Your heart pounds and your palms sweat. You check the clock. Time is running out. By now, you’re wondering, “Can we solve the clues, open the locks and complete our mission on time?!” You’re “trapped” in an escape room…and having the time of your life!
If you haven’t heard of escape rooms, Wikipedia provides a pretty good definition: “…a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints and strategy to complete the objectives at hand.” Believed to have originated in Japan, escape rooms started popping up in North America, Europe and East Asia in the 2010s. Since then, the popularity of this entertainment phenomenon has soared. According to roomescapeartist.com, in the US alone, between 2014 and 2017, the number of escape room companies grew from 22 to a staggering 1800, with many of these hosting multiple locations and multiple rooms per site.
Not surprising, the success of the escape room industry has opened the door to other escape-type experiences. So now, anyone can create an escape challenge in their home, office, school and so on.
Here are just a few of the many alternative escape rooms you might want to consider for your next family get-together, group meetup or office event.
Spring is here, which means lots of rainy days ahead. If your family is stuck inside during a downpour (and you’re not afraid of a bit of a mess) then try out this glitter slime recipe. This slime is super shiny, stretchy, squishy and sparkly! And it’s pretty easy to make, so include your kids in on the messy fun of creating this recipe.
What you need:
1/2 cup white glue (Clear works too!)
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon saline solution
Food coloring and glitter
What you do:
Add glue to your bowl.
Add water to glue, and stir until they are combined.
Stir in the baking soda.
Add food coloring and glitter. (We used fine glitter. It doesn’t show up well in photos, but it looks really pretty up close!)
Add saline solution and stir vigorously to form the slime. This takes a few minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when it starts bubbling and pulling up from the sides of the bowl.
Play! Explore the fun, sticky texture of the slime. It’s a bit messy, so wear clothes you don’t mind getting a little grubby. Store your slime in a baggie or reusable container.
It’s one thing to know that Daniel Boone Regional Library offers fantastic events and services. It’s another thing to know what makes them so special. Let me share a story with you.
My wife and I had just moved to Columbia, MO with our 5-month-old daughter. We had loved the libraries where we moved from and knew that we needed to check out DBRL whenever we had the chance. Our daughter had an attachment to books as soon as she made acquaintance with the world.
A random evening opened up for us, so we brought the whole family to a baby story time. That night, Paula (that evening’s story time leader) focused a theme around “noisy sounds.” We had a blast listening to the books and singing library classics such as “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom” and “Webster Waddles.” But then Paula got out some toys and everything changed. Continue reading “Why We Bring Our Children to Story Time”
Merriam-Webster defines onomatopoeia as “the naming of a thing or action by a vocal imitation of the sound associated with it (such as buzz, hiss).” In the poem above, “woof” and “meow” are onomatopoeias.
Books that feature onomatopoeias are not only fun to listen to but are also fun to read. Consider the classic “Mr Brown Can Moo! Can You?” by Dr. Seuss. Whether reader or listener, it’s hard not to laugh when Mr. Brown sounds off with everything from “moo moo” and “boom boom” to “sizzle sizzle” and “blurp blurp!”
At DBRL, we have a wide variety of books that feature onomatopoeias. Here are a few (from a very long list!) you can enjoy with your children.
What would happen if you mixed a board book with a lots of bumps and glitter? It would become a really feely book! You may have read books such as “That’s Not My Teddy” by Fiona Watt and “Kitten” by DK where readers can feel one texture on each page. DK publishers took it to the next step with the new Really Feely series. Try out “Really Feely: Baby Animals” or “Really Feely: Farm” by Polly Appleton for multiple sensory experiences on every page.
These books have a combination of bumps, textures, fluffy patches and glitter, and they can be great for children with sensory concerns. The reader is encouraged to explore the textures by the text. Check out more textured books at a library nearest you!
Bubbles are great fun for kids and adults alike! The following rainbow foam bubble recipe is magical, and mixing the colors can be a learning experience for your kiddos. This foam is a quick to make and easy to clean. You do use soap to make the bubbles, so little ones who tend to put stuff in their mouths should have close supervision.
What you need:
2 tablespoons of dish soap (Liquid bubble bath will also work.)
1/4 cup of water (If you have hard water you might want to use bottled water instead.)
Food coloring or liquid watercolors*
What you do:
Combine the dish soap, water and color in a bowl and mix on the highest possible setting for a minute or two to make foam, which will form stiff peaks when ready. You can make several batches, adding a new color to each. Pour the foam out into a bathtub, sink or large container. Kiddos will love exploring the colors and texture of the foamy bubbles. For extra fun, add some waterproof toys to the foam.
* Food coloring can stain clothing and potentially hands, feet, hair, etc. You might want to explore liquid watercolors — they don’t stain, their colors are vibrant, they mix well and they are inexpensive.
Board games are an incredible tool that can be used to gather the family for some screen-free fun. Beyond just having a good time, board games feature tactile and analytical aspects that can help develop useful life skills.
Here’s just a small number of skills that board games help promote:
Creativity – Games often let players to come up with creative ways to work towards victory.
Imagination – Embracing the fictional world of a game can be a lot of fun.
Critical-thinking – Games allow you to analyze the best ways to reach a goal or solve a problem.
Cooperation – Many games demand communication and teamwork for success.
Sportsmanship – If taught properly, kids can learn to become good losers and mindful winners.
I highly encourage you to check out BoardGameGeek for an amazing list of games ranked specifically with families in mind. Or if you’re looking for a free alternative, your library has you covered! For young children who are learning basic concepts like colors and the alphabet, you can check out Learning Prop Game Kits. Each kit features a simple, unique game that comes in a convenient zip-up pouch. Follow this link to our catalog to put one on hold!
We do lots of cool things at our library branches for kids, parents and caregivers. DBRL hosts hundreds of programs for kids every year — from story times to magic shows. We also continuously get new books and other new library materials for our youngest patrons.
To get the word out about the fun things we do and have here at the library, we have created a bimonthly Kids & Parents email newsletter. If you sign up, you’ll be the first to know about our library programs, resources and maybe even a few library secrets!
As a parent to three little ones, I’m always searching for new resources to pull out at a moment’s notice. There are times that play dough and building blocks don’t excite enough, and I resort to media. When I do, I want to make sure that what I’m putting in front of my kids is safe and quality entertainment.
Valentine’s day can be a tricky day to explain to kids. My favorite way to find descriptions of love is through books!
“Love” by Emma Dodd is a beautiful picture book that explains that love is so much more than hugs and presents. In her book, Dodd says that “Sometimes love is quiet and it needs no words at all.” After reading the book, can you think about ways your family shows love to each other?
Another great discussion starter is “Pete the Cat’s Groovy Guide to Love” by Kimberly and James Dean. What makes this picture book unique? It’s filled with quotes, and Pete then applies all the quotes to himself. Can you create a quote about love that describes your family? Which one is your favorite and why?