Early Learning through Books, Dino O’Dell Knows!
Dino O’Dell is a favorite Kansas City children’s performer with a background in education and drama. Chances are you might have seen him perform at your local library or maybe he has even visited your child’s school. I was impressed by a simple quote he uses to describe what his goals are as he creates music, sing-a-longs and stories.
“We learn best when we are engaged and we are engaged best when the medium is interactive.” – Dino O’Dell
Dino O’Dell is including both of The Learning Tree stores in his stops around town to share his newest children’s book project titled Zar and the Broken Spaceship.
Dino knows the rhythms of his catchy, repeating story, with the modern Hokey Pokey actions, will pull kids right in. What seems like a simple children’s book, provides learning about language patterns, and opportunity for predicting and coordinating body movements from written commands. All kinds of learning is happening!
New research unveiling the benefits of early exposure to books is constantly being published in the fields of education, psychology, sociology and pediatrics. In 2014,
Frontiers, an open-access, academic network publisher, introduced the following topic:
A worldwide invitation was issued for submission of articles that uncover how and what, pre-reading children learn from books. Twenty-two articles were collected and published with the intent of providing a body of information for educators, researchers and parents interested in children’s learning. The articles cover a wide range of sub-topics including the value of book illustrations, children’s books as a resource for culturally appropriate emotions, and teaching math with children’s literature.
Books can be part of all kinds of learning and influence behavior in surprising ways. One article titled Let’s look at leeks! Picture books increase toddlers’ willingness to look at, taste and consume unfamiliar vegetables (Heath, Houston-Price and Kennedy, 2014) made a surprising connection between book exposure and eating habits. Shared storybook reading is part of bedtime routine for many families. A study conducted by Williams and Horst (2014) indicates it may have more value than previously recognized.
Research indicated that reading immediately before a period of sleep facilitates preschool children’s word learning. And more good news, the same is true in studies conducted with older children and adults! Sharing books is an enjoyable adult-child activity. Books are wonderful tools for learning and teaching. They can celebrate milestones- losing a first tooth, starting kindergarten or the arrival of a new sibling. Books can support difficult conversations surrounding divorce, illness or loss.
Our knowledgeable Learning Tree staff and exceptional Book Manager, Beth Roberts, are always happy to make book recommendations and welcome your requests. You may reach us at 913-385-1234.