Children's Activities

  • boredom 1

     Summer is upon us, and the excitement of days filled with constant sunshine and homework is a thing of the past. Kids love summer break, but the infamous words “Mom, I’m bored” will slowly begin to creep into the day. There is a strong contrast between structured school days and hours of open-ended possibilities.

    In this Huffington Post article, Dr. Lapointe explains how we should embrace the bored. Children need to be bored: it is where creativity and imagination are born. Children need to delve into the freedom of time and space and discover their true interests. They need to decide what drives them and makes them happy. Caregivers and parents should allow large blocks of time for children to play because this is when they form new ideas, create, experience, and discover.

    I can’t think of a better place than the library to help children discover their hobbies and interests. There are books about origami, crafts, photography, acting, outdoor activities, calligraphy, and weird facts most kids find amazing. The library also provides a never-ending supply of books to read, letting the reader become lost in the new world they find. Children need summer to be unencumbered by scheduling—filled with time and space to play. Here a few books to inspire your summer play: 

    6.28.17 RoxaboxenROXABOXEN
    By Alice McLerran. Illustrated by Barbara Cooney
    (1991) 

    There was a time when children played outside and created cities and towns with dirt, rocks, and sticks. McLerran describes childhood memories like these in this story. The nostalgia felt will inspire adults and children to allow for the time to create these outdoor play experiences. 

    6.28.17 Out of the BoxOUT OF THE BOX
    By Jemma Westing
    (2017) 

    The cardboard box has always been the classic open-ended play material. With colorfully painted engineering masterpieces, Westing gives pages of ideas illustrating what can be done with a simple cardboard box. The ideas include step by step instructions and templates in the back to trace.

     

    6.28.17 Unplugged PlayUNPLUGGED PLAY
    By Bobbi Conner
    (2007)

    This book provides more than 710 games and play ideas for children, and none of the ideas include electronics or batteries! This book is divided into three different sections based on age. It’s a great resource to help children who need play tutoring as they get used to having open-ended time for creating and coming up with their own ideas.

     

  • Toddler Brain Development

    Welcome to part 2 of our child brain development series. Today we will be talking about toddlers, or children from 18 months up to 3 years of age. As I mentioned in part 1 of this series, on infants, it is important to read, sing, and talk to your child every day, no matter how old they are. Now that they are talking more and more, however, it is essential to encourage your child’s new skills.Here are a few activities you and your child should take advantage of within the library:

    STORY TIME 

    We recommended Story Time for infants, but now that your child is moving and talking more, they will get even more out of this activity. We have Book Babies and Toddler Time in the story circle, which are specifically geared toward this age group. Your child will not only get the chance to hear from our fantastic storytellers, but practice imitating their movements and sounds – key for development at this time.

    PRESCHOOL PLAY

    Although preschool typically starts around 3 years of age, the toys in the story circle during Preschool Play can be fun for your toddler as well. We also have several toys for young children next to the story room. Play is vital to child brain development, so letting them explore and learn both on their own and with your guidance is beneficial at this age.

    JUNIOR DISCOVERY KITS

    Explore a topic with your child using books, toys, and activities by checking out one of our junior discovery kits. In particular for toddlers, we recommend: colors, numbers, and shapes. These kits include toys that challenge their learning and level of play with stacking and matching.

    Now to what you typically think of when bringing your child to the library: books.

    You may have noticed your child loves to point at things and ask what it is or name it themselves. You can encourage this curiosity and connectivity through books with interactive and follow-along elements, like those below. Also, while reading together be sure to ask them questions, such as “Where is the dinosaur?” or, while pointing at the dinosaur, “What is that?” 

    5.28 WigglesWIGGLES
    By Claire Zucchelli-Romer
    (2018)

    This fun book gives instructions to your child on using different fingers to make patterns. It is a beautiful little book packed with activity! 

     

    5.28 Around the WorldAROUND THE WORLD: A FOLLOW THE TRAIL BOOK
    By Craig Shuttlewood
    (2015)

    Your child can follow this book around the world – with their finger! Not only do they learn as they go, and see pretty pictures, but they become more engaged with the book by utilizing this tactile attachment. 

     

    5.28 Baby DinosaursBABY DINOSAURS
    By Dawn Sirett
    (2018)

    Similar to Around the World: A Follow the Trail Book, this book teaches your child about dinosaurs while having them tag along on the paper trail. I am no expert on this subject, so I will continue to refer to the following book for any questions you may have about how to help your child’s brain develop, both in the library and at home. You can check this out directly, or find it in one of our junior discovery kits mentioned above. 

     

    5.28 The Whole Brain ChildTHE WHOLE-BRAIN CHILD
    By Daniel Siegel
    (2011)

    This book goes into much more depth about child brain development and ways you can help your child in their growth. For more recommendations about how the library can help with the brain development of your growing child, stay tuned for more in this series on the blog. 

     
  • SR 2017 FB 1

     The Summer Reading Program theme this year is “Build a Better World”. As librarians, we’re a little bit biased because we already know what an impact the many amazing programs, services, and resources we provide can have on our community and by extension the world. It’s getting the word out that has always been a little difficult for us.

    Since most of Provo City Library’s many great services can be found on our website, we created a Summer Reading challenge to browse the library website and discover something you didn’t know. As a result, we’ve been getting many fantastic and excited comments from our summer reading participants about cool things they had no idea the library offered. We thought we would share some of them here and maybe inspire you to discover something awesome too.

    “I didn’t know that the 4th floor is called “The Attic” and that it has an exhibit space that changes every couple of months. Right now the Little Builders Exhibit is in the space.”

    “I learned that the library has book club sets that can be checked out by book groups.”

    “I learned about the Teen Volunteer Board. I love the library and have always wanted to be a librarian or author when I grow up. This sounds like so much fun and I will for sure do it!”

