Share this Page

 hiking with kids

I love being outdoors and going on hikes. The sunshine, fresh air and beautiful views rejuvenate my soul. It gets a little trickier to try to enjoy the outdoors and go hiking with little kids because sometimes it turns into a big production and everyone starts whining. I really want to get out and do some exploring with my family this summer and discover some new favorite hikes. We have several great books at the library that can help in the planning.  

4.24 Families on FootFAMILIES ON FOOT
By Jennifer Pharr Davis and Brew Davis
(2017)

This book focuses on the importance of getting out and hiking as a family. This can be through a downtown city, on a paved trail or in the mountains; it doesn’t matter as long as you are walking together. It talks about how to prepare and what to take with you and then some ideas of what to do while you are hiking. Each topic divides up the information into preschool, elementary school, middle school and high school age groups so you can read the information that applies to your family. This is a great resource for families that want to enjoy the outdoors together but be aware that it is not a trail guide. 

 

4.24 Best Easy Day HikesBEST EASY DAY HIKES SALT LAKE CITY
By Brian Brinkerhoff and Greg Witt
(2009)

This guide covers the Salt Lake Valley and Big & Little Cottonwood canyons. The hikes range from short strolls to full-day dventures. Each entry includes distance, hiking time, difficulty, trail surface, best season, if dogs are permitted, and fees. It also contains a detailed explanation of how to find the trailhead and then some details of what to expect on the hike. Not all of these trails would be appropriate for kids, but the information provided will help you decide what would work for your family. 

 

4.24 Best Hikes for Children UtahBEST HIKES WITH CHILDREN UTAH
By Maureen Keilty
(2000)

My favorite part of the book is the introduction section because it gives specific information on hiking with children, from how to involve them in the planning and packing to how to get them excited about the hike. It also has recommendations of what to pack. The hikes are organized in the following groups: Wasatch and North, Uinta and Central, Southwest, and Southeast. Each hike has easy to understand symbols and important information for the hike. And the best part is every hike in the book is appropriate for the whole family from toddlers to teenagers to grandparents. 

 

4.24 60 Hikes60 HIKES WITHIN 60 MILES: SALT LAKE CITY INCLUDING OGDEN, PROVO AND THE UINTAS
By Greg Witt
(2012)

Most of these hikes would be too hard for families, but this is a great resource to find local hikes and get some ideas of things to try. My favorite part of this book is the list of recommended hikes in the front. The author divides his list into categories like hikes of 1-3 miles, hikes near streams and rivers, hikes with waterfalls, best hikes for children, best hikes for dogs, best hikes for wildflowers, best for regular workouts, etc.  

 

4.24 Take a Hike SLCTAKE A HIKE SALT LAKE CITY: 75 HIKES WITHIN TWO HOURS OF THE CITY
By Mike Matson
(2013)

Again, this trail guide has all level of hikes so you want to make sure you are informed before heading out and look for the easy hikes. There is a section in the front that lists the best 5 hikes for families. This guide includes trails around the Provo area.

 

youtube

I spend far more time on YouTube than I probably should, but it’s easy to get sucked in. I watch to learn, to be entertained, to live vicariously, and to satisfy curiosity.

After being a viewer for so long, one day I thought, I can do that! I can make YouTube videos! I’ve dabbled in videos related to librarianship, and then started dabbling in vlogging. Since my family lives 1000 miles away, I thought it would be fun for them to see what I’m up to when they can’t see me in person.

My mom enjoys my videos… because she’s my mom. In all honesty, I’m a terrible vlogger. I feel like I never turn the camera on at the right time, I’m stiff and awkward when I talk, my videos aren’t cohesive, and frankly I don’t even want to watch them.

But I persist… because it’s kind of fun to make something (even if it’s terrible) for my family. So I might as well learn and improve, right?

A couple years ago I discovered the 8 Passengers YouTube channel. They are a local family documenting their daily life by posting videos to YouTube. In just three short years they have amassed nearly 1.5 million subscribers, and their daily videos often get 200k-500k views.

How is it that I can spend an entire week trying to find things to film (and hopefully remember to turn on the camera), but they can make something like an average trip to the grocery store interesting enough that I eagerly tune in every morning?

I must know their secrets!

So I invited Ruby, the main vlogger and editor of 8 Passengers, to come and share what she’s learned. How does she manage to make an average day become an interesting video? What are things she’s done to engage their audience and keep people coming back? What has she learned about tagging videos to make them more findable so that they can reach new viewers?

If you or someone you know is interested in making videos for YouTube, join us on Thursday, April 26th in the Shaw Programming room for Learn It @ Your Library: Create for YouTube where we will learn tips and tricks from a creator who’s already doing it successfully.

I’m ready to take my videos to the next level, are you?

threenager

Over the past two years, I’ve checked in periodically to share my son’s favorite books. It’s been fun to look back on his past favorites (as a one-year-old and then as a toddler), and to see his interests growing up and diversifying as he gets older. It's possible that as his parent, I find these posts more interesting than anyone else, but I feel like it’s worth checking in on the blog every year, because whether you’re reading to a baby or a toddler or a threenager, you always need good books.

