1,000 Things Before Kindergarten Challenge
Nourishing a child’s brain is one of the most important things a parent or caregiver can do. From holding and kissing, to talking about feelings, to counting out loud, these simple activities can have a huge impact on a child’s well-being and future.
Botetourt County Libraries wants to help families be successful in this endeavor so that the entire community can grow together. To help us achieve this goal we have worked with the Library of Virginia and the Botetourt County Kiwanis Club to create the 1,000 Things Before Kindergarten Challenge. This challenge is geared towards early childhood development for those ages 0-5.
So why 1,000 things? Years ago libraries around the country championed 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten. reated by the 1,000 Books Foundation, the challenge encourages parents to help children read at least 1,000 books before they enter the school system. After years of participation, the Library of Virginia decided to go one step further. They realized that it isn’t just books that help influence the development of a child’s brain, but also the things we do to supplement those books, such as talking about the book or relating it to everyday activities.
Science shows that 80 percent of brain growth happens by the age of 3! The brain is a muscle and it gets bigger and stronger the more we use it. Interacting with your child through engaging activities such as reading, writing, singing, playing and talking is the biggest contributor to developing your child’s brain.
After months of research and planning, we’re excited to release our take on 1,000 Things Before Kindergarten. Using our online challenge platform, Beanstack, we have created a challenge for you and your family based upon the five basic pillars of parenting put out by TheBasics.org.
“Maximize love and manage stress” by playing together and creating daily routines. “Talk, sing and point” through daily conversations and expanding on what your child says. “Count, group and compare” by stacking blocks or having your child help measure ingredients while cooking together. “Explore through movement and play” while taking a walk or playing guessing games. “Read and discuss stories” while snuggling up and re-reading your favorites. Implementing these basic pillars of parenting into your daily routines will have a lasting effect on your child and the community you live in.
Here’s how it works: Create an account at www.botetourtva.beanstack.org (you may already have an account if you participated in our Summer Reading Challenge). Add your child (aged 0-5) as a reader to your account. Register for the 1,000 Things Before Kindergarten Challenge. Spend time together everyday reading and doing activities (“things”). Log individual books and/or the activities we have suggested for you under the activity badges section. For every book read and every activity completed you will earn 1 point. Earn 50 points and your child will earn a FREE book. Continue logging and for every 100 points earned your child will receive another FREE book!
It’s that simple. And Botetourt County Libraries will be here to help you and your family along the way as you raise a bright and successful child.
By Jaime Duval
Eagle Rock Branch