Crushing Hearts for Valentine’s Day

Posted on Monday, February 11, 2019 by Brianna

Valentine’s Day is coming up this week, and that means candy everywhere! If your child is hyped up on sugar, why not let them smash some hearts to burn off steam? You may have heard that the Sweethearts conversation heart candy won’t be around this year, but don’t worry! We can smash the off-brand.

close up of candy conversation hearts

For this activity, obtain some candy conversation hearts. Next, you’ll need a nutcracker and a large tray to work on. After instructing your kiddo about how to safely use the nutcracker (little fingers need to be careful), let them use those fine motor skills to place a candy heart in the nutcracker. Now they just squeeze down, strengthening their hands and crushing the candy heart with a satisfying crunch! Before they do the next one, take a moment to predict how many pieces it will break into. Then count the pieces afterward, to see how accurate the guesses were. Now your child is not only having fun with destruction, they are also practicing math skills!

The candy hearts themselves offer an opportunity for literacy skills, as your child can recognize letters and tell you the sounds they make. If you’re working on colors, have your child sort the hearts by color before commencing the crushing. Thanks to Mary Catherine at Fun-A-Day blog for the idea.

If you want more Valentine’s Day destruction, check out these baked cotton ball hearts that you get to smash with a hammer!

Search-and-Find Books

Posted on Thursday, February 7, 2019 by Lyndsey

I SpyThese colder temperatures have me reminiscing about growing up in the north. One of my favorite activities during the frigid afternoons was digging into an “I Spy” or “Where’s Waldo” book. Remember getting lost in a world of marbles, toy cars and googly eyes? If this brings warm memories to mind, then you might enjoy checking out other search-and-find books. Search-and-find books ask you to locate specific objects or people amidst a crowded scene. They are great for any age and can be a fun family activity that promotes reading! 

The library has a variety of search-and-find books that cater to the interests of any reader. Here’s a list of some of our lesser-known search-and-finds for you to browse. Not only will kids love the pictures, but they will practice early literacy skills such as scanning pages, building vocabulary and decoding symbols. It is also a great way to further develop observation skills as you explore detailed illustrations of fantastical worlds, animal habitats and castles from long ago.

Photo credit: I Spy-Shadows by CliffMuller via Flickr

Celebrate Black History Month

Posted on Monday, February 4, 2019 by Tess

Black History Month PosterFebruary is Black History Month! This is the time of year to talk to our children about the great civil rights leaders, musicians, athletes and politicians who fought for equality and justice for all people. As parents, educators and caregivers, we encourage our children to grow into tolerant, open-minded individuals, so this month I have a two-part challenge for you:

Step 1: Check out a book by an African American author or illustrator. (Here’s a handy list of picture books, chapter books, and teen books!) As of 2017, in the U.S, only 7% of children’s authors and illustrators were people of color, compared to the 37% of the population who are people of color. By actively seeking out these underrepresented voices, we can help support diversity and authors of color!

Step 2: Talk about race. Easier said than done, right? If you’re having a hard time with this one, check out this great Today’s Parent article with an age by age guide to discussing race. Before children enter kindergarten, they’ve already formed racial biases, so please don’t wait for their kindergarten teacher to teach them about diversity. Start the conversation now, and help make the world a better place, one child at a time.

Photo credit: DEOMI 2013 African-American/Black History Month Poster by Texas Military Department via Flickr

2018 Missouri Building Block Award Winner!

Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2019 by Kristy

http://www.dbrl.org/cat/i/684989018A record-breaking 22,000 preschoolers voted for their favorite picture book, selecting “Pug Meets Pig,” written by Sue Lowell Gallion and illustrated by Joyce Wan, as the winner of the 2018 Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award. Check out our previous blog about “Pug Meets Pig” to read a full review of this charming tale.

For more information about the Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award program, go to the website molib.org/awards/building-block-award. And, in case you were wondering, our 2019 nominee announcement is just around the corner. Keep an eye out for an announcement in February!

National Peanut Butter Day

Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2019 by Megan

Peanut butter sandwichOnce a year, I gather my friends to celebrate, give thanks and appreciate the world’s most perfect and delectable food. On this day, we consume this food for breakfast, lunch, dinner and many, many snacks. Even though I eat this food at least once a week, I especially appreciate it on January 24, and, of course, I’m talking about PEANUT BUTTER! **She says like she was giving away cars on a talk show.**  

You can pair it with noodles, cakes, icing, crackers, honey, marshmallows, chocolate and a true classic–jelly. Did you know that peanut butter dates all the way back to the Aztecs and the Mayans, and the first peanut butter making machine was patented in St. Louis, Missouri by Dr. Ambrose Straub in 1903?

To celebrate this most joyous of days, I will be making a giant peanut butter cup. However, if you are looking for a more kid-friendly and healthy recipe, you can try making some no bake energy bites.

