What is a traveling companion?
Traveling companions are paper friends that can travel with us. To celebrate Summer Reading this year, we have two adorable traveling companions: the traveling unicorn and the traveling dragon. Similar to the Flat Stanley (or Scooter the Cougar, if you’re part of the Columbia College family), kids can color their companion, cut it out, and then take cute photos together.
Travel might be limited this summer, but some families are taking this opportunity to go camping in a state park, visit the local beaches or explore some of their hometown parks. This coloring adventure can leap from your kitchen table out into the wilderness as you create and explore with your own traveling companion! Continue reading “Summer Reading Traveling Companions”
For many, summer wouldn’t be summer without a family camping trip. From sleeping in the great outdoors to s’mores around a campfire, camping is the ultimate get-away-from-it-all vacation! And after months of quarantine, nothing sounds better, right? But is it okay to camp?
For now, the jury is still out regarding the safety of a lot of activities. A recent article, authored by four public health specialists, rated 36 activities by their estimated level of COVID-19 infection risk. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest risk level, camping rated a 3. To put this in perspective, attending a large concert is rated at a 9, whereas gyms, amusement parks and churches come in at a level 8. Continue reading “Camping in the Age of COVID-19”
Running out of ways to entertain your kids this summer? Then let’s get magical! It’s so fun for kids when someone knows exactly which card they’ve picked from a deck or pulls a quarter from behind their ear.
Magic isn’t just for the professionals; Kids can learn the mechanics and science of magic tricks too. Try out this book list to get started on your family’s magical adventures! Below are a few of my favorites.
“Children’s Book of Magic” by DK Publishers
In addition to an introduction to magic from ancient times to the present, this book explores the different types of magic, magicians and tricks using archival illustrations as well as photographs. Twenty different tricks are explained along with their history. These include the secrets of sleight of hand and the mysteries of misdirection. This book will have answers for even the most magic obsessed child. Continue reading “Polish Your Magic Skills and Put on a Show!”
Summer reading is in full swing, and I’m here with some awesome suggestions for you! Since the library is partially reopened again and we are still doing curbside pickup, I chose to highlight physical books I’ve bought recently. But if you enjoy reading things digitally, never fear! I’m still buying all kinds of exciting ebooks and audiobooks for OverDrive.
“The Hidden Rainbow” written and illustrated by Christie Matheson
The sweetest story time I ever did was with a small group of toddlers and Matheson’s “Tap the Magic Tree.” Interactive read-alouds are my favorite, and I can’t wait to get my hands on this one. Gardening! Counting! Colors! This book has so much to offer. Little ones will help brush snow off flowers, blow away raindrops and encourage the bees as they go about their vital business of pollination. Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: July Favorites 2020”
“5…4…3…2…1…blast off!” That’s the start of the song “Rocketship Run” by Laurie Berkner, a hit with kids and parents. Kids love to count! Backwards, forwards; it’s all fun. Numbers are everywhere in our daily lives.
I frequently hear questions like these from my grandkids:
- “How many cookies may I have?”
- “How many toy cars do you think I can I line up across the table?”
- “How many cups can I stack before it all falls down?
I love getting these kinds of questions, because they are a great learning opportunity and can make math fun. If you and your child want to play with numbers, check out the resources and activities below. Continue reading “Virtual Activity Bundle: Counting”
Do you have a middle grader or teen who struggles with reading? This can be difficult, because this age group doesn’t want to read “little kid” books, but they still need to build up their reading skills. A great alternative for them could be high interest, low level books.
What are high-interest, low-level books?
High interest, low level books (hi-lo, hi/low, etc.) are books that typically appeal to struggling readers. High interest means that the books often have suitable content for middle graders and teens, but low level means that they have a lower difficulty level. Continue reading “Books for Struggling Readers”
Have you ever wanted to run away from home? And where would you go if you ran away? In E.L. Konigsburg’s classic children’s novel, “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,” the protagonist, twelve-year-old Claudia, feeling under-appreciated by her parents, decides to run away to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Claudia takes her younger brother Jamie along with her. After the initial fun of being away from home subsides, the two of them get caught up in solving a mystery—the unknown identity of the sculptor of a beautiful angel statue recently purchased from the collection of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, a woman who will change the siblings’ lives dramatically. Continue reading “Author Spotlight: E.L. Konigsburg”
As I wrote in a previous blog, my baby girl is OBSESSED with touch and feel books. We’ve checked out so many that she’s pretty disappointed when we read books with “normal” pages. Where’s the lift-a-flaps? Where’s the fluffy bunny?
While the Never Touch a… series was my baby’s favorite for a while, it has been officially kicked to the curb! The books she prizes above all are now the Poke-a-dot board books.
These books, created by Melissa and Doug, teach different concepts, with an emphasis on counting. Each page has plastic dots that you can poke, and they make a snapping sound similar to that made when you pop bubble wrap. My daughter absolutely loves poking these dots. Even before she had the fine motor coordination to poke them herself, she stayed engaged in the books because of the satisfying pop each dot made when I pressed them in. Continue reading “Do the Book-y Poke-y”
Here at the library, we’ve tried out many apps on our iPads for kids. We strive to find apps that are both educational and fun! Animal apps are always a favorite with our young patrons. Whether they include numbers, patterns, fun noises or stories, animal apps are a great way to involve children with digital content.
Here are my favorite animal iPad apps:
“Barnyard Dance” by Sandra Boynton
Click Here to Find it in the App Store: $2.99
Intended age range: 4+
This fun app comes with a lovely fiddle accompaniment as John Stey reads Sandra Boynton’s “Barnyard Dance.” The app opens on a table with a board book that the user can open and flip the pages. The pictures are interactive, so young hands can “slide” with the sheep or cluck with the chickens. Definitely fun for engaging children with the material they’re reading.
Continue reading “Learn and Play at Home: Animal iPad Apps”
Quirky books like “Guinness book of World Records: Biggest and Smaller!” “Strange But True” and “Ripleys Believe It or Not: Eye-popping Oddities” are titles that typically fly off the shelves in the children’s section of the library. But what is it about weird and fascinating facts that appeal to children?
Children see the the world through a wide lens—one without boundaries and limitations—where anything and everything is possible. When children are exposed to new things, this elicits a sense of wonder, or a feeling of awe. According to David Delgado, co-founder of the Museum of Awe, this feeling is “like magic, amazement, mystery, reverence. It’s the moment when we realize it’s a gift and privilege to be alive.”
Encourage this feeling of awe with your own children by urging them to ask questions, learn about unique things and seek out new experiences!
DBRL has a wide variety of books about weird and fascinating subjects that your children will love.