Summer Reading is over, but that’s no reason to leave behind all the fun you can have with an outer space theme! Just last month was the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, so why not celebrate with these moon landing activities?
Blast Off Collage
Try making this blast off collage with your little ones. You’ll need the following supplies:
- Rocket on any color paper (You can use the template on page 4 of this file)
- Black paper
- Tissue paper (various night sky and fire colors)
- Glue sticks
- Star stickers (optional)
- Markers or crayons
After coloring and cutting out the rocket from the template, set it aside and prepare your night sky background. Tear up bits of tissue paper (that’s the extra fun part!) and glue them on the black paper to give texture to the sky. Try using blues and purples for the sky, and save orange and red for the rocket. If you have star stickers, add them to the sky as well! Then glue the rocket onto the black paper, and add some flame colored tissue paper to the bottom of the rocket. We have liftoff!
Now that you have a rocket, it’s time to create a moon surface to land on. Little astronauts will delight in playing with this extremely soft moon sand! You’ll need the following:
- 4 cups flour
- ½ cup baby oil
- Large bowl
- Spoon (optional)
- Large bin or tray
- Toy cars or people (optional)
Using your hands or a spoon, mix the flour and baby oil together in a bowl to make moon sand. Double the recipe if you want more sand to enjoy. Spread out the moon sand in a large bin, and invite the kids to play! (For easy cleanup, set up this activity on a tarp or old sheet.) Toss in some toy people or cars, and your little ones can reenact the moon landing or start the first lunar colonization attempt. Let them lead the play, and see where their imaginations take you!
Recently we had a sensory program at the library for little ones birth to three years old. To fit with Summer Reading, we made everything outer space themed! You can try recreating these at home, or go in your own direction.
This station was very popular with some of our youngest participants! Babies loved laying on the soft blanket and looking up at the ‘stars.’ To make this, we found a large box and grabbed a string of Christmas lights. After reinforcing the edges of the box with duct tape, we poked holes in the cardboard so we could stick individual lights through. You could create specific constellations, or just fill the space with the lights like we did. Creating the box will take a little time, but it’s well worth the effort!
Asteroid Field Ball Pit
In Star Wars, Han Solo tells C-3PO to never tell him the odds of surviving an asteroid field. Our asteroid field is much more safe! Toss some balls of various sizes into a plastic pool to contain them, and with a little imagination, you’ve got your very own asteroid field. We threw in some pieces of foil blanket for some extra texture, and little ones were delighted. Not only are the asteroid balls fun to play with, they’re a great way to improve motor skills, as well as hand-eye coordination if you take turns rolling them to each other.
Hubble Telescope Light Board Art
For this station, we were inspired by images captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. We glued stars onto overhead transparencies, then placed them on a light board. Little ones put different colors of cellophane on the light board and had fun layering them to make new color combinations. The results were beautiful!
Galaxy Calming Bottles
We love sensory bottles, and these were no exception. We used Voss water bottles, but you can use whatever you like as long as it’s sturdy and you can seal it. To stick with our outer space theme, we made one night sky bottle, one inspired by the sun, and one glow in the dark. To make the night and sun ones, we used baby oil, candy coloring dye, lots of glitter and some star-shaped confetti. The glow in the dark bottle is just glow in the dark glue and hot water. Continue reading “Sensory Space Activities”
Space has been the inspiration and setting for many fictional stages. Authors like Orson Scott Card, H. G. Wells, George Lucas, and Jason Fry have dazzled us with their out of this world narratives of aliens and space adventure. Each fictional world creates its own idea of the strange and interesting things that might be going on in our universe. However, sometimes the facts can be stranger than fiction!
Reading nonfiction with your child can be just as fun as reading fiction, and it’s a good way to introduce young minds to the world around them. It’s never too early to share nonfiction books with young readers! You can get started with some great nonfiction based on this year’s Summer’s Reading program “A Universe of Stories.” Below is just a suggested list. If the text seems too complex, read what you’d like from it and just talk about the pictures with your child. In this way, nonfiction books for all ages can be shared as a family.
Books for babies and toddlers
Continue reading “Stranger Than Fiction: A Universe of Facts”
Singing songs and rhyming can be great ways to get your child interested in reading. Rhyming words and songs are not only fun but also help familiarize children with the beginning and ending sounds in words. This is crucial for when kids begin reading on their own.
Songs are great for on the go! You and your child can sing in the car, at the grocery store, while playing at the park and before bed. You can even make up your own fun songs that play with words and sounds.
The theme of our 2019 Summer Reading program is “A Universe of Stories” and is a fantastic place to start. Those of you familiar with our story times can probably sing our crowd favorite “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom,” but if you haven’t heard of it, give it a try! (Don’t forget to blast off at the end, jumping into the air.)
Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
Zoom, Zoom, Zoom,
We’re going to the moon.
