Archive for kid stuff

book some fun

Let’s book some fun with snow!

First, read the book Snowballs by Lois Ehlert (Lane Library info here), and find out just how fun making a snowman (and more!) can be.   If it’s snowing outside, go out and make your own snow family.

After you have read the book, get ready to make an indoor snowperson.  Use three paperplates per snowperson.  Help your child go around the house and collect as much realia as possible–junk mail, craft stuff, scraps of material and old clothes, birthday cards, buttons, stickers, anything you can find that can be spared for a craft.  Have your child glue these bits of realia to the snowperson, using the book Snowballs for ideas if necessary.  When your child is done decorating their snowperson, they can fill in the empty spots on the paper plates by gluing on cotton balls.  For a twist, use marshmallows instead.  The marshmallows will stick to the plate like magic if you just lick them first!  And of course, be sure to have extras for snacking.  Don’t forget to make a face (hat, clothes, scarf!) for your snowperson.  You could even make arms and/or legs using pretzels.  Finally, attach the three paper plates together using several pieces of masking tape (or punch holes in the bottom and top of the plates where they will join together, thread yarn or string through the holes, and knot securely).

Have fun reading about and making snowpeople!

For lots more snow activities, click here.

–Miss Tracey

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book review

Collecting Things by Kate Needham

Cover Image

Many kids are collectors and don’t even realize it, from the shells from that trip to the beach littering their dresser to the cool rocks from the yard on their desks.  This book not only gives kids ideas on what to collect, but what to do with the collection once they have one.  For example, the section on shells describes how and when to look for shells, and how to sort them.  This is followed by a section on how to varnish a shell, and information on using shells to decorate boxes, picture frames, and more.  Other kinds of collections featured in the book are stamps, marbles, souvenirs, and coins, among others.  If you have a young collector in your house, check this book out!

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web review

Many of your child’s favorite authors have websites with interactive games and activities.

You can find the official Eric Carle (The Very Hungry Caterpillar-Lane Library info here, The Very Busy Spider-Lane Library info here) website here.   The site includes an author bio, photo albums, list of his books, and the Caterpillar Exchange bulletin board, where parents and teachers post ideas for activities based on Eric Carle’s books.

The publisher of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (Lane Library info here), Harper Collins, has a nice site for the book here.   Included are links to fun and games like mazes, coloring sheets, and crafts.

Everyone loves Green Eggs and Ham!  (Lane Library info)  Find activities for the Dr. Seuss book here.  If you have another favorite Dr. Seuss book, check out the Seussville website for games, a Dr. Seuss biography, and more.

Mem Fox, author of Wombat Devine and Koala Lou, has a wonderful website.   You can read the “stories behind the stories” and get some writing tips from the “so you want to write a picture book section”.

If your kids are fans of the I Spy (Lane Library info) and Can You See What I See (Lane Library info) books, check out author Walter Wicks’ website.   He gives peeks at some of his newer titles, and even includes a hints page for hard to find items in his I Spy books.

If you have a Junie B. Jones (Lane Library info) fan in your house, check out her website.  You’ll find information about author Barbara Park, as well as activities and even a letter from Junie B. herself.

Author of the Captain Underpants books (Lane Library info), Dav Pilkey’s website is as fun as his books.  The site includes everything from games and videos to an author bio and book information.  Don’t miss this one if you’re a fan of Captain Underpants!

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fun with magnets

Make your kid the star of the show!  Make a star magnet clip/artwork holder.

Cut a star out of cardstock , or have your child cut it out.  You can also buy star die cuts at craft stores or in the craft section of many discount stores.  Help your child decorate the star with puffy paint or markers, along with stickers, sequins, or other glue ons such as flowers, pom pom, buttons, etc.  Be sure to have your child write their name across the top of the star.

When your child is finished decorating their star, glue the star to a wooden clothespin.   Attach a strip of magnetic tape down the length of the other side of the clothespin, or use pieces of recycled magnets and glue them to the clothespin.

Hang your magnet clip on the fridge, and use the clip to display your child’s artwork from storytime.  Now your child is truly the star of the show!

–Miss Tracey

(thanks to Kim for asking for a magnet craft idea)

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book some fun–bubbles!

Let’s book some fun with bubbles!

First, read the book Casey in the Bath by Cynthia DeFelice (Lane Library info here), and find out just how fun bath time can be.   If you can purchase some green bubble bath, be sure to add some of that to the bath water.  Just watch out for those bubble people!

After you have read the book, get ready to make your own bubbles.  Start with one quart of water in a shallow box or tub.  Stir in 1/2 cup of sugar and let it dissolve.  Then stir in 1/2 cup of dishwashing liquid.  You could even add food coloring to make green bubbles!  Use a slotted serving spoon as the bubble wand–dip the spoon into the bubble mixture and wave it in the air.  Other items that you could use as bubble wands include floral wire or pipe cleaners twisted into interesting shapes, a butter or yogurt lid with the center cut out of the circle, large cookie cutters, even a metal can with the ends cut off (make sure there are no sharp edges).

Have fun reading about and making bubbles!

For lots more bubble activities, click here.

