Month: December 2020

News from Youth Services Blog

Maker Monday: DIY Eco-Friendly Confetti

This activity is a great way to create confetti for your New or “Noon” Year’s Eve. 

homemade confetti made with colored paper and a hole puncher
Image by Penny Whitehouse

What you need:

  • Lots of colorful leaves
  • Hole punch

Then, make the confetti by using the hole punch to punch out pieces of the leaves.

For other eco-friendly activities and crafts, check out these books: 

Animal Web Cams

Animals are amazing and you can learn so much by watching them at zoos, in their natural habitats, reading books, and looking up information about them with our web resources:

Live Web Cams and livestreams are a great way to see animals while staying home this winter. These cameras are mounted in animal enclosures and near animals’ habitats in the wild. By watching them you can get a glimpse of what these animals do daily. Here are some of our favorites: 

Monterey Bay Aquarium Sea Otter Cam 

Giant Panda Cam at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

Sloth Cam at the Hattiesburg Zoo

Coral Reefs, Jellyfish, and More Web Cams at the National Aquarium 

Finally, if you are more a fan of dogs and cats, check out these web cams: 

Kitten Rescue Sanctuary 

Puppy Playroom at Warrior Canine Connection 

Next in Series and Sequels December 2020

If you have a favorite author or series, there are a lot of new books out for you to enjoy! If you’d like to place any of these items on hold, please do, and make sure to schedule a Parking Lot Pickup appointment to come and get your next read!

(Oh, and if you love books in series, you need to know about KDL What’s Next–it will give you all the books in every series you like to read, in order! It’s very useful!)

kids books display

If you’re a Dav Pilkey fan, you’ll definitely want to read the latest book in the series, Fetch-22.

Jerry Craft’s book New Kid won the 2020 Newbery award, and his new book, Class Act, is a companion title that features Jordan’s friend Drew as the main character.

And of course, if you love the Babysitter’s Club graphic novels, then you’ll definitely want to read Baby Sitters Little Sister, and the latest book is Karen’s Roller Skates.

kids books display

Fly on the Wall is the newest book from the author of Pie in the Sky, so if you love illustrated, funny novels, you’ll enjoy both of these titles!

Chris Grabenstein has another hilarious entry in the Mr. Lemencello’s series called Mr. Lemencello and the Titanium Ticket.

And a new Stick Dog adventure is always a reason to celebrate.

kids books display

The Princess in Black and the Giant Problem is the latest book in this perfect beginning chapter book series for any kid who loves equal parts humor and adventure.

Goodbye, Mr. Terupt is the fourth book about Mr. Terupt and a group of kids who bonded in fifth grade. Now in eighth grade, this emotional book explores friendship and growing up with warmth and humor.

Three Keys by Kelly Yang is a sequel to Front Desk and continues the story of Mia Tang and her family as they run a motel and try to fit in and make friends in their new community.

kids books display

Unicorn Bowling is the latest book in the Phoebe and her Unicorn series. If you love unicorns, friendship, or used to read Calvin and Hobbes, you need to start reading this series.

Logan Likes Mary Anne! is the latest graphic novel adaptation of the super popular Babysitters Club series.

If you enjoyed Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell, you enjoy his newest title, Doodleville, which also features a group of creative kids who end up making art that’s more than they bargained for.

So if you’re excited for a sequel, next in series, or a new book by a favorite author, go here and place a hold today!

Maker Monday: Make Your Own Dreidel

Happy Hanukkah!

To learn more about this holiday, we went to PebbleGo, accessible through the library website here:

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday taking place for eight nights. This year, it started on Thursday, December 10 and ends Friday, December 18. It is also known as the Festival of Lights. Jewish people celebrate by lighting a candle on a menorah each night, eating special foods, and sometimes exchanging gifts. Many also like to play with a spinning top called a dreidel.

To celebrate, you can make your own dreidel and play a fun game to win treats of your choosing.

1. Draw equal triangles on your cardboard. You can do this by drawing two diagonal lines across the brown side of cardboard.

2. Draw the Hebrew letters below on each triangle.

3. Have a grownup poke a pencil in the middle of the cardboard square. Now you can spin it on the pencil tip!

Everyone gets the same amount of a small object- raisins, or stickers, or Hanukkah gelt (gold-foiled covered chocolate). You’ll be playing for these pieces.

examples of homemade paper dreidels

Image by Erica of What We Do All Day

This idea comes from  

Dreidel game: Before each turn everyone puts 1 piece into the pot. Spin the dreidel and if it lands on: Shin- put 1 piece into pot; hay- you win half of the pieces in the pot; nun- nothing happens, next player spins; gimmel- you win all the pieces in the pot.

Image by Simple Play Ideas

You might also want to check out this online coloring book from Google Arts and Culture to decorate your own Hanukkah art.  

Insects in Winter

How do insects survive the long, cold winter? In several different ways!

Some Overwinter as Eggs

Praying mantids spend the winter as eggs, waiting for the warmer spring temperatures to hatch. Both the native Carolina Praying Mantis and the Chinese Praying mantis are found in Illinois.

Carolina mantis egg case
Carolina Mantis egg case
Chinese Mantis egg case
Chinese Mantis egg case

Some Overwinter as Larvae

Woolly bear caterpillars, the larval form of the Isabella Tiger Moth, spend the winter curled up under leaves.

Woolly Bear Caterpillar, larvae of Isabella Tiger Moth
Woolly Bear Caterpillar, larvae of Isabella Tiger Moth

Some Overwinter as Nymphs

Insects that have an incomplete metamorphosis only have three stages of life: egg, nymph and adult. Dragonflies spend the winter as nymphs underwater will stay active under the ice. They emerge in spring as adults.

Dragonfly Nymph
Dragonfly Nymph

Some Overwinter as Pupae

Some moths and butterflies will stay in their pupal cases (chrysalides or cocoons) and come out in the spring as adults.

Cecropia Moth Cocoon
Cecropia Moth Cocoon

Some Overwinter as Adults

Monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico in the fall and wait for the spring to arrive to begin their journey back home.

Monarch butterflies

To learn more, check out these books: