Guess Who?

Posted on Thursday, February 8, 2018 by Katie

We are going to play a game. I’ll give you a handful of facts about a famous person, and you try and guess the person. If you are right, there is a prize for you at the end of this post. Ready? Here we go!

  1. We don’t know his exact birthday because he was born a slave. Historians think it was around 1864. We do know he died on January 5, 1943.
  2. He was born in Diamond, Missouri.
  3. He studied plants, especially the peanut.
  4. He only filed for three patents in his life, though by his own admittance he made over 300 products.
  5. He called weeds “nature’s vegetables.”

Okay, those are your clues.  Any ideas? Continue reading “Guess Who?”

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”

Mastering Mathematics

Posted on Thursday, November 9, 2017 by Katie

Photo of child doing mathWould you like the chance for the kids in your family to explore math activities for free? Then join us on November 11 from 3-4 p.m. for Math + Story. Mu Alpha Theta (the mathematics honor society from Hickman High) will have several stations in the Children’s Program Room at the Columbia Public Library for children (ages 5-7) to exercise their math literacy skills.

If this time doesn’t work for you or if you would like explore the topic further, our libraries have several other options for you.  We have a wonderful collection of books that explain mathematical concepts for every age level in our nonfiction collections for kids. We also several preloaded tablets, called Launchpads, that teach math concepts and can be checked out from one of our library branches or bookmobiles.

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”

You Can Still Sign Up for Summer Reading!

Posted on Thursday, July 13, 2017 by Katie

Photo of girls signing up for Summer ReadingAttention Readers! It’s not too late to sign up for Summer Reading–you have until July 22.

If you have already signed up, be sure to swing by your library to show off where you are on your reading log.  We love seeing your progress! Don’t forget to bring those charts back by your library or bookmobile when you finish to pick out your free book and enter into our prize drawings.

Did you know we also have Summer Reading for adults? It’s true! Adults can still sign up for their Summer Reading either online, at their library or on a bookmobile.

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”