Category Archives: Children / Teens

The Westminster tooth fairy part 2

Last month, we blogged about a new campaign by our colleagues in Public Health to encourage children to look after their teeth. You can read more about the Westminster tooth  fairy here

Two of our libraries supported the campaign, which is aimed at children aged three to seven, with two fun filled information packed events.  With 35% of five year old children presenting with at least one decayed or missing tooth the need for more information for parents around simple preventative measures is evident.

The children watched a film about the Westminster tooth fairy (available at http://www.westminstertoothfairy.com) showing was supported by a carousel of activities delivered by the dental and oral health teams, colouring pictures of healthy snacks, dressing up as dentists and toothbrushes, and sticking sticky food on the teeth.

Hatty Skinner, our  Children’s Officer delivered an interactive story session at Pimlico Library to children from Pimlico Primary. Library staff, Eric Walker and Simon Williams did a riveting double act with the same Dinosaur Douglas story at Maida Vale Library for the Year 1s from Essendine Primary School.

The children enjoyed the events and we all learned some important facts about looking after our pearly whites.

And if you’d like to know more – check out the resources for parents and carers on the Westminster website.

Kate Gielgud, Health Information Officer

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The Westminster tooth fairy

Our colleagues in Public Health recently launched a campaign to encourage children to look after their teeth with a video and a quiz, take a look at the Westminster tooth fairy

They also spoke to a local dentist –

How to keep your children’s teeth healthy – top tips from a local dentist

We sat down with Dr Emilie Szasz, dentist at South Kensington’s Imperial College Dental Surgery, to find out her top tips for keeping our children’s teeth healthy.

We all know that children need to go to the dentist, but how often?

Children should visit the dentist every 6-12 months unless their dentist finds that they consume a lot of sugar or have fillings or decay in which case they should go every 3 months. Never leave it more than 12 months as children develop decay faster than adults.

Children can be reluctant to brush their teeth twice a day, how can we change this?

The trick is to get them into the habit from very early on so it’s part of their routine. Children should brush without parental help until they’re 7. Make it fun; sing a song, use an app – there are plenty on the market – or time yourself for the recommended 2 minutes. And remember; don’t get your children to rinse their mouths after brushing as they’ll lose some of the protection that helps to strengthen their teeth.

So what food and drink should children avoid?

It won’t make you popular but sweets, processed foods and fizzy drinks should be avoided. Raisins are packed full of sugar and get stuck in teeth so should only be eaten at meal times. Fruit, veg and nuts are the snacks we should be handing our children.

Looking for more advice?

Watch the ‘Tale of Triumph over Terrible Teeth’ with your child to find out more and put your knowledge to the test at the Westminster tooth fairy webpage.

Never too young

You’re never too young to enjoy a good story, and at your local library children are welcome to join from birth. It’s absolutely free and for children there aren’t any fines for returning books late.

Did you know that all families with babies aged 0-12 months are eligible for a free Bookstart baby pack?  Each pack contains two books, a rhyme sheet and a booklet of tips and ideas for sharing stories with your child. Pop into your local library to pick yours up today.

If you’re interested in getting involved in your local reading community, check out the fun under-fives activities on offer at your local library.

And remember, we understand that children can be noisy (and sometimes messy!) so don’t worry too much about being quiet; we love to see young children enjoying our libraries and welcome their enthusiasm!

By taking out books and reading with your child every day you can help their physical, mental and emotional development as well as language and listening skills. Plus, you get to enjoy some fantastic stories!

“A love of reading is more important in academic achievement than a child’s social or economic background.” –Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, ‘Reading for change’ 2001

Happy reading!

Harriet Skinner

Libraries Children’s Officer

Half term fun at Maida Vale Library

Maida Vale Library hosted a full programme of events for children during half term.

There has been an ongoing treasure hunt to find spooky Halloween characters hidden around the library.

Spooky!

On Monday we had two really well attended sessions for our popular rocket making session in the morning and again in the afternoon – more than 80 children and adults came along.

Rockets!

