Recipes for Fun: Ribbon Pulls

Posted on Monday, August 14, 2023 by Kristy

Have you seen our Recipes for Fun videos? We have 24 videos with our favorite activities for you to try at home. Check them all out here!

In the video below, librarian Megan will show you how to make ribbon pulls to help your child explore different textures and sounds while developing fine motor skills. Have fun!

Brianna’s Books: August Favorites 2023

Posted on Monday, August 7, 2023 by Brianna

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I’ve got a nice mix of books for you this month! Family and empathy, swimming  and an adrenaline-packed, weeklong dragon race — there’s something for everyone to enjoy in our last full month of summer.

Picture Books

There's Always Room for One More coverThere’s Always Room for One More” written by Robyn McGrath and illustrated by Ishaa Lobo 

Clare is looking forward to Grandpa moving in with their family, until Mama declares that this means the family will need a bigger table. Clare loved her old table, which was just right for homework and family breakfasts. The bigger table arrives and the family and neighbors help to clean and sand it, and Clare starts feeling overwhelmed and missing the old table. Mama gently points out that Grandpa might be feeling a little overwhelmed too about leaving his old home. Clare and Mama work together to make Grandpa’s favorite dessert to welcome him with a big party where she understands that a new table means plenty of room for new memories. This is a wonderful celebration of family and navigating change. Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: August Favorites 2023”

Sing Along: Bumpin’ Up and Down in My Little Red Wagon

Posted on Monday, July 31, 2023 by Kristy

Have you seen our Music and Movement videos? We have nearly 100 videos with our favorite rhymes, songs, chants and fingerplays. Check them all out here!

Here’s a song that’s fun for both littles and their adults. Get ready to sing and bounce around with this silly tune called “Bumpin’ Up and Down in My Little Red Wagon.”


Bumpin’ up and down in my little red wagon,

Bumpin’ up and down in my little red wagon,

Bumpin’ up and down in my little red wagon,

Won’t you be my darling?


(Want to sing some more? Add other verses: getting a hug, clapping our hands, giving a kiss, etc.)

Brianna’s Books: May Favorites 2023

Posted on Thursday, May 4, 2023 by Brianna

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I tend to be drawn to a lot of fantasy books, and I freely admit it! But this time, I’ve kept myself to contemporary realism. No spells or superpowers or talking animals, just real people in real situations. Okay, the virtual reality graphic novel might be skirting the line, but I still get points for trying.

Picture Books

Big coverBig” written and illustrated by Vashti Harrison

This could easily be one of the most important books we read this year. The book opens with an adorable baby girl, who has a big laugh, a big heart and big dreams. She learns and grows, and adults exclaim over what a big girl she is. Being a big girl is an exciting aspiration when you’re little, but eventually it’s no longer a good thing. Soon it’s, “Aren’t you too big for that?” and suddenly you’re not fitting into costumes or swings or with the other kids. As the little girl is bombarded with cruel words, both unthinking and intentional, she withdraws until she finds the courage to love and accept herself. The author’s note shares her own experience of being “in the crosshairs of adultification bias and anti-fat bias” and offers hope and love to all other children that may be going through the same thing. Known as an illustrator, Harrison’s artwork is absolutely perfect, and the story itself is one that everyone needs to hear. Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: May Favorites 2023”

Sink the Egg Challenge

Posted on Thursday, April 20, 2023 by Katie

Now is the time of year when plastic eggs become widely available in stores, and they also reemerge from under beds, the back of the closet or the top shelf of the garage. In some households, these eggs are filled with treats by adults, and hidden for children to find. Other households hide the eggs outside multiple times and decide who can find the most. This year I found a STEM challenge that can be done indoors, with less risk of losing the eggs. 

This challenge is about guessing (or hypothesizing) whether the item you place in the plastic egg will make the egg sink.  

For this game, you will need the following supplies: 

  • Plastic eggs 
  • Water
  • Container to hold water (mixing bowl, sink, bucket)
  • Assorted items that fit into an egg (see ideas below)
  • Optional: paper and pencil

I suggest having your items for inside the eggs preselected and ready before you and your child begin experimenting. I organized my items in a muffin tin. If your eggs have holes, cover those with tape to make water-tight seal.

Continue reading “Sink the Egg Challenge”

Dreamy Bedtime Books

Posted on Monday, March 13, 2023 by Laura

Daylight saving time is upon us, and brighter evening skies can certainly boost our moods and signal warmer days ahead. But if you’re a parent or caregiver, daylight saving time can also make bedtime MUCH more challenging! Any changes in sleep routine can be super disruptive for kids, and “springing forward” can result in grumpiness and sleep deprivation that lingers for days.

