Tiger Family Fun Fest & ParentLink Resources

Tiger Family Fun FestNeed something fun and free to do on Saturday, April 25, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.? Come to the annual Tiger Family Fun Fest! Free family activities will include a bounce house, stage performers, a fire truck, kiddie corral, arts and crafts, face painting, the DBRL bookmobile and much more!

ParentLink recently celebrated their 25th anniversary providing services to Missouri families and professionals serving families. Some of the great services ParentLink provides: Continue reading

Click to See Childhood Literacy and Technology Presentation

Girl using tablet

Chip Donohue, Ph.D., a nationally recognized expert on technology use in early childhood, recently visited Columbia to highlight some current research findings, best practices and big ideas on this topic. The informative slides from his presentation are now available for the public to view. Visit the Erikson TEC Center’s link for the presentation and then click below the description for slides and a link to the resources.

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

Let Your Imagination Loose With Dr. Seuss

What Pet Should I Get?Dr. Seuss (also known as Theodor Seuss Geisel or Theo LeSieg) was born on March 2. Not only is Dr. Seuss’ birthday celebrated on the 2nd, but the National Education Association celebrates Read Across America Day every year on or near that same date. (This year’s event is actually on March 2.) In case you are not familiar with the whimsical writings of Dr. Seuss, try “Green Eggs and Ham” or “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.” Kids love the playful rhymes and curious creatures of Seuss’ imagination.

And we have even more reason to be excited about Dr Seuss at the moment, as a new original Seuss book was just announced! Seuss’ widow found a new original manuscript while cleaning his office, and the book is to be published this summer. “What Pet Should I Get?” is about a near universal childhood theme – choosing a pet. The publisher estimates that the recently discovered manuscript was written between 1958 and 1962, as it features the same siblings we know from “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.” And since so many Seuss books show his curious creations, we’re excited to see what creative pets he imagined. Read and re-read Seuss classics now, and join us in anticipating a new release in 2015!