    “I found the Provo Historic Tours App. I think we will try it out as a family this summer.  That looks like a fun activity to do together.”

    “I didn’t know there was an app called Bookmyne where I can browse and hold books, renew stuff, and manage my account. So cool!”

    “I didn't know you had career databases. Now I've got to check them out!”

    “That you have access to Academic Search Premier. Since I graduated school, I haven’t searched academic articles, since I didn't have a university ID. But now when I do research on my family history I know I gain access online again, without going to a university library.”

    “I learned that you have an online calendar that is packed with activities! I never knew so much went on at the library.”

    “I didn't know that you can get personalized reading recommendations according to your interests.  That's pretty cool...I'll be using that.”

    “I didn't realize the library website had such an extensive list of things to do in Provo and nearby cities. Good resource–wish I knew about it earlier.”

    “That I can register my one-year-old son for an early literacy program called 1000 Books Before Kindergarten.”

    Finally, there were good number of people astonished to learn of the many, many programs we offer. The comments we received looked something like this:

    “I didn’t know the library has…”

  • Discovery Kits are a curated selection of themed books, toys, and activity ideas appropriate for kids ages 3-5. Each Discovery Kit checks out for three weeks so you have plenty of time to do all the Discovery Kit things included. Curious about Discovery Kits? Here are some of the nitty-gritty details:

    discovery 01 1

    To make your own Discovery Kit reservation, go here.

  • Our 2017 Kids’ Summer Reading Program was wildly successful thanks to all of your hard work! We had so much fun reading, creating, and playing with you as we tried to Build a Better World together. Thanks for your enthusiastic participation! Here are some of the highlights of our summer:

    kids summer reading 2017 01

  • christmas at the library

    It’s hard to believe that tomorrow’s the first of December! Did the holiday season seem to sneak up on you too? If it did, don’t worry. We have plenty of holiday cheer to share at the library this December.

    Join us for one of these free, family-friendly holiday programs.

    Movie Night: Elf
    Friday, December 1
    7:00 p.m.
    Young Special Events Room #201

    Come get the holiday season started with this free showing of Elf! Chairs will be provided but feel free to bring blankets, pillows, and snacks to get comfy.

    Elf Gif

    Monday Night at the Library: Utah Valley Handbell Ringers
    Monday, December 4
    6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
    Ballroom

    Ring in the holiday season with this annual musical tradition! The 6:30 p.m. performance is targeted toward younger audiences.

    Monday Night at the Library: A Christmas Carol
    Monday, December 11
    7:00 p.m.
    Ballroom

    Many Christmases ago, Charles Dickens would perform a one-man telling of this classic holiday tale, doing all the voices himself. Today, drama teacher Dane Allred recreates that experience with Dickens's original script. Using all of his vocal range, Allred will perform more than 20 voices, letting the audience use their imaginations to create their own versions of these classic characters.

    God Bless Us Everyone

    Monday Night at the Library: A Light in Winter's Dark
    Monday, December 18
    7:00 p.m.
    Ballroom

    An evening of traditional Celtic Christmas carols performed by Rebakah Dunford's instrumental ensemble.

     

  • Coding 

    Every Tuesday from 4:00pm-5:00pm, kids ages 9-12 fill the story room in the children’s department for Coding +. After taking the Coding + Basics class on the first Tuesday of the month, they are free to come to other classes that teach them coding skills using Bitsbox, Harry Potter, Codecademy, and more. Not only do they learn a thing or two about coding, but they have fun and make new friends. For those outside of the age range, or looking to learn more about coding at home, below are a few books and websites to get them ready for their future as a programmer. 

    Books

    3.15 Computer CodingCOMPUTER CODING
    By Jon Woodcock
    (2014)

    This workbook provides detailed instructions to take your child from a novice to a programmer using Python. The tasks can be done alone or with a parent to help them along. 

     

    3.15 Get CodingGET CODING!: LEARN HTML, CSS, AND JAVASCRIPT AND BUILD A WEBSITE, APP, AND GAME
    By Duncan Beedie
    (2016)

    If your child is interested in building websites and applications, this is a great book to check out. It teaches the basics of HTML, which provides the basic layout of the site; CSS, which adds style and flair; and Javascript, which makes the site interactive. 

     

    3.15 Python for KidsPYTHON FOR KIDS
    By Jason R. Briggs
    (2012)

    A Python textbook made fun, this book takes kids through the basics and into the nitty gritty of programming in Python. With sections dedicated to particular topics and fun programming tasks along the way, this is a great in-depth introduction to programming for kids and adults alike. 

     

    3.15 Star Wars Coding ProjectsSTAR WARS CODING PROJECTS: WITH SCRATCH
    By Jon Woodcock
    (2017)

    Using the website Scratch (https://scratch.mit.edu/), your child’s favorite Star Wars characters show them how to make games and animations that teach coding principles along the way. 

     

    Websites

    • Code.org uses games and recognizable characters to teach kids coding basics at their learning level.

    • Codecademy has a step by step approach to real coding that is good for kids and adults.

    • Codemoji teaches web development in a kid-friendly way.

    • Scratch is a creative outlet for kids that utilizes block coding.  
     
  • craft skills

    After doing the Make and Take Craft program every summer, I have noticed that there are some skills that kids just do not have in this tech age. One of the biggest ones is using scissors. While the idea of handing scissors to a child and allowing them to cut something can cause fear in any parent (and anxiety in those who want things picture-perfect), knowing how to use scissors is a skill that every child needs to have—not just for crafting but for developing fine motor skills. The skill of hand separation (ability to use only some of the fingers and not all on the hand) will help with other fine motor skills later in life—playing a musical instrument, typing, and doing the Vulcan hand sign (okay, so that last one might not be as important). 

