Think back to a time when you felt “different.” Perhaps you were in a situation where you didn’t look like or act like everyone else. Maybe you couldn’t keep up with an activity due to physical limitations or lack of skill sets. Regardless of why you felt the way you did, you remember these times because they evoked strong emotions. Brene Brown, American author and research professor at the University of Houston, provides some insight into this universal need to fit in. “A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically and spiritually wired to love, to be loved and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don’t function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick.”
With the need to belong such an important aspect of the human condition, authors of children’s books in particular frequently address the issue of being different. For example, in the book “Carrot and Pea” by Morag Hood, Lee and his friends all look alike and enjoy the same games. That is, except for Colin. But Colin, who is a carrot, doesn’t feel left out because he is appreciated for his uniqueness. In her book “You Are (Not) Small,” author Anna Kang delivers a powerful message about being different using a humorous dialogue between two creatures who attempt to label one another either “big” or “small.” It’s only when an outsider shows up that the two creatures realize that how they perceive each other, and others around them, is all relative.
DBRL offers a variety of books to choose from on the subject of being different. Here are just a few.
Everyone loves a good joke! So, it’s no surprise we have a full day devoted to telling them. According to the National Day Calendar™, August 16 is National Tell a Joke Day.
Participating in National Tell a Joke Day is easy cheesy. Just do at least one of the following: tell a joke, listen to a joke, laugh, celebrate, have fun and enjoy! You can also take it a step further and post jokes on Twitter by using the hashtag #NationalTellAJokeDay.
Then, after August 16, go ahead and keep “joking around.” Studies have shown that laughter is important to our mental health. According to a report in Psychology Today, “Humor and laughter are related to health and can release physical and emotional tension, improve immune functioning, stimulate circulation, elevate mood, enhance cognitive functioning and, not surprisingly, increase friendliness.” Continue reading “LOL! It’s National Tell a Joke Day!”
The world is an amazing place for young children. Growing up is an adventure, and everything must be tasted, smelled, touched. And yet, bridging the gap between childhood and adulthood is far from a walk in the park. Mastering basic fundamentals, such as walking and talking, is no small feat. Add to that the long list of appropriate social behaviors kids must learn. For instance, while eating food is encouraged, biting another person is taboo. Whereas holding a toy for the first time might garner smiles and applause, not sharing toys is frowned upon. With so many “rules” or social norms to absorb, it’s no wonder children find this whole becoming-an-adult thing confusing!
A great way to help your child confidently navigate the world of appropriate social behaviors is by introducing them to fictional characters who struggle with the same issues. This is where the library can be an awesome resource!
The great outdoors is officially open! Time to jump into all those warm weather activities you and your family have been dreaming of for the past several months, right? Then again, what if your child is dreading their first swim lesson or struggling to ride their bike? Do you really know the official rules for sports such as four square, soccer or softball?
Don’t panic. You simply need to brush up on some of your summertime fun skills. Fortunately, DBRL offers a wide variety of books to help your family make a real splash this summer!
For instance, when it comes to helping your child master that two-wheeler, look no further than “Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bicycle” by Christopher Raschka. This story features a father teaching his daughter about bicycle riding, covering everything from selecting the right bike to never giving up.
What’s the best part about summer? More time to read! For school-age children in particular, these lazy, hazy days are ideal for diving into books that they may not get a chance to read during the school year. Summer is also a great time to explore award-winning books. Be sure to check out DBRL’s many children’s book lists for inspiration. Equally important, summer reading helps keep reading skills sharp!
Of course, for parents and guardians, the beautiful weather and plethora of outdoor activities can make reading a hard sell this time of year. But don’t dismay! We’re here to help.
First and foremost, beginning May 30, visit one of our DBRL branches or stop by a bookmobile, and sign up for our free “Libraries Rock!” Summer Reading program! Kids and teens who complete their reading challenge receive a free book and will also be entered into our drawing for some awesome prizes.
