2018 Missouri Building Block Award Nominee: Spunky Little Monkey

Posted on Thursday, December 13, 2018 by Kristy

"Spunky Little Monkey" book coverGet ready to dance, clap, stomp and shake when you read Bill Martin’s “Spunky Little Monkey.” This Missouri Building Block nominee is an absolute blast, especially for the reader! You get to yell silly things like “Rutabaga, Rutabaga! Sis! Boom! Bah!” as you encourage the little monkey in the story (and your kiddos) to dance around and have fun. If you want an energetic, colorful read, definitely give this book a try.

After you’ve read “Spunky Little Monkey,” sing this equally energetic and silly song.

Go Bananas!
Banana’s of the world: UNITE (clasp hands overhead)
Peel bananas (peel arms down to sides)
Peel peel bananas
Peel bananas
Peel peel bananas
Chop bananas (karate chops to the front)
Chop chop bananas
Chop bananas
Chop chop bananas
Eat bananas (stuff banana pieces into face)
Eat eat bananas
Eat bananas
Eat eat bananas
Go bananas! (flail arms, turn in circle, shake head, etc.)
Go go bananas!
Go bananas!
Go go bananas!

Credit: thelibraryann 

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: Everybunny Dance!

Posted on Thursday, December 6, 2018 by Lyndsey

Everybunny Dance“Ready bunny, steady bunny, everybunny dance!” Ellie Sandall’s book, the Missouri Building Block Award nominee “Everybunny Dance,” invites you to join the bunnies in a dance party. This is a fun book that encourages both play and exercise (which is why you may have seen it in our last blog—”Post-Turkey Wobble”). The bunnies have an exciting time twisting and twirling, playing instruments and singing loudly. Suddenly, an unexpected visitor arrives. Everybunny hides, but not for long! The bunnies want to give everyone a chance, and dancing is a great way to include others and make new friends.

For a fun, energetic activity with your kids, you can play, “Hop like a bunny.” This game practices counting and gross motor skills. Use simple instructions like, “Let’s hop one time. Now hop twice!” See how many times you can hop up and down, and then mix it up by hopping on one foot. Practice directional skills by having everyone hop forward, backward and side to side. The possibilities are endless!

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 kindergarten and younger, and it goes through the end of the year. The winner will be announced in February.

2018 Missouri Building Block Award Nominee: Carrot & Pea

Posted on Thursday, November 29, 2018 by Brianna

Carrot & Pea: An Unlikely FriendshipColin is different from Lee and the other peas. But that doesn’t stop friendship! Morag Hood’s sweet and simple book “Carrot & Pea: An Unlikely Friendship” shows how strength can be found in differences. The straightforward text and clean illustrations will appeal to young readers, and parents can appreciate the message of celebrating friends who don’t look like us.

If you and your little one are feeling inspired by these vegetables, take your creativity a step further with some vegetable stamping! In addition to fruits and veggies, you’ll need some paper and paint. I suggest something like this washable tempera paint. The fun part is choosing which vegetables to use! Different ones will make different shapes. Carrots make nice circles, while celery stalks create lovely half-moons. An apple cut in half will look remarkably like an apple, while a whole celery heart will look like a rose. Encourage your child to experiment with you, and discover all the artwork you can make from some paint and veggies.

  1. vegetable assortmentCut the fruit or vegetable so it is easy to hold for little hands.
  2. Pour some paint on paper plates.
  3. Paint the cut side of the fruit or veggie, either by dipping it in the paint or applying it with a brush.
  4. Press the painted veggie onto a white piece of paper, and admire!

If you’re feeling really adventurous, swap out the paper for a plain t-shirt or scarf and use fabric paint instead. Ta-da, wearable art!

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.

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”

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”

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”