    Here are a few tips to help you teach scissor skills to your kids: 

    1. Teach scissor safety: Never walk (or run) with scissors 

    2. Purchase blunt edge scissors 

    3. Remind kids that scissors are for cutting paper only
      And then remind them again...and again...and....you get the picture. I personally made quite the fashion statement when I cut off one of my pigtails as a child, but hey, it makes for a great story now that I'm older. 

    4. Just like any other skill, practice makes perfect(ish)
      There are many practice cutting worksheets you can find online but mix it up by making a craft 

    For further info, check out the article Teaching Preschoolers to Use Scissors from Parents Magazine.

  • Discovery Kit FB

    If you didn’t know already – play is a really important part of developing good readers and thinkers. “Pretend play” is especially important to help kids develop their imaginations, reasoning skills, social skills, and pre-reading skills. What better way to foster play than with a Discovery Kit chock full of ideas to inspire little ones? Whether you have a pirate, fairy, or monster-lover we have a kit for you. 

    Many of our patrons have already discovered Discovery Kits (one of the best kept secrets of the Children’s Department) and know just how fun they can be. For our patrons who don’t know what a Discovery Kit is, now is a great time to get acquainted. Discovery Kits are a selection of themed books, toys, and activity ideas appropriate for kids ages 3-5, and each one is filled with enough fun to fill days and days. The Discovery Kits check out as a set and you can keep them for three weeks. That means you have three weeks to play with all the toys, read all the books, and do all the things suggested in the included activity binder. When your three weeks are up, just bring the kit back to the Children’s Reference Desk and you can make a reservation for another one. The best part is that you can now make a reservation for a Discovery Kit online on the library website

    I recently wrote a blog post about finding fun things to do with my niece who loves Frozen. The process of finding things she might like were similar to the steps the children’s librarians go through when creating new Discovery Kits – but on a much smaller scale. Believe me, we put a lot of thought into helping our little patrons grow and develop into the best people they can be, and Discovery Kits are just one (of many) ways we try to foster that. 

    Check out provolibrary.com/discovery-kits to see which adventure to take your kids on next.

  • early literacy

    If you have been to any of our many story times, you’ve probably heard us belt out the “Talk, Sing, Read, Write, Play” song. You’ve also probably received a few early literacy tips and a fun star-shaped handout as a reminder. So why do we focus so much on talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing? Because these tools for early literacy have been shown to be the most important activities parents and caregivers can do with their children to help them learn, grow, and develop. 

    Very young children aren’t specifically being taught to read—they are getting ready to read. It is important that a distinction is made between the two learning processes. The process of learning to read begins at birth as children are exposed to language and sounds. Forming relationships and learning to love books as they grow will help them understand that reading and writing have power in their lives. They will be so excited to have and use this power if they have had positive early literacy experiences. Reading will come naturally to them. 

    During the few short years of early childhood before entering school, kids need to play, explore, and engage in conversation with caregivers. “Talk, sing, read, write, play” is an easy mantra to remember and is simple to incorporate in just minutes throughout the day. Caregivers can make it a fun and enjoyable experience to learn. And if you need some good books that facilitate both reading and playing, check out this list of my favorite interactive picture books to share with your children. 

    Don’t forget that the children’s department also teaches an Early Literacy Class for parents and their 2-3 year olds that is held on Monday mornings at 9:30AM in the story room. This 30 minute class provides hands-on learning and ideas to help you incorporate talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing into a child’s daily experiences. Be sure to check out the website to register the week before class!

  •  family night

    Looking for something fun to do on a Monday Night with your family? Why don’t you come to the library! Besides the amazing selection of books and media available to check out, we have the following Monday Night programming:

    • CUENTOS (Spanish Story Time): cada lunes (each Monday), 6:30 - 7:00 pm en el Story Circle

    • CULTURAL PERFORMANCES: 1st and 3rd and 5th Mondays, 7:00 - 8:00 pm in the Ballroom

    • FAMILY STORY TIME: 2nd and 4th Mondays, 7:05 - 7:30 pm in the Story Circle 

    • MAKE AND TAKE CRAFTS FOR KIDS: 2nd and 4th Mondays, 6:30 - 8:00 pm in the Story Room

    Don’t worry about signing up for these activities. Just show up and be ready to have a good time.

    This month you will not want to miss our upcoming ninja craft or an evening of storytelling by the Gashlers (Fun hint: they use to be our children’s story time performers years back). See you Monday!

  • family night 1

    Monday Night programs at the library are back! For a breakdown of these programs, including children’s story and craft nights, check out Kelly’s post from yesterday. Today, we wanted to fill you in a bit more about our upcoming cultural performances on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Mondays of every month. These free performances take place at 7:00 in the ballroom, and no tickets are required. Doors open at 6:30 pm.

    Performances to look forward to this fall:

    September 18: Stephen and Teresa Gashler

    This Monday, we’re kicking off the season with an evening of music and stories from beloved local performers Stephen and Teresa Gashler. This multitalented duo have worked as actors, puppeteers, comedians, musicians, and writers, and they got their storytelling start right here at the Provo Library! Stephen has won 1st place at the 2014 National Storytelling Conference Story Slam, the Audience Choice Award at the 2013 Timpanogos Storytelling Hauntings contest, and 3rd place in the 2012 Utah’s Biggest Liar contest, while Teresa’s play “How to Save a Life” won 2nd place for the 2011 Vera Hinckley Mayhew Award.  To get a taste of their talents, check out Stephen performing the tale of The Lady of Utah Lake.

     

    October 2nd: Tom Carr – Just a Ghost Hunter

    Get into the Halloween spirit as professional ghost hunter Tom Carr shares his spooky experiences with the paranormal in this family-friendly program. Carr has investigated many of Utah's haunted places, including Lehi's Hutchings Musem and the Baron Woolen Mills in Brigham City.

