Congratulations to the winners of our 2018 Summer Reading bookmark contest! These kids and teens drew and colored designs to celebrate this year’s theme, “Libraries Rock!” The 17 winning designs will be printed and distributed at our libraries this summer.
Your heart pounds and your palms sweat. You check the clock. Time is running out. By now, you’re wondering, “Can we solve the clues, open the locks and complete our mission on time?!” You’re “trapped” in an escape room…and having the time of your life!
If you haven’t heard of escape rooms, Wikipedia provides a pretty good definition: “…a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints and strategy to complete the objectives at hand.” Believed to have originated in Japan, escape rooms started popping up in North America, Europe and East Asia in the 2010s. Since then, the popularity of this entertainment phenomenon has soared. According to roomescapeartist.com, in the US alone, between 2014 and 2017, the number of escape room companies grew from 22 to a staggering 1800, with many of these hosting multiple locations and multiple rooms per site.
Not surprising, the success of the escape room industry has opened the door to other escape-type experiences. So now, anyone can create an escape challenge in their home, office, school and so on.
Here are just a few of the many alternative escape rooms you might want to consider for your next family get-together, group meetup or office event.
On the second Monday of every month, we welcome therapy dogs to the Columbia Public Library for “Reading to Rover.” These trained and certified dogs listen happily as children Kindergarten age and older read books to them—and they might even roll over for tummy rubs! Dogs are very friendly listeners and never judge for mispronounced words.
If your child is working on English as a second language, this program is a great low-risk opportunity to practice reading aloud. It can even be a chance for kids who are nervous around dogs to meet calm dogs in a safe environment.
At “Reading to Rover,” we offer books for your children to choose from, and I like to select dog-themed books especially! Here’s a few of my favorite dog books that you might just see if you join us next time on May 14th, or any second Monday.
It’s finally spring! As warmer weather approaches, we can expect plenty of rain. Many people associate rain with long days stuck indoors, but encouraging kids to play out in the rain is a great way to keep them active and expand their imagination.
Are you looking to incorporate more STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) activities into your child’s life? Have them design and build boats out of aluminum foil, then race them down streams or see if they float in a puddle. Let your kids experiment with the shape of the boats to see which float the best. Then add twigs and little rocks to see how much weight each boat can carry. When you’re ready to warm up inside, you can read “Things That Float and Things That Don’t” by David Adler. This book is full of illustrations and simple definitions for complex subjects such as density and buoyancy.
For more nautical STEAM-inspired fun, be sure to sign up for the Wiggle-Bot Boats program at the Columbia Public Library on Monday, April 23. Kids age 8 and older will have the opportunity to design and build a motorized robot boat. And, even better, they get to keep their creations! Registration begins April 10.
Let’s face it, sometimes graphic novels can get a bad rap. It’s a common misconception that graphic novels have no educational merit or are simply a waste of time. However, graphic novels actually promote many literacy skills that other books simply cannot.
Here’s a short list of the benefits of reading graphic novels:
Graphic novels help kids differentiate emotions using facial expressions and body language.
Have a reluctant reader? Graphic novels can pique the interest of kids who can’t find the fun in traditional books.
For kids who skim pages and read too quickly, pictures can slow them down so they soak up more details.
For visual learners, graphic novels can have more of an impact. They can learn to connect story points and infer things just from visuals.
The Unbound Book Festival will return to downtown Columbia for its third year. This festival attracts nationally-recognized authors across many genres, including children’s and young adult literature.
On Saturday, April 21, the library will be hosting several award-winning children’s authors at the Warehouse Theatre on Stephens College’s campus. We are excited to welcome Salina Yoon, Bill Harley and Clare Vanderpool! There will also be a performance by the TRYPS Singing Princesses, Elsa, Anna, Cinderella and Belle.
Download a complete schedule of Unbound children’s events and a campus map. This event is FREE and open to all lovers of children’s literature, no matter your age! Like this event on Facebook to get the inside scoop on our visiting authors.
