Ahhhh, spring is in the air, and so are exciting educational and fun programs in the Youth Department! Take a look at what we’ve been up to this April:
• Our children’s book clubs are so popular, they are filled to the max and have wait lists with young readers eager to join. Our grade 2-3 book club, Yakety Yak discussed the Hispanic themed superhero story, Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Springs Into Action. Freddie’s super powered zapatos (shoes), glitched causing him to bounce instead of run super fast. The children used water and cornstarch to make their own homemade bouncy balls to bounce along with Freddie.
In honor of National Poetry Month, the X-Treme Readers 4-5 grade book club read and discussed Love That Dog, a story told in simple free verse, by Sharon Creech. The group learned about Blackout Poetry Art, then created their own unique poem by crossing out certain words on a page of text; the words that remain formed a poem. When asked about their favorite poets, they had many, including Judith Viorst, Shel Silverstein, Jacqueline Woodson, and Sharon Creech.
• Our Story Time programs remain highly popular no matter what the weather. Tiny Toddlers, the 12-23 month old group, enjoyed stories based on the Early Learning Concepts of categorizing shapes, observing permanent change, earth & space science, and self care. The two to five year-olds in out our Little Listeners class listened to stories about dinosaurs, bath time, homes, dragons. They also learned American Sign Language signs for ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ ‘library,’ ‘friend,’ ‘together,’ ‘happy,’ ‘more,’ ‘book,’ and ‘done.’ For our youngest library visitors, Baby Open Play allows children to explore, learn, play and socialize with each other.
• How would you describe colors if you weren’t able to see them? The Black Book of Colors by Menena Cottin explores that idea, with black pages and Braille letters alongside the printed text; children and parents in Sensory Story Time especially enjoyed touching the Braille words. The class learned how to use American Sign Language to sign ‘friends,’ ‘hello,’ and ‘time,’ and each child had a chance to help tell It Looked Like Spilt Milk with felt board pieces. The class made their own Pencil Topper Fidget Toys using beads, rubber bands and pipe cleaners. Threading the rubber bands through beads helps practice their tripod grasp and bilateral hand coordination; children can use the toys to assist with attention and movement needs while in class. The families were extremely happy with the class and look forward to more.
• In celebration of the spring holidays Easter and Passover: children made tissue paper Easter eggs, finger painting frogs, and colored matching flowers. We welcomed Art Kids Academy back for three sessions to teach excited young artists how to paint Van Gogh style sunflowers, Andy Warhol style pop art, and East Asian landscape scrolls.
• Did you ever want to learn how to make your own smoothie or the fun and popular drink, Bubble Tea? Fourth and Fifth graders learned how in this month’s session of Let’s Cook. Healthy ingredients like chia seeds and gogi berries were mixed into the smoothies. Yummm!
• Our Video Game Design Workshop teaches students in grades 4-8 how to code their own racing, platform, launching games (and more) using Scratch. A session of Story Coders for grades 2-3 was snowed out last month and rescheduled to this month. Children learn basic coding concepts using the Finch bot, the ScratchJr App, and off-screen activities.
• An enthusiastic crowd of middle schoolers played the Nintendo Switch games Smash Bros. Ultimate and Mario Kart on the big screens in the program room in Tween Gaming. There was another session of Teen Gaming, co-run by the LHS Video Game Club. One senior, who usually plays online opponents only, said, “I had no idea there were so many good gamers in Livingston.” With the popularity of our gaming programs, we have a Family Gaming event coming up soon!
~Gina Vaccaro, Youth Services Librarian