Sensory Space Activities

Posted on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 by Brianna

Recently we had a sensory program at the library for little ones birth to three years old. To fit with Summer Reading, we made everything outer space themed! You can try recreating these at home, or go in your own direction.

cardboard box with christmas lights

Constellation Box

This station was very popular with some of our youngest participants! Babies loved laying on the soft blanket and looking up at the ‘stars.’ To make this, we found a large box and grabbed a string of Christmas lights. After reinforcing the edges of the box with duct tape, we poked holes in the cardboard so we could stick individual lights through. You could create specific constellations, or just fill the space with the lights like we did. Creating the box will take a little time, but it’s well worth the effort!

asteroid field ball pit

Asteroid Field Ball Pit

In Star Wars, Han Solo tells C-3PO to never tell him the odds of surviving an asteroid field. Our asteroid field is much more safe! Toss some balls of various sizes into a plastic pool to contain them, and with a little imagination, you’ve got your very own asteroid field. We threw in some pieces of foil blanket for some extra texture, and little ones were delighted. Not only are the asteroid balls fun to play with, they’re a great way to improve motor skills, as well as hand-eye coordination if you take turns rolling them to each other.

lightboard with stars and colors

Hubble Telescope Light board Art

For this station, we were inspired by images captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. We glued stars onto overhead transparencies, then placed them on a light board. Little ones put different colors of cellophane on the light board and had fun layering them to make new color combinations. The results were beautiful!

three calming sensory bottles

Galaxy Calming Bottles

We love sensory bottles, and these were no exception. We used Voss water bottles, but you can use whatever you like as long as it’s sturdy and you can seal it. To stick with our outer space theme, we made one night sky bottle, one inspired by the sun, and one glow in the dark. To make the night and sun ones, we used baby oil, candy coloring dye, lots of glitter and some star-shaped confetti. The glow in the dark bottle is just glow in the dark glue and hot water. Continue reading “Sensory Space Activities”

Look Up! Constellations in the Night Sky

Posted on Friday, June 7, 2019 by Lyndsey

People have always looked to the night sky to mark time, navigate and contemplate the immensity of the universe. Along with camping, stargazing is one of my favorite activities in the summer. It’s a great way to spend time with friends and family away from a screen, and it encourages creative storytelling. Did you know the sky is full of heroes rescuing princesses, musicians playing enchanting melodies and creatures roaming the sky? How exciting! Constellations are patterns of stars that people long ago identified as certain mythological creatures, gods and goddesses. We are most familiar with the Greek and Roman myths, but many cultures have their own variation of the constellations.

See if you can find these constellations, then share their story with your family. Kids will have fun finding their own patterns and creating new stories to share! 

Perseus Family

Perseus rescued Andromeda from the sea monster Cetus. Her parents, King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia, threw a feast because they were so happy she was safe. You can find Perseus close to Andromeda, her parents and the sea monster.

These constellations can be best viewed during certain seasons:
Andromeda and Perseus– fall and winter
Cassiopeia– all year
Cepheus– late fall
Cetus
– fall and winter

Continue reading “Look Up! Constellations in the Night Sky”

Out of This World Performances

Posted on Saturday, May 25, 2019 by Megan

The weather is warmer and school is winding down, which can only mean one thing–Summer Reading is here!  Start your summer off right with some out of this world entertainment! We are excited to bring children’s musician Justin Roberts to the Missouri Theater and storyteller Linda Gorham to all of our library buildings.  Bonus: Attending one or both of these performances can count toward your completion of the Summer Reading program.

Justin Roberts & The Not Ready for Naptime Players
Saturday, June 1, 2019 11 a.m.-Noon
Missouri Theatre, 203 S. 9th St.

Rock out to the music of this award-winning band as we kick off Summer Reading. This former Montessori preschool teacher began writing and singing songs for his students. Soon, his career extended beyond the classroom, and he began recording his music professionally. Now a two-time Grammy nominee, he and his band sing about childhood experiences like “Recess” and “Jungle Gym.”

