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New signs, games encourage early language development

Millie’s Garden at the Brighton District Library offers children and families rich sensory outdoor experiences that are imaginative, hands-on, and make learning fun. New to Millie’s Garden are interactive signs asking nature-based questions that encourage language development and talking between a caregiver and a child. An example of one of these questions is:  You have found the popcorn plant! Very gently rub a leaf between your thumb and finger while you count to five. Now smell your fingers. What do they smell like?

These questions and more are part of Livingston Educational Service Agency’s “Talking Is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” Livingston County community campaign, which is supported by the Community Foundation for Livingston County and other generous donors. The nationwide “Talking Is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” campaign was designed to support the development of early literacy skills beginning at birth.

The idea is simple: anyone can help a child get ready for reading and become a better reader by talking to them and asking questions about the things they see and do every day.

Families of all ages are invited to join us in Millie’s Garden Saturday, May 8, through Saturday, May 29, for an interactive game called The Great Garden Scavenger Hunt. Discover how good your eyes and sleuthing skills are by picking up a clue sheet at the Youth Services Desk; then use those skills to find treasures hidden throughout the Garden. When you’ve answered all of the clues, return your sheet to the Youth Services Desk, where it will be entered to win an Amazon Gift card.

Stop by Millie’s Garden to smell flowers, count the petals, and talk with your little one about the colors around them, about the darting hummingbirds and dragonflies, and the hidden surprises throughout, and know that your talking is teaching.

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The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.

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