February is Feed the Birds Month!

2020-02-18T19:52:37-07:00

On February 23, 1994, February was declared 'National Bird Feeding Month' by Congress. If you want to narrow things down to one day, February 3 is 'Feed the Birds Day.' February is one of the hardest months of the year for many animals in North America, especially those who depend on seeds and plants for food. That would make it the perfect time to start a new hobby - bird watching!  According to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, over 45 million people in the country participate in bird watching at home and at work.  It doesn't require special skills [...]

February is Feed the Birds Month!2020-02-18T19:52:37-07:00

Art Magic With Markers

2019-10-04T12:10:07-06:00

I've had the opportunity lately to do something that I haven't been able to do in a very long time - ART! There are few things as much fun as taking brilliant colors mixing them on paper to create wonderful things.  It is important for children to have the opportunity to just play with color, and discover the the wonder of it while learning how color works and blends.  That is the very best way to learn color theory. These days there are a multitude of resources available with which to play with color.  I've come across some great ones recently, [...]

Art Magic With Markers2019-10-04T12:10:07-06:00

Pumpkin STEMs!

2018-11-25T20:50:30-07:00

STEM programming and Halloween just sort of naturally go together. But I was looking for a slightly "less gross" way to connect the two. Building and pumpkins don't seem to normally go in the same sentence, but we tried and it and had a blast! For the engineering portion of the program, I decided to use a variation on the marshmallows and spaghetti project building idea. I provided candy pumpkins and toothpicks for the building challenge. Candy Corn was also available, although none chose to build with it. They were allowed as many candy pumpkins as they needed, and both flat [...]

Pumpkin STEMs!2018-11-25T20:50:30-07:00

FrankenCreatures!

2018-11-25T19:40:54-07:00

Who among us hasn't at some point just put out a bunch of materials and told the kids "have at it!"? We did that in our STREAM Center for a pre-Halloween program, and it was way more fun that we anticipated! There were a large number of the parents who stayed with their kids and created right along with them, even though their attendance wasn't strictly mandatory at the program. We had a wide range of materials, from paper tubes to wiggle eyes. We had access to tape and glue, along with rubber bands, paper clips, and binder clips. There were [...]

FrankenCreatures!2018-11-25T19:40:54-07:00

Lessons Learned from Camp Cosmos

2018-11-19T21:28:33-07:00

            How do you decide if an event is a success? Usually the number of people in attendance is a good indicator, and one that the state wants us to report. But what if you only have three people from your intended audience attend? Can you still call that a successful event? To celebrate the end of World Space Week in October, we held Camp Cosmos at one of the local parks. We had paper rockets launched by compressed air, made space packs, offered "moon sand" to play in, made galaxy art, and more. It was a [...]

Lessons Learned from Camp Cosmos2018-11-19T21:28:33-07:00

Music, Music, Let’s Make Some Music!

2018-08-04T18:16:46-06:00

  To start off our Summer, which has the theme "Libraries Rock" this year, I decided to have a "make your own music" program.  I enjoy programs where participants learn to create using items they will most likely find around their own homes.  For this program, I decided that we would make our own kazoos and then play group tunes with some palm pipes. My first plan had included making Pan's Pipes, but a large group signed up, which changed the program dynamic a bit.  Plus, I suddenly knew that I didn't have enough supplies for everyone to be able to do that [...]

Music, Music, Let’s Make Some Music!2018-08-04T18:16:46-06:00

A Whale of an Adventure!

2018-08-01T22:44:47-06:00

Migration: noun. seasonal movement of animals from one region to another. "this butterfly's annual migration across North America" We recently addressed the topic of migration in a program, and it was a lot of fun. First, I asked the kids what it means to “migrate.” They came up with a very similar answer to the definition above. I asked what kinds of things migrate; they told me fish, birds, butterflies, bugs, “things that live in Africa.” I asked if people migrate, and they all said no… but then thought about it a little more. One or two of them said “maybe.” We talked about people who [...]

A Whale of an Adventure!2018-08-01T22:44:47-06:00

Seeing Stars!

2018-07-30T20:14:58-06:00

Indoor astronomy is a great way to light up the night! We recently did that, both figuratively and literally. I have done a fairly large number of astronomy programs in the past 5 or 6 years, both with and without the library's 8" Dobsonian telescope; both indoors and out. I want these programs to be both about learning and fun... I want to encourage kids and their adults to spend time looking at the sky when they are outside, even if they aren't sure what they are looking at or for. Since the moon is an easy place to start, I [...]

Seeing Stars!2018-07-30T20:14:58-06:00

Celebrating Rockets’ Red Glare!

2018-07-03T22:52:45-06:00

On Monday, we celebrated America's birthday with some STEM activities! As always, we started with some reading, and I intentionally chose books that included images of fireworks. I also included a number of non-fiction Independence Day titles in my book display, along with this title: We started by reading A is for America, by Devin Scilian, then read Happy Birthday, America, by Mary Pope Osborne.  In keeping with the "rockets' red glare," theme, I decided to try two different activities, and both worked very well. The main activity was the creation of paper rockets which we launched with a stomp rocket launcher. [...]

Celebrating Rockets’ Red Glare!2018-07-03T22:52:45-06:00

Light and Color and Uncooperative Weather

2018-06-19T04:05:06-06:00

The best-laid plans often go awry...  so how to program on the fly for a large group when that happens? My Monday Mayhem program is attended by a lot of school-age kids, including those who attend two separate day care summer camps. Planning for 80 takes some work and means that it is difficult to change activities without some advance thought and materials-gathering. As such, I learned a valuable lesson last week about planning... always have a back-up if the activities rely on the sun. The theme for the program last week was Light and Color, and while I had a [...]

Light and Color and Uncooperative Weather2018-06-19T04:05:06-06:00
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