    October 16: AuthorLink with John Klassen and Mac Barnett

    Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen are the award-winning author/illustrator duo behind SAM & DAVE DIG A HOLE, TRIANGLE, EXTRA YARN, and more. Join them for the tour of their clever new picture book THE WOLF, THE DUCK, AND THE MOUSE. Watch a quick book trailer below and reserve a copy here.

     

    October 30: Viva El Folklore

    Whenever a fifth Monday rolls around, we offer WorldLink performances, which highlight the history and arts of a particular country. At the end of October, join local Latin American dance group Viva El Folklore for an exciting Day of the Dead performance (just a couple of days early).

     

    November 6th: BYU Young Company: The Glorious Story Emporium

    Perennial favorite BYU Young Company returns to the Provo City Library for their first-ever improvisation show! The whole family can join in for this interactive experience, helping to create a totally one-of-a-kind performance. Get a sneak peek with this album of rehearsal photos.

    November 20: Forever Young A Capella

    This up and coming a cappella group from BYU performs a variety of hit songs, using only their voices to create complex harmonies. Check out more of their videos here

     

    We have a great holiday line up in the works as well, so be on the lookout for concerts and plays when December rolls around.

    Do you know of a performer or performing group who might be interested in doing a program here at the Provo City Library? If you do, have them contact our Assistant Community Relations Coordinator, Shaina at (801) 852-6722 or shainar@provolibrary.com.

  • informational dvds family 1

    It’s a new year and a great time to learn something new! Did you know that we have informational DVDs just for kids? Here are a few titles just added to the Children’s collection that your whole family might enjoy:

    2.2 Shark LadySHARK LADY: THE TRUE STORY OF HOW EUGENIE CLARK BECAME THE OCEAN’S MOST FEARLESS SCIENTIST
    (2017)

    Jess Keating’s picture book comes to life in this video about the real life adventures of Dr. Keating, who studied sharks and other sea life. DVD includes read along subtitles.  

     

    2.2 Drawing with MarkDRAWING WITH MARK
    (2014)

    In this series of videos, former Disney illustrator Mark Marderosian takes kids on adventures, showing them how to draw the things they see. Mark and the gang visit museums, zoos, and more. Check out all six DVDs in the series.  

     

    2.2 Good Night YogaGOOD NIGHT YOGA: A POSE-BY-POSE BEDTIME STORY
    (2017)

    This film adaptation of Mariam Gate’s picture book demonstrates yoga poses to help children calm down in preparation for bedtime. You can also try GOOD MORNING YOGA to start the day.  

     

    2.2 Born in ChinaDISNEYNATURE: BORN IN CHINA
    (2017)

    Disney’s annual Earth Day film celebration follows the lives of a panda, a golden monkey, and a snow leopard in China.  

     

    2.2 Six DotsSIX DOTS: A STORY OF YOUNG LOUIS BRAILLE
    (2017)

    This animation of Jennifer Bryant’s book shows the determination of a blind boy who wanted to read so badly that he invented his own alphabet.

     
  •  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.

     
  • Music

    How do our super patrons use the library?  They take advantage of all we have to offer, of course! The library offers a diverse amount of services, but today we’ll be talking specifically about how Super Music Lovers use the library.  As a music lover myself, I know the library might not always be the first thing we think of to satisfy our music needs, but the library offers several great musical resources!

    Freegal.com

    With just your library card, you can access Freegal, our music-streaming service that gives you access to five hours of ad-free music every day. Freegal has put together some playlists to choose from, or you can make your own playlists from the music available. This site also allows you to download three songs each week for free, and that's it: you own it. You can play it anytime from your music player on your phone or computer. 

    Music on CD and Sheet Music you can check out

    The Provo Library has thousands of albums on CD! We purchase CDs from a wide variety of genres and artists, and CDs have no fee to check out. We also have a growing collection of sheet music with hot titles like the complete libretto of the Broadway musical HAMILTON, and music from the motion picture THE GREATEST SHOWMAN.

    Monday Night Performances

    There’s nothing quite like feeling the energy of a live performance.  Luckily, performers and musicians from our community regularly come to perform at our library.  Some of our seasonal performances, such as the Utah Valley Handbell Ringers each December, are a community tradition!  These performances are always free, and you can see our upcoming schedule on our Monday Night @ the Library page.

    The Basement Creative Lab audiovisual production space

    Being a lover of music goes hand in hand with being a creator of music, when your passion pushes you to participate rather than simply enjoy!  Our new Basement Creative Lab provides a space for creators looking for a space to record sound and video, supplied with equipment and editing stations that is free for Provo residents to use. All you have to do to use it is take our free “Intro to Studio Production” class to get oriented with our equipment. We also periodically offer specialized classes on subjects like Audio Production.  More information and registration for our classes can be done on our Basement Creative Lab page.

  • frozen

    I spend a little time babysitting for my niece each week. She is happy, fun, really cute, and I love spending time with her. The only downside is that, like many kids her age, she could easily spend the whole day watching FROZEN. I love Disney movies, but even I can’t bear to listen to “Let it Go” as many times as she would like. 

    Here’s how the library helped me (and how it can help anyone else with little Disney Princess fans) to get a break. 

    1. Find a different Disney movie. The Provo City Library has a ton of great options, including older films that are harder to find (anyone else remember THE RELUCTANT DRAGON? Just me? Cool). Give yourself a break and see what hidden gems you can find on the shelf.

    2. Branch out from movies and look into some original source material. If this solution seems blindingly obvious, I apologize. But really, if you’ve gotten a little tired of Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, and Sven, consider reading THE SNOW QUEEN. The story is different, but some fans might like seeing how different the story used to be.

