills in a predictable pattern. Some things can’t be rushed. Toy manufacturers label their products with age guidelines in mind, so pay attention to age recommendations when choosing toys not only for the enjoyment a child will derive, but for the child’s safety as well. Read the labels and follow the directions for use. -->

In choosing toys for children, be careful to choose age-appropriate toys, not only for the enjoyment a child will derive, but for the child's safety as well. Read the labels and follow the directions for use. Select toys that are sewn well. Use care when selecting computer software. Be aware that computer games marketed for children younger than four years old may only be of limited developmental value.

Select toys that do not fit into a young child’s mouth. Toys for young children should not have dangling cords, strings or ribbons. Stuffed toys should be well sewn and not have buttons, eyes or other hard pieces that can be chewed off and swallowed. Use care when selecting computer software. Be aware that computer games marketed for children younger than four years old are of limited developmental value, and the American Association of Pediatrics does not recommend their use.

To help you choose well, the following suggestions were designed to help find appropriate toys and books for gift-giving for all occasions: birthdays, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Chanukah or whenever you wish to find a treat for a young child in your life. The toy suggestions were prepared by the New York State Department of Education; the books were chosen by Children’s Librarians of the Queens Borough Public Library.

-->Select toys that do not fit into a young child’s mouth. Toys for young children should not have dangling cords, strings or ribbons. Stuffed toys should be well sewn and not have buttons, eyes or other hard pieces that can be chewed off and swallowed. Use care when selecting computer software. Be aware that computer games marketed for children younger than four years old are of limited developmental value, and the American Association of Pediatrics does not recommend their use.

To help you choose well, the following suggestions were designed to help find appropriate toys and books for gift-giving for all occasions: birthdays, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Chanukah or whenever you wish to find a treat for a young child in your life. The toy suggestions were prepared by the New York State Department of Education; the books were chosen by Children’s Librarians of the Queens Borough Public Library.

-->

The following suggestions were designed to help find appropriate toys and books for gift-giving for all occasions: birthdays, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Chanukah or whenever you wish to find a treat for a young child in your life. The toy suggestions were prepared by the New York State Department of Education; the books were chosen by Children’s Librarians of the Queens Borough Public Library.


Birth through 12 Months

Infants
respond to various sights, sounds, smells and sensations. Many movements
are reflex actions, but gradually they develop some control over their
bodies. Some favorite toys are rattles, teethers, soft toys that
squeak, balls, stuffed animals, mobiles to hang over the crib, and cloth and
vinyl books.

In
the second six months, a baby’s physical control increases, as does his
or her curiosity. Concentration improves also. Now babies will enjoy cloth or
vinyl blocks, nesting and sorting toys, pop-up toys, pots and pans, and push-able
toys.

Choose
board books for baby to hold and manipulate. Look for books with good illustrations
and very little text. Sing and listen to music. Recite nursery rhymes whenever
you can.

Author: Beall, Pamela
Title: Wee Sing for Baby
Publisher, Date: Price Stern Sloan, 1996

Notes: Books and cassette with lots of musical games and lullabies for baby.

Author:
Fox, Mem

Title:
Time for Bed


Publisher, Date: Harcourt, 1993

Notes: Everyone, even the animals, has to go to sleep in this bedtime
story.

Author:
Hoban, Tana

Title: Black on White

Publisher, Date: Greenwillow, 1993

Notes: Even the youngest babies can see and enjoy these clear black and
white images.

Author:
Kunhardt, Dorothy

Title: Pat the Bunny

Publisher, Date: Western, 1942

Notes: The first touch-me book, now a modern classic.

Author:
Opie, Iona

Title: My Very First Mother Goose

Publisher, Date: Candlewick, 1996

Notes: Find many old favorites in this lively new version of a classic
collection of rhymes.

Author:
Yaccarino, Dan

Title: Baby Face

Publisher, Date: HarperFestival, 2001

Notes: A pull-tab book that playfully introduces the parts of a baby’s
face.


