Month: May 2021

Kids at Home with MPPL Blog

It is Time for Summer Reading!

Starting June 1, register for Reading Colors Your World to discover a whole world of fun! The program runs through August 15. You can join by visiting our Beanstack site or by coming into the library, starting Tuesday.

For kids entering grade 5 and younger.

Count the days you read or when someone reads to you. Each family who registers will receive a copy of the book Blue Sky, White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus (while supplies last). Every child who reaches 30 days will receive an additional book as well as a chance to win a Grand Prize, like a Nintendo Switch Lite. Keep reading beyond 30 days to earn extra prize entries and contribute to our goal of reading for 30,000 days! Participants can also explore how reading colors their world with activities for the whole family.

Go to our Summer Reading Challenge webpage for more information and to get started!

Cicadas

You may have been hearing a lot about the emergence of periodical cicadas this year.  It is an exciting year for those in the range for this year’s emergence. Here is a little info about these unique insects.  

What is a periodical cicada? 

Periodical Cicadas have a life cycle that lasts either 13 or 17 years, and all of them in an area emerge as adults at once.  These cicadas emerge in difference parts of the country at different times, and each group is given a brood year.  The brood in the news this year, brood x, does not reach into northern Illinois, so we will not be seeing them this year.   

Periodical Cicada:  

Magicicada septendecim

Feeling left out? 

Not to worry, we will get to see some periodical cicadas soon!  Northern Illinois should see periodical cicadas in the early summer of 2024.  Get your recipes ready! 

What? RECIPIES!?! 

Cicadas are edible! They taste like almonds (I have read).  Every year many people try them (although, try them with caution as they can trigger shellfish allergies).  They also cause a bit of a boom in forests as many animals have more babies in years when the periodical cicadas emerge due to the increase in insects to eat.  In the years following a large emergence, even tress grow more because of the increase in nutrients from the cicada bodies that decompose on the forest floor.  

Aren’t there cicadas every year? 

Yes! Every summer cicadas emerge, but those are annual cicadas, also known as dogday cicadas.  They have also have a long lifespan, usually living underground for 2-5 years before emerging as adults.    

Dogday Cicada: 

Neotibicen linnei

For more information, visit:  https://web.extension.illinois.edu/cicadas/index.html

For some great photos, including the ones above, check: https://www.cicadamania.com/

To read about cicadas, check out these books:

STEAM Saturday: Celebrate Astronomy Day

Saturday, May 15, 2021 is Astronomy Day! This day is a great time to learn more about astronomy and do fun activities inside or outside.  

Astronomy is the study of the universe beyond the Earth including the sun, moon, stars, and more. To learn more about astronomy, use your MPPL library card to access the many web resources we have available. You can find the kid focused web resources on the Homework Help Web Page.  

One activity you can do with your family is track the moon phases. Every night, the moon looks a little different. This is due to how the sun is reflecting off the moon. To track these changes, create a journal with your nightly observations.  

moon phases
Source: NASA/Bill Dunford 
Published: August 14, 2014 

For more ideas, check out PBS.org’s article, Stargazing and Other Astronomy Activities You Can Do with Your Kids

There are also many books about astronomy and space, which you can check out at the Library.

Outdoor Zipline Racers Program for Grades 4-6

On your mark, get set, race! Register and join us next, Tuesday, May 11, 2021 from 4:30-5 in the Library’s Parking Garage, and make your own flying machine using simple craft materials and a small propeller. These creations will then be put the test as we propel them across ziplines.  

outdoor zipline racer

This program is for patrons in grades 4-6.  

To help keep everyone safe, space in this program is limited. Participants will be socially distanced from each other and required to wear masks. This program is weather permitting; participants will be notified in the event of cancellation.  

Register here: https://bit.ly/3h7xk7j

Star Wars Day Activities

May The 4th Be With You! 

Today is a day where Star Wars fans celebrate everything about their favorite fandom. The website, StarWars.com has many resources for all ages including an activity book with crafts coloring pages, and puzzles.  

StarWarsKids.com also have some great online games and other activities that will introduce young fans to the “galaxy far, far away.” 

For off-screen time, check out one of the many books the Library has on Star Wars. To keep your place, you can make your own Star Wars Corner Bookmark.  

To make a bookmark, you will need: 

  • Craft paper 
  • Ruler  
  • Scissors 
  • Glue 
  • Markers, colored pencils, or crayons 

Then, follow the directions on the Instructables’ website.  

star wars corner bookmarks

Photo and craft credit to Advaym.