On Tuesday we hosted an Elmer Day event. A bit late I know (or early as they’ll be another on 26 May 2018), but better late than never! The children listened to some stories about the multi-coloured elephant, played a game, then coloured in pictures and elephant ears and made an Elmer model.

On Thursday we were making spooky puppets from felt in the morning and afternoon and again and we were joined by over 100 children and adults! Hopefully everyone had a great time and I was ably supported by volunteers Lisa and Khaleda, so a big thank you to them.

A spooky Dracula!

There was also time for sharing stories, so something for everyone.

Halloween stories!

Simon Williams
Maida Vale Library

PS – if you’re interested in volunteering with us, we have more information here

Pimlico Library celebrates Libraries Week

Pimlico Library celebrated Libraries Week yesterday, Thursday 12 October with the Worlds of Possibilities festival – a free series of artistic activities in public libraries held to celebrate the wide range of activities and opportunities available in libraries.

Pupils from two local schools experienced an afternoon of poetry and performance workshops; poet and playwright,  Tommy Sissons entertained two classes from Pimlico Academy and three classes from Pimlico Primary got to meet author, Smriti Prasadam-Halls.

Smriti Prasadam-Halls read from her book T-Veg, about a vegetarian dinosaur, to primary school pupils from Pimlico Primary. She also spoke about other stories she’s written and where she gets her ideas from.

Tommy Sissons read poems from his book Goodnight Son and hosted a Q&A session with secondary school pupils on writing and being a poet.

Both events were also attended by Libraries Minister, John Glen MP and Cllr Jacqui Wilkinson, Deputy Cabinet Member for Environment, Sports and Community.

Thank you to Smriti, Tommy, pupils and teachers from Pimlico Primary and Pimlico Academy for contributing to such a fantastic event!

Animal Magic at Queen’s Park Library

Elmer the Elephant

A team of children and parents got together to bring back Elmer the patchwork elephant’s colours with amazing results – Elmer is grateful and we are proud. Everyone went a bit mad with the glitter, putting some spark back into a moody London day.

elmer

In Disguise

There were lots of creative, colourful and expressive badges made at our “In Disguise” event. By the end of the session children were proudly wearing their designs; animals, stars, names, emojis and slogans.

We particularly liked “Reading is Great”.

In between making badges several participants chose their animal face paint design and managed not to wriggle too much during their transformation.

There were tigers, dinosaurs, butterflies, pandas and a Dalmatian. Plus one Batman by special request. A bat is an animal we were told, firmly.

ZooLab!

The fantastic ZooLab held a crowd of children spellbound this week. Ranger Lillian told the tale of the stolen seed with a cast of creepy-crawlies including Mike the millipede and Thelma the tarantula. The children learned lots of interesting facts about the creatures and got to hold or stroke them too.

There are more events coming up at Queen’s Park Library as part of the Summer Reading Challenge including “Fabulous Fish”, “Beastly Super Sleuths” and “Canine Culture”.

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French Culture Day at Church Street Library

Drama, music, suspense, storytelling and so much more were on offer on Tuesday 4 July at Church Street Library for French Culture Day.

And the pirates’ treasure was found!

French Culture Day kicked off in the morning with Institut français’ Anna Orford and her wonderfully eclectic under 5s storytelling session (in French and English) with songs, suspense and French book prizes (and the treasure was made of chocolate!).

There was a treasure hunt, later on in the day, for children aged 5-10, followed by a French class for adults. Altogether, more than 135 people joined us on the day.

I would like to say a  massive heartfelt thank you to our irreplaceable French Club tutors/volunteers Elodie and Tissam. They prepared the treasure hunt (clues, images, prizes etc) and adult lesson plan for the French class.

Most importantly, Elodie established a partnerships with King Solomon Academy’s French teacher, that was a great help as the teacher and two of her Year 13 pupils helped with running  the treasure hunt. This will hopefully lead to further joint events. I honestly couldn’t have done this without them!

Last but not least, Emmanuelle from Institut français kindly donated boxes of French books (which we also used as treasure hunt prizes) for the French book sale and the books sold very well. Oh and she said, let’s do this again around Christmas time!

Debora, Church Street Library