Family Movie Night!

Need ideas for family movie night?

MaleficentVisit our Books to Movies collection, a special selection of feature films on DVD based on children’s and teen books! This collection includes classics like “Treasure Island” and “Bambi” as well as more contemporary films such as “The Hunger Games” and the Harry Potter series. We add to this collection all the time. Some of our newest titles include “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Frozen!”

One exciting recent addition to our Books to Movies collection is “Maleficent” starring Angelina Jolie. This is the first in a thrilling new series of live-action Disney films based on classic fairy tales. You might try this activity:

Read a few different versions of “Sleeping Beauty” with your family. The illustrations in Mahlon Craft’s retelling are stunning; Helen Lowe’s “Thornspell” offers a more elaborate story; and Michael Teitelbaum’s Golden Book edition is the good old Disney stand-by. Then view “Maleficent” together and chat about similarities and differences between the books and the film.

Don’t have time to stop by the library? No problem! Download family-friendly feature films to your device using our Hoopla media service. Browse categories like “Family Movie Night” and “Disney” to find the perfect movie for your family.

Classics for Kids: The Phantom Tollbooth

Book cover for The Phantom TollboothIf you are a librarian and also a parent, you might dream about your kids growing up to be word-nerds, just like you. Thanks to the bedtime ritual of reading chapter books to my youngest daughter, I recently had the deep pleasure of revisiting a childhood favorite full of wordplay: “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster. I’m glad to report that the book holds up to the years that have passed since it was first published in 1961.

Grade-schooler Milo, the story’s hero, is always bored and uninterested, unable to see the wonder of the everyday world around him. When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his bedroom, he travels to the Lands Beyond filled with incredible characters, like Tock the watchdog (with an actual clock face in his body) and a spelling bee (a bee who talks and, of course, spells). Continue reading

Buzz, Hiss, Moo, Rawr! Turning Sounds Into Words

Moo! by David LaRochelleWhat sound does a cow make? Moo! What sound does a chicken make? Bawk, bawk, bawk or cluck, cluck cluck! Many very young children are well aware that a tiger says “RAWR!” Spend a day in the life of a library worker at the Children’s Services desk in the Columbia Public Library and you will hear an ongoing stream of “RAWRs” from the mouths of little ones as they enter the area and spy “Starry the Tiger.” The words and phrases that imitate the sounds we hear are onomatopoeias. Continue reading

Calm Down Bottles

Sometimes you just need a moment to calm down. Everyone does! Especially overstimulated, tired, cranky, frustrated, (insert your own adjective) children who can’t effectively communicate their emotions without resorting to a meltdown. I might just have one such toddler at home, who may or may not have had a meltdown just this morning. Enter the “calm down bottle” — our family’s newest addition to the emotional toolbox.

I ran across the calm down bottle while browsing toddler activity ideas on Pinterest. It can be used as an alternative to “time out” or just as a way to transition to a more relaxed state when the child gets too hyper. Our bottle is particularly useful near bedtime, when being tired makes it hard for our daughter to do anything without dramatic flair or tears. While I originally thought it looked like a cool bottle with sparkles that might catch her attention, I found it also serves a deeper purpose. (Disclaimer: I am not a professional and I’m interpreting what I read here, so it might be oversimplified.) Apparently, holding something with both hands at the midline can help children (and adults!) focus and reorganize their thoughts. It can help settle scattered thoughts by activating both hemispheres of the brain and bring a sense of calm. And I just thought it was pretty! Who knew? Here are some pictures of a Calm Down Bottle in action. Ready to make your own? Check out the directions below.

Calm Down Bottle Collage

You will need: Continue reading

Bookmobile, Jr. Makes a New Stop

Bookmobile Jr

Click to enlarge map.

Did you know that library staff and Bookmobile, Jr. regularly visit community centers around Columbia? We do! Loaded with books and other materials for kids and adults to check out, our smaller bookmobile stops at Bear Creek, Blind Boone, and now… Columbia Square. That’s right: we have added a new location! While this new location was selected due to the needs of a flourishing tutoring program, anyone and EVERYONE is welcome to come aboard, look around, check out materials and get a library card. We hope to see you at one of our community stops soon!

Each month we visit:

  • Bear Creek Neighborhood
    1st Tuesday, 4-5 p.m., Elleta Blvd.
  • Columbia Square Neighborhood
    2nd Tuesday, 3:30-5 p.m., 1715 W. Worley St.
  • Bear Creek Neighborhood
    3rd Tuesday, 4-5 p.m., Elleta Blvd.
  • Blind Boone Neighborhood
    4th Tuesday, 3:30-5 p.m., 301 N. Providence

See the library’s website for the full schedule of stops for both bookmobiles.