Zoom, Zoom, Zoom,
We’re going to the moon.
If you want to take a trip,
Climb aboard my rocket ship.
Zoom, Zoom, Zoom,
We’re going to the moon.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1,
Blast off! Continue reading “Blast Off With Songs and Rhymes About Our Universe”
Summer starts this Friday, June 21! Need something for your kiddos to do during the long, hot days of summer? Here’s a list of sunny reads, tunes and shows sure to delight all ages!
“Little Sunny Sunshine” by Susie Jaramillo
Sing, laugh and play along with this interactive, bilingual board book that’s inspired by a traditional Colombian folk song. Readers will learn the days of the week in English and Spanish, as well as activities for daytime and bedtime.
“Goldie the Sunshine Fairy” by Daisy Meadows
When Goldie the Sunshine Fairy’s magic feather disappears, Wetherbury becomes so hot and sunny that the cornfields turn into popcorn!
“Running on Sunshine” by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano
The sun is a source of energy for living things, and energy that comes from sunshine is called solar energy. But how does solar energy work? And how can we use solar energy to stay on the cutting-edge of technology and help keep the environment healthy?
“You Are My Sunshine” by Jimmie Davis
Lovingly illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church, this book contains the lyrics to “You Are My Sunshine,” which you can read and sing with your child.
“Little Miss Sunshine Presents Fun in the Sun!” (DVD)
Little Miss Sunshine rings in the day with plenty of sunshine, her playful nature sure to brighten your kiddo’s days!
“You Are My Sunshine” by Elizabeth Mitchell (CD)
Vocalist Elizabeth Mitchell sings soothing yet playful children’s tunes in this lovely CD.
According to the Scholastic “Guide to Using Graphic Novels With Children and Teens,” there are four ways through which graphic novels promote literacy. Graphic novels:
- Are motivating: Because they are visually compelling and quick reads, these books are popular with kids, teens and adults.
- Attract reluctant readers: Graphic novels tend to attract those who prefer gaming or visual media, getting even the most reluctant audiences interested.
- Develop reading skills: The pictures and illustrations in graphic novels give context clues to the words, helping kids improve reading skills and comprehension.
- Build critical thinking skills: Graphic novels can provide complex plot lines that allow readers to stretch their minds, predicting outcomes and solving mysteries.
DBRL has a number of comics and graphic novels for all age groups to dive into. Our Summer Reading program’s theme, “A Universe of Stories,” generates a lot of fun titles!
For more graphic novel titles for young readers check out the American Library Association’s website!
The weather is warmer and school is winding down, which can only mean one thing–Summer Reading is here! Start your summer off right with some out of this world entertainment! We are excited to bring children’s musician Justin Roberts to the Missouri Theater and storyteller Linda Gorham to all of our library buildings. Bonus: Attending one or both of these performances can count toward your completion of the Summer Reading program.
Justin Roberts & The Not Ready for Naptime Players
Saturday, June 1, 2019 › 11 a.m.-Noon
Missouri Theatre, 203 S. 9th St.
Rock out to the music of this award-winning band as we kick off Summer Reading. This former Montessori preschool teacher began writing and singing songs for his students. Soon, his career extended beyond the classroom, and he began recording his music professionally. Now a two-time Grammy nominee, he and his band sing about childhood experiences like “Recess” and “Jungle Gym.”
For ADA accommodations, call the Missouri Theatre at (573) 882-3781. For other concert questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org. This special Justin Roberts performance is partially funded by the Melissa Carr Literacy Through the Arts Fund established by the DBRL Foundation.
This show is for fans of all ages and abilities. Free tickets are available at www.dbrl.org/justinroberts.
Continue reading “Out of This World Performances”
It’s never too early to introduce your child to the wonder of reading. Nursery rhymes and songs are an engaging way to help your little one develop their early literary skills like phonological awareness, the ability to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words. This skill will enable children to sound out the words in books when they begin reading on their own. Additionally, by reading with your child frequently, you are helping expand their vocabulary, letter knowledge and storytelling skills.
Board books are best for young readers because they teach children how to to handle books while withstanding the wear and tear of small hands (and teeth!). Try allowing your child to hold the book while you read the words aloud. Below are some suggested titles that compliment our Summer Reading theme, “A Universe of Stories.” We hope these titles provide plenty of inspiration for exploration and adventure.
Continue reading “Lift Off With Early Literacy Skills”
One of the hardest things to do after reading a great book is finding what to read next. I want a book that I know will be worth my time. When working with youth, finding the right book can help foster their love for reading. That’s where book lists come in!
DBRL Kids & Parents has many book lists, including our own Summer Reading book lists. But if you have already exhausted those, check out The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) books lists below. ALSC is a branch of the American Library Association that is dedicated solely to children, and their book lists are always superb.
I’ve adapted the book lists to display each book’s location at DBRL. Happy reading!