Summer Reading 2014 Update

picture of chemistry setWe’ve already signed up lots of Little Sparks; Fizz, Boom, Read kids; and Spark a Reaction teens for our 2014 Summer Reading program. Remember that free books for finishers can be picked up at the library starting on Monday, July 7. And, if your finisher is ages 5-12 and in the Fizz, Boom, Read program, he or she can then fill out one slip to try to win a free book set OR a science kit. There are some great book sets to be had this year, so be sure to keep reading and working on your fun science activities. And teens can drop off their completed entry card starting on July 7 to try to win a Kindle!

August 2 is the official end of this year’s Summer Reading program, but you can still turn in your reading record after the deadline and receive your free book. However, only those finishing on or before August 2 will be eligible to try and win a book set or science kit (Fizz, Boom, Read kids) or a Kindle (Spark a Reaction teens).

Below are a few samples of the 10 different prizes Fizz, Boom, Readers who finish by August 2 will have a chance to win. We hope you’re enjoying Summer Reading, and we’ll see you at the library!

Book Set of Favorite #1sSet of 3 Big Nate booksTIME science kit

Check It Out: Caramba

“Caramba looked like any other cat. He had soft fur and a long, stripy tail. He ate fish. He purred. He went for long walks. But Caramba was different from other cats. He couldn’t fly.”

Book cover for Caramba So begins the tale of Caramba, the cat who couldn’t fly. Caramba does want to fly, and he tries several times without success. In truth, Caramba is just different from all the other cats. Author Marie-Louis Gay has created an endearing character, with which we can all sympathize. We have all felt different at some point or been unable to do what seems easy to everyone else. Yet once Caramba accepts his differences and discovers his own personal talents, he is able to let go of his anxieties and even encourages his friend to try new things. If you have a little one worried about his or her own differences, check out this beautifully illustrated story.

Leaf Through a Tree Book

Trees work poster from the Missouri Department of ConservationI have always wanted to be that kid who could name every tree along the trail, and during this summer of science, I’m taking up the challenge. If you and your brood are interested in exploring trees and the great outdoors, too, try these simple activities:

  • Check out out and use tree identification books.
  • Create a leaf window hanging

Leaves come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Children can improve their observation skills and learn to identify leaves while doing this art project. Continue reading

Superheroes at the Library

Superheroes seem to be everywhere, from the latest blockbuster movie, to toy shelves full of Spider-man and Batman, to costumes worn by the small (and the tall). We also see these heroes in the library - a cute caped crusader sitting in on story time is a pretty common sight. Many children love to dress up and adopt their favorite superhero personas simply because it’s fun. Such play also cultivates your child’s creativity and social skills.

Kids dressed as superheroes

The mask and cape empowered this shy little girl, and she gave us some great poses for pics.

Because we often see these heroes fly by our children’s desk (sometimes faster than a speeding bullet), we recently invited them to come together for our “Superhero Training Academy.” In this program, kids 5 and older created a unique superhero identity and trained with their super powers. Kids made capes and masks, had pictures taken in their heroic costumes, completed an obstacle course, played a hero/villain matching game and competed in bowling for super villains.

Continue reading

Moving and Grooving

photo by Miika Silfverberg via flickr

photo by Miika Silfverberg

Not only is music fun to listen to, it’s fun to create! Music helps children develop their listening skills and is an important element of early literacy. So, enjoy some musical activities with your crew.

Freeze Dance

Play some of your family’s favorite tunes, and dance to your heart’s content. Then, when  least expected, yell “freeze!” and stop the music. See what funny positions you all wind up in. How long can you hold them? For some retro fun, play the 1958 tune “The Freeze” by Tony and Joe.

Music Mania!

Bring out a variety of songs with a variety of tempos. Ask your kids to dance accordingly, encouraging them to speed up if the music is fast and take it easy when the beat slows down. Join in the fun, setting an example, for instance slowly sliding during a ballad or doing jumping jacks while a dance song plays. See who can come up with the most interesting move. Continue reading