Rainbow Foam Bubbles

Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2018 by Katie

bath toysBubbles are great fun for kids and adults alike! The following rainbow foam bubble recipe is magical, and mixing the colors can be a learning experience for your kiddos. This foam is a quick to make and easy to clean. You do use soap to make the bubbles, so little ones who tend to put stuff in their mouths should have close supervision.

What you need:

  • 2 tablespoons of dish soap (Liquid bubble bath will also work.)
  • 1/4 cup of water (If you have hard water you might want to use bottled water instead.)
  • Food coloring or liquid watercolors*
  • Large bowl
  • Hand mixer

What you do:

Combine the dish soap, water and color in a bowl and mix on the highest possible setting for a minute or two to make foam, which will form stiff peaks when ready. You can make several batches, adding a new color to each. Pour the foam out into a bathtub, sink or large container. Kiddos will love exploring the colors and texture of the foamy bubbles. For extra fun, add some waterproof toys to the foam.

* Food coloring can stain clothing and potentially hands, feet, hair, etc. You might want to explore liquid watercolors — they don’t stain, their colors are  vibrant, they mix well and they are inexpensive.

Books We Love: The Bad Seed

Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2018 by Katie

"The Bad Seed" book coverThe main character of “The Bad Seed” is a bad seed. Everyone says so, even the seed himself. He admits to all sorts of naughty things, like not putting things back where they belong, being late to everything, not washing his hands (or feet) and he even cuts in line!  Why is he so bad? Will he be bad forever?

Jory John (author of “Penguin Problems,” and “Goodnight Already!“) tells the story from the seed’s point of view. He describes the simple sunflower he lived in with his family (back when he was just a humble seed, living in an unremarkable field of sunflowers). Then some stuff happened — it’s all kind of a blur for our seed character — and now he is a bad seed.  Not just any kind of bad seed, but a baaaaaaaaaad seed. Continue reading “Books We Love: The Bad Seed”

DIY Discovery Basket

Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2017 by Katie

Photo of child with a basketLittle ones like figuring out the answers to problems, especially if there is a reward at the end. (For example: How do you escape the playpen? Where did mom hide the cookies?) You can encourage problem solving by creating situations where your child gets to explore and work out their own solution in a safe and stress-free environment. One way to do this is to make a sensory basket. If you have a basket (laundry baskets of any size or shape work well) and string or yarn, then you can create an activity that will encourage little hands to work out how to retrieve their toys.

Discovery basket instructions:

  1. Place some toys in the bottom of your basket.
  2. Tie the end of your string or yarn to one side the basket and cross to the opposite side.
  3. Loop the string through and around a hole, and then it pull taunt. Keep doing this over and over, forming a spider web-like structure through out the basket, with the toys ‘trapped’ in the bottom.
  4. When you’re done, tie off your string and let your child play! Their goal is to work the toys through the string and out of the basket. Continue reading “DIY Discovery Basket”

Books Soon to Be Movies!

Posted on Thursday, October 12, 2017 by Katie

Wonderstruck movie posterAs both a book lover and library employee, it is my duty to encourage everyone to read the books that movies are based on. Some folks like to read before they watch, while others watch then read. Either way, I’ve put together a list of movies that will be released this fall or winter that are based on well-known children’s books.

If your family wishes to read (or reread) the books before watching the movies, click on the titles below for their link to our catalog.

Rhythmic Reads

Posted on Monday, September 18, 2017 by Katie

photo of a child playing a guitarRecently, I have been sifting through the children’s nonfiction books, searching for damaged and outdated materials. This has led me to discover some great yet overlooked books hidden on bottom shelves. Some of my new favorite books from these low-lying shelves are about songs, and they are located in the E782.4216 section.

The books in this section often have gorgeous illustrations that accompany the lyrics of children’s songs and rhymes. These are great for parents and caregivers who can’t remember all the words to songs they want to share with their children, such as “Hush Little Baby” or “Canadian Lullaby” (a frequent story time favorite).

These books are also beneficial for those who don’t want to or can’t sing. When reading songs aloud, you can transform them into chants, which can be just as beneficial for little listeners. Chants break words into smaller parts, emphasizing individual sounds. Knowledge of these smaller parts and sounds can later help early readers sound out words.

Remember, this section is E782.4216. If you are unfamiliar with the early childhood nonfiction section, ask a library staff member; we will be more than happy to show you where it is.

Firefly Craft

Posted on Wednesday, August 2, 2017 by Katie

What can you make with construction paper, crayons, Band-Aids, googly eyes and puffy paint? Adorable fireflies! I know it sounds a little odd, but stick with me here folks; these crafts are super-cute and are great for summertime while waiting for the sun to set and the fireflies to emerge.

