Tween Scene: DIY Watermelon Blanket

Image credit: havingfunathome.com

Hello my friends! The sun is shining on spring flowers and the sky is blue. 

Sadly, schools are closed again with the Covid numbers on the rise and you will be at home again. I want to share a super fun and easy craft project that you could make with your family or maybe you could set up a zoom crafting party with some friends! Let’s make our very own watermelon towels!! 

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Messy Art: Bubble Paper

image credit: Unsplash

Now that the weather is improving a lot in our area and we can move messy art activities outside for much easier cleanup, it seems like a good time to write about a messy art activity like bubble paper! Bubble paper mixes art with the pure joy of blowing bubbles in your drink with a straw, and it makes for a simple and beautiful piece of art that you can frame as is or use as paper to make a beautiful card or letter for a friend! 

Supplies

  • A small drinking glass and a straw 
  • Water 
  • Dish soap 
  • Food colouring 
  • White or light-coloured paper (I recommend a sturdier paper, like watercolour paper or cardstock for less warping, but any paper will do!) 

Instructions

  1. Fill your glass with water about two-thirds full, then add some dish soap. 
  2. Add the food colouring of your choice. The more you add, the bolder the colours will show up on your paper. 
  3. Now the fun part: blow bubbles in your soapy coloured water with your straw!
    WARNING: Do NOT drink the water!! It tastes YUCKY!
  4. Once they reach over the top of the glass, swipe your paper over top of the bubbles so that some bubbles stick to the paper. 
  5. As the bubbles pop, they’ll leave interesting patterns of colour on the paper. 
  6. Repeat Step 3 as many times as you need to get your desired effect, waiting a few minutes in between to give the bubbles a chance to pop and the paper time to dry. If you’re using a lightweight paper, you may need to wait a little longer between bubbles. 

I did this activity with my Art Club and one participant had the great idea of adding a little food colouring on top of the bubbles after you’ve blown them. This can speed up the process for the impatient ones among us. Here’s a shot of the finished product. I plan to write a nice letter to a friend on this one, and maybe even draw a couple of butterflies on there! 

Billie’s Book Picks 

Big Bad Bubble by Adam Rubin, pictures by Daniel Salmieri 

image credit: KPL Encore

If you’re a monster from La La Land, then you know that bubbles are actually the most terrifying thing to ever float by. In this silly and interactive story, the readers help encourage little Wumpus to conquer his fear of bubbles. Request it from the library.

Bubbles by Kit Chase 

image credit: KPL Encore

Bubbles play a key role in this tale of friendship and bravery. Kangaroo follows a trail of bubbles to find Koala, who’s a little hesitant to make new friends at first. But an afternoon of bubble-blowing creates a giant bubble monster, and only Koala can save Kangaroo! Request it from the library.

Super Simple Things to Do With Bubbles by Kelly Doudna 

image credit: KPL Encore

If you need more bubble action, then this is the book for you! This collection of easy science-based activities come with easy step-by-step photo instructions and plenty of bubble-based fun for all ages. Request it from the library.

Your Turn 

If you try out this art activity, we’d love to see it! Leave a comment down below, or send a picture to childkpl@kpl.org. 


POST WRITTEN BY HANNAH V., CHILDREN’S PROGRAMMER

Preschool Math with The Little Red Hen

image credit: Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Math skills are important to your child’s development across many different early literacy skills. Learning the names of shapes builds language skills, sorting objects by size builds physical awareness and making sure each stuff animal has a cup of tea builds social emotional skills. 

Today our activities are going to be tied to The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone. Start off by reading the book to your child. 

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National Poetry Month

April is made of such wonderful things
Sunbeams and tulips and butterfly wings. -Author Unknown

pink and white tulips in bloom during daytime
Image credit: Unsplash

Hi friends! It’s April…and spring! Isn’t that fantastic?!? The days are longer, the weather is nicer, and school…well school is still school, but at least we don’t need our winter jackets and boots for outdoor break time anymore ( I really hope I’m not jinxing us by saying that!).

April brings us April Fool’s Day, spring showers, and also National Poetry Month. This is a time to celebrate poets and their craft. National Poetry Month reminds the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture, and that poetry matters.

From old to new, Poetry Month celebrates the art of poetry in all its forms, appreciating the history behind it. It also celebrates the lives of poets that inspired it and forming a new generation of poets to change the landscape of the literary world. Read on for some great tween book recommendations to help you take part in National Poetry Month.

