Make Your Own T-Shirt Cape!

t-shirt capeIf you love this year’s summer reading theme of superheroes, you’ll love this activity – make your own super hero cape from an old t-shirt. It only takes a few minutes, and sewing is optional. All you will need is a t-shirt, a pair of sharp scissors, a few inches of Velcro and either a hot glue gun, fabric glue or needle and thread. Just follow the directions below.

  1. Lay the t-shirt out on a large flat surface. (I used my kitchen table.)
  2. Cut up the sides of the shirt, along the seams, all the way to the top. When you get to the sleeves, just keep following the seam all the way around, so the sleeves are removed. (You can keep the sleeves for another superhero project.*)
  3. Remove the front of the shirt by cutting just in front the top seams and along the bottom of the neck hole, but keeping the neck hole intact. If the cape is too long for your hero, trim some material off the bottom. Hemming is not required with this kind of fabric.
  4. Cut open the neck hole, right in the middle.
  5. Attach the Velcro to either side of the neck hole (about an inch on each side) with your fabric glue, hot glue gun or needle and thread. This prevents the cape from becoming a choking hazard.
  6. Enjoy your awesome cape!

I found the instructions online, and the link to the full instructions can be found by clicking here.

*Remember when I said to keep the sleeves? Included in the full instructions are steps on how to make power cuffs from the sleeves of our t-shirt.

2015 Callaway County Youth Poetry Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 Callaway County Youth Poetry Contest, sponsored by the Callaway County Public Library and the Auxvasse Creative Arts Program! The theme for this year was to pull poetry “Out of the Dark.”

Callaway Winners5-8 years old
1st: Elise Klein
2nd: Dakota Harmon
3rd: Anna Klein

9-12 years old
1st: Megann M. Tenney
2nd: Kaylynn Buxton
3rd: Sophia Ruthanne English

13-18 years old
1st: Heidi Royer
2nd: Aris Lamont
3rd (tie): Amariah Ferguson
3rd (tie): Jordyn Mackey

The contest was judged by Clarence Wolfshohl and Denise Felt. For more information, please visit the Auxvasse Creative Arts Program. You can also read the winning entries on the library’s website!

Super Gigi Loves Summer Reading

Super Gigi to the rescueHi everyone! Gigi the Giraffe here. Did you know there are superheroes at the library? My staff have transformed into superhero versions of themselves. I, of course, had to get in on the action – you can, too! Library employees have provided a variety of capes for library visitors to wear while they are here. Isn’t that awesome? Each time you visit you can try on a different color.

Summer Reading started on June 1st. Has your family signed up yet? Why not stop by, try out a cape and get signed up? Starry the Tiger told me that there are comic books for kids to read while they are at the Columbia branch. If you have already signed up, you can still swing by any branch and let us know all the amazing books you have read. You can also see my spectacular costume in Columbia, of course!

Stacking, Sequencing and Narrative Skills

Can stacking cups really help with your child’s literacy? The answer is yes! Stacking is an early sequencing skill. When children successfully stack cups, they have also put them in a sequence. Sequencing is the process of putting events, ideas and objects in logical order, such as from large to small.This concept appears in stories like “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” where Goldilocks progresses from large to small with a variety of objects. Once children understand that Goldilocks starts with the largest item, then tries the middle and ends with the smallest, they show their grasp of beginning, middle and end – a key component of narrative learning.

PAL Kit #8

PAL Kit #8

If you want to play with some stacking and sequencing toys from the library, check out our Play as Learning Kits. Kits number two (Encouraging Brain Development), and eight (Encouraging Creativity) have stacking toys. Kit five (Encouraging Family Reading) has a spindle puzzle, which also uses sequencing skills. You can ask about these kits at the Children’s desk at the Columbia Public Library. They are also listed in our catalog under “Play as Learning Kit” and are available to be placed on hold for delivery to any of our branches or bookmobile stops.

Seven Books for Your Summer Travel

Audiobook of Matilda by Roald DahlSchool kids (and – let’s be honest – their teachers) are counting down the days until summer begins. For some, summer means road trips to grandma’s house, camping trips or airplane rides to someplace with a beach or mountains. For others it means many deliciously unstructured days near home, in local parks or at the city pool. This time of year is made for reading, whether you have long stretches of time to spend in a car or aren’t traveling any farther than your backyard. Here are seven recommended books for summer.

Even though parents now have all sorts of high-tech options to keep the kiddos entertained – portable DVD players, license plate game apps for your smart phone – I still think books are one of the best ways to pass the time during a car trip or flight.

Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White
White himself reads this audiobook version of the children’s classic, and the experience is nothing short of lovely. His New England accent and the character of his voice invoke the cozy feeling of being read to by a grandfather. Read my full review of this tale of Wilbur the pig, saved once by 8-year-old Fern and then again by a literate spider.

James Herriot’s Treasury for Children” narrated by Jim Dale
Jim Dale! What a talent. He narrates the Harry Potter audiobooks, creating a dizzying number of unique voices. This collection of gentle animals tales is perfect for the younger set and lasts about 90 minutes – the perfect length for that car trip to see family a couple of counties over.

Matilda” by Roald Dahl, narrated by Kate Winslet Continue reading