Month: July 2020

Kids at Home with MPPL Blog

Trivia Tuesday: Video Game Characters

Exercise your brain and maybe learn something new. Each Tuesday, we will send you on a knowledge quest and you can email us your answers for a chance to win a prize. As always with Library trivia, the good news is that if you don’t know the answer, there are ways to find out! Try using MPPL’s Kids Web Resources, searching online, or calling Youth Services at 847/253-5675 for book suggestions. You may also discover other topics of interest to you with these resources. 

name these video game favorites

Send your answers to  KidsTrivia@mppl.org  with your name and age by Monday, August 3 for a chance to win a $5 gift card to a local business. Participants with correct answers will be eligible for each weekly drawing. 

Sign up for our Library Fun at Home Newsletter to keep up with the Library and more suggestions for summer fun.

Maker Monday: Flashlight Constellations

cassiopeia flashlight constellation

Supplies:

Directions:

1. Using scissors, cut out the circles around the constellations.

2. Write the name of the constellation on the front or back of each circle.

3. Make a hole on each black dot of the constellation with a pen/pencil or hole punch.

4. Tape the constellation to the flashlight in front of the light.

5. Turn off the lights or wait until it’s dark out, and then turn the flashlight on to see your constellation.

Depending on the size of the flashlight, you may only be able to see some of the constellation. The closer you are to the wall or surface you are shining the light on, the more you will see of the constellation. Try going steps forward and back with your flashlight to see the changes.

Constellations and Stargazing

A constellation is a group of stars that form a recognizable pattern. Many are named for mythological figures and also have stories about how they were created. Constellations can be seen from Earth in areas where there is little light pollution.

Now that you have made your flashlight constellations, see if you can find these same constellations in the night sky with your family. The constellations you created are all visible during the summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

If you are interested in learning more about constellations, stargazing, and mythology, check out these activities for kids and families from NASA at Home. Or, visit the Library or email us at KidsRead@mppl.org!

Get Outside with these Scavenger Hunts

magnifying glass magnifying a ladybug

Looking for a new outdoor activity to get your little one excited to get outside even on a hot day? Make some binoculars, print out a scavenger hunt, and follow your child on an adventure.   

Making this binocular craft helps kids practice fine motor skills. You can also talk about the five senses and how these will help focus on sight.  

Younger kids can walk around the neighborhood and look for items on this list from Nature Cat and PBS Kids.

bird eggs in a nest on a branch

For a more challenging hunt, try printing out this activity, creating a nature notebook, and taking a hike.

Kids will enjoy helping to read items on the scavenger hunt list and younger children will love marking out what is found. Follow your child’s pace and look carefully at what is around. Scavenger hunts work well both in parks and around the block.  

Once you have completed the activity, be sure to log it in your Beanstack account! These scavenger hunts could count for The Great Outdoor Hunt or the Get Outside activity badges. Have fun!

Trivia Tuesday: Banksy

Exercise your brain and maybe learn something new. Each Tuesday, we will send you on a knowledge quest and you can email us your answers for a chance to win a prize. As always with Library trivia, the good news is that if you don’t know the answer, there are ways to find out! Try using MPPL’s Kids Web Resources, searching online, or calling Youth Services at 847/253-5675 for book suggestions. You may also discover other topics of interest to you with these resources. 

Visit the web resource worldbook student. Search for the article about the artist Banksy. What happened to their painting "Girl with Balloon" after it was sold?

Send your answer to  KidsTrivia@mppl.org  with your name and age by Monday, July 27 for a chance to win a $5 gift card to a local business. Participants with correct answers will be eligible for each weekly drawing. 

And don’t forget to sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge: The Spectacular Reading Race! Count the days you read and do fun activities to earn digital badges and chances for prizes. Get started by visiting our website.

STEAM Saturday: Coding Without Screens

When scientists do experiments, they are always asking questions and wondering, “If I do this, then what will happen?” If/Then is an important part of coding. If/Then is what’s called a conditional statement in programming. The program queries if one condition exists, and then it commands it to do something. It can be as basic as a True or False question and answer or it can prompt an action.

Explore the If/Then concept with these fun games!

boys playing outside

Backyard Coding Game

from leftbraincraftbrain.com

This game is sort of like Simon Says. For every round, there is one Programmer and everyone else is a Computer. The Programmer stands in front of the Computers and gives them a command. If I ____ (fill in the blank), then you _____ (fill in the blank). For example, the Programmer can give the command “If I turn stand on one foot, Then you stand on one foot.” Or, “If I stomp my foot, Then you do a jumping jack.” You can set up your rounds however works best for your group of kids. Kids love giving commands, so they will enjoy taking turns as a Programmer.

coding with cards, national geographic cards

Coding with a Deck of Cards

from teachyourkidscode.com

Coding involves giving instructions to a computer to make something happen. In this activity, you can practice giving instructions to a toy to navigate through a card maze. This activity can be adapted for different age levels.

Setup:

First, create a grid with the deck of cards. Use some tape to hold them in place if you wish. Then, place a few toys as obstacles in the grid to create a sort of maze. Determine the Start and Finish line of the maze. Choose another toy, such as a robot or car, to move through the maze.

To Play (Beginner):

  • One player gives ‘coding instructions’ one at a time to direct the robot to the finish line. For example: “Move forward 3 cards” or “Turn.”
  • Another player follows the instructions and moves the robot until it reaches the finish line.
  • It’s fun to switch roles!

To Play (Advanced):

  • Kids need to think ahead and problem-solve by writing all the steps to get the robot from Start to Finish before moving the robot.
  • Then another player follows the code to move the robot. If there is a mistake, the first player will need to ‘debug’ the code.