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  • Monday Craft Club: Salt Painting

    In last Monday’s craft club, the kids tried salt painting with glue, table salt, and watercolors. This is a fun, process-based art activity that requires a few simple materials and results in a lovely, textured final product.

    Materials needed include:

    • Paper
    • Glue
    • Table salt
    • Watercolor paints
    • Pipettes (AKA eye droppers)

    Steps:

    1. Use the glue to make your design.
    2. Sprinkle the glue with table salt and shake off the excess.
    3. Use the pipettes to drip watercolor onto the salt designs.

    Read more about process-based art versus product-based art.


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  • The Whole Book Approach

    Did you ever notice that the bands of color on the end papers of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?  by Bill Martin and Eric Carle represent the colors of the animals in the order in which they appear in the book?

    Or that the endpapers in Mo Willems’ Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs extend the story by listing the author’s discarded titles? (And possibly sparking the imaginations of budding writers!)

    Or that Janet Stevens could not have told her Tops and Bottoms story as effectively without the unusual vertical format?

    Considering the complete package of the picture book encourages such discoveries and revelations. A picture book is a unique art form. It is almost like a mini theater production with stage, curtain, actors, sets, drama, pacing and the reader as audience. Every design element is carefully chosen and contributes to the story as a whole. In The Whole Book Approach developed by Megan Lambert of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, children are encouraged to be engaged audience members: active participants, critics, thinkers and observers. The adult facilitator encourages the child to examine the book with open-ended questions:

    • What’s going on in this picture?
    • What do you see that makes you say that?
    • What more can we find?

    Sometimes it is nice to sit back and be a passive audience member, and there are certainly benefits to cuddling with your child and letting her be absorbed in the story as you read. The Whole Book Approach fosters critical thinking skills and a more active and deeper exploration of the book. When a child’s observations and ideas are encouraged it boosts confidence. Teaching your child the parts of a book, (gutter, format, endpapers, spine, etc.) expands vocabulary.  Thinking about how she feels when confronted with a certain color or typeface or line encourages self-awareness and an appreciation of art and design and leads her to consider why the illustrator chose those elements for this story. This method may also help you more fully appreciate the wonders of a picture book. Try it with the children in your life!

    To find out more check out Megan Lambert’s book,  

    Reading Picture Books with Children: How to shake up storytime and get kids talking about what they see.

    Or check out this article.



    ReadPlayCreate Comment Policy:

    We love to hear from you! While most comments are welcome, all comments are moderated before posting. We will not accept comments that:

    • Attack or harass
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  • Fun with Light and Mirrors!

    This week we had a blast playing and learning about light and reflection!

    Kids made kaleidoscopes in Monday Craft Club, and were astonished at the beautiful changing patterns of the clear colored beads when they held them up to the light to be reflected in the mirrors!  Students chose colored, transparent plastic beads to drop into their kaleidoscope tubes, added a clear plastic disk to keep the beads in place, and then added a mirrored triangular prism. They attached an eyepiece on the open end and then colored a sheet of paper and secured it around the roll to decorate the kaleidoscope. You too can learn how to make a kaleidoscope with everyday materials!

    Inside views of the kaleidoscopes.

    We know that light is electromagnetic radiation but is it a particle?  Is it a wave? What we did discover is that light is fun!

    Thursday, April 6, Shaker Library’s STEAM Team for grades 1-3 talked about the nature of light, how eyeballs work, and then used reflective surfaces (old compact discs) to practice reflecting light around the room.  After they’d honed their reflection skills, they decided to make things more complicated–and intriguing–by cutting out paper designs to use as stencils for reflected light. By placing paper snowflakes over the reflective surfaces of the CDs, they projected many fun designs around the room, and a bright and shiny time was had by all!

    Join us Thursday, April 27, when we explore ocean layers!   Registration begins Thursday, April 13.


    ReadPlayCreate Comment Policy:

    We love to hear from you! While most comments are welcome, all comments are moderated before posting. We will not accept comments that:

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  • Math Lab for Kids – New Book Spotlight

    Math Lab for Kids: Fun, Hands-On Activities for Learning with Shapes, Puzzles, and Games by Rebecca Rapoport and J.A. Yoder. Quarry Books, Beverly, Massachusetts, 2017.

    For anyone looking to try some engaging math activities, this book offers a variety of easy-to-follow, step- by-step instructions in 37 math labs. Designed for elementary-aged students activities in this book may also appeal to middle and high school students. The labs are divided into nine chapters about geometry, topology, color maps like a mathematician, stitching curves, fractals, tangrams, toothpick puzzles, the game of nim, and graph theory.

    Each activity uses inexpensive supplies you are likely to find around the house. Color photos and color illustrations add to the appeal of the book. The hands-on activities help students develop problem-solving skills. Additional resources in the back of the book, as well as online resources, enhance the activities.

    The ease of use and unique activities in this book are likely to appeal to even the most reluctant young mathematician. Read a review!


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  • Celebrate Trees with Shaker Library

    In April we celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day, two holidays that help us become more aware of the amazing and life-sustaining powers of nature. In Dr. Seuss’s book, the Lorax warns against destroying the environment:  “I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees.”

    You, too, can speak for the trees by entering the Library and the City Tree Advisory Board Poster and PoeTREE contest. Create a poster or write a poem about what trees mean to you and why they are valuable to our community. Entry forms are available at the Children’s and Teen desks. The deadline for entries is 9 PM Thursday, April 13 and the  Arbor Day Awards Ceremony will be held at 4:30 PM Thursday, April 27 at Main Library.

    Also, join us when visitors from the Holden Arboretum offer a special program of tree-related stories and other fun activities for 3, 4, and 5 year olds. No registration is required.

    11 am Thursday, April 13 at Woods Branch

    1:30 pm Tuesday, April 18 at Main Library

    We have many more books about trees for you to enjoy!


    ReadPlayCreate Comment Policy:

    We love to hear from you! While most comments are welcome, all comments are moderated before posting. We will not accept comments that:

    • Attack or harass
    • Are solely promotional in nature
    • Use language that is inappropriate for young children.