–Miss Tracey

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time for back-to-school

Hi parents,

Believe it or not, it’s almost time for the kids to head back to school!  While some kids (and adults!) will cling to the last vestiges of summer, many are ready for supply shopping and new clothes.  Here are some craft ideas that you and your child can do together on these last few “I’m bored” days of summer that just might get all of you in the mood for school!

Make use of those outgrown jeans (yours and your child’s) by recycling the pockets.  Cut off the pockets (be sure to leave a “back” on the pockets) and carefully hot glue them to a notebook or folder.  Your child can use the pockets to hold extra pencils and pens.  Older kids can hot glue a piece of magnetic tape to the back of the pocket and stick them up in their lockers.  Don’t forget to decorate the pockets, using permanent markers and paint.

Here’s a cheap and easy way to personalize a notebook.  Use a variety of colorful pipe cleaners!  Make sure that the pipe cleaners are long enough to wrap around the cover of the notebook that you wish to use.  Help your child carefully wrap the pipe cleaners around the front cover into a design of their own making .  Use colored masking or even painters tape to attach the ends of the pipe cleaners on the inside of the notebook cover.

Your child can use pictures cut from magazines or even pictures taken with the family camera to personalize their new pencil box.  Have your child cut out pictures that they like from magazines.  Or, for even more fun, help your child take pictures with a digital camera, concentrating on family members, friends, and pets.  Then print the pictures on regular paper and help your child cut them out.  Once you have the pictures that you want to use, use an old paintbrush to brush on a mixture of half glue and just slightly less water onto the back of the pictures.  Then attach the pictures onto the pencil box.  Once everything is in the right place, very carefully paint several more layers of the glue mixture over the pictures.  Let the glue dry completely before loading in all those new pens and pencils.

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more than books in the library

Does your child love music?  You can find a variety of CD’s for check out in the children’s department.  A few of my favorites are the Veggie Tales CD’s (the newest one is called Boyz in the Sink), Ralph’s World and Ralph’s World: Happy Lemons by Ralph Covert, and Not Naptime by Justin Roberts.  What about CD-ROM’s, you ask?  The library has those too!  Check out the Cars CD-ROM (yes, that’s the same Cars as the movie), or our many Blue’s Clues computer games.   You will also find a great selection of books on cassette tape and on CD, as well.  There are even puppets that are available for check out!   So be sure to check out all that the Lane Library has to offer to your family.

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fun with an I Spy bottle

Get ready for a summer full of mystery by making an I Spy bottle!  Save a water bottle, and clean and dry out the inside.  Find several small objects that will fit inside the bottle.  You could use a brightly colored paper clip, different kinds of buttons, a penny, a rubber band, a small earring, a barrette, a balloon (not blown up), a screw–any (preferably brightly) colored item that will fit into the bottle.  Make a list of your items before you put them into the bottle.  Slip the items into the bottle, and then add rice or or even brightly colored rice cereal.   Using a funnel can make that step a little easier.  Be sure not to fill the bottle up all the way–you need space for your items and the rice to move around inside the bottle.  Glue the lid of the bottle on using a hot glue gun or superglue.  You can also wrap some duct tape around the lid for extra security.  Now find your list of the items in your bottle, type up the list onto a label and print them out.  You could even substitute pictures for words if you have non-readers.  Tape this list onto the bottle with clear tape.  Now, it’s time to play I Spy.  Shake the bottle and see what your child can find from the list.  Do you spy a ….??

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The Lane Libraries now offers TumbleBook Library, a collection of e-books for children.   Here you can find a collection of animated talking picture books, puzzles, and games, in a format that your child will love.  Check it out!  Go to the Lane Library kids page, and click on The TumbleBooks icon on the right.

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fun with crafts

This coming weekend is a great time to spend some time crafting with your kids.  Or you may need some activities that keep the kids busy having fun on their own for a while.  Here are some ideas that fit both of those scenarios.

Make stained glass eggs!  That’s right, stained glass eggs.  All you need is a blown-out egg, white glue, a paintbrush, and small squares of brightly colored tissue paper.  Directions for blowing out a raw egg can be found here, and adult assistance will be needed.  Once the egg is ready, brush on a coat of glue.   Then stick on a layer of tissue paper squares.  Follow this with a coat of glue, and another layer of tissue paper.   Finish up with another layer of glue.  If you feel like the glue is too thick, you can mix it with a little water.  Because the egg was blown out, your creations will last indefinitely, or at least until they break.  Be sure to send me pictures of your stained glass eggs!

Not into eggs?  I know you’re into stories!  So, make your own storytelling theater.  Find a large, clean pizza or shoe box (or large piece of cardboard would work as well).  Cut a large piece of felt to fit the inside of the lid (or one side of the piece of cardboard), and glue it into place.   Use a color that will make a good background for your stories.  Black, light blue, or light green can be great colors for this.  Then cut out some story pieces.  You can use felt, magazine pictures, or even real pictures.  Cut them into shapes, like people, trees, houses, or anything that you need for the stories that you want to tell.  Glue another piece of felt, or better yet a piece of velcro or sandpaper, to the back of the figures to make them stick to the felt storyboard.  To make your figures stronger, you could glue them to cardboard before you cut them out.  When your figures and stage are ready, let the storytelling begin!  When you’re finished, store the figures inside the box.

Have a great weekend!  Don’t forget to get crafty!

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