Animals in the Park!

2018-06-26T03:49:54-06:00

Summer Reading programs in the park have begun again for the year. So how to inform and entertain a variety of ages, in an outdoor setting? Animals! The theme for the second week was animals, and the first of the Tuesday/Thursday programs featured a live animal petting zoo. Well over 250 people showed up for that! We had two baby goats, two young sheep, a little pot-bellied pig, and a rabbit, all of whom seemed to actually enjoy the attention. Sunrock Farm, a local educational farm (https://www.sunrockfarm.org/), hand-raises the animals destined for both in-farm and outreach education, and they are used [...]

Animals in the Park!2018-06-26T03:49:54-06:00

What Can You do With a Block of Ice?

2018-04-05T01:09:05-06:00

      It's beginning to show signs of spring.  Trees are budding.  Insects are beginning fly and buzz about.  I see turtles sunning at the edge of the lake.  But before that -- It was cold.  Really, really cold, for my part of the world.  In a part of the country where freezes usually last a day or two, we had weeks without the temperature getting above the freezing mark.  So what kind of programming do you do when there's lots of ice outside?  Programs about ice, of course. Everyone knows that you put salt on the walkways, steps, and [...]

What Can You do With a Block of Ice?2018-04-05T01:09:05-06:00

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

2018-01-02T23:04:09-07:00

This is the time of the year when children in most every part of the country look forward to awakening to a fluffy white blanket of snow in which to play, to sled, to scoop into a bowl for snowcream, and most importantly, to get them out of a day at school.  In my part of the country these days, snow is fairly rare, and pretty much everything comes to a grinding halt as soon as there are a few inches on the ground. When I was a child, it seemed like there was a lot more of the icy white [...]

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!2018-01-02T23:04:09-07:00

STEAM Benchmarks

2017-09-08T14:56:34-06:00

We know that hands-on or experiential learning is great for patrons of all ages, and that it’s particularly powerful in STEAM learning opportunities. Skokie Public Library has developed STEAM programming benchmarks for our youth patrons, from pre-kindergarten through grade 5, that ensure we have regular STEAM offerings on a variety of topics. We’ve found that these benchmarks are a great way for us to ensure we’re offering a variety of STEAM program options during each program cycle, and also to think about how we might want to theme our programs around core concepts or disciplines (like space, botany, or architecture). Here’s [...]

STEAM Benchmarks2017-09-08T14:56:34-06:00

The Dirt on Soil

2017-07-15T06:38:52-06:00

This week at the Depot Park, we braved threatening thunderstorms, rain, and high humidity to learn the dirt on soils! Using both fiction and non-fictions books, we introduced the topics of soil, dirt, and mud before studying different types of soil, modeling the concept of percolation, making model soil horizons, and mud painting. Over the two days of the program, we introduced the theme with the books Mud Puddle, by Robert Munsch, and Miracle Mud: Lena Blackburne and the Secret Mud that Changed Baseball, by David A. Kelly. Both adults and kids were astonished to learn that the miracle mud of the story is [...]

The Dirt on Soil2017-07-15T06:38:52-06:00

Have a Cow, Man!

2017-07-07T12:58:35-06:00

Yesterday, in spite of questionable weather, delays because of a traffic accident, a few minor technology glitches, and high humidity; Kenton County Public Library and the City of Erlanger engaged nearly 200 people in one of our most unique and educational outdoor programs so far this summer! The Southland Dairy Farmers have an educational program-on-wheels called the Mobile Dairy Classroom, and it will come to your school or event (within their service area, which covers several states) for free! The Mobile Classroom is a self-contained fully modern milking station and educational tool, which arrives with a highly knowledgeable dairy farmer/educator, give-aways, and a live [...]

Have a Cow, Man!2017-07-07T12:58:35-06:00

Stargazer Nights at Skokie Public Library

2017-06-30T07:49:05-06:00

Here at Skokie Public Library, one of our favorite seasonal recurring events is our Stargazer Night program. While we first started these all-ages programs in the spring of 2015 in conjunction with an exploration of microcosms and macrocosms in our BOOMbox, we’ve continued offering 5 or 6 of these programs each year. Here’s what we do. Families take a closer look at Jupiter and its moons during Stargazer Nights. First, we choose our dates for Stargazer Night programs. We check a local sunrise/sunset schedule so we know what months might be viable for a program. We’ve tended to find [...]

Stargazer Nights at Skokie Public Library2017-06-30T07:49:05-06:00

Transportation at the Depot

2017-06-27T21:33:33-06:00

Taking the STEAM concept in a slightly different direction, last week we hosted a program at the Depot Park all about transportation. This is always a popular theme, and since we were meeting at the Depot (as in train!) Park, it seemed like a natural fit. The Erlanger Depot Museum is one of the last remaining buildings of its kind in the United States. The museum building itself is an historic landmark. It’s a wooden railroad depot that was built in 1877 and remained in operation for nearly 100 years. When the building was closed by the railroad, the Erlanger Historical Society [...]

Transportation at the Depot2017-06-27T21:33:33-06:00

Geology Rocks!

2017-06-23T22:03:57-06:00

This week, as part of my Summer Reading Depot Days programs in the park series, we addressed geology; and it rocked! As usual we began the program with some good books, including A Rock is Lively, by Dianna Hutts Aston, and Earthshake: Poems From The Ground Up, by Lisa Westberg Peters. A Rock is Lively gave us lots of good geology vocabulary, including discussion of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rock, and the rock cycle. It talked about minerals, fossils, and more. Poetry from Earthshake included such concepts as the layers found within the earth, and reiterated about fossils, minerals, and the rock cycle [...]

Geology Rocks!2017-06-23T22:03:57-06:00

Family Science Expo

2017-02-10T14:19:27-07:00

At the end of January, we hosted our fourth annual Family Science Expo here at Skokie Public Library. When we first offered the all-ages family event in winter 2014, we used the same model pioneered by one of our nearby libraries, Des Plaines Public Library: we offered access to a variety of exhibitors from local science-related businesses as well as representatives from STEAM societies and organizations. At that time, we didn’t yet offer a lot of science programming led by library staff on a regular basis. In the years since, however, we’ve really amped up our STEAM programming throughout the year--which [...]

Family Science Expo2017-02-10T14:19:27-07:00
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