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.
On February 1, the Southern Boone County Library hosted a stuffed animal sleepover for ten of our closest friends. Everyone got along really well, but some of our group got a little mischievous! A couple of our furry pals learned that the photocopier is not the most efficient way to take a selfie and had to go to time out. Some of the stuffed animals read books while others took turns on the iPads. They also played games and had snacks, though the beaver preferred chewing on pencils to popcorn. After everyone got a sip of water, it was off to bed and sweet dreams!
In today’s technology-driven world, it can be easy to forget that educating our children about practical life skills is just as important as, say, instructing them on operating their smart devices. Going a step further, chances are that basic life skills kids learn today (such as how to prepare a meal, do laundry, count change and so on) will be utilized long after the latest technology is obsolete.
However, even if teaching life skills is on your radar, you many not immediately think of sewing as one of them. And yet, as with all basic skills, learning to sew helps children become more self-reliant. The act of sewing helps a child improve dexterity, fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Sewing also builds self-confidence, encourages creativity and fosters a sense of accomplishment. When a child sews, they learn patience and perseverance, as well as the satisfaction of a job well done. Continue reading “Ready…Set…Sew!”
We are going to play a game. I’ll give you a handful of facts about a famous person, and you try and guess the person. If you are right, there is a prize for you at the end of this post. Ready? Here we go!
We don’t know his exact birthday because he was born a slave. Historians think it was around 1864. We do know he died on January 5, 1943.
He was born in Diamond, Missouri.
He studied plants, especially the peanut.
He only filed for three patents in his life, though by his own admittance he made over 300 products.
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!
There is something magical about being read to, which is why I absolutely love listening to audiobooks. The library offers many ways to listen to your favorite audiobooks, including audio CDs, downloadables on the Hoopla or Libby app and Playaways. Playaways are easy to use, preloaded audiobooks, and they are great for kids! They are durable and come with a lanyard, so kids can listen to them on the go. Playaways can be used with standard headphones or they can be plugged into external speakers and car adapters. I enjoy using Playaways when walking to class or completing chores.
We have a wide variety for every reader. Check out one of our newer playaways, “Short” by Holly Goldberg Sloan, or listen to a classic like “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams Bianco.
For a complete list of children’s Playaways available at our branches, click here.
A passage in “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams Bianco never fails to bring tears to my eyes: “Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become Real.” Even as an adult, I relate to Skin Horse at that moment because he is experiencing human emotions.
For most of us, childhood is when we learn to master feelings and emotions. And this can be challenging to say the least. Just ask any adult who has carried a screaming child out of a store.
According to an article in Psychology Today, reading to your child is one of the best ways to help them develop their emotional skill sets. Children realize they are not alone when they see fictional characters struggle to make sense of their emotions. They learn that it’s okay tohave feelings that you don’t always understand and that working through them is just a part of growing up. Continue reading “Feelings Are Universal”
This past fall, theColumbia Public Library hosted its sixth season of the Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Awards program. Youth in grades 4-8 were invited to join us twice per month to discuss possible Newbery Medalcontenders for 2018. At these interactive sessions, we discussed six Newbery contender books, and participants were able to defend the book that they felt deserved the Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Award.
Looking to encourage more creativity in your child this year? Pick up a pencil, crayon or marker and start drawing! Drawing has many benefits for kids of all ages. It develops fine motor skills, sparks imagination, builds confidence and can even be therapeutic.
Need a little help getting started? Art for Kids Hub is a great website that has hundreds of videos teaching kids (and adults) how to draw, paint, sculpt and fold origami.
Rob at Art for Kids Hub draws with his own kids, so children get to see a professional and peer drawing side by side. Kids of any ability are encouraged to create unique masterpieces and are reminded to have fun with it. The lessons range from drawing a cartoon pizza to Harry Potter.
“Auld Lang Syne” is a song that’s often a part of many New Year’s traditions. The term “auld lang syne” roughly translates to “days gone by” or “old times.” Even though the New Year is often focused on looking towards the future with intentions of self-improvement, this classic song asks us to reflect upon the past year(s) and be introspective about what has changed. Its lyrics help us think about all of the adventures we’ve experienced and the friendships that have come and gone. It’s a nice way to stay thankful, humble and mindful. Here are a few excerpts (translated):
“Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine.
And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o’ thine!
So on this New Year’s, try to reflect on the past in addition to planning for the future. This opens up a whole lot of activities and exercises that can be done with kids. You can discuss fond memories or perhaps memories long forgotten. You can ask them whether they have become closer to anybody or if they have grown farther apart from someone and how that makes them feel.
It can also be an excellent time to look at some old pictures that were taken and talk about memories experienced together. This can improve not only memory but also imagination, storytelling and critical thinking skills. Plus, it’s always fun to reminisce on the past.