Now that Calvin is three, he’s a little bit more interested in reading lots of different kinds of books rather than the same books over and over. As you’ll see, he spends a lot of time in the 500’s (nonfiction animal books), but he also loves Dr. Seuss and Mo Willems.

It’s getting harder to pick his favorites; what I’ve chosen to highlight here are the books that Calvin keeps asking us to get every time he comes to the library (which is often). There’s also a strong bent toward books that I enjoy reading out loud, because if you are also someone who spends a lot of time reading to children, you will know that not all books are created equal in this regard. I want Calvin to have books he’s interested in, but our reading is a shared experience, and it’s nice if I can enjoy it too.

 

4.19 SpidersSPIDERS
by Nic Bishop
(2007)

Calvin is obsessed with bugs and creepy crawly things. When we go to the aquarium, he runs to see the bird-eating tarantula; when we play outside, much time is devoted to catching and attempting to feed various insects (Calvin is always dismayed that Box Elder Bugs don’t seem interested in sticking around for the feast he’s created out of grass and twigs). I credit a lot of this interest to a copy of SPIDERS by Nic Bishop that I brought home from our Used Book Store. 

If you have small people living in your house and haven’t checked out Nic Bishop’s books yet, repent immediately and get them. Nic Bishop is a photographer first, and it shows. However, one of my favorite things about his books is that they offer a lot of information but remain easy to read aloud (a surprisingly difficult balance to strike!). Calvin’s favorites so far are SPIDERS, BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS, and SNAKES, but we haven’t really met a Nic Bishop book we haven’t liked.

 

4.19 Zombie MakersZOMBIE MAKERS: TRUE STORIES OF NATURE’S UNDEAD 
by Rebecca L. Johnson
(2013)

This book is cool and gross. Calvin loved it so much we exhausted our renewal options from the library. For the first week we had it, Calvin asked for this book by saying, “Can we read that book that has that worm coming out of that girl’s leg?” Great bedtime book or stuff of nightmares? You decide… 

ZOMBIE MAKERS is about parasitic organisms that cause involuntary reactions in their hosts’ bodies. From a fungus that makes a fly stop flying (does that mean it’s called a walk?) to a virus that makes rats attracted to cats, this book makes you realize how bizarre the world can be. It also makes me realize that wasps are the biggest jerks in the animal kingdom. You’ll have to read more to find out why! 

 

4.19 Pigeon NeedsTHE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH
by Mo Willems
(2014)

It’s hard to choose which Mo Willems book is Calvin’s favorite; between the Elephant and Piggie books and the Pigeon books, there’s usually at least one of them in the bedtime lineup. But THE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH was our first, and I credit it for teaching my toddler the phrase “That is a matter of opinion!”, so it gets the feature here. 

I love voicing the pigeon. He is witty; he is funny; he is easily exasperated. I laugh every time when he complains that the bath water is “too reflective.” The pigeon is, really, an eloquent toddler, incredibly stubborn until he’s forced to try something new and discovers that it’s his new favorite thing. I think the character of the pigeon hits on the sometimes absurdity of these small people that share our houses, and helps us all laugh a little at those times when someone refuses to bathe or asks again and again to do something that they aren’t allowed to do. 

 

4.19 Bartholomew OobleckBARTHOLOMEW & THE OOBLECK
by Dr. Seuss
(1949)

I said I only wanted to share books that I enjoyed reading, but I lied a little bit. Maybe you are more Dr. Seuss savvy than I, but the thing that surprised me when we first read this book together is that it does not rhyme! I try not to be bothered by it, but it’s a bit strange read a Dr. Seuss book without that Dr. Seuss signature cadence.   

BARTHOLOMEW AND THE OOBLECK is the story of a king’s disastrous decision to try to rule the sky as well. In his hubris, he asks for his magicians to create something to fall from the sky other than the standard sun, rain, and snow his kingdom is used to. What he gets is oobleck, a sticky green goo that mucks everything up. I don’t know why Calvin loves this book, but he asked to check it out every time we came to the library, even if we already had it checked out (at one point we had two copies from two different libraries). My only thought is that he really likes the look of various people and livestock covered in green goop. 

 

4.19 Ballet Cat SecretBALLET CAT: THE TOTALLY SECRET SECRET
by Bob Shea
(2015)

Calvin really likes all the Ballet Cat books, but I think that THE TOTALLY SECRET SECRET is his favorite favorite. Like many easy readers, this one’s done all in dialogue, and is especially fun if you can have two readers to voice the different characters. We love the simple art; we love the different colored pages; we love this story about friends learning that it’s important to listen to each other. Our only complaint about the Ballet Cat books is that there aren’t more of them!

 

Preschool Play is available in the children’s department Mondays from 11:00 am-12:00 pm and Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, from 4:00 pm-6:00 pm. Toys are placed in the story circle available for open-ended play, especially suited for preschool-aged children. Curious how many toys we have? (hint: it's a lot)

preschool play 01

Provo Library Blog

Your daily stop for recommendations, reviews, and random facts about the Provo City Library. Look for new content every week day. 

Blog Contributors

Other Blogs

Library Staff Reviews 

Children's Book Reviews 

Archive