    3. Take a craft break. Always a good solution, consider checking out one of the many kids craft books in our collection. I’m a fan of ICE PRINCESS CRAFTS, to stick with the FROZEN theme, but there are plenty of other options to spark creativity.

    4. Learn to draw! If crafting isn’t your strength, try your hand at learning to draw – we even have LEARN TO DRAW DISNEY FROZEN if you want to stay on-brand.

    5. Grab a snack. Really this should be my first solution, because who doesn’t love food? Plus, our fairly sizable collection of children’s cookbooks is a real highlight of the J Informational section. There are a ton of fun ones to pick from like SWEET TOOTH!: NO-BAKE DESSERTS TO MAKE AND DEVOUR which has a tons of yummy treats, including some that are frozen (Forgive me. I had to do it).

    6. Check out a Discovery Kit. If you have preschoolers who are into themed fun (with, I promise, fewer bad jokes than this list) look into borrowing a DISCOVERY KIT from the Children’s Department. These kits are filled with books, toys, and a binder full of fun ideas all focused on a particular topic. 

    These ideas should buy you at least one Elsa-free afternoon. Go make the most of it!

  • IB Creativity FB 1

    I believe that creativity matters. This may seem a little strange to talk about as far as libraries go, but bear with me. Many effective adults are masters of using creativity or imagination. Important innovators change the world based on their ability to think beyond what has already been done—a trait gained when they were young. Authors and illustrators (which are well-loved in library world) create stories and pictures from their imaginations. And as a manager, I often use imagination or creativity to tackle tough problems and to find successful solutions. In fact, being able to think creatively may be one of the traits most needed in the world today.

    A kid’s job is to play. When children play they exercise their brains, developing imagination and creativity. When they pretend one object is something else (like pretending a toy block is a phone), they grow in the ability to take what they have and turn it into what they want. But preschoolers playing pretend aren’t the only ones being creative. Kids also exercise their creativity when they work to make things—from artwork to music to a science slime project. This sort of creation requires children to think through what to draw, what medium to use, what note to play, or what amount of ingredient to add. The process of thinking ahead to create something they are excited about strengthens their ability to think through tough problems at school, and later as adults in the workplace.

    At the library we encourage creativity. One great way we do this is with events like our Fairy Tea Party. The first weekend of March, we turn the library ballroom into a magical fairyland. Kids ages 3 and up come dressed in fairy costumes to participate in the festivities. Even the library director gets to become the Fairy King to personally greet each little fairy. We believe that inviting children to use their imaginations with us will help them recognize the importance of keeping creativity a part of their lives. Because when a child has learned the magic of creativity, the world becomes a better place.  

  • IB Play FB

    One of the most important things that children can do is play. Playing is their job. Through playing kiddos are able to learn and grow. Let me explain: when a child plays “pretend” (whether through dress up, through puppet shows, with action figures, etc.), they are doing quite a few things:

    • First, they are using their imaginations to think through pretend scenarios.
    • Second, they develop their reasoning skills by reacting to how others are playing with them or how different “characters” play.
    • Third, they improve their social skills by playing with others.
    • And finally, they cultivate their pre-reading skills: Through pretending a child is more likely to understand and predict future book plots and storylines. 

    Basically, it is important for children to play. At the Provo City Library we provide different avenues for learning through play such as PRESCHOOL PLAY. This is a program where we put educational toys in the story circle that preschoolers can enjoy. This month, PRESCHOOL PLAY is happening Tuesday through Thursday, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Also, Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and Saturdays from 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm we have the LITTLE BUILDERS exhibit in The Attic. For both of these programs children and their caregivers are encouraged to play together. If you want your child to really get the most out of this experience, there are a few things you can do to enhance your child’s play:

    • Ask your child questions about what they are doing.
    • Listen and build upon their responses.
    • Encourage children to play with each other. Let them experience playing with kids they haven’t met before.
    • Play with them! Sometimes it is a parent who helps a child realize that they can pretend a block is a phone or an animal puppet can talk. 

    Kids can learn through play, and the Provo City Library is here to help provide play-enriched activities for learning.

  • IB Adventures FB

    If you read a book you can have an adventure without leaving the safety of your home. Books are magical in that they can take you to distant lands, times, or even to make believe worlds. Through reading you can meet characters and people—both real and imagined—and discover more about them and yourself. Whether you want to learn more about a subject or if you would like to escape reality, books are there for you. You as a reader can choose your own adventures from the vast selection at the library.

    It gets trickier for little ones who don’t know how to find things because they can’t type searches into a catalog computer or might be too shy to ask a librarian for assistance. For these kiddos we have a couple of ways to help them find the right adventure—or the right books. First of all there is a Hot Topic section within our juvenile picture books. Here we have multiple subjects that preschoolers (or their grownups) tend to ask for the most: princess books, dinosaur books, superhero books, things that go (transportation) books, etc. All of the picture books on that particular topic are shelved in the same place with a picture sign on top of the shelves. That way kids can learn where these sections are and they can browse to find books that look interesting to them on topics that they love. They can choose the books for their next reading adventure.

    Next, we have something called Discovery Kits. This is a set of books, activity and craft suggestions, songs, finger plays, and manipulatives all based on one particular subject. While it is true that a grownup must go online and request a Discovery Kit and know when to pick it up, these are great for the kids who want to explore topics in more ways than just reading. For example, if a child is interested in bugs then a parent can check out the “Bugs” Discovery Kit. In it there are books, toy bugs, a magnifying glass in case a child wants to look a little closer at bugs in her backyard, and a binder full of other songs, games, activities, and craft ideas. By golly, if a child wants to have an adventure learning about bugs this Discovery Kit will help them do just that! And there are quite a few other Discovery Kit topics to choose from.

    The Provo City Library wants all readers—no matter what their age—to be able to choose what reading adventure they have. Come on down to the library, and we will help you find which book will take you on your next adventure.