This project is a little more material-heavy than the other crafts I usually share with you, but the end result is worth it. Plus, children will not only experience working with different medias but will also learn how to recycle common household materials to make original artwork.

Firefly craftSupplies

  • Black, blue or purple construction paper
  • Yellow and white crayons
  • Plain Band-Aids (not clear)
  • Colorful Band-Aids
  • Tiny googly eyes
  • Yellow puffy paint (or yellow paper circles or yellow pom poms)
  • Glue
  • Chalk (optional)

Instructions
Continue reading “Firefly Craft”

Laughing in the Library

Posted on Thursday, June 8, 2017 by Katie

"The Legend of Rock, Paper Scissors" book coverI love sharing my favorite books with others, especially when they make me laugh! I found a great one last week, and not only did I make my co-workers read it right then and there, but I also just had to write a blog about it!

The book is “The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors” by Drew Daywalt and Adam Rex. The story opens in “The Kingdom of Backyard,” where the great warrior Rock is unsatisfied with his conquests; there are no opponents who present enough of a challenge for him. In other distant lands (“Empire of Mom’s Home Office” and “Ream of Kitchen”) Scissors and Paper are facing similar problems. All three venture to “The Great Cavern of Two-Car Garage” in search of worthy challengers. When they meet, an epic three-way battle begins, one that is still going on today. (Don’t worry, no one gets hurt.) The text is laugh-out-loud funny, and the illustrations are mesmerizing. Continue reading “Laughing in the Library”

DIY Bathtub Fun

Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2017 by Katie

Photograph of baby in bathtub Have you ever heard of bathtub crayons? They’re these cool drawing tools that allow kids to scribble on the tub, and they are a great for incentive for kids to get in and stay in their bath. When bath time is over, just rise the marks off, and you have a clean slate. These crayons can be purchased, but who wants to do that when you can make your own? DIY bathtub crayons allow you to mix your own colors, create crayons in fun shapes and will probably save you some money too.

To make one crayon of one color, you’ll need:

  • One block of glycerin soap (available at craft stores)
  • Food coloring
  • Glass measuring cup
  • Spoon (to stir with)
  • Ice cube tray, crayon mold or silicone mold
  • Knife and cutting board

Continue reading “DIY Bathtub Fun”

Shadow Drawing

Posted on Thursday, April 13, 2017 by Katie

One of the best ways for children to learn is though play and exploration, using as many senses as possible. When children are able to manipulate items and see the results of their actions, their understanding is greater, and their ability to fully grasp a concept is better.

Play is a wonderful way to introduce abstract concepts such as light and shadows. Below is a drawing activity that allows children to explore how shadows are created. All you will need are markers, paper and a few favorite toys. This activity fun to do outside but can be done inside using a light source such as a lamp.

  1. Find a flat place to lay out some paper.
  2. Place toys at the edge of the paper, with their shadow falling onto the paper.
  3. Trace the shadows with markers.
  4. After you have finished tracing the shadows, pick up the paper and look at the shapes you’ve created. If you would like, you can stop here, color in your shapes and talk about light and shadows. A more advanced option is to label the shadows with the time, and repeat these steps later. You can then observe how the shadows have changed as the sun moved. (If you are doing this activity inside, shift the lamp a tiny bit.)

Continue reading “Shadow Drawing”

Calling All Kids!

Posted on Thursday, March 9, 2017 by Katie

Photo of a string phoneAll DBRL libraries will be closed to the public on Friday, March 10 so that staff may have a day of training. However, this doesn’t mean your fun has to stop. Celebrate the day with a bit of history!

Did you know on March 10, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell made the first telephone call? He called Tomas Watson, his assistant. Mr. Alexander said “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you.” To find out more about this monumental moment, check out americaslibrary.gov.

Want to create your own telephone? You know, the ones with cups and string? If you have never tried them, they are pretty cool and really do transfer sound. All you need is two paper cups and a long piece of string. Simply poke a hole in the bottom on each cup. (You can use cans too, but it makes poking the holes more of a challenge.) Feed the string through, and then tie a knot on each end of the string. Make sure the knots are inside the cups. Now you’re done!

One person talks into their cup while the other listens. The key is to keep the string tight between the two cups, and don’t let it touch anything (like chairs or walls). The sound of your voice will cause vibrations in the cup, witch will transfer to the string and travel to the other cup. Once the vibrations hit the second cup, they will be converted back into sound waves for the listener.

Photo credit: Jeff_Werner Tin Can Phone – Knot via photopin (license)