About Katie

"If lost, please return to the closest library".

Banishing Boredom

Photograph of bored childNow that summer has arrived, many children will find themselves with more free time on their hands. If you are worried about hearing “I’m bored!” we have a solution: create your own Boredom Busting Jar! When your kids say they are bored or have nothing to do, send them to the jar, and soon they will have an activity to keep them occupied. It is a genius idea in its simplicity. Children will have a stockpile of activities, freeing caregivers from being put on the spot to think of the perfect afternoon project.

Start with a jar with an opening large enough for a hand to reach in and pull out a piece of paper. If you don’t have a jar, you can use a box, coffee can or other container. Create a list of activities children can do on their own, together or with the family. Cut the individual activities out, and place them into the container. You can label or decorate it as desired. When someone utters the phrase “I’m bored!” send them to the jar for an activity.

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2016 Book Champions!

Award Images

With the changing of the seasons we have a new group of award nominees in the children’s sections of our libraries, all with shiny new orange stickers and ready for Summer Reading! This might leave you wondering about the 2015-16 award nominees with the purple stickers. Where did they go? Which books won? Have no fear! We have several copies of each title; they just been moved to their permanent homes in the regular stacks. If you are interested in which 2015-16 nominees won, read on!

Missouri Building Block: Naked!” written by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi.
This a hilarious story is about a youngster who discovers the only thing more fun than running around wearing nothing is running around wearing nothing but a cape.

Show Me Readers Award: Trouper” by Meg Kearney, illustrated by E.B. Lewis.
A three-legged dog remembers his time as a stray before he was adopted. Continue reading

Letter Matching Game

ABC rocksI recently discovered a simple and fun preschool letter matching game.The more I thought about the game and about the different ways you could play it, the more I liked it. It’s great for quiet play time, letter recognition practice and sensory play.

The original game calls for an adult to write letters on rocks with a marker, then write the same letters (either all capital or all lowercase) on the inside of a muffin liner, then place the liner in a cupcake pan. You let a child (who is old enough to not chew the rocks) match the letters and place the rocks in the tin. Continue reading

Books We Love: If I Had a Gryphon

"If I Had a Gryphon" book coverOne new book that has recently caught my eye is “If I Had a Gryphon,” written by Vikki Vansickle and illustrated by Cale Atkinson. After reading just a few pages, I was already in love with both the text and the illustrations.

If I Had a Gryphon” is a story about a girl who wants an exciting pet instead of a boring old hamster, but taking care of magical beasts proves to be more challenging than she originally thought. The book is full of little bits of whimsy; for example, the title pages share that, “The artwork in this book was rendered in Photoshop, fairy dust and phoenix ash.” The illustrations are eye-catching and highly detailed, telling their own stories. This, combined with the humorous text that rhymes without being too obvious, makes the story a joy to read. I’m already on the hunt for a way to use this in a story time, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this team produces another book for me to love.

Take a Color Walk!

Two people walkingThis is an exciting time for young ones to be outside, observing how Mid-Missouri shifts from winter to spring. Plants are changing from little green sprouts to blooming flowers or trees within a few days’ time. Would you like to enhance your time spent outside? Try a color walk.

A color walk is very simple. As you walk around outside, look for different colors. You can use a log to keep track of the colors you have seen and where you saw them.  I’ve created a sample log you can view and print by clicking on this link. The log can be filled in with simple marks to show you have seen that color, or it can be more detailed with a word or picture describing where that color was seen. You can also create your own log, which is a great way to get your child involved and excited about their color walk adventure. If your walk is in a safe (and mud-free) area, you can also add texture to your walk by asking your child to look for textures such as smooth, bumpy, rough or soft. All of these tasks will help your child develop their vocabulary and sharpen their observation skills.

For more resources about colors, search our collection for books and kits on the topic!