  • IB Stories FB

    When I was at grad school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (go Illini!), I took a class on storytelling. When I signed up for the class I didn’t totally understand what I was getting into or why storytelling was so important. The first thing that I noticed was that it wasn’t just youth services people who would take the storytelling class. There were students from law school or getting their MBA that were also in my class (even though it was taught by a librarian). I learned from the class and those law and MBA students that everyone tells stories. Lawyers argue cases using the storyline of events. MBA professionals report to shareholders using stories and statistics.

    Stories are also an important part of our daily lives—not just the lives of professional lawyers, business women, or journalists. Think about it: If you have a good or a bad day, don’t you go and tell a family member or friend all about it?  I sure do. And that is a story that we share. We all use stories. They are part of our lives—from the stories we tell or experience to the stories we read or watch on the big screen.

    The thing is, when we notice the stories all around us, we will discover that stories have power in our lives. If I watch a sad movie I am a little melancholy afterward. If I read a book where the heroine meets and falls in love with Mr. Darcy, I have an extra bounce in my step once I finish. Stories have a power. They can help me understand the world around me or the emotions inside myself—including amplifying or altering the emotions I currently have. And they can influence how I act in the future or who I trust. Stories have power—some seriously influential power.

    Because the Provo City Library believes that stories have power, we believe in introducing stories to even the youngest patrons. We have a program called Book Babies that helps babies (even those only a few days old) hear songs—another form of storytelling—so that they can be introduced to language, rhythm, and words. We have Story Time (and puppet shows) that focus on books and stories to help young children understand cause/effect or prediction/foreshadowing. And during this month we also have Stories in the Park, so kids who have a hard time getting to the library can experience stories. We want to empower children with the ability to understand and communicate through stories!

    Kids who attend story time can learn about stories. They can learn about narration and predict endings. They can learn about characters and imagining they are characters in a story. They can hear words and discover how putting the words together can make a story. Kids can then learn how to tell their stories when they participate in Story Time at the library.

    I believe that stories have power! If you do as well, then join me at the library this month. Come to Cuentos, Canopy Capers, Summer Story Time, Book Babies, or Stories in the Park. Join me in helping children realize the power of stories, and the power that comes to their lives when stories are in them.

  • KidsCameras FB

    We’re excited to tell you about the Provo Library’s newest children’s program -- Kids & Cameras! This is a class for 9-12 year olds who are interested in learning about movies and trying their hand at the many different elements of filmmaking.  

    Kids experience a lot of media but not very much education about media. In Kids & Cameras we learn the language with which to talk about movies, and we learn the skills to create our own videos. The basic format is as follows: we talk about a filmmaking concept/practice/skill, and then watch short films or film excerpts demonstrating the idea. After that, the kids divide into small groups and are given mini assignments to complete. Filmmaking involves a lot of problem solving, experimenting, and resourcefulness. This program is a great place to practice collaboration, exercise creativity, and learn technical skills. 

    Kids & Cameras takes place on Wednesdays from 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM in the Story Room. Registration for this program opens on Mondays at 10:00 AM. There is room for 16 students every week.   

    We teach Camera Basics and an Editing Basics every month, so that new kids can join in during any time of year. The Camera Basics and Editing Basics classes are prerequisites to the more advanced “outbreak” classes that will start in October. Some of these classes include composition, monster movies, and stop motion animation! Check the calendar to see which class is being offered that week.   

    We’re so excited for this new program and hope to see you there! In the meantime, here are some cool resources you can check out from the library or online: 

    9.27 The Kids Should See ThisTHE KIDS SHOULD SEE THIS

    This site is not specifically about filmmaking, but it’s a really great collection of 3,000 “not-made-for-kids, but perfect for them” videos, many of which are great examples of filmmaking principles. 

     

     

    9.27 Brick FlicksBRICK FLICKS 
    Sarah Herman
    2014

    A comprehensive guide to making your own stop-motion LEGO movies 

     

     

     

    9.27 Childrens Book of MoviesTHE CHILDREN'S BOOK OF MOVIES 
    Ann Baggaley
    2014

    Explore the magical, behind-the-scenes world of the movies.  

     

     

     

    9.27 Learn to Speak FilmLEARN TO SPEAK FILM 
    Michael Glassbourg
    2013

    A guide to creating, promoting & screening your movies.  

     

     

  •  LB FB event

    If you’ve visited the library this week, you’ve probably noticed something new – a children’s play area tucked away in a corner of the children’s department! Kids can climb, peer out windows, build a brick wall, and play with paint rollers, but this fun play area is just the beginning.

    Just in time for our “Build a Better World” themed Summer Reading Program to begin, we have a children’s exhibit opening in The Attic. Starting today, the youngest visitors to the Provo City Library will become movers and shakers in the new Little Builders exhibit. Donning little hard hats and construction vests, children ages 2-7 will create, play, and learn as they explore the concepts of construction, motion, and simple machines. Visitors have the exciting opportunity to:

    • Hand-operate a pulley and conveyer belt to explore cause and effect

    • Operate a child-size crane to hook, lift and move objects and materials
       
    • Build structures with blocks, pipes, Duplo® blocks (toddlers’ large snap-on blocks) and gears

    • Insert balls into air chutes and see them shoot through clear pipes to experiment with aerodynamics

    Little Builders challenges and entertains the mind of a child helping to develop intellectual, physical, emotional and social skills. It uses scientific processes, mathematical concepts, sensory development and communication to promote self-confidence, coordination, control, strength and self-expression.

