Trucks! Cars! Cranes! Ambulances! Cement mixers! Monster trucks! Bulldozers! Firetrucks!
I feel like every child goes through a “vehicle” phase, in one way or another. Mine consisted of building pillow mountains that “avalanched” onto my toy train set. Kids love emergency vehicles, construction site vehicles, school buses and more!
Why not do some vehicle-watching with these fun library-approved iPad apps?
“Trucks HD” by Duck Duck Moose
Intended Age Range: 4+
Click here to find it in the App Store: Free!
“Trucks HD” includes 5 mini games that the user is in control of. There are traffic lights where the user can choose for the cars to go, slow down or stop. There is another where a sharp object puts a hole in a tire and the user must help replace it. Definitely a life simulation game with some small quirks to keep children entertained. Users can play and explore with all kinds of trucks and other vehicles in the town! Continue reading “Beep Beep! Transportation iPad Apps”
From a library not so far, far, away, I bring you the Star Wars Virtual Activity Bundle! Star Wars is a fandom that is as vast as the galaxy itself. I love just about everything Star Wars has to offer—from amazingly independent Princess Leia, fierce but cuddly Chewbacca, to the adorable Porgs. But don’t get me started on my obsession with “The Child” (aka Baby Yoda)! Below you will find Star Wars books, songs and crafts for kids 6-10, but really anyone can have fun with this list! Continue reading “Virtual Activity Bundle: Star Wars”
Fairy tales are stories of wonder and enchantment. Animals talk, princes and princesses fight (or befriend!) dragons and clever creatures outwit villains. In this Virtual Activity Bundle, I’ll share classic tales, some newer tales and some tales with a twist! Continue reading “Virtual Activity Bundle: Fairy Tales”
“Why do I have to wash my hands again?”
“Why do I need to wear a mask?”
“What is a germ?”
Have you heard these questions recently? Washing your hands and wearing a mask are great ways to stop the spread of germs and prevent sickness. However, both of those things can sometimes be not-so-fun for kids.
This Virtual Activity Bundle offers engaging ways for kids to wash their hands and interesting facts about germs. There are also resources that discuss how masks can protect them and aren’t so scary after all.
Continue reading “Virtual Activity Bundle: Germ Busters!”
“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”
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”
Growing up, my family didn’t own gaming consoles. They were expensive, and, according to my parents, a waste of time. Thus, going into my teen years, I had a rather disdainful outlook toward the “gamers” of the world. I couldn’t understand the obsession with sitting in front of a TV for hours on end, mashing buttons.
But then I met my (now) husband. He was funny, an accomplished musician, an A student, active in his scout troop and yet he still played video games. After a few years of dating, he finally convinced me to play The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. To say I was skeptical was an understatement; really I was just doing this for him as a birthday gift. I figured, elementary school kids can do it, how hard can it be? Oh boy, was my snooty little patootie about to learn just how much I’d been misjudging gamers. Continue reading “The Case for Video Games”
Food can be an extremely fun topic for preschoolers. Food can be delicious (chicky nuggies), divisive (peas: a food…or a projectile?) or it can be the perfect accessory to any outfit (why yes, this is a new ketchup stain, thanks for noticing).
Use the resources below to explore everything from how we grow food to making your own dinner. You and your kiddo may want to grab a snack before chowing down on these activities! Continue reading “Virtual Activity Bundle: Food”
Here’s the next round of digital goodies that I’ve purchased recently!
“The Button Book” written by Sally Nicholls, illustrated by Bethan Woollvin
I LOVE interactive books! In this book, the characters come across buttons that do different things. A button may cause them to clap, or sing, or bounce—actions that the readers and listeners can gleefully participate in. Not only does this book highlight fun actions, it also reinforces colors and shapes as each button is different.
“Boxitects” written and illustrated by Kim Smith
Cardboard boxes are serious business. Meg is a boxitect, someone who creates astounding things out of cardboard boxes. When a new boxitect arrives at her school, she learns important lessons about teamwork. If you have any spare boxes laying around your house, this STEAM book will be a great inspiration for some creative time away from screens.
“Tomorrow Most Likely” written by Dave Eggers, illustrated by Lane Smith
Here’s a bedtime book that focuses on tomorrow. A child and his mom imagine all the things they’ll see and do tomorrow, from ordinary things like admiring blue skies to outrageous things like riding whales and eating clouds. The multimedia illustrations are full of energy and humor, and the book celebrates living with anticipation and hope. Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: Excellent eBooks (Part 3)”
Did you know that 1 in 5 people will experience mental illness during their lifetime? And everyone, kids included, faces challenges that can impact their mental health. May is Mental Health Month, and this is an important topic for kids to learn about and discuss. Maybe your child is dealing with mental health issues of their own or perhaps they know someone who struggles with mental illness. As with all important topics, books can do a great job of exploring these ideas in a way that is both compelling and helpful.
Below are some powerful middle grade books concerning mental health. All of these books are accessible in electronic format through OverDrive using your library card. I recommend these titles for kids in the 8-12 age range. (These books do cover complex and sometimes dark topics, so you may want to read them first or be on standby if your child has questions.)
“After Zero” by Christina Collins
Elise carries a notebook full of tallies, each page marking a day spent at her new public school, each stroke of her pencil marking a word spoken. A word that can’t be taken back. Five tally marks isn’t so bad. Two is pretty good. But zero? Zero is perfect. Zero means no wrong answers called out in class, no secrets accidentally spilled, no conversations to agonize over at night when sleep is far away.
Elise isn’t sure she could speak even if she wanted to—not to keep her only friend, Mel, from drifting further away or to ask if anyone else has seen her English teacher’s stuffed raven come to life. Suddenly, the discovery of a shocking family secret helps Elise realize that her silence might just be the key to unlocking everything she’s ever hoped for. This book takes you along Elise’s journey, covering subjects such as anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. Continue reading “Middle Grade Fiction Featuring Mental Health”