For ADA accommodations, call the Missouri Theatre at (573) 882-3781. For other concert questions, email kids@dbrl.org. This special Justin Roberts performance is partially funded by the Melissa Carr Literacy Through the Arts Fund established by the DBRL Foundation.

This show is for fans of all ages and abilities. Free tickets are available at www.dbrl.org/justinroberts.

Continue reading “Out of This World Performances”

Jim Cosgrove and The Hiccups Concert!

Posted on Thursday, April 18, 2019 by Molly

DBRL and the Stephens Lake Amphitheater Concert Series are pleased to present Jim Cosgrove & The Hiccups on Thursday, May 2 from 6-7 pm. The event, which will be held at the Stephens Lake Park Amphitheater at 100 Old Hwy 63, is for families and children of all ages.

Affectionately known as “Mr. Stinky Feet” by his fans, Cosgrove has performed over 3500 shows throughout both North America and Europe. Upbeat and interactive, Cosgrove’s shows are truly a family affair. His wife, Jeni, manages the business, while their two daughters serve as the road crew and sometimes appear with their father on stage.

An award-winning musician and performer, Cosgrove is also a motivational speaker and the author of “Everybody Gets Stinky Feet,” a collection of essays compiled from a parenting column he wrote for the Kansas City Star. Together, Jim and Jeni co-founded Jiggle Jam, once billed as the nation’s largest independent family music festival from 2007-2013.

Continue reading “Jim Cosgrove and The Hiccups Concert!”

Put On Your Thinking Cap!

Posted on Friday, April 12, 2019 by Brianna

cover of "Sarabella's Thinking Cap"In “Sarabella’s Thinking Cap,” the main character has trouble focusing in school. Her head is so full of fantastic thoughts–pandas in flower pots and bears riding bicycles–that Sarabella can’t really concentrate on math. When her teacher asks the class to draw a picture of their favorite daydreams, she becomes inspired. Instead of drawing a single picture, she creates a thinking cap, a paper bag hat covered with illustrations of all the beautiful thoughts in her head.

Following Sarabella’s example, we’re going to make our own thinking caps at the library! Join us as we create extravagant hats and wear our thoughts on the outside of our heads.

This program will be held at the Columbia Public Library on Thursday, April 25 from 4-5:30 p.m., and it’s for ages 5-12. Registration begins on Tuesday, April 16, so stop by the Children’s Desk to sign up or give us a call at (573) 443-3161.

Unbound Children’s Events

Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 by Brandy

The Unbound Book Festival will return to downtown Columbia for its fourth year! The children’s venue has been generously funded in part by the Friends of the Columbia Public Library. Join us on Saturday, April 20 at the Warehouse Theatre on Stephens College’s campus as we celebrate some of today’s best and brightest children’s authors. 

Download a complete schedule of Unbound children’s events and a campus map. This festival is FREE and open to all lovers of children’s literature, no matter your age!

9:30 a.m.
The Singing Princesses
Sing along with princesses Elsa, Anna, Cinderella and Belle. The princesses are part of the TRYPS Children’s Theatre Institute at Stephens College.

Continue reading “Unbound Children’s Events”

Spring Break Preview

Posted on Thursday, March 21, 2019 by Megan

For some, spring break means traveling to see exotic animals or taking in some great art and culture.  But, did you know you can do all these things and more at your local public library? Check out next week’s line-up of amazing programs for you and your family. Registration is not required for these events.

For Families

Flights of Fancy With Jay and Leslie’s Laughing Matters

Performers Jay & Leslie of Laughing Matters

Jay and Leslie Cady are award-winning professional entertainers with more than 6,000 performances under their belts. These students of famed mime Marcel Marceau have been twice nominated for Best of Kansas City Theater awards and won the Lighton Prize in 2010 for excellence as teaching artists. At this summer reading preview, enjoy juggling, stories, orbits and more bits to tickle your funny bone. High-flying fun at your library? You can plan on it! Families, ages 4 and older.

