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.

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New OverDrive Read-Along Books

Screenshot of a Read-along version of Scaredy Squirrel


There are eBooks and there are eAudiobooks, but have you ever seen a eBook and eAudiobook combined? Meet OverDrive Read-along! Read-along books are eBooks that are professionally narrated while you read along with the highlighted words. These eBooks are easy to use. Once the book is open, you click “Play Narration,” and off it goes! Going back and playing a section again is simple. Just click on the words where you want to start, and the narration will begin where you clicked. If you need to stop, simply click “Pause Narration.”

Read-along books are a great tool for children learning to read. Have them read a page to you, and then click on the narration to see if they were right! If not, pause the narration and have them try again. You and your child can also do it the other way around where they listen first and then repeat. Hearing the words pronounced will help them understand the meaning of the text.

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Baby Doll Hair Salon

Elsa doll with hair in untangling liquidOver the summer I came across an Elsa doll at a garage sale. I have many young cousins who would love an Elsa doll, so I adopted her. There was only one problem — Elsa had badly tangled hair. Elbow grease and a good brushing alone weren’t going to be enough to free her knotted locks. So I searched online and found several suggestions on how to get the tangles out. Below, I’ve complied the best methods for restoring doll hair to a tangle free state. Feel free to try it out! It may save you some time and money and give you the opportunity to play with your child. You can have a blast running a baby doll hair salon together!

First, I brushed out what tangles I could from Elsa’s hair with a good stiff bristled brush. Then I mixed 1/4 cup of fabric softener with very hot water and put it into a shallow baking dish. I let Elsa’s hair soak for about 15 minutes in the mixture, then I rinsed the hair thoroughly with hot water. I avoided getting water down the neck of the doll, since it can get caught in the body cavity. If your doll still has massive tangles, you can add leave-in-conditioner to the doll’s wet hair. Add conditioner a few drops at a time and work it in thoroughly to prevent oily hair. I combed Elsa’s hair while wet with a wide tooth comb and let it dry. And voila! Elsa was restored to her original beauty.

Does your child also have a Disney princess doll or just love Disney princesses? If so, you can all read Disney princess library books together!

Fuel Your Engine With Allergy-Free Recipes

One aspect of our Summer Reading theme “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!” concerns eating good food that will fuel your engine. Sometimes families decide to change their eating habits, especially if a child is diagnosed with food allergies. Changing diets can be a hard task to accomplish for both kids and adults. While every situation is different, the library provides many books that may help ease that transition. Here are a couple books that I recommend.

“Eat Like a Dinosaur: Recipes & Guidebook for Gluten-Free Kids"Eat Like a Dinosaur" book cover” by the Paleo Parents is a great resource to use when introducing a gluten-free diet to your kids. This cookbook starts with a story that you can read to your kids about why this family changed their lifestyle. The narrator tells the reader that while change is hard, the benefits outweigh the struggles. In every recipe there are pictures and detailed directions that show what steps children can help with. Allowing children to have a hands-on approach may help the food transition go more smoothly. Every recipe is free of grains, dairy and legumes.
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Fidget Boxes

Photograph of a fidget boxDoes your child need a little extra help focusing during story times or other children’s programs? We’ve got you covered! We’re proud to be introducing the Fidget Box–now available at all three branches and on Bookmobile, Jr. What is a fidget you ask? A fidget is a small tool (disguised as a toy) that kids can hold, squeeze and, well, fidget with, all the while helping them concentrate. Fiddling with a fidget is a great and quiet way to channel energy that might otherwise disrupt others. Our fidget boxes contain toys, I mean tools, to tantalize the senses, including a small weighted lap blanket, a Koosh ball, Tangles and more!

What about fidgeting when you aren’t at the library? Try Silly Putty, Play-Doh or stress balls. You can also try making your own fidgets. Cut up a pool noodle to make a stress ball. Wrap a pipe cleaner around a pencil or take out the middle man and wrap it around your finger, as seen here. And don’t worry grownups, you can fidget too–keep one of these by your desk and just see how productive you can be. Happy fidgeting!