Blacklight STEAM Craft

Posted on Monday, August 21, 2017 by Kristy

Photo of blacklight artWant to create a super-simple craft with your kids that will teach them a thing or two about science? Then try out blacklight art!

What you need:

  • Laundry detergent
  • Blacklight
  • Paint brush
  • Cup
  • Thick paper
  • Acrylic or craft paint (optional)

What you do:

Fill your cup up with laundry detergent. You can add acrylic paint to the detergent if you want some color. Load your paint brush up with the detergent, and paint away on your paper. (Thick paper works best since the detergent can bleed through or warp thin paper.)

When you’re done, turn your blacklight on and any other lights off. You’ll notice that the laundry detergent glows under UV light. This is because phosphors are added to the detergent (so that clothes appear brighter). Continue reading “Blacklight STEAM Craft”

Imaginary Friends

Posted on Thursday, August 17, 2017 by Molly

Page from "The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend"

Elwood P. Dowd has Harvey, Calvin has Hobbes and Big Bird has Mr. Snuffleupagus. Imaginary Friends! They come in all shapes, sizes, genders and even species. Although not all children develop these special invisible relationships, imaginary friends are a normal part of the childhood experience. According to a 2004 study, by age seven, 65 percent of children have had an imaginary companion.

Yet, parents and guardians are often concerned when they find out their child talks to and/or interacts with an pretend friend. Questions arise, such as, “What is wrong with my child?” or “Why can’t they make real friends?”

However, these make-believe relationships are often beneficial. According to psychologist Tracy Gleason, professor of psychology at Wellesley College, having imaginary friends help children develop a “Theory of Mind” or ToM. Dictionary.com defines ToM as “the ability to interpret one’s own and others people’s mental and emotional states, understanding that each person has unique motives, perspectives, etc.” Equally important, interacting with an imaginary friend helps a child develop their imagination, practice their social skills and overcome shyness. Continue reading “Imaginary Friends”

Back to School Books

Posted on Monday, August 14, 2017 by Erin

It’s back to school time! When I was younger, I always looked forward to new school supplies, picking out an outfit to wear on the first day and seeing which friends were in my classes. But even with all the excitement, I was also nervous about what the school year might bring.

For kindergartners and preschoolers, school can be a big adjustment. Reading books on the subject and talking about fears or concerns beforehand can help make the first day go more smoothly.

Kindergarten Rocks! book coverKatie Davis’s “Kindergarten Rocks!” shows that there’s nothing to fear when it comes to school. In this book, Dexter is going into kindergarten. While he is not afraid of school, his stuffed dog Rufus is scared that Dexter will miss his family or will get lost. Will Dexter like kindergarten? Will Rufus get over his nerves?Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes book cover

Pete the Cat is one of my favorite characters, and he definitely doesn’t disappoint in “Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes.” This catchy book has simple little song that you can sing along with your kindergartner to help them if they get nervous.

You’ll find these books and more on our book list, “Your First Day of School!

Cosplay Costume Con Recap

Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2017 by Megan

On Friday, August 4, we were delighted to host a crowd of all ages for our 3rd Annual Cosplay Costume Con. This year, the event was held after normal library hours, and the participants used the lobby as their runway to strut their stuff! Everyone came dressed in their finest gear from Eowyn to Spider-Man, with representatives from nearly every pop culture fandom. Prizes were provided by the library, Distant Planet Comics, Ragtag Cinema, and Central Missouri Renaissance Festival.

Below are some pictures of our awesome participants.

Continue reading “Cosplay Costume Con Recap”

Summer Reading Bookmark Contest Winners 2017

Posted on Monday, August 7, 2017 by Mark

In March, we challenged youth ages 18 and under to design a bookmark based on the theme, “Build a Better World!” to promote our Summer Reading program. The contest winners have officially been announced, and the winning bookmarks were printed and distributed to our libraries earlier this summer. Congratulations to the winners!

See their creative and inspiring bookmarks below.

Continue reading “Summer Reading Bookmark Contest Winners 2017”

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”

Mark Twain Nominee Reviews, Part 3

Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2017 by Corey

It’s time for another round of reviews for this year’s Mark Twain Award nominees! The following stories have main characters who are searching for something. Somewhat like a mystery, these three books involve solving clues and finding yourself along the way.

"All The Answers" by Kate Messner All the Answers” by Kate Messner
In this imaginative story, Ava discovers that having all the answers isn’t always a good thing. When Ava finds a seemingly magical pencil that gives her the correct answer to any question she writes, she thinks she is set. However, Ava begins asking the pencil more difficult questions like why her grandpa has cancer. She comes to the realization that there are some things better left unknown.

This story was very touching, and it was an interesting look at a young character with anxiety issues and how her family helps her cope. Continue reading “Mark Twain Nominee Reviews, Part 3”

Becoming a Big Brother or Sister

Posted on Monday, July 24, 2017 by Amy

photograph of a child and a babyWe’re excited to share a new reading list we have put together, titled “Becoming a Big Brother or Sister.” This is a staff-picked list of children’s picture books about new siblings. With over 30 books on the list, you are sure to find some great reading options to share with your soon-to-be big brother or sister.

Stop by your library for a printed copy, use this PDF or view the list within our catalog.

Happy Reading!

Bugs Love Summer, Too!

Posted on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 by Molly

Photograph of a beeWarm days and cool nights make summer the perfect time to play outside, but not just for us! Take bugs, for instance. They love summer too. For this reason, you will see them everywhere this time of year.

But what is a “bug?” Merriam Webster defines a bug as “an insect or other creeping or crawling small invertebrate.” ASU (Arizona State University) School of Life Sciences expands this definition a bit further: bugs are insects, but not all insects are bugs. “The key difference between true bugs and other insects is their mouth parts. True bugs suck. That’s right, the true bugs have specialized mouth parts used to suck juices. Mostly they suck fluids from plants, but there are some true bugs, like bed bugs, that feed on animals.” Continue reading “Bugs Love Summer, Too!”

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.