Continue reading “Spring Break Preview”

“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” Turns 50!

Posted on Thursday, March 14, 2019 by Jessica M

It’s hard to believe that a childhood classic like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” is turning 50 years old this year! Publishers have continued to reprint and circulate this beloved title since 1969. It’s even been translated into 65 different languages!

To celebrate this amazing milestone, DBRL has decided to throw a birthday party for Eric Carle’s most-celebrated book. This event will feature crafts and activities that mirror his use of color and collage. This program is for ages birth-5 with an adult.

“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” Celebration will kick-off at the Columbia Public Library. Mark your calendar for one of the following sessions:

  • Tuesday, March 19 from 10-11:00 a.m.
  • Tuesday, March 19 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 20 from 10-11:00 a.m.

Then, in April, we’ll continue the celebrate in Fulton, Holts Summit and Ashland on the following dates:

Bilingual Story Times

Posted on Monday, January 7, 2019 by Jessica M

The Very Hungry Caterpillar¡Hola mis amigos de la biblioteca! Hello my friends of the library!

Monday through Friday, our children’s team crew hosts events such as Family Story Time, Discovery Time and STEAM Story Time for a variety of audiences. Often we focus our range of entertainment from birth to 5 years of age. However, once in a while, we release the reins to some of our favorite guest story tellers: members of the MU Voz Latina and presenters of the Confucius Institute of the University of Missouri.

What’s so special about these guest presenters we host here at the library? Their performance is like our traditional story times—with dancing, songs, activities, and stories—but they perform both in English and in another language!

If you want to introduce your early learner to some new words in Spanish, we definitely recommend Spanish Story Time. For the MU Voz Latina members, they perform a variety of stories and songs in Spanish for young audiences at our Spanish Story Time/Hora de cuentos en familia. Feel free to pop in and sing in Spanish with us!

If you’re looking to explore Chinese with your child, then we definitely recommend Children’s Chinese with the Confucius Institute of the University of Missouri. Their group usually visits us on weekends, making this a fun weekend activity for your little learners! The age range for Children’s Chinese is also a little higher, from ages 4 to 7, so it may be an opportunity for an older sibling to come enjoy story time!

Upcoming Dates/Times:

Spanish Story Times (recommended age is 2 to 5)

  • Thursday, January 31 from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 14 from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m.

Children’s Chinese (recommended age is 4 to 7)

  • Sunday, January 27 from 3:00 to 3:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, February 24 from 3:00 to 3:30 p.m.

Handprint Calendars for the New Year

Posted on Monday, December 24, 2018 by Tess

Here at the library, we have the great opportunity to offer programs for people of all ages; from infants to preschoolers, early elementary to teen, young adults to seniors and everyone in between! We had such a great turnout for our children’s handprint calendar program that we wanted to share it here for you and your children to try at home!

Step 1: Gather your materials

At the library, we used non-toxic washable stamp pads for our handprints, but washable tempera paints also make lovely prints. You’ll want to set up near a sink or have baby wipes on hand for cleaning between colors. We decorated our pages using stamps and markers, so compile your collection of stickers, stamps, markers, crayons or any other media that your children like to create with.

Step 2: Print your calendar

Print off the handprint calendar on a heavy cardstock and decide how you want to bind it. At the library, we used a spiralizing binder, which you can pay a company like Staples to do for a modest fee, but there are easier options, such as a hole punch and string. If you do choose to use paints, I would recommend waiting until after each page has dried to bind the calendar, but if you use stamp ink then bind away!

Step 3: Look over the examples

Here is a list with examples and instructions for how to recreate the prints that we made at the library, but feel free to make your own! Check out Pinterest for lots of other great handprint ideas.

Step 4: Make your very own calendar

Whether your kids do it in one sitting or work on it over the course of a few days, the final product is sure to be spectacular and unique! Your child’s calendar can make a great gift for a special loved one, or you can hang it up for the family to use. No matter what you do with it in the end, we hope that you have fun making this calendar together!