Ready, Set, Create! Toolkits To Go

Did you ever think you would be able to borrow a sewing machine or a fully functioning robotics kit with your library card?  Well, at the Livingston Library you can, along with ukuleles, engineering kits, fiber arts, paper crafts, puzzles and more with our Ready, Set, Create! Toolkits for Emerging Artists and Inventors!

Each toolkit contains all the materials and instructions you need, just add your imagination.  Our available Toolkits include:

  • Ukulele:  Learn to play the ukulele with instructions on how to tune and play it.
  • Sewing:   A sewing machine, fabric and step-by-step instructions to get you started.
  • Code & Go Mouse Kits:  A fun way for children to develop foundational coding skills.  Create a maze, then program the mouse bot through it to reach the cheese!
  • LEGO Robotics:  Build and program a robot with LEGO WeDo and Scratch.
  • Snap Circuits:  This toolkit makes learning electronics easy and fun.  Follow the colorful pictures in the instruction book to  build projects such as FM radios, digital voice recorders, AM radios, burglar alarms, doorbells, and more.
  • Makey Makey:  Turns everyday objects into touchpads, limited only by your imagination!
  • Strawbees: use engineering skills to build projects with ordinary drinking straws.
  • Paper Marbling: everything you need to create beautiful swirled designs on paper.
  • Quilling:  Art form in which strips of paper are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs.  Quilling can be used to decorate cards, pictures, gift bags or boxes — the list goes on.
  • Puzzles: Alphabet puzzles, dinosaur, number and animal puzzles and continent puzzles for those looking for a little more of a challenge.

The cold, winter months are the perfect time to experiment and learn something new.  Stop by the Youth Department and take home a toolkit today!

-Gina Vaccaro, Youth Services Librarian

Rock On! Musical Story Times with Guitar Joe

If you have attended a live performance of Guitar Joe’s Musical Story Time, then you know how lucky we are to have him at the Livingston Public Library! GuitarJoe

Joe O’Brien’s love of rock music started at an early age; he began playing guitar when he was only 12 years old.  Over the years, he has been in many bands, playing the usual NYC circuit.  He also performs in Brooklyn with his wife Ashley in the Dottie Parkers – Joe plays ukulele while Ashley sings.

Look for the next session of Guitar Joe’s Musical Story Time starting up again in February, 2019.  Until then, here’s a clip of Joe performing We’re Going to Be Friends at the library.

Rock on!

-Gina Vaccaro, Youth Services Librarian

 

Highlights of the Week: Story Coders, Yakety Yak Book Club, Tiny Book Workshop & More!

11/4 & 11/9 | STORY CODERS

Our award-winning program by children’s librarian, Amanda Winter, came back for two days this week! Led by our tech librarian, Joseph, and Miss Amanda herself, the program started out with a hands-on exercise in which the kindergartners and first graders used pearl-shaped stickers to write their names in braille. After the warm-up, they were taught how to create different codes using on-screen and off-screen activities in which the children used stickers, directional arrows, and colors:

The off-screen activity included creating a code by utilizing colors to represent different actions in the song “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.” The children then rearranged the order of the colors to create a new code and were challenged to sing and act out the song by following the new code. The on-screen activity consisted of the children learning how to use the app ScratchJr in which they used directional arrows to tell a character on the screen how to move. 

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With the help of the activities, Amanda was ready to introduce everyone to our new Finch bot– a small robot that can be directed to move around by using directional arrows on a computer screen. Working together, Amanda, Joseph, and the children used code to direct the finch bot tell the story “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by having the robot move to pictures on the story mat of the different objects mentioned in the story. 

 


 

11/7 | YAKETY YAK

Composed of second and third graders led by Miss Amanda, this month’s Yakety Yak group discussed the book The Littles and the Big Storm by John Peterson. The story centered around Littles, creatures that are six inches tall and have tails, and the Biggs, a human family. During the discussion, the children used critical thinking to analyze the pros and cons of being a Little, ultimately coming to a majority decision that it would be difficult to be small and have everything around them be so much bigger than themselves.

At the end of the discussion, the kids got to have fun and recreate a scene in the book where the Littles use a sailboat to cross the flooded basement to fix the sump pump.  Using origami to fold boats out of tinfoil and out of wax paper, Miss Amanda and Miss Diane assisted the children create their boats and added a tiny dot of liquid dish soap at the back end of the boats to make them move. The group learned that the water molecules bond with the soap, disrupting the surface tension of the water and causing the boat to move forward.

 


 

11/8 | TINY BOOK SHOW and WORKSHOP

The Creativity Caravan returned to teach a room full of eager crafters how to create Tiny Books!  The instructors, Amy and Maya, shared their suitcase full of fascinating, colorful miniature books they travel with to raise the excitement in the room.  Next, they provided materials and gave detailed, step-by-step instructions for each participant to craft three different styles of tiny books.

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The final products were absolutely beautiful! The attendees were thrilled as they discussed the myriad of uses for their adorable little books: Thanksgiving place markers, books of gratitude to gift their children, books of poetry, as vacation mementos, and so much more!

Interested in making your own book?  Here is a how-to video from the instructor’s website for you to enjoy!

 


 

11/10 | ACT PRACTICE TEST

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Hosted and run by Teen librarian, Karen Dewilde, this free, three hour ACT practice test was full of high school students sacrificing their day off to become better prepared for the exam.

Before starting the test, Karen explained how the it would be conducted, how much time the students would have, and gave them advice on specific aspects of the test they should be paying most attention to. One of the most important topics she touched on was time: she encouraged students to mark where they finished the test at the end of the three hours to see if they needed to work on finishing faster.

Make sure to check our calendar for more ACT, as well as SAT, practice test dates.