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12 to 18 Months

In
the early months of toddler-hood, the child is beginning to walk. Small motor
skills, like picking up small things with fingers, improve and the child shows
an interest in how things work. He or she can understand single words and simple phrases.

Favorite
toys include stacking cones, pounding benches, puzzles with two to six pieces,
fat crayons and paper, pails and shovels, wooden blocks, and books and tapes with simple stories with an increasing vocabulary and full sentences.

Author:
Ellwand, David

Title: The Big Book of Beautiful Babies

Publisher, Date: Dutton, 1995

Notes: Rhyming text accompanies precious photographs of babies in a variety
of situations: wet and dry, dressed and bare, quiet and loud, and more.

Author:
Weiss, Nicky

Title: Where Does the Brown Bear Go?

Publisher, Date: Greenwillow, 1989

Notes: At the end of the day, all the animals in the world go home for
the night.

Author:
Yoon, Jung-Huyn

Title: Popposites: A Lift, Pull and Pop Book of Opposites

Publisher, Date: DK, Distributed by Houghton Mifflin, 1996

Notes: Amusing flaps, tabs, and pop-ups demonstrate the concept of opposites
to toddlers.


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18
to 24 Months

By
now, most children have mastered walking and have begun running and climbing.
He or she is becoming an individual with personal preferences, which are often
expressed in words. Play with other children is side by side without direct interaction, and make-believe is an important component of play.

Some popular toys are play dough, toy telephones, shape sorters, musical instruments and books. Stories that reflect the child’s world are favorites, as are
books with actions to copy.

Author:
Campbell, Rod

Title: Dear Zoo

Publication, Date: Four Winds Press, 1982

Notes: The zoo sends pet after pet in the mail, but none except the last
one is just right. Lift the flaps and find out why.

Author:
Hill, Eric

Title: Where’s Spot?

Publisher, Date: Putnam, 1980

Notes: A mother dog looking for her lost puppy finds eight other animals
hiding around the house. One of a series of lift-the-flap books.

Author:
McDonnell, Flora

Title: I Love Animals

Publisher, Date: Candlewick, 1994

Notes: A girl names all her favorite farm animals, including Jock the
dog and Pig and her piglets.


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2
to 3 Years

A
child's world is ever-expanding at this point. The two-year-old, now stronger
and better coordinated, seems to be always on the go. He/she proves dexterity
by assembling puzzles. Language skills are improving by leaps and bounds.

Play
becomes more advanced with wooden puzzles, blunt scissors, musical recordings,
pegboards, finger paints, dress-up clothing, toys which copy adult life, such
as kitchen utensils and tools, and of course picture books. The stories contain
simple information about the world familiar to the toddler, like animals, families
and colors. Mother Goose and other nursery rhymes remain favorites because of
the rhymes and repetition.

Author:
Baker, Keith

Title: Big Fat Hen

Publisher, Date: Harcourt, 1994

Notes: Count to ten with Big Fat Hen, her friends and all of their chicks.

Author:
Crews, Donald

Title: Freight Train

Publisher, Date: Harcourt, 1994

Notes: Simple text and illustrations trace the journey of a colorful
train as it goes through tunnels, by cities, and over trestles.

Author:
Tafuri, Nancy

Title: Have You Seen My Duckling?

Publisher: Greenwillow, 1984

Notes: Mother duck and her brood search the pond for one missing duckling.

Author:
Williams, Sue

Title: I Went Walking

Publisher, Date: Harcourt, 1990

Notes: Follow the animals as they follow a child on a walk.

Author:
Williams, Vera

Title: “More, More, More” Said the Baby

Publisher, Date: Greenwillow/HarperCollins, 1990

Notes: Three babies are caught up in the air and given loving attention by a father, grandmother and mother.


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3 to 4 Years

The three-year-old has a relatively
long attention span. Detailed, imaginative play is now important. Cooperative
play includes sharing and compromising.