Live in a rural area? Children and teens in grades K-12 who attend school in Auxvase, Hallsville, Harrisburg, Hatton, Holts Summit, Kingdom City, Mokane New Bloomfield, Sturgeon or Williamsburg can participate in Summer Reading through our “Books by Snail” program.
Your heart pounds and your palms sweat. You check the clock. Time is running out. By now, you’re wondering, “Can we solve the clues, open the locks and complete our mission on time?!” You’re “trapped” in an escape room…and having the time of your life!
If you haven’t heard of escape rooms, Wikipedia provides a pretty good definition: “…a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints and strategy to complete the objectives at hand.” Believed to have originated in Japan, escape rooms started popping up in North America, Europe and East Asia in the 2010s. Since then, the popularity of this entertainment phenomenon has soared. According to roomescapeartist.com, in the US alone, between 2014 and 2017, the number of escape room companies grew from 22 to a staggering 1800, with many of these hosting multiple locations and multiple rooms per site.
Not surprising, the success of the escape room industry has opened the door to other escape-type experiences. So now, anyone can create an escape challenge in their home, office, school and so on.
Here are just a few of the many alternative escape rooms you might want to consider for your next family get-together, group meetup or office event.
Merriam-Webster defines onomatopoeia as “the naming of a thing or action by a vocal imitation of the sound associated with it (such as buzz, hiss).” In the poem above, “woof” and “meow” are onomatopoeias.
Books that feature onomatopoeias are not only fun to listen to but are also fun to read. Consider the classic “Mr Brown Can Moo! Can You?” by Dr. Seuss. Whether reader or listener, it’s hard not to laugh when Mr. Brown sounds off with everything from “moo moo” and “boom boom” to “sizzle sizzle” and “blurp blurp!”
At DBRL, we have a wide variety of books that feature onomatopoeias. Here are a few (from a very long list!) you can enjoy with your children.
In today’s technology-driven world, it can be easy to forget that educating our children about practical life skills is just as important as, say, instructing them on operating their smart devices. Going a step further, chances are that basic life skills kids learn today (such as how to prepare a meal, do laundry, count change and so on) will be utilized long after the latest technology is obsolete.
However, even if teaching life skills is on your radar, you many not immediately think of sewing as one of them. And yet, as with all basic skills, learning to sew helps children become more self-reliant. The act of sewing helps a child improve dexterity, fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Sewing also builds self-confidence, encourages creativity and fosters a sense of accomplishment. When a child sews, they learn patience and perseverance, as well as the satisfaction of a job well done. Continue reading “Ready…Set…Sew!”
A passage in “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams Bianco never fails to bring tears to my eyes: “Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become Real.” Even as an adult, I relate to Skin Horse at that moment because he is experiencing human emotions.
For most of us, childhood is when we learn to master feelings and emotions. And this can be challenging to say the least. Just ask any adult who has carried a screaming child out of a store.
According to an article in Psychology Today, reading to your child is one of the best ways to help them develop their emotional skill sets. Children realize they are not alone when they see fictional characters struggle to make sense of their emotions. They learn that it’s okay tohave feelings that you don’t always understand and that working through them is just a part of growing up. Continue reading “Feelings Are Universal”
When it comes to road trips, summer may be number one, but winter is a close second. It seems like everyone is either driving to the snow or driving away from it! But while you may be thinking, “Getting there is half the fun!” your kids may not agree. Car seats and wiggles go together about as well as fire and ice. Those initial giggles of excitement all too rapidly evaporate into, “Are we there yet?!”
While modern technology offers a plethora of entertainments, from video games to movies, there’s something to be said for “old-fashioned” options that many of us remember when we were knee-high to grasshoppers. A favorite of mine was when my mother would sing silly rhymes with us while Dad tried to navigate with little more than an atlas and a prayer.
To help make your winter journeys a bit less stressful, so everyone can truly enjoy the ride, here are a few sing-songs to add to your repertoire.