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

Bookmobile, Jr. Makes a New Stop

Bookmobile Jr

Click to enlarge map.

Did you know that library staff and Bookmobile, Jr. regularly visit community centers around Columbia? We do! Loaded with books and other materials for kids and adults to check out, our smaller bookmobile stops at Bear Creek, Blind Boone, and now… Columbia Square. That’s right: we have added a new location! While this new location was selected due to the needs of a flourishing tutoring program, anyone and EVERYONE is welcome to come aboard, look around, check out materials and get a library card. We hope to see you at one of our community stops soon!

Each month we visit:

  • Bear Creek Neighborhood
    1st Tuesday, 4-5 p.m., Elleta Blvd.
  • Columbia Square Neighborhood
    2nd Tuesday, 3:30-5 p.m., 1715 W. Worley St.
  • Bear Creek Neighborhood
    3rd Tuesday, 4-5 p.m., Elleta Blvd.
  • Blind Boone Neighborhood
    4th Tuesday, 3:30-5 p.m., 301 N. Providence

See the library’s website for the full schedule of stops for both bookmobiles.

Summer Reading 2015 Bookmark Contest

Bookmark ArtHelp us get ready for Summer Reading by designing an original bookmark based on the theme “Every Hero Has a Story.” Winners’ artwork from each library will appear on bookmarks to be distributed late spring through summer.

Please design two-dimensional artwork, using crayons, markers or any other illustration tool or medium, or create it on the computer. Photography is also acceptable, as long as it is your own! For ages 18 and under. Download an entry form or get one at your library or on the bookmobile.

Entry deadline is Tuesday, March 31.

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!

Rhyme Time: Winter

Family time in snowWhile playing outside in the snow may be fun, some days it’s just too cold to go outside! Instead, warm yourself and your family by the fire and learn these winter rhymes for a fun interactive learning experience. Corresponding actions, if any, are in parentheses.

Five Little Snowmen
Five little snowmen all in a row
(Hold up five fingers.)
Each with a hat
(Pat the top of your head.)
And a big red bow.
(Pull at your neck as if you are fixing a bow tie.)
Out came the sun
(Make your arms form big circle over your head.)
And it stayed all day.
(Lean to the left.)
And one of those snowmen melted away!
(Make a melting motion with your arms and body.)
Repeat with four, three, two, and one. Continue reading