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World Autism Awareness Day

“If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” — Dr. Stephen Mark Shore

multicolored hand paint
Image credit: Unsplash

Today is World Autism Awareness Day; a day when we come together to raise awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

ASD affects an estimated 1 in 66 Canadian children and youth aged 5-17. In it’s simplest definition, ASD is a neurodevelopmental (affects how your brain functions) condition that affects the way individuals perceive, respond to, and interact with the world around them.

Autism means something different to everyone. Medical professionals and researchers may talk about it one way, an autistic person’s family will talk about it another way, while a person on the spectrum might talk about it still another way. The important thing is, to talk about it.

So today, I’ll talk a bit about my experience with Autism as the mom of a boy on the Autism Spectrum. As I share a sliver of my experience with ASD, I encourage others to share their story too.

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Billie’s Books: Spring into April

April is the first full month in Winter! April Fools…I mean the first full month is Spring!! That means that the weather is getting warmer and pretty soon, there will be lots of lovely flowers in our gardens and buds on the trees. Spring is a magical time of year, where everything wakes up after a long winter. April is also a month full of special days and I have picked a list of great books to help you celebrate, commemorate or learn more about these days. First up, April is Autism Awareness Month and tomorrow, April 2 is Autism Awareness Day. Check out tomorrow’s special blog post for more information and great books to read. In April we also have Poetry Month, Earth Day, Screen Free Week and so many more fun and wacky days. My favourites are:

  • Pillow Fight Day (April 3)
  • Play Outside Day (April 3)
  • Unicorn Day (April 9)
  • Library Day (April 20)
  • Jelly Bean Day (April 22)

Poetry Month

April is poetry month and we have a amazing collection of children’s poetry books in the library. Check out some of my favourites.

How to be a Lion by Ed Vere

How to Be a Lion
image credit: KPL Encore

In this timely and charming story about the importance of being true to yourself, mindfulness, and standing by your friends, we meet Leonard, a lion, and his best friend Marianne, a . . . duck. Leonard and Marianne have a happy life together–talking, playing, writing poems, and making wishes–until one day a pack of bullies questions whether it’s right for a lion and a duck to be pals. Leonard soon learns there are many ways to be a lion, and many ways to be a friend, and that sometimes finding just the right words can change the world . . .  Request it from the library.

Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer

Daniel Finds a Poem
image credit: KPL Encore

When Daniel sees a sign on the park gate that says “Poetry in the Park, Sunday at 6,” he wonders, “What is poetry?”-and is surprised when a spider tells him- “To me, poetry is when morning dew glistens.” This leads the curious little boy to seek out other park animals and pose the same question. After he hears from Squirrel, Chipmunk, Frog, Turtle, Cricket, and Owl, Daniel creates a lovely poem that he recites at Poetry in the Park, in front of a crowd of poetry-lovers, including all his animal friends. Request it from the library.


When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for all Seasons by Julie Fogliano

When Green Becomes Tomatoes
image credit: KPL Encore

Seasons change from winter to fall in this book of poetry from the author of And Then It’s Spring and If You Want to See A Whale, and charmingly illustrated by Julie Morstad. December 29 and I woke to a morning that was quiet and white the first snow (just like magic) came on tip toes overnight. Flowers blooming in sheets of snow make way for happy frogs dancing in the rain. Summer swims move over for autumn sweaters until the snow comes back again. In Julie Fogliano’s skilled hand and illustrated by Julie Morstad’s charming pictures, the seasons come to life in this gorgeous and comprehensive book of poetry. Request it from the library.

Melvis and Elvis by Dennis Lee

Melvis and Elvis
image credit: KPL Encore

Canadian kidslit legend Dennis Lee’s first new children’s collection in more than a decade-in collaboration with bestselling illustrator Jeremy Tankard. Melvis the monster and Elvis the elf were hunting for books on the library shelf — One on the carpet, and one in a chair, so neither could see that the other was there… Melvis and Elvis is classic Dennis Lee, with more than thirty new poems for fans of his beloved collections, including the perennial bestseller Alligator Pie. This irresistible blend of narrative, word play, and pure nonsense, combined with Jeremy Tankard’s whimsical and energetic illustrations, will appeal to both the very young and developing readers. Request it from the library.

