Visit Your Playgrounds Challenge

Photo of children in a yellow slideSince our Summer Reading theme this year is “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!” we have been encouraging youth and adults alike to be physically active this summer. One great budget-friendly way to be active while having a blast is to go to the park. Did you know that there are over 40 parks with playgrounds in the Columbia park system?

To get more kids and parents out to Columbia’s parks, Columbia Parks and Recreation has initiated a “Visit Your Playgrounds Challenge.” To complete this challenge, your kids need to visit ten or more different parks in Columbia, filling in a tracking sheet as they go. This sheet can be found in the “Visit Your Park Playgrounds Challenge” form and can also be picked up at the Parks and Recreation office. The challenge goes from Memorial Day to Labor day 2016 (May 30 to September 5, 2016). You can find Columbia’s park locations in the Parks and Facility Guide. Continue reading

Audiobooks We Love: Summer Reads

Summertime often means travel, which typically includes long car rides or flights. It can be hard for everyone to agree on the same music and even harder for most parents to listen to that one soundtrack over and over and over. You know the one I mean! It’s time to let it go and embrace audiobooks. Here are some favorites that the whole family can enjoy.

"Some Kind of Courage" book cover“Some Kind of Courage” by Dan Gemeinhart
This title is getting some early Newbery buzz, and rightfully so, as Andrew Eiden does an excellent job of bringing this historical fiction set in the 1890s to life. This is a classic tale of a boy and his horse with lots of twists and turns along the way. “Some Kind of Courage” is a great listen for anyone seeking action and adventure, but be warned it is not for the faint of heart. (I may or may not have cried during the last 45 minutes of the book.) However, it is well worth the tears to reach the end of this powerful story where a boy loses just about everything along his journey but his courage — and gains a lot more.

Continue reading

Breaking the Rules at the Library!

Kids making paper airplanes When you think “libraries,” you never really associate them with breaking the rules. But on Friday the 24th, after the Columbia DBRL branch was closed, library patrons were
throwing airplanes from the highest reaches of the library and star-gazing all night long (well, actually,
only until about 10 p.m.). Party with Stuck paper airplanethe Stars Plus Paper Airplanes was the name of this event, and a great time was had by children and adults alike.

After the library locked its doors at 6 p.m., patrons began shuffling through the back doors to get started folding their paper airplanes and helicopters. Children and parents watched in amazement as their paper creations soared, hovered and weaved their way down the three stories of the library.

Continue reading

July Programs Sneak Peek

Summer Reading is still going strong as we hit July running, and it’s not too late to be a reading racer! We are still taking registrations for readers of all ages. And starting July 5th, those who have reached their Summer Reading goals can run to the library to claim their free book and chance to win other awesome prizes.

Be sure to check out these great July programs, and look ahead to the rest of the summer for even more winning events at your local branch.

Photograph of Marty HahneMarty Hahne: The Reading Magician

Friday, July 1 › 9:30-10:15 a.m. or 1:30-2:15 p.m. or 3-3:45 p.m. Columbia Public Library, Children’s Program Room

Enjoy “Magic in Motion,” a program of non-stop fun with magic, comedy and lots of audience participation. Casey the rabbit will make a surprise appearance! Families, ages 5 and older.

Continue reading

Family Games for Road Trips

Car TripOh, summer car trips. They’re those wonderful times when the whole family piles into a vehicle, heading off on a grand adventure! While the travel destination is usually exciting, the long hours in the car can become dull and monotonous. Want to spice up your family car trip? Here are some great games and ideas to make your next car trip journey just as fun as the destination.

  • Create a binder of activity sheets for each kiddo. Include road sign bingo, tick-tac-toe, stickers and coloring sheets. You can find TONS of free road trip printables online.
  • Choose a color or an object and then count them until you find 100 of that item. (Some examples include: American flags, statues, churches, red cars, etc.)
  • Create a fun interactive map for kids to keep track of the journey. Draw pictures of simple landmarks that are along the way. A homemade map is easy for kids to follow and gives them a clearer picture of how much farther there is to go.
  • Create a scavenger hunt. Give each child a list of items to watch for while driving.
  • Create a simple felt board memory game. Here is a link for a great tutorial.

Don’t forget the simple joy of reading out loud as a family. Stop by one of our library branches before you head out to pick up books or audiobooks for your trip! Just make sure that if you read print books, your reader isn’t prone to car sickness. The Harry Potter series, the Little House on the Prairie series and the Lord of the Rings series are great for family car trips. If you’ve already read those, check out these great family read aloud ideas.