At this stage,
some preferred toys are coloring books and crayons, stringing beads, hand puppets,
dolls and tricycles. Stories can be longer now with more involved plots and
humor. ABC and counting books teach basic concepts. Animals are often personified.
Concerns like attending preschool and fear of the dark are subjects to explore.

Author:
Emberley, Ed

Title: Go Away, Big Green Monster

Publisher, Date:
Little Brown, 1993

Notes: Watch a really ugly monster fade away, page by page. Beware. It’s
so much fun, you’ll want to do it again and again.

Author:
Kraus, Ruth

Title: The Carrot Seed

Publisher, Date: HarperCollins, 1945

Notes: A little boy believes that his carrot will grow, even though his
family tells him it won’t.

Author:
Martin, Bill, Jr.

Title: Brown, Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

Publisher, Date: Holt, 1983

Notes: Explore colors with brown bear and his wonderful assortment of
animals, even a purple cat.

Author:
Shaw, Charles

Title: It Looked Like Spilt Milk

Publisher, Date: HarperCollins, 1947

Notes: Is it a bunny, a flower or an ice cream cone?

Author:
Walsh, Ellen S.

Title: Mouse Count

Publisher, Date: Harcourt, 1995

Notes: Ten clever mice outsmart a hungry snake.

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4
to 5 Years

This is the year
in which real friendship develops. Sharing and taking turns comes more easily.
Pretend play may be expressed in complex dramas and made-up rhymes and songs.

Favorite playthings
are small figures, cars and trucks, finger and stick puppets, dollhouses, simple
board games, watercolor paints, chalkboards, play houses, toy doctor kids, swing
sets and books with more detailed stories. Concept books are more advanced.
Themes include adult-child conflicts. Books about friendship are important,
and simple folk tales are fun too.

Author:
Hoban, Tana

Title: 26 Letters and 99 Cents

Publisher, Date: Greenwillow, 1997

Notes: Hold the book one way to count, hold it the other way to learn
the alphabet.

Author:
Kimmel, Eric A., retel.

Title: Anansi and the Talking Melon

Publisher, Date: Holiday House, 1994

Notes: Anansi, a spider, tricks Elephant and some other animals into
thinking the melon in which he is hiding can talk.

Author:
Marshall, James

Title: Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Publisher, Date: Dial, 1988

Notes: Delicious humor and detail bring this old favorite to life..

Author:
Pinkney, Sandra L.

Title: Shades of Black

Publisher, Date: Scholastic, 2000

Notes: Vibrant photographs perfectly illustrate the beauty and variety
of African-American boys and girls while poetic text evokes a strong sense of
pride.

Author:
Sendak, Maurice

Title: Where the Wild Things Are

Publisher, Date: HarperCollins, 1963

Notes: A young boy who has misbehaved goes on a strange, surprising journey
to another world.

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5 to 6 Years

The five-year-old is sure
of his/her physical powers, but is increasingly interested in numbers, reading
and writing. Playing and companionship with
friends is a part of growing up.

Toys to be enjoyed at this
time include simple jigsaw puzzles, magnets, more complex board games, skates,
bicycles and books to read independently. Books with well-developed characters
and stories about the “real world” are popular.

Author:
Burningham, John

Title: Mr. Gumpy's Outing

Publisher, Date: Holt, 1970

Notes: With so many animals and children on Mr. Gumpy's boat an accident just might happen.

Author:
Carle, Eric

Title: The Very Clumsy Click Beetle

Publisher, Date: Philomel, 1999

Notes: A little click beetle falls onto his back and try as he might
he can’t seem to flip onto his feet. There is a surprise for readers at
the end.

Author:
Hutchins, Pat

Title: The Doorbell Rang

Publisher, Date: Greenwillow, 1986

Notes: Each time the doorbell rings, there are more children to share
grandma’s wonderful cookies.