    The Exhibit includes five themed areas:

    Construction Site - Visitors learn the physics of movement and cause-and-effect in the Construction Site, which is located in the Children’s Department. They can start their workday by turning gears, and then climb in, out, over and under the four levels of the Construction Site. On the pattern wall they can design and build a “brick” wall with large interlocking plastic blocks in a variety of sizes and colors.  Visitors can also pretend to paint a wall with real painting equipment to master the craft. They can use fuzzy paint rollers and dip them into trays that are pre coated with “paint.”  

    Structures - Visitors discover the concepts involved in building: size, weight, shape, balance, gravity and stability as they design and build structures. Visitors can build a mini-community on a soft carpet covered with city streets or build three-dimensional structures using a variety of PVC pipe pieces and connectors at the four-sided PVC Pipe House. They can even crawl into miniature Latch Houses and practice fine-motor skills by hooking and unhooking latches while opening and closing doors and shutters, and build pathways, houses, or anything else imaginable with soft oversized blocks.  

    Aerodynamics - Visitors experience and play with the characteristics of air and wind, and how they affect objects. Visitors can insert balls into vertical air chutes and watch them shoot through the clear pipes and pop into a basket. Visitors will watch in amazement as plastic balls mysteriously float, bobbing up and down, above a large orange cone. At the Bernoulli blower, they can feel the force and pressure of air by experimenting with balls and the stream of air that flows up through the hollow cone.  

    Cranes - Young visitors will have opportunities to discover mechanical physics at work —at the mini crane visitors can turn a crank to operate a pulley system to raise and lower objects, use a friction brake to hold or release lifted objects, and use a set of pedals to rotate the crane on its base. Visitors can discover how the crane enables workers to move objects around the construction area and move block cargo to a waiting flatbed car using a gantry crane.  

    Simple Machines - Visitors can pound over-sized nails, turn over-sized screws, and twist over-sized bolts with plastic hammers, screwdrivers and wrenches.  Dropping plastic balls through a series of clear pipes, visitors will watch as the balls travel down a twisty path.  Also, they can work with pipes, balls and levels to explore the fundamentals of plumbing and gravity.  Visitors can work together to move materials back and forth by manipulating a hand-operated conveyer belt.

    Little Builders was created and is toured by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Portland, Oregon. It will run in the attic through September 2 and will be open Monday through Friday 10-6 and Saturdays from 1-6. We’re excited for children to learn, grow, play, and Build a Better World with this fun new exhibit!

  • WEAVING

    Children need open-ended creative opportunities, so the children’s department has added a new weaving board in the back corner behind the Juvenile Fiction books. The weaving board has wooden dowels attached to a frame, and a basket of colorful fabric strips and ribbon entices children to use the board as a loom. Open-ended play materials like this make it possible for any child to be successful and have a positive experience creating.

    There is no right or wrong way to weave the materials. One child may find just attempting to weave enough of a challenge, where an older child can sort through the different colors and printed material to make a woven pattern that is very intricate. I love walking by the weaving board in the morning to see what possibilities have been imagined and carried out the previous day. No explicit instructions or patterns are included. Having materials available to children is all that is necessary. Their amazing, growing, imaginative minds do the rest. Come in and try it for yourself!

    If you are looking for ideas about how to provide similar opportunities at home, I have included a few books to get you started. 

    01.03.2018 The DotTHE DOT
    By Peter H. Reynolds
    (2003)

    Vashti doesn’t believe she is an artist. Her paper is still blank when her teacher walks by. “Just make a mark and see where it takes you,” the teacher says. Vashti makes one dot on the paper. Her teacher asks her to sign the page, and the story unfolds to describe Vashti’s beginning artist experiences. Too often creativity is squashed out of children as they become concerned with what others think or that their drawings aren’t “right.” Reynolds perfectly shows the potential of each person to become the artist they were meant to be. 

     

    01.03.2018 Artful ParentTHE ARTFUL PARENT: SIMPLE WAYS TO FILL YOUR FAMILY’S LIFE WITH ART & CREATIVITY
    By Jean Van’t Hul
    (2013)

    Parents who don’t know how to start introducing art to their children—pick up this book! Van’t Hul sets the stage by explaining why art is so important in the lives of our families. She continues to provide ideas in the first section “Preparing for the Art” including storage ideas and ways to include art experiences into busy day-to-day life. The second section contains 61 art projects with a detailed list of materials and instructions to carry out the projects, accompanied with vivid photographs. After reading this handbook you will be compelled to encourage creative, process-oriented art experiences with children. 

     

    01.03.2018 Kids WeavingKIDS WEAVING
    By Sarah Swett, Illustrations by Lena Corwin, Photographs by Chris Harlove
    (2005)

    This guide to weaving introduces children to endless possibilities. All of the projects in the book are done with homemade items, starting with basic crafts for beginners and progressing in complexity. First, a pencil, then a cardboard loom, and finally the instructions for building your own PVC pipe loom. 

     
  • FTN FB event

    You may have heard the term STEM before (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) in the education world.  Right now there is an emphasis on teaching children these skills, because analysts predict that in the next decade, 80% of professions will require a deep understanding of science, technology, engineering, and math.  Educators are motivated to teach these skills so that children will have the opportunity to later pursue careers in these fields.

    But is focusing solely on STEM skills a complete education? Definitely not. It's important to balance STEM activities with fun and creativity, or even better, combine the two. I believe arts education and STEM education can enrich each other. Technological advances are furthered by creativity, and artistry is enhanced by sharpening the mind, increasing our understanding of the world around us and how it works. Physics plays a role in sculpting with different materials. Exposure to art can make the technology we create more interesting, and more relevant to the human experience.  

    STEM learning combined with creativity and play has been something we have been thinking about a lot here at the library. Participating in tech activities encourages youth to be curious, ask questions, and make connections with the world around them, and we can think of no better setting for these activities than with family. Even if we, as parents, don't have honed STEM skills ourselves, we can learn alongside our children, and as we do our relationships are enriched and children can see from the examples of their parents that STEM skills aren't scary or hard. When kids participate in learning play with their families, we make it more accessible to them simply with our prescence, our interest, and our attention, and we open many doors of possibility for them in the future.