Pediatricians and sleep experts stress that creating and sticking to a nightly routine is crucial as the days stretch longer. For many families, this routine is capped off with a bedtime story. On those bleak nights when sleep seems so far away, a blissful bedtime read may just be the perfect remedy for rambunctious little ones and stressed-out caregivers alike. For this list, I went in search of books with gentle rhymes, dreamy illustrations and sweet sentiments for saying “good night.” Continue reading “Dreamy Bedtime Books”

Brianna’s Books: March Favorites 2023

Posted on Thursday, March 9, 2023 by Brianna

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I’ve got some treats for you this month! Tasty picture books, a new fantasy series opener and a historical fiction for horse lovers. I can’t think of a better way to finish out the last few days of winter than spending time with some new books.

Picture Books

Ramen for Everyone coverRamen for Everyone” written by Patricia Tanumihardja and illustrated by Shiho Pate

Do illustrations of food tickle your tastebuds? They sure do for me! This book is full of delicious pictures of ramen that had me searching for the nearest ramen restaurant. Hiro is a little boy who loves ramen, especially when his dad makes it every Sunday. His dad follows a recipe passed down from his father, and Hiro carefully observes and takes notes every time. When he turns seven, Hiro decides it’s time to make his own perfect bowl of ramen! But things are a lot more difficult than anticipated, and it takes some encouragement from Dad to prevent Hiro from giving up. The illustrations are reminiscent of manga, and the text is filled with action words that capture the excitement and joy in the kitchen. The lesson about perseverance and being okay with something that’s less than perfect would be a great conversation topic as you enjoy a bowl of ramen with your kiddo! (Full disclosure: as of the writing of this blog, I have not actually ever eaten real ramen. I hope that by the time you’re reading this, I will have remedied that.) Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: March Favorites 2023”

Brianna’s Books: February Favorites 2023

Posted on Thursday, February 9, 2023 by Brianna

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I tend to read a lot of fantasy, so I think that’s often what my eye is drawn to when writing these blogs. This time, I’ve kept it all contemporary realism! Well, mostly. There is an anthropomorphized bird, but that’s kind of standard for a picture book. I hope you enjoy these new books, and that they help you to walk a mile (or two!) in someone else’s shoes.

Picture Books

Finding Papa” written by Angela Pham Krans and illustrated by Thi Bui

Mai lives with her mama and papa in a small village in Vietnam and loves playing with Papa. Her favorite game is “crocodile chomp” when Papa chomps his hands together like a hungry crocodile. One morning, Papa says an extra-long goodbye and doesn’t come back. He’s gone to find them a new home, and Mai consoles herself by playing crocodile chomp alone. Finally, Mama gets a letter and they pack a bag and leave to find Papa. Through rivers and boats and unfamiliar cities, Mama and Mai make their perilous journey together. Crocodile chomp paves the way for their eventual reunion with Papa. Love and hope shine from these pages, and the author’s notes at the back provide touching context from their personal immigration stories. Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: February Favorites 2023”

Ice Suncatcher

Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2023 by Robyn

Did you know the Iñupiat have more than 100 names for different kinds of sea ice? Although Mid-Missouri doesn’t get — and stay — as cold as places like Alaska, we still experience an array of winter precipitation. This time of year calls many of us to stay cozy inside, and I respect that. But, it can also be fun to bundle up, take a short walk and come back inside for something warm like hot chocolate or tea. I invite you to venture outdoors with any little ones around. Look in all directions as you walk, keeping an eye open for twigs, acorns, pine needles etc. that have fallen on the ground. When you come back inside, warm up with a yummy drink and gather ‘round to make an ice suncatcher you can later hang outside. 

Tip: This project can be used as a hands-on opportunity to talk about the water cycle

Continue reading “Ice Suncatcher”

How to Build a Hug

Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2023 by Adam

Hugs are one of the most common ways to show affection and love, and there are many different kinds of hugs: front hugs; side hugs; group hugs; bear hugs; romantic hugs. Many kids love getting hugs from their parents, grandparents, siblings or friends, though (as we’ll see in some of the books in this list) not all do, which is why it’s important to ask if you’re not sure whether someone wants to be hugged. So, in honor of National Hugging Day, which is celebrated on January 21st, here are a handful of books about hugs that the library has to offer:

A hug between a parent and child can be one of the sweetest and most nourishing things in the world, and “The Littlest Things Give the Loveliest Hugs” by Mark Sperring, “Time for a Hug” by Phillis Gershator and Mim Green, and “Good Night Hugs” by Ag Jatkowska are all celebrations of the special bond between little ones and their parents. Continue reading “How to Build a Hug”