Author:
Leaf, Munro

Title: The Story of Ferdinand

Publisher, Date: Viking, 1964

Notes: The classic story of Ferdinand, the bull who would rather sit
and smell the flowers than fight.

Author: Numeroff, Laura
Title: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Publisher, Date: HarperCollins, 1985
Notes: Watch what happens after you give the mouse a cookie. It’s a story that goes in a circle. -->Author: Numeroff, Laura
Title: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Publisher, Date: HarperCollins, 1985
Notes: Watch what happens after you give the mouse a cookie. It’s a story that goes in a circle. -->

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Magazines for Children

A fun way to introduce
children to the world of reading is through the use of magazines created especially
for them. They will look forward to receiving them in the mail as well as enjoying
them with an important adult. Some suggested titles are:

Babybug

Cricket Magazine Group (1-800-827-0227)

www.cricketmag.com

Rhymes, stories and illustrations for babies, toddlers and parents to read,
recite and enjoy together again and again. Board book format will stand up to
rough handling.

Highlights for Children
Highlights for Children (1-888-876-3809)
www.Highlights.com
Aimed at children ages 2-12, this multi-leveled magazine offers puzzles and poetry, riddles, jokes, cartoons, science articles, and a variety of short stories. -->Highlights for Children
Highlights for Children (1-888-876-3809)
www.Highlights.com
Aimed at children ages 2-12, this multi-leveled magazine offers puzzles and poetry, riddles, jokes, cartoons, science articles, and a variety of short stories. -->

Ladybug

Cricket Magazine Group (1-800-827-0227)

www.cricketmag.com

Stories, songs and games for children ages 3-6 years old to enjoy with an adult.

Spider

Cricket Magazine Group (1-800-827-0227)

www.cricketmag.com

Stories, songs and activity ideas for beginning readers. Recommended for ages
5-8.

Wild Animal
Baby


National Wildlife Foundation (1-800-611-1599)

www.nwf.org

A sturdy, board-book format nature magazine for babies and toddlers ages 12
months to 3 years.

Your Big Backyard

National Wildlife Foundation (1-800-611-1599)

www.nwf.org

An award-winning monthly nature magazine for children ages 3-7 by the creators
of Ranger Rick.

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Music for Young
Children

All children enjoy music. Simple rhythms, lyrics that reflect the child's world and traditional play songs and simple dances are included on this list. Learning to play music may also help children academically as well. A good music store will have popular musical recodings for children of different ages in many other styles and featuring a variety of artists.



40 Winks

Performed by Jessica Harper

Alacazam!, 1999

"I dreamed my children went to bed and slept all through the night...."
and this lovely recording of original lullabies will help them do just
that.

Babysong

Perofremed by Hap Palmer
Activity Records, 1991

A delightful collection of simple, melodic and entertaining songs that
address the interests and challenges of a young child.

Classical Child at the Opera

Performed by various artists

Metro Music, 2000

The musical quality and catchy tunes in this collection of robust arias
and duets from famous operas will make even opera-phobics pause to listen.

Elmopalooza!

Performed by Sesame Street characters and various artists

Sony Wonder, 1999

Join Elmo, big Bird and the rest of the Sesame Street cast for an all-star,
rock-n-roll extravaganza.



Jazz-A-Ma-Tazz

Performed by Hayes Greenfield and others

Baby Music Boom, 1999

In this introduction to the world of jazz, each cut is a fresh interpretation
of a traditional children’s song or lullaby that the whole family
will enjoy.

Guthrie, Woody and Arlo Guthrie
This Land is Your Land
Rounder Records, 1998
Rollicking classics re-created by digitizing tapes of Woody’s vocals with those of his son and other musicians. -->Guthrie, Woody and Arlo Guthrie
This Land is Your Land
Rounder Records, 1998
Rollicking classics re-created by digitizing tapes of Woody’s vocals with those of his son and other musicians. -->

 

For more
suggestions of popular books and recordings for children, visit your neighborhood
library or see our website: www.queenslibrary.org

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