I Spy Bottles

Photograph of an "I Spy Bottle" OpeningI spy with my little eye…a remarkably simple and entertaining craft! You can create this craft with discarded objects from around the house. All you need is an empty plastic bottle, some uncooked beans or rice and an array of unused trinkets. When complete, the “I spy bottle” can be interactive, with you and your child searching for and talking about the contents. It can also be a thought-provoking toy for kids to play with on their own.

Here’s how to make the “I spy bottle” in 6 simple steps.

1. Clean a clear plastic bottle and lid.
2. Gather small toys and trinkets. For example, you can add
pom poms, charms, birthday candles, paper clips, buttons,
coins or even old keys.
3. Take a photo or make a list of the items you plan to “hide” in the bottle.
4. Add the items to the dry bottle.
5. Add beans or rice to cover the items. (You may need a funnel.)
6. Screw on the cap and hot glue the bottle shut. Continue reading

Life-Size Candy Land

We had a great time hosting Life-Size Candy Land at our Columbia and Fulton library branches! We had almost 400 people come through the giant game board at the Columbia Public Library alone, and we would like to thank you for coming and sharing in our magical land of sweet surprises.

If you missed the Life-Size Candy Land in Columbia and Fulton, there’s one last chance to play. The Southern Boone County Library in Ashland will be hosting our last session today, August 9, from 2-3:30 p.m.

Photograph of library staff in Life Size Candy Land

Photograph of Life-Size Candy Land

Photograph of children playing in Life-Size Candy Land

Continue reading

Banishing Boredom

Photograph of bored childNow that summer has arrived, many children will find themselves with more free time on their hands. If you are worried about hearing “I’m bored!” we have a solution: create your own Boredom Busting Jar! When your kids say they are bored or have nothing to do, send them to the jar, and soon they will have an activity to keep them occupied. It is a genius idea in its simplicity. Children will have a stockpile of activities, freeing caregivers from being put on the spot to think of the perfect afternoon project.

Start with a jar with an opening large enough for a hand to reach in and pull out a piece of paper. If you don’t have a jar, you can use a box, coffee can or other container. Create a list of activities children can do on their own, together or with the family. Cut the individual activities out, and place them into the container. You can label or decorate it as desired. When someone utters the phrase “I’m bored!” send them to the jar for an activity.

Continue reading

On Your Mark, Get Set, Games!

This year’s Summer Reading theme “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read” could not have been planned for a better year. The 2016 Rio Olympic Games are gearing up and will start Photograph of Mancalain August! There are more than 40 games during the Summer Olympics. Many of the games – such as rugby, water polo, and Taekwondo – originated in other countries. In the spirit of this year’s Summer Reading theme and the Olympics, here are some world games to teach and play with your child.

With an unknown origin, Mancala can be traced back to ancient Egypt. Mancala is a two-player strategy game where the goal is to capture the most pieces in your own storage area. A homemade Mancala board is very easy to make with simple household items! Click here to learn how to make your own board and the rules of the game. Continue reading

Juice Box Robots

Juice BoxesLast month my mom received the cutest Valentine – a little robot made from a juice box and other snacks. We both loved how kid friendly this treat was and how easy it is to recreate. You can also use healthier options, depending on who will be enjoying (aka eating) the robots.This craft is easy for kids to make, and it’s a wonderful project to gift to others. Continue reading