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.

The Great Horned Owl at Your Library

Posted on Monday, December 10, 2018 by Erin

OwlHave you ever seen a real owl? When you walk into the children’s area of the Columbia Public Library, you’ll find one staring back at you! While this owl is no longer alive, she is most definitely real. The owl was donated to the library by a family whose kids found her on an electric fence. The kids thought they had seen the “the world’s largest pine cone,” only to realize it was an upside-down owl with her feathers puffed up!

When you walk past the owl, it may look like her eyes are following you. Don’t worry; her eyes are not real! Her eyes look like they’re following you because they are made of marbles, which create an optical illusion. In fact, owls can’t move their eyes in their sockets, but they can turn their heads up to 270 degrees. If her eyes were real, they would take up to 50% of the space in her head. If you had eyes like that, they would be the size of oranges!

 Want to learn more about owls? Check out our selection of owl books today!

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.

Post-Turkey Wobble!

Posted on Monday, December 3, 2018 by Amy

The Thanksgiving festivities have now come and gone, and the turkey leftovers are all tucked away nicely in tummies! After eating such yummy foods, it is easy to have gained a little wobble in your step. After all, cookies, pies, pumpkin rolls and the like often accompany Thanksgiving meals.

Below are a list of library resources the whole family can enjoy to get moving while staying warm inside.

Ourter Space BlastoffYoga for Kids: Outer Space Blastoff” (DVD)

Let your imagination blast off into a galaxy far, far away! Kids yoga instructor Jodi Komitor leads yoga practices for kids ages five and up.

Everybunny Dance!Everybunny Dance!” by Ellie Sandall

Bunnies dance, play, sing and learn to include everyone in their games, including the reader!

Wiggle” by Doreen Cronin

Rhyming text describes the many ways you can wiggle and jiggle!

Mindful Moments for Kids” by Kira Willey (CD)

After you’ve tired yourself out, try out this CD. It helps calm your child down by having them stretch and focus on their breath.

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.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2018 by Tess

Today is the day—Thanksgiving, hooray! The turkey is ready, the dishes are set, the pie is cooling on the counter and you still have an hour before the guests arrive! The kids want to play, but you want to sit. You’ve already read your latest load of library books, so what next? How about heading over to the Hoopla app on your phone or tablet and checking out these great read-along Thanksgiving titles to share with your little ones!

"One Is a Feast for a Mouse"One Is a Feast for a Mouse” by Judy Cox

A silly story featuring a mouse whose eyes are too big for his stomach! As the greedy mouse piles up the Thanksgiving leftovers to bring back to his home, he forgets about one important thing…the cat!

How To Catch a Turkey” by Adam Wallace

What could be worse than Thanksgiving for a turkey? Asking the turkey to get on stage during the school play! Stage fright strikes, and the turkey is off! Can the students and teachers catch the turkey in time for the play?

Thanksgiving Is…” by Gail Gibbons

This is a simple story that explains harvest customs around the world and how the first Thanksgiving came to be. Simple enough for young children to grasp, it’s a great way to explain to children why we celebrate Thanksgiving.

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”

2018 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Plankton Is Pushy

Posted on Thursday, November 1, 2018 by Lyndsey

Plankton Is Pushy book coverPlankton likes to say hello to all his fellow sea creatures, but what happens when Mussel doesn’t return the greeting? Plankton gets pushy!

Jonathan Fenske’s book, “Plankton Is Pushy,” is a 2018 Missouri Building Block nominee that is entertaining to read aloud and requires a bit of acting. In order to get Mussel to talk, Plankton tries everything from lecturing him to begging. The surprise ending will leave you and your audience giggling. Although this book is written in conversational style, many of the pages have no words at all. Readers must rely on body language and facial expression alone to understand the character dynamics. This is a great social skill for younger kids to learn!

After you’ve finished reading “Plankton Is Pushy,” you and your little one can create an ocean themed sensory bottle. These are great for exploration and also a good way to calm down, especially when one might be feeling a little pushy! Continue reading “2018 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Plankton Is Pushy”