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.
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”
Computer programming helps kids cultivate creativity and problem-solving skills while strengthening their ability to apply scientific thinking. To help youth enhance their coding skills in a fun and collaborative environment, the Columbia Public Library is hosting five sessions of “Coding Lab” later this month.
Youth will code their own robot or video game using visual programming. Instead of manually typing complex commands, kids can drag and drop graphical buttons to create a sequence of commands. This approach is far more intuitive for new coders.
“Coding Lab” attendees choose among several learning stations that feature our newest tech toys such as littleBits, Osmo, LEGO MINDSTORMS, Cubelets and more! This program is for those ages 10 and up. To register, call (573) 443-3161.
The library carries many titles to teach yourself computer programming, including these great books for kids:
Kanopy has been a great resource for library patrons when it comes to educational media, including documentaries, international movies and critically acclaimed independent films. Recently, however, Kanopy has expanded towards our younger audiences, creating Kanopy Kids!
“You’ll find hundreds of educational and enriching videos that help children develop empathy, mindfulness, and self-esteem, with more titles added every month.”-Kanopy Website
Kanopy has partnered with Common Sense Media to ensure that all programming is accurately rated and categorized. This helps kids and their parents find shows and movies that are appropriate for their development level. Library patrons get six free downloads a month, so get watching!
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.
Hoopla has always offered eBooks at the picture book level, but now they have added another awesome feature: read-along eBooks! With this new feature, kids can now follow along as a narrator enthusiastically reads each individually highlighted word. This is perfect for kids who are learning a new language or for kids who can’t quite finish a book on their own. Hoopla has a lot of up-to-date content, including favorites like Star Wars, Pete the Cat, Finding Nemo and Disney princesses. With over 100 books to choose from, there won’t be a shortage of awesome content to entertain your child while they learn how to read.
You can log into Hoopla using your library card. Simply type “read-along” into the search bar to access the read-along picture books. You get 10 checkouts a month completely free, so take advantage!
What’s the app all the kids are raving about? You know, the one where they wander around in real life interacting with critters and waiting for eggs to hatch? It stars a brightly-colored beloved character you might recognize from your own childhood–and it’s not Pokemon Go! I’m talking about “My Very Hungry Caterpillar AR” app by StoryToys Entertainment Limited ($2.99).
This app is recommended for ages 4 and up. There is no text in this app, and you only have to know how to drag and drop to begin game play (which makes it perfect for a younger audience). The primary goal is to feed and care for your caterpillar. This is a great way to talk about the life cycle of a butterfly, though it is not 100% scientifically accurate. (You can play catch and create artwork with your caterpillar, which not something I would try real life!) As of right now, this app is only available for iPhone and iPad.
If you are interested in a free Eric Carle app, you should try “The Very Hungry Caterpillar–Play & Explore.” Both apps are super cute and engaging but also have some in app purchase options, so make sure you enjoy them together with your child.
Would you like the chance for the kids in your family to explore math activities for free? Then join us on November 11 from 3-4 p.m. for Math + Story. Mu Alpha Theta (the mathematics honor society from Hickman High) will have several stations in the Children’s Program Room at the Columbia Public Library for children (ages 5-7) to exercise their math literacy skills.
If this time doesn’t work for you or if you would like explore the topic further, our libraries have several other options for you. We have a wonderful collection of books that explain mathematical concepts for every age level in our nonfiction collections for kids. We also several preloaded tablets, called Launchpads, that teach math concepts and can be checked out from one of our library branches or bookmobiles.
A new school year has begun, and the smell of fresh tech is in the air! Many students have already received their school-issued iPad or notebook. For many parents, this is uncharted territory.
To help families set healthy boundaries for screen time, we are hosting a workshop this month, “Gadget Management for Parents.” It will be on Wednesday, September 20 from 6:30-8 p.m. We will explore parental controls for Apple and Android devices and learn about tools to evaluate apps and other media. To register, please call (573) 443-3161.
If this program doesn’t jive with your schedule, don’t forget that the library offers free online technology training through Lynda.com. You can learn more about parental restrictions by taking “iOS 10: iPhone and iPad Essential Training” or “Android Tips and Tricks. ” Continue reading “Gadget Management for Parents”