    I'm excited to announce that we have created a Family Tech Night series where we will explore different science, technology, engineering, and math principles with fun and creative play. Families can come and have a guided demonstration from a librarian before getting a hands-on experience with the tech themselves. Our first Family Tech Night is this coming Wednesday, September 20th at 6:30 in the Shaw Programming Room #260. We will be using littleBits, small circuits that easily snap together, to create fun inventions and learn how one type of circuit can affect the next.

     

    We're excited to demonstrate this simple but foundational technological principle, as well as create some fun tech, and we hope to see you there!

  • IB Readers FB

     Have you ever thought about how readers can change the world? For example, just the other day I needed to do some minor home repair. I read about the problem and what needed to happen—then I fixed the weather stripping on my front door. If I couldn’t read about how to fix the problem (and thankfully this was easy as far as home repair goes), I would still be paying a lot of extra money in heating and cooling bills. Being able to read changed my world. And that is just one example! Here is a list of (a few) other things that readers can do (and in turn how they can change their world):

    • Read travel directions (and then travel)
    • Read about election candidates and their opinions (and then vote)
    • Read music (and then play music)
    • Read how-to manuals for hobbies or repair
    • Read instructions for homework assignments
    • Read directions for cooking recipes
    • Read up about health issues/symptoms/remedies
    • Read about different cultures or languages

    If you think about it, readers can do so many things—they really can change their world and the world of those around them!

    So what does this mean in terms of the Provo City Library? Basically, we believe that we should provide materials and experiences that promote reading. That is why we have so many children’s programs like story time. We show that reading is important (and fun). That is why we have afterschool programs based on crafts, STEAM, or other interesting subjects that we have read about (in books or online). And during the summer (or right now) that is why we have a Summer Reading Program—to encourage people to become readers which in turn will change lives.

    Readers are empowered to learn about anything, to become anything, to be anything. I am a reader! Are you a reader? Do you change the world? Do you believe readers change the world? If so, join me in signing up for the Summer Reading Program. Secondly, read with us all summer. Finally, if you are a reader, then tell all your friends why reading and libraries are important to you. Because we believe that readers change the world!

  •  Utah

    Summer vacation is right around the corner and I have to be honest and say that part of me is dreading it! I love my kids and I love having them home but after about a week I start hearing, “I’m bored!”, “There’s nothing to do!” or worse, they start bickering with each other. I am determined to make this summer different. I want to make plans to get out and discover fun things to do in the area. There is a great link on the Provo Library website of What To Do In Provo that has lots of ideas for each season. Here are several books that are perfect for planning some fun adventures. 

    5.15 PlaydatePLAYDATE WITH SALT LAKE CITY AND UTAH’S WASATCH FRONT: OVER 200 CREATVIE ADVENTURES FOR UNFORGETTABLE FAMILY FUN
    By Emily Smith Robbins
    (2014)

    This is an amazing book, full of fun color photos and tons of ideas for things to do around the area. It is broken up into the following categories:

    • Museums & More
    • Animal Attractions,
    • Historic sites,
    • Gardens & the Outdoors
    • Playgrounds & Parks
    • Hikes & Nature Walks
    • Performing Arts
    • Indoor Play Spaces
    • Hands-on Experiences
    • Amusement Parks & Fun Centers
    • Splash Pads & Fountains
    • Indoor Swimming
    • Outdoor Swimming
    • Story Time & Libraries
    • Tours!
    • Unique Adventures
    • Ski Areas & Resorts
    • Sporting Events
    • Park City
    • Heber City

    Each entry lists the address, hours, admission, parking, food rules, where to find discounts, what to expect and other nearby attractions. I seriously love this book and plan on letting my kids look through it to help plan our adventures for this summer. 

     

    5.15 Fun with the Family in UtahFUN WITH THE FAMILY IN UTAH
    By Michael Rutter
    (2004)

    This guide is divided up by regions in Utah and then within each section it divides it by cities. There are fun little facts spread throughout the book. This book is a little dated, so it would be good to double check the information on the internet before you head to one of these destinations, but it is still a good resource to get some ideas. 

     

    5.15 Outdoor EscapesOUTDOOR ESCAPES SALT LAKE CITY: A FOUR SEASON GUIDE
    By Robin Norris & Freddie Snalam
    (2003)

    This guide is divided by types of activities. You can find things like bird watching, ballooning, boating, camping, fishing, golf, hang gliding, horseback riding, ice climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, rock climbing, scuba diving, wildlife-watching, and lots of other outdoor activities. Each entry gives basic information and description. This book was published in 2003 so it would be a good idea to double check the information and make sure the venue is still open. 

     

    5.15 Salt Lake CitySALT LAKE CITY: ENSIGN TO THE NATIONS: WALKING TOURS
    By John P. Livingstone
    (2008)

    Downtown Salt Lake City is full of many historical sites. This small guide divides the city into three walking tours: Temple Square, Pioneer Business District, and Capitol Hill and Pioneer Memorial Museum. Colored boxes give the walking directions as you move from one point of interest to another. This book is full of historical facts and colored pictures.   

     

    5.15 Utah CuriositiesUTAH CURIOSITIES: QUIRKY CHARACTERS, ROADSIDE ODDITIES & OTHER OFFBEAT STUFF
    By Brandon Griggs
    (2008)

    This book is full of fun things that make Utah unique. It’s not a guide to the state, but it would definitely make a road trip more interesting.  Divided into 7 geographical areas, the author talks about interesting people, restaurants, museums and natural landforms for each area. It is a fun book to browse! We live in a pretty amazing state.