No Bake Energy Bites (adapted from Mess for Less)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup Rice Krispies
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup nuts of your choice, chopped

Continue reading “National Peanut Butter Day”

International Animated Children’s Films

Posted on Monday, January 21, 2019 by Tess

“Peter Pan,” “Toy Story,” “Lion King,” “Lady and the Tramp”; just reading the titles of these iconic Disney and Pixar films brings back fond memories of childhood Friday nights, watching a film from Blockbuster. Blockbuster is no longer with us, RIP, but the library has stepped in to keep you and your family entertained when you can watch “Frozen” no more! In addition to all of your favorite classic American films, DBRL has a selection of international animated children’s films for families with kids of all ages! International films are a great way to start conversations about different cultures, help your children develop a broader worldview and enjoy a movie that’s new, even for you!

The films below are listed by country and are either available as a DVD at the library or on our streaming service, Kanopy. I’ve watched all of these films, so I’ve included a personal age recommendation for each movie.

French Films:

"A Cat in Paris"
“A Cat in Paris”

Continue reading “International Animated Children’s Films”

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.

Children’s Books Coming Out in 2019

Posted on Thursday, January 3, 2019 by Lyndsey

Welcome to the new year! There is a lot to look forward to in 2019, including exciting new book releases. While some of these books won’t be released for awhile, feel free to mark your calendars and begin the countdown to their arrival! 

Picture Books

“The Good Egg”- Jory John (Author) and Pete Oswald (Illustrator)Cover The Good Egg
It’s hard feeling like you have to be perfect all the time, especially when everyone else is rotten. Cover My Teacher is a RobotThe good egg must learn to take the pressure off himself and accept others, even when they’re not acting so egg-cellent. Publish date: February

“My Teacher is a Robot”- Jeffrey Brown
Fred thinks school is so boring because his teacher is a robot. Can his imagination get him through the day? Publish date: June

“I’m Trying to Love Math”- Bethany Barton Cover I'm Trying to Love Math
Math can sometimes be intimidating, but this humorous book answers the question, “When will I ever use this?” Discover amazing ways that math is used and learn how math isn’t so scary; it can actually be fun! Publish date: July

“My Big Bad Monster”- A.N. Kang
One girl becomes fed up with her monster of self-doubt. With a little help and determination, she learns how to make the monster vanish. Publish date: July Continue reading “Children’s Books Coming Out in 2019”

Staff Picks: Top Children’s Books of 2018

Posted on Monday, December 31, 2018 by Kristy

Authors and illustrators were on a roll with awesome children’s books in 2018. I asked the youth services staff at DBRL to brainstorm their top picks of 2018, and here’s a great list of favorites that they have put together just for you. So before you move ahead to books published in 2019, make sure to give these awesome books a read or two!

Ben and the Scaredy-DogBen and the Scaredy-dog” written by Sarah Ellis and illustrated by Kim LaFave
This book flips the narrative of “the child is afraid of the dog” and instead makes it “the dog is afraid of the child.” It’s cute, the dog is lovable and it shows kids that animals are much more afraid of them then they are of the animals. This book is a great read on perspective, and it can help give courage to children who are shy about animals.
~Jessica

The Big BedThe Big Bed” by Bunmi Laditan and illustrated by Tom Knight
Wonderful illustrations and sweet story about a child transitioning to their very own bed.
~Elf

The Breaking NewsThe Breaking News” by Sarah Lynne Reul
When bad things happen, look for the helpers. And we can all be helpers.
~Dana

The Call of the SwampThe Call of the Swamp” written by Davide Calì and illustrated by Marco Somà
This is a lovely story about what home really means and what makes it important. It can be an adoption story, but it’s more broad and equivocal than that. And the art is just fantastic.
~Dana Continue reading “Staff Picks: Top Children’s Books of 2018”

Take a Look! It’s a Book and Game Nook!

Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2018 by Amy

Just past the Children’s Services desk at the Columbia Public Library, there’s a little nook with book bundles and game kits. What are book bundles? They’re bundles of books that are preselected around fun themes such as “favorites,” “animals” and “friends.” All tied together, each bundle includes 5 (4 fiction and 1 nonfiction) of the best books on the theme. This is a wonderful grab-and-go station for when you are in a hurry or chasing kiddos around. Simply grab a bundle of books and check them out! It’s that easy. We take care of all the book searching for you.

Located just to the left of our book bundle station are colorful bags called Learning Props Game Kits. These kits are small, portable bags that double as a game board. Each kit comes with 1 board/bag, 4 game playing pieces, 1 die and a book about the theme. Theme’s include “critters,” “dress up,” “body parts,” “shape land” and more. Game kits check out for 4 weeks and are great for ages 3 and up.