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”

Kids Magazines and CDs at Your Library!

Posted on Monday, December 11, 2017 by Erin

National Geographic Kids Cover‘Tis the season for lots of traveling. And when you’ve heard the same children’s songs over and over and over again, going on a long car ride may not seem enjoyable. That’s where the library comes in! We have over a thousand different music titles just for kids alone. We have music for all ears–instrumental, Kidz Bop, Laurie Berknersoundtracks from children’s movies and so much more.

Did you know you can also check out magazines? You may check up to 5 of back issues at a time, and they check out for 3 weeks just like books! We have all the classics such as Highlights and Ranger Rick plus new titles such as Kazoo.

To see a list of all children’s magazines at our branches and bookmobiles, click here.

Want to see the library carry a specific magazine or music CD? Click here to suggest a purchase!

App Review: My Very Hungry Caterpillar AR

Posted on Thursday, December 7, 2017 by Megan

My Very Hungry Caterpillar AR app photo
We tried out the “My Very Hungry Caterpillar AR” at the library! Our little caterpillar got to play on the floor, on our desks and even in the stacks of books!

What’s the app all the kids are raving about? You know, the one where they wander around in real life interacting with critters and waiting for eggs to hatch? It stars a brightly-colored beloved character you might recognize from your own childhood–and it’s not Pokemon Go!  I’m talking about “My Very Hungry Caterpillar AR” app by StoryToys Entertainment Limited ($2.99).

This app is recommended for ages 4 and up. There is no text in this app, and you only have to know how to drag and drop to begin game play (which makes it perfect for a younger audience). The primary goal is to feed and care for your caterpillar. This is a great way to talk about the life cycle of a butterfly, though it is not 100% scientifically accurate. (You can play catch and create artwork with your caterpillar, which not something I would try real life!) As of right now, this app is only available for iPhone and iPad.

If you are interested in a free Eric Carle app, you should try “The Very Hungry Caterpillar–Play & Explore.” Both apps are super cute and engaging but also have some in app purchase options, so make sure you enjoy them together with your child.

Happy apping!

2017 Missouri Building Block Nominee: 10 Little Ninjas

Posted on Monday, December 4, 2017 by Josh

"Ten Little Ninjas" book cover10 Little Ninjas” takes the classic “5 Little Monkeys” formula and completely flips it on its head. Books like this are loads of fun; they feature just enough familiarity for kids to easily catch on, yet there is so much new content to discover. Sing along as Miranda Paul’s original rhymes flow across Nate Wragg’s playful illustrations!

As the book counts down, it displays unique themes that kids have always loved to role-play. Number eight in the countdown features kids in race cars: “8 rapid racers revving out the gate–one left late and couldn’t drive straight!” Flipping through the remaining pages reveals prowling tigers, rowdy cowboys and so many other children’s favorites. Kids will absolutely love to race, growl and lasso their way through the pages with you!

Once you have read at least five Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award nominees, help your child vote for their favorite.

Introducing Evie!

Posted on Friday, December 1, 2017 by Megan

Photo of Evie and WebsterMeet Evie (EE-vee) the fox–our new Baby, Oh, Baby and Toddler Time mascot at the Columbia Public Library.

Evie loves to scurry and sprint near Webster’s pond. She saw how much fun he had during story time, so she decided to join us! Webster the duck will be passing the torch to Evie at the end of December and will be collecting his retirement package. (He’s taking a lump sum–largely in bills.)

Starting Thursday, January 4, Evie will be working full-time at the library, and she even has a new song!  Below are the lyrics. Feel free to practice them with your little one at home.

Continue reading “Introducing Evie!”

Soup and Story

Posted on Thursday, November 30, 2017 by Kristy

Today, I get to head out of the library to entertain some preschoolers with a short story time about soup! It’s the perfect time of year for this warm and cozy theme, so I thought I would my favorite book and song about soup with you too.

