About Katie

When I was three I had my cousin convinced I could read. In reality I had heard "Joey the Jack-o-lantern" so many times I had it memorized. To this day everyone in my family can tell you when Joey is and is not scary.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Picture of recycling binAmerica 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.

A great place to start your recycling journey is your local library, where you can find children’s books about recycling and examples of recycling. When we update the DBRL buildings or buy new furniture, we give preference to local products and products that have a percentage of the content made from recycled materials. Continue reading

Teal Pumpkin Project

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.  Logo for Teal Pumpkin Project

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!

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Recycled Rainstick Craft

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 faRainstick_01lling 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.

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2015 Missouri Building Blocks: Buddy and the Bunnies in Don’t Play With Your Food

Book cover for Buddy and the Bunnies in: Don’t Play With Your FoodOne of this year’s Missouri Building Block nominees is “Buddy and the Bunnies in: Don’t Play With Your Food” by Bob Shea. This is a fun story about a monster named Buddy who really wants to eat the bunnies living nearby.  However, the bunnies have other ideas. They would rather bake cupcakes, go swimming and visit the carnival. What’s a monster like Buddy to do when his “snack” is so much fun to be with?

Here are some ways you can keep the fun going:

Write or act out your own story.

  • What would you do if a monster was trying to eat you?
  • How would you make friends with a monster?
  • What are some fun activities you and your friends have done over the summer?

Create your own monster or bunny – either on paper or as a costume. Continue reading

Books We Love: Super Red Riding Hood

Book cover for Super Read Riding HoodIf you have read any of my other blog posts, you might have noticed my love of fairy tales. Classics, twisted, retold… they are all wonderful in my eyes. When I saw “Super Red Riding Hood,” by Claudia Dvaila, I knew I had to read it. Not only does it tell a new version of Red Riding Hood, but its superhero theme is perfect for this year’s Summer Reading program.

I’m glad I took the time to check out this story – it means I can share this delightful story about a young girl, Ruby, who is actually Super Red Riding Hood! When Ruby puts on her cape and red boots, she becomes a superhero capable of amazing things. Her super traits help her successfully complete her mission into the woods and even make a new friend.

Charming and captivating illustrations? Check. Engaging text? Check. Storyline children and adults will enjoy? Check! If you have a youngster (and don’t worry, boys will enjoy this one, too), I encourage you to look into this book.

Since I mentioned our Summer Reading program, a reminder that Summer Reading ends on August 15th! Be sure to get to your local library with your completed sheet or booklet to get a free book and register for a chance to win a free book set!