• Gardening Kid

    As the weather gets warmer, it always makes me want to go outside and dig in the dirt. I enjoy planting things, taking care of them, and watching them grow. It’s a very satisfying and relaxing way to spend my time. I don’t know if you feel the same way, but even if you don’t enjoy digging in the dirt, I would bet that you probably enjoy the fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and strawberries that come from your own garden. Personally, I think they taste better when you have grown them yourself.

    Have you ever thought about growing a garden with your kids? You should give it a try! Children are naturally curious and they love digging in the dirt which makes gardening a perfect project, as well as a fun, hands-on learning experience that everyone can participate in. Gardening also teaches children important life skills as well as environmental awareness by exploring nature. You don’t have to be an experienced gardener to plant a garden with your children, you just need some dirt, seeds, or plants and a willingness to try.  Here are a few resources the library has to help you get started on your own gardening adventure.


    This is a fun resource the library offers. There are gardening activities listed that you can do with your children as well as books and movies you can watch to get your little ones excited about gardening.


    By Whitney Cohen

    This book helps you make gardening fun for your kids and teaches you how to design your own play-friendly family garden. It includes games, art, fun ideas for projects you can do in the garden, as well as instructions on how to cook what you grow from your own garden.


    By Emma Biggs

    Thirteen-year-old Emma shares her passion for gardening in this fun guide for kids. She will show you how to grow your own food, what kind of soil is best, and how to grow different kinds of gardens, including a flower stand garden. She also talks about different kinds of plants and shows you, with lots of fun pictures, how to make spaces for kids to play among the plants.


    5.11 Let It GrowLET IT GROW
    By Cynthia Stierle

    This gardening book is perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to plant a garden outside but would like to do fun gardening science experiments with their children. You can do experiments to learn about roots, leaves, stems, and how sunlight and water play a crucial role in helping plants to grow.

  • Puppets 

    If you’ve been watching our STORIES IN THE STUDIO, then you’ve seen some pretty fun puppets and their shenanigans. Did you know that members of our children’s department have worked together to make those puppets? It’s true. Now you can be truly amazed when you watch the show. Anyway, I have to be going now. I have- Wait. What? You want to know how to make a puppet of your own? Well, why didn’t you say so? Here are some fun puppet making books that are sure to get you on the right track of puppet making. 

    1.13 Puppet ManiaPUPPET MANIA!
    By John E. Kennedy

    This book teaches how to make classic fabric puppets. It covers 13 different designs that would give any puppet show a leg up. 


    1.13 Making PuppetsMAKING PUPPETS
    By Toby Reynolds

    This guide to puppet making introduces how to create puppets out of every day materials. If you have a sock, cup or spoon, then you can make a puppet! This is the perfect craft book for a rainy day. 


    1.13 Make Your Own PuppetsMAKE YOUR OWN PUPPETS
    By Anna-Marie D’Cruz

    This kid-friendly guide to puppet making lets kids explore their creativity. You can make a creepy crawly puppet, cool animals, and even plants! 


    1.13 Knitted Finger PuppetsKNITTED FINGER PUPPETS
    By Meg Leach

    Learn how to knit adorable finger puppets. This book includes clear instructions for several different puppet characters and includes a section where you can learn how to design your own. 


    1.13 Dressing the Naked HandDRESSING THE NAKED HAND
    By Amy White

    This ultimate guide to puppets teaches how to make quality puppets, how to make a puppet stage, and how to make your puppeteering a believable experience for audience members.

  •  Recycled Crafts

    I love recycling projects because I can turn something old, that still has plenty of wear, into something new and useful again.

    For example, my son recently ripped several of his old jeans. I hate to throw away good denim but the only thing I could think of to repurpose his old jeans was to make a quilt. However, I don’t have enough denim or the time for a project like that so, I have been trying to think of ways I could use this denim. Recently, I came across a book that had several ideas for using old jeans and turning them into something new, like a bag or a skirt. It got me thinking about what I could make with what I already have. This discovery came at a perfect time since I can’t go to the craft store right now to get ideas or supplies and I have been wanting to make something.