So, whip up some soup, snuggle up with your little one and give these a try!"Mean Soup" book cover

First, read “Mean Soup” by Betsy Everitt. It follows a young boy named Horace who has had a bad day. Luckily, his mom knows just what to do when he gets home–make soup! Together, they yell into the soup and stick their tongues, venting their frustrations into the boiling pot. Will Horace’s day turn around? Check out the book to find out.

Next, sing this call and repeat song adapted from Jbrary’s “I Am Hungry

I am hungry.
What should I eat?
I think I’ll have pizza soup.
Without any meat!

I am hungry.
What should I eat?
I think I’ll have tomato soup.
With lots of heat!

I am hungry.
What should I eat?
I think I’ll have chocolate soup
Cold and sweet!

Feel free to swap in other soups you enjoy.

2017 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Still a Gorilla!

Posted on Monday, November 27, 2017 by Amy

Still a Gorilla book coverHave you ever experienced an identity crisis, desiring to be someone else? In the Missouri Building Block nominee “Sill a Gorilla!” author Kim Norman and illustrator Chad Geran share just such a tale about a charismatic gorilla that desires to be a different zoo animal.

As Gorilla tries out being a lion, walrus, goat, alligator and kangaroo, readers will find lots of opportunities to make silly animal noises and sound effects, adding to the delight of the story. This laughter-packed book has simple text with bold full-page illustrations, leaving you eager to turn the pages for more.

Extend the fun of this story by hiding pictures of different zoo animals around the room, and then let your kids hunt for them. Come back together as a group and act out each animal’s behavior.

Once you have read at least five Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award nominees, help your child vote for their favorite.

The Power of Thank You

Posted on Thursday, November 23, 2017 by Mitch

Autumn leaves isolated on black backgroundWe here at the library believe that there is power in words. We have to; we are in the words business. And there are two words that can truly change the world: thank you.

A few nights ago, my wife and I were coming off of a long, hard day in our home. We have two six-month-old twin boys and a two-year-old girl. The twins were taking turns crying out for attention and nourishment, which they absolutely deserved. Our daughter was hyper and had thrown many her toys all over the house, and it was a complete mess. My wife and I were doing our best to tag team all of the things that needed done at the same time.

I quickly slathered some peanut butter on two slices of bread and heated up some frozen peas for our daughter as a quick meal. I know it’s not the best meal she’s ever had, but my little girl took a look at her plate, then looked up at me with her icy blue eyes, simply saying, “Thank you for my dinner, daddy.” Continue reading “The Power of Thank You”

Stuffed Animal Sleepover 2017

Posted on Wednesday, November 22, 2017 by Miss Chriss

On November 16, we asked kids and parents to bring their stuffed animals (a.k.a. stuffies) to the Columbia Public Library for some bedtime stories, then leave the stuffies here for some nighttime adventures!

How much mischief can 69 stuffies get into when left overnight at the library? Quite a bit! Below are some photos of their shenanigans.

Stuffed AnimalsThe bears started out by trying to be helpful. They placed a few interlibrary loans for Miss Melissa

Stuffed Animalsand stickered and stamped new books for Miss Liz. (Not all of the stickers ended up on the books. Oops!) Continue reading “Stuffed Animal Sleepover 2017”

2017 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Frog On a Log?

Posted on Monday, November 20, 2017 by Kristy

Frog on a Log book coverIn the Missouri Building Block nominee “Frog on a Log?” written by Kes Gray and illustrated by Jim Field, readers get to experience an oddball conversation between a frog and cat. The cat wants the frog to sit on a log, but the frog refuses, instead asking if he can sit on a mat. And this is where the conversation spirals into chaos! Only cats can sit on mats, only mules can sit on stools, only lions can sit on irons, and only parrots can sit on carrots! This book continues to get sillier and sillier as it continues, guaranteeing giggles and laughs from your readers, old and young alike.

After you’ve read the book, walk around your house with your child. Find different items, and come up with rhymes for what can sit on them. (For example, “Only pugs can sit on rugs!”) Make up the funniest rhymes you can imagine!

Once you have read at least five Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award nominees, help your child vote for their favorite.