Learning the Colors With Wizard’s Brew and Picture Books

Recently, I got the opportunity to fill in at another branch and do the preschool story times there while their children's librarian was out for several weeks.  It was great!  I had a wonderful time planning and presenting preschool storytime again after doing mostly school-aged programs for the last several years. One storytime the kids

Cardboard Creations!

What can you do with an hour, a large box, some assorted IKEA packing materials, a few plastic fasteners, and some kids? All kinds of cool things! We recently held another "open building" program at KCPL. This time, our building materials included one very large box, pieces of cardboard of various sizes, shapes, and thickness,

Edible Rocks??? Definitely!

         The Lunar and Planetary Institute has done it again!  They have developed another delicious educational experience to share with libraries and educators - Edible Rocks. Who would want to try to eat a rock?  Just about everyone, when the "rocks" are chocolate bars, "Three Musketeers" (the candy, not the book or movie), "Nestle

Carnivorous Plants and the magic of Plant Regeneration and Propagation

               A few weeks ago,  I came across a very interesting online store, the Carnivorous Plant Nursery.   Their focus, shockingly, is on propagating and selling carnivorous plants from all over the world.  But they also believe in education and helping educators of all kinds.  To this end, they

3-D Origami – The Fun of Legos on a Much Smaller Budget

Fate is a funny thing.  A few months ago I got ambitious one week, and wrote and published ( I thought) three blog articles.  Unbeknownst to me, it was the same week that the STAR_Net blog was being moved to its new home on this website.  For some reason, one of my articles made the

What is the Lowest Maintenance Pet of All?

  A few weeks ago I decided to have a program where the kids could relax and let their creative juices flow, and where some of the parents/grandparents could flash back to their own childhoods and have a good laugh.  The program, I expected, would be a short one.  Then we could spend the rest of

Learn About Other Cultures While Getting Fit – Make Your Own Skill Toys

                There's lots of research these days that supports the idea that a healthy body supports a healthy mind and intellect, improving one's ability to learn, understand, and retain information.  Cultures throughout history may or may not have made the connection between a healthy body and a healthy mind,

What If? to Oh Cool! The Scientific Method Put to Work Launching Stomp Rockets

      How can  kids use the scientific method to develop better, higher flying paper rockets, or, better yet, shock the administrators on the third floor?  It's easy! For the last several years, I've been doing stomp rocket programs at my library.  Whether it's during summer reading club or in the middle of the school

Paper Airplane Challenge!

Last week my Crafternoon participants (with a few moms and one teen-aged sister included) enjoyed a paper plane tournament.  It was a wonderful, low cost, quick prep program which everyone enjoyed thoroughly. I collected all the paper airplane books that my library system owned, added quite a few that I bought online, and had them laid

Explore! Marvel Moon Free NASA Webinar

I recently received this e-mail from Christine Shupla, with the Lunar and Planetary Institute.  I hope she doesn't mind my forwarding her announcement. I've attended some of these webinars in the past, and they are fantastic, as well as a lot of fun!  I remember one where we created the phases of the moon by

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