A Poem in Your Pocket by Margaret McNamara 

A Poem in Your Pocket (Mr. Tiffin's Classroom Series)
image credit: KPL Encore

Once again, Margaret McNamara sets her playful, child-friendly story in the classroom, and this time, poetry-from metaphors to acrostics to haiku-is the name of the game. The focus here is on Elinor, whose confidence falters as she tries to write something “perfect” for Poem in Your Pocket Day and impress a visiting poet. G. Brian Karas’s accessible, adorable illustrations add to the fun. Request it from the library.

Your Turn

Reading poetry is so much fun and these are just a few of the books that we have to choose from at the library. Want to find even more great poetry books for kids? Head on over to the library branch nearest you or ask us to pick you a surprise pack of poetry in a Billie’s Book Pick. Check out our other posts this month as celebrate the other special days in April.


POST WRITTEN BY SARAH F., CHILDREN’S LIBRARIAN

Preschool: Rhyming

image credit: Unsplash

Learning to read is no easy task, and many things must happen as children grow into readers. One skill that early readers develop is rhyming. Learning to rhyme may seem like it comes naturally but that isn’t always the case for many children. It needs to be practiced and children need to be exposed to it. 

Rhyming with your little one is such a great way to play together. It allows children to hear similar sounds in words, like cat and hat. This is the first step in phonemic awareness, the ability to differentiate the sounds in words. Since this is only a listening skill and not a skill involving print, it’s perfectly playful for the early years. This will help develop skills that will build on their ability to read.  

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Keep On March-ing On

brown canlendar
Image Credit: Unsplash

Hi friends! We’re halfway through March already; can you believe it? Most years around this time we’re in the midst of March Break; enjoying the time off school, hanging out with friends, sleeping in, and maybe even going on a family vacation. This year is obviously different (hello March Break in April!?!?), but March can still be pretty great nonetheless. The first day of Spring is in March (today, in fact! Woo- hoo! Bring on the warm weather!).

We all know that March has 31 days. But did you know that in those 31 days, there are some wacky celebratory days? And I mean Wacky! Did you know there’s a National Cheese Doodle day (March 5th, btw)? And National Meatball Day? (that’s March 9th if you’re curious). How about National 3-D Day (yep, 3-D like those special glasses you have to wear). And there’s so many more! Read on for more nonsensical national days in March.

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DIY Paper Beads 

Today I’ll show you how to make your own beaded jewelry, and we’re even going to make the beads themselves!

Supplies

  • Paper of any colour or style! Wrapping paper, plain paper, newspaper, whatever!  
  • Scissors  
  • Glue  
  • Colouring things  
  • Toothpick or bamboo skewer 
  • String 

Instructions

  1. Draw long triangles on your paper. If you want to make them all the same size, draw and cut out one triangle and use that as a tracer for your other triangles. If you’re using plain paper, you might want to draw designs on them, like I did here.  
  1. Using your toothpick or skewer, roll up your triangles so the design you like is on the outside. Put some glue on the tip of each triangle to hold it in shape. It’s okay if your bead doesn’t stay super tight, as you want to be able to thread it on some string afterwards. 
  1. Thread your beads on a string, and tie it off. You can make it long for a necklace or shorter for a bracelet. You could even make a keychain, and if you know any fancy beading techniques you could try those, too! Just don’t wear this jewelry in a rain storm. Paper and water do not mix! 
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Billie’s Book Picks 

Beading: Bracelets, Barrettes, and Beyond by Thiranut Boonyadhistarn 

http://syndetics.com/index.php?isbn=9780736864725/lc.jpg&client=kitcp
image credit: KPL Encore

If you want some inspiration for more beading activities, the library has lots of great books to choose from, including this one here! Request it from the library.

Fancy Nancy Storybook Favorites by Jane O’Connor  

http://syndetics.com/index.php?isbn=0062915487/lc.jpg&client=kitcp
image credit: KPL Encore

Everyone loves Fancy Nancy, one of the most bedazzled picture book character ever! Enjoy this collection of favourite Fancy Nancy adventures conveniently packaged in one volume. Request it from the library.

Bling Blaine: Throw Glitter, Not Shade by Rob Sanders

http://syndetics.com/index.php?isbn=1454934565/lc.jpg&client=kitcp
image credit: KPL Encore

Blaine loves to dress sparkly, from his hat to his shoes and everything in between. But some people don’t like all of his glitter and start to bully him. How can his friends encourage him to stay true to himself? Request it from the library.

Your Turn 

Did you make some paper beads? Show us your designs! Leave a comment down below, or send a picture to childkpl@kpl.org. 


POST WRITTEN BY HANNAH V., CHILDREN’S PROGRAMMER