Every Scientist Needs a Lab Coat

It’s a summer of science at your library, so pull out your safety goggles, test tubes, skeleton models, microscopes, magnifying glasses and other scientific gear. Make lab coats using the following instructions, and create your own mad scientist names.

picture of a lab coatWhat you need:

  • white t-shirt, prewashed
  • cardboard
  • fabric markers
  • yardstick
  • pocket template, copied at whatever size you wish

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It’s March. Get Crafty!

photo of art supplies by kcjones89 via flickrMarch is National Craft Month! Why not make something with your children? Need some inspiration? The library has lots of great books to get the creative juices flowing!

The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family’s Life with Art & Creativity” by Jean Van’t Hul explains how to set up a space for art and encourage creativity in children 1 to 8 years old. It includes instructions for a variety of activities.

Craft Fun” by Kim Solga has clear pictures and instructions for making items out of cardboard, yarn, paper, clay and cloth for kids ages 6 and up.

Eco-Friendly Crafts With Kids” by Kate Lilley includes recipes for play dough and recycled crayons, as well as ways to turn things you find around the house into games and toys. This is a great book for families with children between the ages of 2 and 6 years old. Continue reading

Craft Corner: Thank You Notes

Photo of Thank You Owls 2 by AForestFrolic via FlickrI always encourage my son to write a thank you note when someone gives him a gift. Sometimes we don’t have an opportunity to make our own thank yous, so I just use store bought cards. But when we have the time, we get out our craft supplies and go to work!

While searching for some new ideas, I came across Martha Stewart’s tips for thank you notes from kids. One of Martha’s tips that I have to share is, “Not all the gifts your child receives will be hits. Explain to him ahead of time that the gift giver’s thoughtfulness should be appreciated all the same.” Well put, Martha!

Of course, I found tons of ideas on Pinterest. One of my favorites is the watercolor thank you card, but there are many different and creative ways to say “thank you.” Since I don’t consider myself very “crafty,” this is the way that my son and I can have some bonding time, be artistic and say “thanks!” If you are interested in more ideas for making cards, check out these books for kids. Need more of a challenge? Try these craft books for adults.

Get Trucking

TEgg Carton Dump Truckurn an egg carton into a dump truck, add some traffic signs and get trucking!  We’ve tested the following activities on the bookmobile and received enthusiastic thumbs up.

To make the trucks:

We used DLTK’s pattern for the dump truck. We suggest you skip the paint and use markers instead. Markers allow your kiddos to custom detail their trucks. You can geek out adding specialty headlights and chrome wheels, but honestly, we got excited about drawing passengers and drivers. (One’s a hedgehog.) If you aren’t ready to hand your child markers, try stickers.

We also attached the truck bed with masking tape so that it can be raised and lowered. We think you will be impressed with this upgrade. Continue reading

Show Me a Story

My kid is a hoarder collector. Wherever we go, she is always gathering rocks and stones. She forbids the recycling or throwing away of any scrap, bit or bob, so we are awash in small pieces of fabric, empty egg cartons and paper. I often agonize over the piles and messes, but I feel much better if I can see this stuff as useful. And this is reason number one that I love “Show Me a Story” by Emily K. Neuburger.

As a librarian and parent, I know the importance of early literacy skills to a child’s reading and school success. One of these is narrative skills, or the ability to describe and sequence events, tell stories and predict what will happen next. “Show Me a Story” is a beautifully presented collection of craft projects that create props or kits for storytelling games and activities. In our house we started with story stones, using Modge Podge, construction paper, paint and fabric to create characters and objects affixed to smooth rocks. (We have plenty of smooth rocks.) We made a dragon, sword, castle Continue reading