Family-Friendly Halloween Haunts

Photograph of two jack–o'–lanterns
Attention all ghosts and goblins! Are you looking for fun, family-friendly ways to celebrate Halloween? If so, there are several free not-so-spooky events hosted in Columbia, Ashland and Fulton.

Pumpkins in the Park

Date: Friday, October 28th
Time: Pumpkins can be dropped off at Memorial concession between 3:00-6:00 p.m. and will be lit at 6:30 p.m.
Location: Memorial Park- Fulton, MO

Put your artistic talents on display by donating your carved pumpkin to the 6th Annual Pumpkins in the Park. All carved pumpkins that are donated will be lit Friday evening and will be on display through Halloween. Pumpkins will be awarded prizes for the categories of scariest, most original and biggest pumpkin. Continue reading

2016 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Little Penguin Gets the Hiccups

"Little Penguin Gets the Hiccups" book coverClose your eyes. Wait, open them! You have to finish reading this article. Okay, that’s better. Now imagine you are closing your eyes and thinking of a cute and fuzzy little penguin. Can you imagine anything more adorable? Go ahead, I’ll give you a minute. You can’t think of anything, can you? What if I told you that the penguin has the hiccups? You didn’t think it was possible, but that cute and fuzzy penguin got 50% cuter.

In our next Missouri Building Block nominee, “Little Penguin Gets the Hiccups” by Tadgh Bentley, poor Little Penguin gorges himself on chili and subsequently gets the hiccups. This book has some great opportunities for audience participation, as you have to help scare our cute heartburn-suffering protagonist. Besides talking to your child about the unpleasant side effects of eating spicy food before bed, here are some other activities you might enjoy: Continue reading

Books We Love: Sew and Play

I love to sew; I do it for fun and for relaxation. And I like to make things for my two grandchildren, so I was excited to discover “Sew and Play” by Farah Wolfe. It contains instructions for sewing 11 games for children.

First I made fabric pancakes decorated with brown felt syrup and yellow felt butter for the “Pancake Game.” I added a store-bought play skillet, plates and a pancake turner.

Photograph of "Pancake Game" pieces Continue reading

2016 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Bunnies!!!

"Bunnies!!!" book coverDeclan is a very friendly monster. He says hello to everything in the forest, from the clouds to the stumps. He also really loves bunnies. He gets super excited when he sees them. Maybe a little too excited…

Bunnies!!!” by Kevan Atteberry’s is a wonderful story with bright, inviting illustrations.The simple text is easy to read and understand and practically begs to be read aloud. “Bunnies!!!” can initiate conversations about meeting new friends and when it is appropriate to use loud and soft voices. This is also a fun story to act out with your children or with puppets. Regardless of how large or small your audience is, sharing the book is a delight and will leave you with a smile.

Once you have read at least five Missouri Building Block nominees, help your child vote for their favorite.

Check out this activity sheet for more books, rhymes and activities related to “Bunnies!!!”

2016 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Rex Wrecks It!

"Rex Wrecks It" book coverRex knocks down all the wonderful creations each of his friends builds out of blocks in “Rex Wrecks It!” by Ben Clanton. It makes everyone sad, including Rex. So his friends decide to work together, including Rex, and build something “awesomerific.”  Hooray! Now everyone can knock it down together!

I read this story to my young grandsons. One told me we shouldn’t call people names. (Sprinkles calls Rex a blockhead.) We agreed that it was not a nice thing to do. Later when we were playing outside in the sand making castles, my other grandson grinned at me and quoted the last line of the story, “[Let’s] wreck it all together!” So we did. I love it when kids make connections between a story and their own lives. Continue reading