I am sure “party” is not the first word that comes to mind when thinking of libraries, but we like to break out of the mold sometimes. We have parties and programs for kids and teens this month, so don’t be surprised if you smell yummy food or hear distant music and laughter while you are passing through.
Our ten weekly storytimes started in January, averaging about 20 children at each session. Last week, we added another option – Spanish Storytime! Marisol Teran-Apadaca from the Bebe Language Academy will be presenting these bilingual storytimes every month on the 2nd Friday and Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Spanish storytimes will feature picture books read in both English and Spanish, interspersed with traditional rhymes and songs. Spanish speaking families are encouraged to come, as well as children who do not know any Spanish. Last Friday and Saturday, Ms. Marisol read Biscuit/Bizcocho, Wiggle/A Tu Ritmo, and Good Boy, Fergus/Muy Bien Fergus. Join us again March 9-10 for Spanish and English zoo stories, including an all-time favorite: Brown Bear, Brown Bear/Oso Pardo, Oso Pardo.
We celebrated Chinese New Year on Friday afternoon when USD 383 kids were out of school. Children who came to the “Year of the Dragon” party led a Dragon Parade through the library, ending with party “poppers,” and participated in a “Sweep out the Bad Luck” broom relay. The group made cool crafts such as Chinese lanterns, good luck Kanji, lucky money envelopes, and dragons. Children’s librarian Melendra Sutliff-Sanders came up with the idea for this party because “it’s a celebration that is fun to all different cultures and, at the same time, exposes kids who are not from China to some important traditions of another society.”
We will continue celebrating the year of the dragon at the library with our newest early literacy station activities. These simple games and puzzles are designed to go with the picture book Dragon Dancing by Carole Lexa Schaefer, and they are available for young children to play with in the Children’s Room for the next six weeks. Create an alphabet dragon on our magnet board, make new poems with alliterative action words from the book (like “slip-sliding” and “mish-mooshing”), or don a mask and scarf to perform a dragon dance.
More days off from school this week may leave some kids (and parents) looking for free entertainment. Make your way to the library on Thursday afternoon for our “Origami Yoda” Party. For those of you who don’t know, Tom Angleberger’s hilarious children’s novel, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, has been on the New York Times bestseller list, along with the sequel, Darth Paper Strikes Back. Fans of the popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid books are eating up this new, silly series about sixth graders who begin to believe the weird kid’s origami Star Wars finger puppet can actually predict their futures and provide wise advice. Kids who come to our party on February 16 at 2:00 will get to make their own origami characters and Star Wars masks and participate in some fun games. Children’s librarian Jessica Long adds that “Someone will get to destroy the Death Star piñata!” A couple of lucky kids will get to take home a prize book, too. Following the party, the library will show an animated movie following the adventures of Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Count Dooku.
Friday is our kids’ Wii Play Day from 2:00-3:30, recommended for ages 5 and up. We will have two Wii stations with games projected onto big screens. Kids can sign up when they arrive for a spot to play Smurf Dance Party or Mario & Sonic Olympic Winter Games. Staff and volunteers will be on hand to make sure all kids get a chance to play, and parents are asked to stay with children under age 8. Teens can play Wii games at the monthly “Last Tuesday Gaming” in the Groesbeck Room on February 28, 4:00-6:00.
Speaking of teens, young adult librarian Janene Hill has planned an interesting and tasty event for kids in middle school and high school on Saturday, February 18, at 2:00: Microwave Experimentation! Do you know what happens when a frozen grape or bar of soap gets nuked? You’ve heard you should never put aluminum foil in the microwave, but have you ever seen what it looks like? Join us at the library to see what we can light up, fire up, and melt down with several interesting experiments, followed by yummy microwave snacks (not made in the same microwaves).
You can support teen programming at the library by visiting the Teen Library Advisory Board’s bake sale on Saturday, March 3, from 10:00-2:00. Eat your baked goodies while you browse for cheap books at our Friends Group’s Annual Book Sale that day. Book sale proceeds and other donations help fund our fun programs and parties, so it’s a win-win for everyone.
By Jennifer Adams