Spring is here, which means lots of rainy days ahead. If your family is stuck inside during a downpour (and you’re not afraid of a bit of a mess) then try out this glitter slime recipe. This slime is super shiny, stretchy, squishy and sparkly! And it’s pretty easy to make, so include your kids in on the messy fun of creating this recipe.
What you need:
1/2 cup white glue (Clear works too!)
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon saline solution
Food coloring and glitter
What you do:
Add glue to your bowl.
Add water to glue, and stir until they are combined.
Stir in the baking soda.
Add food coloring and glitter. (We used fine glitter. It doesn’t show up well in photos, but it looks really pretty up close!)
Add saline solution and stir vigorously to form the slime. This takes a few minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when it starts bubbling and pulling up from the sides of the bowl.
Play! Explore the fun, sticky texture of the slime. It’s a bit messy, so wear clothes you don’t mind getting a little grubby. Store your slime in a baggie or reusable container.
For some, spring break means traveling to see exotic animals or taking in great art and culture. But did you know you can do all these things and more at your local library? We are offering a huge variety of great programs for you and your family over spring break, and the following programs don’t require registration. Just show up and have fun!
Animal Tales Presents: Animal Science
Columbia Public Library, Children’s Program Room Tuesday, March 27 › 10-10:45 a.m. · 2-2:45 p.m. · 4-4:45 p.m. · 6-6:45 p.m. Thursday, March 29 › 2-2:45 p.m. · 4-4:45 p.m. · 6-6:45 p.m. Friday, March 30 › 10-10:45 a.m.
Southern Boone County Public Library Wednesday, March 28 › 11-11:45 a.m.
Callaway County Public Library Wednesday, March 28 › 3-3:45 p.m.
The world has so many different types of animals! The educators of Animal Tales will explore the topic of biological classification by introducing you to different live animal guests. You’ll meet a bird, a reptile, an amphibian, a mammal, an invertebrate and maybe even a fish! You and your family will have a chance to interact with some animals and ask lots of questions. Families, all ages. Continue reading “Spring Break Programs”
Bubbles are great fun for kids and adults alike! The following rainbow foam bubble recipe is magical, and mixing the colors can be a learning experience for your kiddos. This foam is a quick to make and easy to clean. You do use soap to make the bubbles, so little ones who tend to put stuff in their mouths should have close supervision.
What you need:
2 tablespoons of dish soap (Liquid bubble bath will also work.)
1/4 cup of water (If you have hard water you might want to use bottled water instead.)
Food coloring or liquid watercolors*
What you do:
Combine the dish soap, water and color in a bowl and mix on the highest possible setting for a minute or two to make foam, which will form stiff peaks when ready. You can make several batches, adding a new color to each. Pour the foam out into a bathtub, sink or large container. Kiddos will love exploring the colors and texture of the foamy bubbles. For extra fun, add some waterproof toys to the foam.
* Food coloring can stain clothing and potentially hands, feet, hair, etc. You might want to explore liquid watercolors — they don’t stain, their colors are vibrant, they mix well and they are inexpensive.
Board games are an incredible tool that can be used to gather the family for some screen-free fun. Beyond just having a good time, board games feature tactile and analytical aspects that can help develop useful life skills.
Here’s just a small number of skills that board games help promote:
Creativity – Games often let players to come up with creative ways to work towards victory.
Imagination – Embracing the fictional world of a game can be a lot of fun.
Critical-thinking – Games allow you to analyze the best ways to reach a goal or solve a problem.
Cooperation – Many games demand communication and teamwork for success.
Sportsmanship – If taught properly, kids can learn to become good losers and mindful winners.
I highly encourage you to check out BoardGameGeek for an amazing list of games ranked specifically with families in mind. Or if you’re looking for a free alternative, your library has you covered! For young children who are learning basic concepts like colors and the alphabet, you can check out Learning Prop Game Kits. Each kit features a simple, unique game that comes in a convenient zip-up pouch. Follow this link to our catalog to put one on hold!