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.
When you’re really little, sometimes a box is more fascinating than its contents. Especially if it’s a big cardboard box that you can sit in! If your kiddo is sitting in cardboard boxes anyway, why not take it a step further and decorate that box to look like a car?
Step One: Find a cardboard box your little one can fit in easily.
Step Two: Attach black paper plates as tires! I like using hot glue, but it’s up to you. If you’re feeling really fancy, you can glue old CDs in the middle of the plates to make wheels! Just make sure it’s the shiny side out.
Step Three: Add headlights and tail lights. You can use yellow circles for the headlights and red circles for tail lights. Cut them out of construction paper or just draw them on with markers. Continue reading “Cardboard Box Cars”
Calling all lovers of history and geography! One of the coolest parts of owning a library card is acquiring access to a variety of online resources free of cost. One of my favorites is CultureGrams. This program is designed to allow kids to explore and learn about places and cultures around the globe.
When entering the CultureGrams website, you are presented with four different choices: World Edition, Kids Edition, States Edition, and (Canadian) Provinces Edition. All choices give a plethora of information including history, geography and fun tidbits about each location. Want to know what it is like for kids in different countries or how to cook a dish from Peru? CultureGrams Kids has information on that and much more.
Is your little one learning to coordinate their arms, legs and other body parts to accomplish goals (like walking independently or kicking a ball)? If so, PAL Kit 3: Gross Motor Development for children ages birth-2 will be perfect for them! We have just updated this kit with brand new toys, including a fun bowling set and activity scarves to encourage your child to move, dance and play.
PAL Kit 3 also includes several books, and each of them incorporate movements that you and your child can act out together. One my favorite books in the kit is “Silly Sally” by Audrey Wood. As you read “Silly Sally,” encourage your child to jump, dance and sleep along with Sally and the animals. For infants, act the story out on their bodies.
Interested in checking PAL Kit 3 out? If so, place a hold online to pick it up at your library or bookmobile.
Do your kiddos love moving and grooving? If so, try out these super simple DIY rainbow dancing wrist bands! We use these all the time at the library, and they’re an awesome and colorful way encourage dancing and self expression with your little ones.
What you need:
Shower curtain rings or adult-sized hair elastics
Colorful ribbon, cut into 12″–18″ lengths (You’ll want at least three, though having a rainbow of colors is pretty cool.)
Did you know the library offers tablets for children, called Launchpads? These educational, pre-loaded tablets playfully cover topics such as reading, science, math and much more. Each tablet has 10 learning apps chosen around a theme and checks out for one week.
Already a fan of the Launchpads? Then you will be excited to learn we have rolled out several new tablet themes for each age range! Check out the full lineup below.
If you’ve read my other blogs, you know that I love to listen to audiobooks! I listen to kid’s books, teen books and every once in a while I get to listen to grownup books, too. But today I’m going to tell you about some podcasts that I’m obsessed with, because when I’m not listening to audiobooks, I enjoy listening to a good podcast. I wish I had more ears so I could listen to ALL THE THINGS!
There are so many kid’s podcasts, it can be hard to know where to start. Below, I have listed a few of my faves, but you can also check out this article from sayyes.com or this list of children’s book podcasts from readbrightly.com. All of the podcasts listed are about 30 minutes in length, so they’re perfect when doing little chores around the house or as entertainment for a long car ride. Happy listening!Continue reading “Podcasts We Love”
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!”
One of the great things about working at the library is that I get to find hidden gems in our collections of books. There are fun books all around the library, but I particularly love picture books for young readers that are in chapter book format.
When books arrive at the library, the librarians called catalogers determine what section to put them in. Picking a section is tricky because there are books written for every age range and reading level. Some books may fit into many categories, which is why there are chapter books in the picture book section. These books are great for young readers who want to read “big kid” books but may not be ready for an advanced chapter book. The tricky bit about these books is that they are not searchable by type. So to make your search more accessible, we have created a book list!
“The Infamous Ratsos” by Kara Lareau is my favorite from this list. Louie and Ralphie Ratso try to be bad just like their dad, but every time they try to do mischievous deeds, they are helpful. Louis and Ralphi start to wonder, is being helpful a bad thing? Find the Infamous Ratsos at your branch today!
Librarians love acronyms. ALA, YALSA, YSCI–if we can make it an acronym, we probably will! Though I’ve gotta say, one of my favorite acronyms is STEAM. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. We have all kinds of physical copies of STEAM books here at the library, but we also offer a plethora through Hoopla! And really, what could be better than reading a book about technology on a technological device?
In case you’ve never tried it, Hoopla is an online service that provides audiobooks, eBooks, movies and music. Since Hoopla offers so many things, it can be a bit overwhelming at first. If you’re trying to find something great and STEAM-related for your kid, there are a couple good ways to refine the search. If you’re on a mobile device, you can start by going to “Settings” on the app and selecting “Kids Mode.” This will show only materials appropriate for children, so it’s a great way to let your kid browse with you. Next, simply search for “STEAM.” Voilà, you and your kiddo now have plenty of STEAM options to choose from! Here’s a few that I found, and I can’t wait to read them. Continue reading “STEAM eBooks on Hoopla”