Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message

Posted on Monday, November 19, 2018 by Megan

Giving Thanks book coverAs Thanksgiving draws near, I was challenged to find a children’s picture book that represented the first Thanksgiving from a Native American perspective. Sadly, there weren’t a lot to choose from, but my favorite was “Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message” by Jake Swamp. This text is an adaptation of the Mohawk Thanksgiving address, and at the end of the book there is a condensed version of the English text translated into the Mohawk language or kaniakehala.

Chief Swamp’s words are straightforward and easy for children to understand, and the entire book is a beautiful and elegant way to take into account everything from the fish in the sea to the stars in the sky. I highly recommend getting this book on audio so that you can hear the traditional words at the end. However, the print edition has bold illustrations that are a wonderful companion to the powerful sentiment expressed.

Practicing gratitude is something I try to do all year long, but it is especially meaningful during this time of the year. For a simple way to help your little ones understand and express gratitude for the people and things around them, you can create your own gratitude garland.

Gratitude Garland Continue reading “Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message”

2018 Missouri Building Block Nominee: A Good Day for a Hat

Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2018 by Molly

A Good Day for a HatMr. Brown is ready to leave his house. So, he dons his purple hat with the pink flower. But as he opens the door and starts to step outside, he stops abruptly. Oh no, it’s raining! Fortunately, Mr. Brown has just the hat for that. However, as he starts to leave the house again—this time wearing his rain hat—it’s snowing!

In “A Good Day for a Hat” by T. Nat Fuller, Mr. Brown struggles to find the perfect hat on a day when the weather, and sometimes even the scene outside his door (anything from a rodeo to a sailing ship), keeps changing. Hats fly off and on in rapid succession, until Mr. Brown makes an important decision that saves the day.

Full of delightful characters, repetitive phrases and bright colors, this charming 2018 Missouri Building Block nominee is sure to be a hit with your little ones. (Look closely for a certain “someone” on every page who provides a magical element to this story!)

When you finish the book, enjoy these additional fun activities.

Make Paper Plate Crowns

Make a simple crown for kids to decorate and wear. All you need is a pencil, a paper plate, scissors and decorations.

Step 1: With a pencil, divide the plate up into 8 sections as if you were cutting a pie.
Step 2: Start in the center and cut along the “pie” section lines, leaving the outside rim of the plate intact.
Step 3: Separate the “pie sections” and push them up to form the crown tips.
Step 4: Decorate the crown with a variety of crayons, markers, stickers, etc.!

Check out this video on making paper plate crowns. Find more paper plate hat ideas at the blog, Alpha Mom.

Continue reading “2018 Missouri Building Block Nominee: A Good Day for a Hat”

Let’s Get Ready for Some Football Food!

Posted on Monday, November 12, 2018 by Erin

Cool Game Day Parties CoverFootball season is well underway. (This season has been especially fun for me because the Kansas City Chiefs are on a winning streak!) One of my favorite things to do on game day is create scrumptious game day food. For all those other sports-loving chefs out there, this blog is dedicated to you.

For common party foods that are great for game days, give “Cool Game Day Parties” a read. The recipes range from simple ideas, such as the Classic Chili Dogs, to more creative concoctions like the Perfect Party Pizza Dip. This book even contains deserts to help celebrate the wins or console the loses. Many of the recipes have only 4 simple steps, perfect for our kiddos or busy parents.

Looking for more of a challenge? If so, try “Food, Football, and Fun!” It’ll give you some awesome recipes to help you fuel up for game day.

2018 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Go Sleep in Your Own Bed!

Posted on Thursday, November 8, 2018 by Brianna

Go to Sleep in Your Own BedAll the animals are mixed up on the farm, and it’s delightful bedtime confusion. In the Missouri Building Block nominee “Go Sleep in Your Own Bed!” each animal heads to their bed only to find it already occupied! As each is kicked out and goes to their own bed, the cycle continues. The illustrations are done in lovely muted blues, greens and browns, perfect for a sleepy bedtime story. Each animal makes a sound before they’re kicked out of bed, which makes it fun for children to predict what animal is next! This is a great read aloud, as it’s full of fun animal sounds and onomatopoeia. If you want to extend the farm animal fun, try singing this song courtesy of Library Storytime ABC’s:

The Animals on the Farm
(Sung to: “The Wheels on the Bus”)

The cow on the farm says,
“Moo, moo, moo!
Moo, moo, moo!
Moo, moo, moo!”
The cow on the farm says,
“Moo, moo, moo!”
All day long.
Mooooooooooo! Continue reading “2018 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Go Sleep in Your Own Bed!”

Crafts for Kids: Baker’s Clay

Posted on Monday, November 5, 2018 by Jessica M

The temperature outside is inching downward, but we all know that kids’ energy has no season. They’re almost always alert and ready to go! However, cold weather can put a damper on the usual outdoor activities. If you’re looking for a fun, indoor craft that will inspire creativity (and might even sneak in a bit of education) then here’s a suggestion for you!

Baker’s clay is a craft that can be made at home with simple ingredients. The clay is easy for kids to mold and fun for making letters, numbers or shape creations. With parental help to cook it up, this can be a fun afternoon activity for the family. The baker’s clay recipe comes from page 3 of Recipes for Fun, a pamphlet of activities for ages birth to five we have available at the library.

