Family Movie Night!

Need ideas for family movie night?

MaleficentVisit our Books to Movies collection, a special selection of feature films on DVD based on children’s and teen books! This collection includes classics like “Treasure Island” and “Bambi” as well as more contemporary films such as “The Hunger Games” and the Harry Potter series. We add to this collection all the time. Some of our newest titles include “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Frozen!”

One exciting recent addition to our Books to Movies collection is “Maleficent” starring Angelina Jolie. This is the first in a thrilling new series of live-action Disney films based on classic fairy tales. You might try this activity:

Read a few different versions of “Sleeping Beauty” with your family. The illustrations in Mahlon Craft’s retelling are stunning; Helen Lowe’s “Thornspell” offers a more elaborate story; and Michael Teitelbaum’s Golden Book edition is the good old Disney stand-by. Then view “Maleficent” together and chat about similarities and differences between the books and the film.

Don’t have time to stop by the library? No problem! Download family-friendly feature films to your device using our Hoopla media service. Browse categories like “Family Movie Night” and “Disney” to find the perfect movie for your family.

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

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!