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

Books We Love: When Penny Met POTUS

"When Penny Met POTUS" book coverI love working in the children’s area of the library, especially when I get to see all the shiny new children’s books come in. I instantly dive into these books to see what adventures and lessons are experienced by the characters. Recently “When Penny Met POTUS” caught my eye, partly because of the upcoming presidential election. I picked up the book to dissect the contents and to check for any hidden messages.

In “When Penny Met POTUS,” Penny goes with her mom to work and is told she will meet POTUS (who Penny believes is a friendly monster). But Penny must be patient while her mom has to complete some work. While she waits, Penny daydreams about who POTUS is and how she will help them with their job. What will Penny think when she finally meets POTUS? Will she learn what POTUS stands for? Continue reading

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

CoMo (and Ashland and Fulton) Rocks!

Photograph of a painted rockEverybody knows that Columbia rocks, but did you know there’s an easy and free way for your family to express that sentiment? The project is called CoMo Rocks, which, at its core, is a community-wide hide-and-seek game that sparks creativity within the people of the city.

The premise is simple: you decorate and hide rocks anywhere outside for people to find. The person who finds the decorated rock can then hide the rock in another location. Or they can keep the rock and decorate a new one to hide. This creates a perpetual cycle of making, hiding and finding. Fairview Park, Stephens Lake Park and Cosmo Park are just a few of the common locales for hiding and hunting your rocks.

The CoMo Rocks project is picking up more steam than ever, as the Facebook page recently surpassed 1,000 members. Surrounding areas are participating as well: Ashland and Fulton are both playing, and Jefferson City has over 13,000 members in its Facebook group! These Facebook pages (linked above) tend to be the place that people gather to discuss, leave hints and show off their findings of the day. Check out the flyer and the Facebook groups to get more info. Get creative, get outside and get rocking!

Rhythm Sticks

This month for toddler story time I put on my brave face and brought out our collection of rhythm sticks. I’ll be honest parents–I wasn’t sure how this would go over with the toddler crew. Would the sticks be used for evil instead of good? Would they take flight across the room? Would a wee one poke their eye?

Photograph of rhythm sticks
To my relief, using rhythm sticks turned out great! The toddlers were so excited to try out something new. They tapped, made noise and used them to drum on the floor. And, best of all, there were no accidents. Rhythm sticks will for sure become a part of my regular rotation of story time fun.

The benefits of using rhythm sticks with young children are endless. Rhythm sticks: Continue reading