America Recycles Day, celebrated on November 15th, has passed us by. Did you celebrate with your children by utilizing your local recycling center, repurposing something that you otherwise would have thrown away or by taking the Keep America Beautiful pledge? If you did, wonderful! If you missed out on celebrating America Recycles Day, that’s okay! You can celebrate recycling any day of the year.
Recycling is a great activity for children to participate in, not only because it helps the environment and reduces waste, but also because it can be a sorting project, requiring children to pay attention to details.
“Hooray for Hat!” is a fun, brightly colored picture book that follows animal friends as they go from being grumpy to being happy, all thanks to wonderful hats! The simple text and the animals’ facial expressions let us clearly know the animals’ moods throughout the book. Brian Won, both the illustrator and author, begins the book with a gray elephant waking up grumpy. What will change his mood!? Why, a stack of fun hats of course! Elephant then wants to show his friends his hats and share the joy.
Last year I heard about a wonderful idea called the Teal Pumpkin Project. The primary goal of the project is to make trick-or-treating on Halloween safer for children with food allergies. To do this, Teal Pumpkin Project participants have non-candy treats on hand, and they display a sign and a pumpkin painted teal to let trick-or-treaters know safe treats are available. The Teal Pumpkin Project started in 2014, and it is the brain child of the Food Allergy Research & Education organization.
The Teal Pumpkin Project makes Halloween not only safer but healthier as well. If you hand out treats on Halloween, explore some non-candy options, such as pencils, erasers, glow sticks, stickers, bubbles, bookmarks, whistles or other small objects. Just be sure that you are aware of what might be a choking hazard for little ones. Don’t forget to display your participation with a Teal Pumpkin Project sign!
Have you ever taken a song and added your own words? Jane Cabrera does this with “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” As her characters row down the stream, they spot a variety of animals, each making a noise. Have your child make the noise, too. Animal noises are a fun way to practice sounds. This is an early literacy skill—something that lays a foundation for reading readiness.
Children love to move. You and your child could sit on the floor, bottoms of your feet touching the bottoms of his feet. Hold hands and gently pull back and forth as you “row” and sing the song.
Your child could act out the story by pretending that a box or a laundry basket is a boat. Does she have some stuffed animals she could set beside the “boat” and tell her own story? This activity helps with narrative skills and reading comprehension.
The library is celebrating Latino history with a variety of programs, book displays, special story times and more! One way you can continue this fun at home is to create a rainstick based on those used by the Aztecs. The Aztecs believed that they could summon rain storms by using rainsticks. Originally they were made from pieces of hollow cacti that were dried in the sun. The spines from the cacti were driven into the cacti like nails, and pebbles or other small objects were placed inside. To complete the rainstick, the ends were sealed. When the rain stick was tipped, the pebbles would fall through the tube and bump against the spines. This would create a sound like falling rain.
Now, I’m not going to ask you to go find a cactus for this project. There is a simple, child-friendly rainstick you and your kids can create.
October is finally here, which means that it’s the perfect time to curl up with some candy corn in one hand and a Halloween-themed book in the other. We have recently acquired several new scary and not-so-scary eBooks for children, and we invite you to browse through these spooky stories.
Here are some spook-tacular new Halloween-themed eBooks you can access through Overdrive.
The Missouri Building Block Award is presented annually to the author and illustrator of the picture book voted the best by preschool and kindergarten children. Over the next 10 weeks we will be featuring ways to enjoy this year’s nominees. Once you read at least five Building Block nominees, then vote for your favorite! The first book we will feature is “Naked” by Michael Ian Black.
The main character in “Naked,” a little boy bursting with enthusiasm, loves the time between bath time and bedtime. Our hero comes out of the bath full of energy, imagining what it would be like to go naked all the time (the illustrator is very discreet with her pictures). He then adds a cape, which is even better! He takes several breaks to eat his bedtime snack of cookies and then realizes he is cold. On go the dragon pajamas and he is finally “exhausted” and ready for bed.
Reading “Naked” could lead to all kinds of great discussions and activities.
Since all full time 5th grade students in Columbia Public Schools have been issued iPad Minis, we have been seeing many young folks using these new tablets. These iPads are not only good for schoolwork but also for accessing some great eBooks from DBRL. The library offers a wide array of electronic resources such as films, music, magazines and of course eBooks that can be accessed via devices such as iPads as long as you live in our service area. Our most popular eBook service is Overdrive. To use Overdrive on your iPad, you only need to follow these five quick and easy steps to download the app. Continue reading “Five Quick Steps to eBook Success (for iPads!)”
Thanks to all our patrons for making this summer such a memorable one. “Every Hero Has a Story” has been one of our more popular Summer Reading themes, and kids, parents and employees showed their enthusiasm at all our branches.
Kids are curious. They ask a million questions. And as far as I know, there’s no definitive book of answers for how to talk to your little ones about serious issues, such as the Holocaust or slavery or hurricanes or death. It’s difficult to navigate how much to tell them when you want to be honest with them but not scare or overwhelm them with things they aren’t emotionally ready to handle. When you think you are ready to tackle these issues, there are some great books that can help.
“The Whispering Town” by Jennifer Elvgren is a beautifully written, simple book that tells the story of a family who hid Jewish families in Nazi-occupied Denmark and helped them get to Sweden safely. It is based on a true story and tells the clever and unusual plan that little Anett devises to get her “new friends” to safety. A sweet story, with just enough details for curious little ones. Continue reading “Tackling Tough Topics”