Photo of Orange, Yellow, and Red Hello Molding Clay

What you need:

  • Mixing spoon
  • Bowl
  • Cookie sheet
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • Art Supplies (optional)
  • Non-toxic water-based sealer (optional)

Continue reading “Crafts for Kids: Baker’s Clay”

2018 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Plankton Is Pushy

Posted on Thursday, November 1, 2018 by Lyndsey

Plankton Is Pushy book coverPlankton likes to say hello to all his fellow sea creatures, but what happens when Mussel doesn’t return the greeting? Plankton gets pushy!

Jonathan Fenske’s book, “Plankton Is Pushy,” is a 2018 Missouri Building Block nominee that is entertaining to read aloud and requires a bit of acting. In order to get Mussel to talk, Plankton tries everything from lecturing him to begging. The surprise ending will leave you and your audience giggling. Although this book is written in conversational style, many of the pages have no words at all. Readers must rely on body language and facial expression alone to understand the character dynamics. This is a great social skill for younger kids to learn!

After you’ve finished reading “Plankton Is Pushy,” you and your little one can create an ocean themed sensory bottle. These are great for exploration and also a good way to calm down, especially when one might be feeling a little pushy! Continue reading “2018 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Plankton Is Pushy”

Broom, Broom, Broom — Happy Halloween!

Posted on Monday, October 29, 2018 by Kristy

Child in witch costumeIf you’ve come to story times at the Columbia Public Library, then you’ve probably heard one of our favorite songs: Zoom, Zoom, Zoom. Usually we blast off to the moon in our rocket ships after this rhyme, but my awesome coworker has created new lyrics for our patrons who celebrate Halloween.

Broom, Broom, Broom — Happy Halloween!

Broom, broom, broom, we’re going to the moon.
Broom, broom, broom, we’re going to the moon.
If you want to be a witch, climb aboard my little switch.
Broom, broom, broom, we’re going to the moon
5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Happy Halloween!

-Megan Durham, DBRL

Have fun singing this not-so-spooky song with your little ones!

2018 Missouri Building Block Award Nominee: Barnacle is Bored

Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2018 by Amy

Barnacle is Bored book cover

“I’m Bored!” Two words that every child is destined to say at some point or another. In the Missouri Building Block nominee “Barnacle is Bored” by Jonathan Fenske, Barnacle says these same fateful words as he waits for adventure to happen. Then a colorful fish swims by. Barnacle bets the fish doesn’t have a boring life. With a surprising ending, it turns out exciting isn’t always better! This picture book is a playful answer to any child’s declaration of boredom.

Extend the fun at home of the with the simple science experiment below.

Salt water sink or float

Use this experiment to show how salt water makes it easier for objects to float. Fill two small see-through tubs halfway with water and add ½ cup of salt to one of the tubs. Stir until the salt dissolves. Gather everyday objects that you don’t mind getting wet. Spend a little time predicting whether each object will sink or float before you toss them in. What happens? Some of your items that sink in the plain water will float in the salt water because adding the salt to the water made it more dense.

Once you have read at least five Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award nominees, help your child vote for their favorite. Voting is open to children in kindergarten and younger and goes through December. The winner will be announced in February.

2018 Missouri Building Block Nominee: I Got a New Friend

Posted on Thursday, October 18, 2018 by Molly

I Got a New Friend book coverFriends are the best! They not only help us build up our self confidence and fine-tune our social skills, but they also provide us with an increased sense of belonging and purpose. A really good friend can help us discover our true selves and can also provide support when we cope with tough issues.

In the 2018 Missouri Building Block Nominee “I Got a New Friend,” author Karl Newsom covers the basics of learning to be a friend, wrapped up in sweet and simple narrative any child will love. Here’s a sample from the first few pages: “I got a new friend. She’s kind of shy. At first, she was scared. But she got used to me.” At the very back of the book, there are also some helpful tips on how to care for your new friend.

Overall, this delightful book has a delightful twist! Who is really telling the story?

When you finish reading, here are a couple of friendship activities for you and your child to enjoy!

Have some fun with this friendship fingerplay! Continue reading “2018 Missouri Building Block Nominee: I Got a New Friend”

Graphic Novels We Love: Anne of Green Gables

Posted on Monday, October 15, 2018 by Megan

Anne of Green Gables book cover

“I’m so glad we live in a world where there are Octobers.”- L.M. Montgomery

I have always been a fan of “Anne of Green Gables” by L.M. Montgomery.  My parents read me the first two books when I was in the second grade, and I was further hooked when I watched the “Anne of Green Gables” movie starring Megan Follows. Ever since then, I have devoured anything to do with my beloved Anne—including throwing myself an Anne of Green Gables themed party for my 31st birthday! Visiting Prince Edward Island is still high on my to do list, and I’m hoping to make the trek sometime in the not so distant future. My newest Anne find is the “Anne of Green Gables: A Graphic Novel” by Kansas City native Mariah Marden. This a great read for both die-hards like myself and for folks who may be daunted by the prospect of reading all 440 pages of the original novel. The text touched on all of my favorite scenes—Anne discovering the White Way of Delight, Matthew fretting over Anne’s puff sleeves—and the playful illustrations by Brenna Thummler fully capture the quiet beauty of Avonlea that Montgomery so lovingly describes. For a perfect fall afternoon, grab a fuzzy blanket and a cup of cider and curl up with this book!