    If you are feeling like me and want some ideas for using what you already have lying around the house, take a look at these resources and then go and create something new.


    This online resource is free with your current library card and it has many ideas for crafts you can make. If you want recycling crafts specifically, type “recycle” in the search bar and it will bring up several ideas. Check out this fun website and get your creative juices flowing as you watch tutorials with step-by-step instructions on how to do a wide variety of crafting.



    Many of our books can be checked out online through OVERDRIVE or LIBBY. If you type in “recycled crafts”, you will find multiple titles that can inspire you to make many creative projects such as puppets, quilts, or little fixes for clothing.


    By Carol Sirrine

    This is a great book with lots of pictures and step-by-step instructions on how to make something new with your old jeans. It contains decorating ideas for your room and lots of fun crafts. Some require sewing and some can be done with a hot glue gun. Check it out and repurpose some of your old jeans.


    By Kari Cornell

    If you’re looking for a book to help you come up with ideas for recycling and where to find materials, this book is for you. It contains a wide range of ideas for using old t-shirts, sweaters or socks to make something new. We are surrounded with what we need, we just need inspiration. This book will inspire you to look closely at the world around you for inspiration in making your crafts and challenge you to use recycled and reusable materials.


    By Adrianne Surian

    We all have t-shirts piled up around the house that we hate to get rid of because they still have plenty of wear, so if you are looking for a way to repurpose these old t-shirts check out this DIY book. You will find a wide variety of ideas to help you transform those old t-shirts into fun stylish accessories that won’t break the bank.

  • Sourdough Bread

    Did you know that authentic sourdough bread can be great for diabetics, those with gluten sensitivities, and makes the nutrients in wheat more available to the body?  When I decided to start baking bread this way, I had no idea it came with a host of health benefits.  The benefit that caught my attention?  Free yeast for life!  One day at work I came across this book, The Art Of Baking With Natural Yeast, and decided to try it.  At first I really struggled getting results that resembled bread more than a brick, but after lots of research and baking I can now make a loaf worth sharing! 

    These four books are the best I have found about baking with an authentic sourdough starter and should contain all the information you need to make delicious bread as well as crackers, pancakes, pizza, muffins, and more!  (Natural yeast, sourdough starter, levain, and wild yeast are basically all terms for the same thing.)

    4.29 The Art of Baking with Natural YeastTHE ART OF BAKING WITH NATURAL YEAST
    By Caleb Warnock and Melissa Richardson

    This has easy to understand instructions for how to take care of your starter, which is what I like best about it.  It also discusses the health benefits, and has different kinds of recipes for the starter.  I also like that it comes from a home baker perspective, not a professional baker perspective. 


    4.29 Beyond Basics with Natural YeastBEYOND BASICS WITH NATURAL YEAST
    By Melissa Richardson

    This is more of a cookbook than an instruction book, but it has a large variety of recipes including specialty breads, crackers, pasta, waffles, muffins, and more.  It also has more info on caring for a starter. 


    4.29 Flour Water Salt YeastFLOUR WATER SALT YEAST
    By Ken Forkish

    I like this one because it gets really in depth with the bread making process and what effects different variables have at different stages, and discusses convenient baking schedules.  While the book primarily includes breads made with commercial yeast, Part 3 has five chapters about baking with levain.   


    4.29 Tartine BreadTARTINE BREAD
    By Chad Robertson

    Robertson’s book also gives an extensive look at the bread making process and different variables, and is full of instructional photographs.  Unlike Forkish’s book, this one is specifically focused on levain breads and has a broader range of recipes.  


    Some of the tips I’ve learned that have had the biggest impact on my bread are these: folding dough is a thousand times easier than kneading and is more effective for less effort; measure your ingredients by weight, not by volume; whole wheat flour needs more water than white flour, especially if you grind your own; temperature directly impacts how long it takes the dough to rise; if you over-proof your dough on the first rise it is impossible to shape; how much time has passed since you last fed/refreshed your yeast starter has a huge impact on flavor; and it’s okay if it takes a lot of trying to get that perfect loaf!