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It’s almost Halloween, and finding a costume that will fit your child might become a daunting task. Instead of running from store to store, why not make your own? Here are directions to make a simple Spider-Man mask, which could also be used as a template to making many other superhero masks.
What you will need:
- A red pullover-type ski mask with two eye holes, but no mouth
- Black fabric paint
- Paint brushes
- A balloon
- A comic book or something to reference
Blow up the balloon and tie it to a stable object. Then, place the ski mask over the balloon. Now use the brushes to apply the black paint. Look at your references, and try to reproduce what you see there. Let your mask dry. Then remove it from the balloon. Since the paint may have adhered to the balloon, you may have to pop it.
-Chris H., 95th St. Library
October, October, how we’ve missed you…..hot cider and pumpkins, hayrides and costumes….everyone has a favorite activity to enjoy during this fall season. For some children, Halloween is an October highlight that provides a great opportunity to scare up some thrilling books from the library. Check out some of the featured titles below and discover stories for YOUR raring-for-scares reader—some are scary and some are sweet! Click on any cover to go to its entry in NPL’s catalog!
For those young readers who want minimal chills…
This adorable board book is written by the same author who wrote the picture book, I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean.
Shake D’Em Halloween Bones by Nikola-Lisa
I’ve personally seen this book wildly entertain crowds in storytime and in the classroom, and it’s easy to see why—this colorful book is fun for all ages. The text can be sung, and children can clap along to the fun beat.Ghost Eats It All! By Janee Trasler.
Short and sweet, this book has a guaranteed laugh-out-loud ending!
A Dark and Noisy Night by Lisa Thiesing
Follow Peggy the pig as she tries to discover the causes of some strange noises on Halloween night. Kids will love making the noises, too!
Are you Afraid Yet? The Science Behind Scary Stuff by Stephen James O’Meara
Discover facts about mummies and find out how the vampire myth began in this fascinating non-fiction book. They say that truth CAN be stranger than fiction.
Halloween Night: Twenty-One Spooktacular Poems by Charles Ghigna
Get your poetry fix with these spooky poems that tackle all kinds of creepy subject matter.
The Boy of a Thousand Faces by Brian Selznick
What to do when you enjoy transforming your face into different monsters? Why, you send a picture of yourself to your hero, Mr. Shadows, that’s what you do! What happens next is anyone’s guess.
For those chapter book readers who want the scariest of the scariest…
All the Lovely Bad Ones by Mary Downing Hahn
Get ready for chills in yet another fantastic ghost tale by the same author who brought you the classic thriller Wait Till Helen Comes.
Haunted Houses by Robert D. San Souci
Dive into 10 unique stories all focused around the theme of haunted houses. This is the first book in the “Are You Scared Yet?” series. Don’t forget to check out San Souci’s other scary story titles.
Ghost Liners: Exploring the World’s Greatest Ships by Robert D. Ballard
This intriguing non-fiction book is written by the man who rediscovered the Titanic on the ocean floor. Using stunning details and spooky photographs, Ballard tells the tales of doomed ships that never made it back to port. How can that NOT make anyone shiver?
If you’re in grades 3rd-5th and you are looking to be spooked, come to the library for our Let Us Give You Goosebumps program. Get ready for scary stories and dastardly deeds. This program is NOT for the easily scared. No registration is required.
When: 7:00 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19th @ Nichols Library in the Storyroom
7:00 p.m. on Thursay, Oct. 25th @ Naper Boulevard Library in the Program Room
7:00 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 29th @ 95th St. Library in the Program Room
~~~~Amy, 95th St. Children’s Services
The summer my daughter turned three, the main topic of conversation among my friends was “Where is your child going to go to preschool?’ Suddenly there were debates about structured vs unstructured; Montessori, Academic, half day, full day….. I will admit that I was totally clueless. I had no idea what all of those terms meant. So, I decided I’d better do some research (which consisted of asking my friends and neighbors which schools their children would be attending). When I finally had my list and began calling the schools, I found out that the classes were full. (None of my friends mentioned that registration had begun months ago.) I did find a great preschool with a program that met my daughter’s needs, but given my lack of knowledge things could have turned out very differently.
To help parents and caregivers choose the right preschool for their child, the Library is sponsoring the 3rd Annual Preschool Fair. The Fair will be held on Tuesday, October 23 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the 95th Street Library. Representatives from over 30 area preschools and daycare centers will be attending. It is important for parents and caregivers to know how to evaluate potential preschools. Here are a few questions to ask about a school you are considering:
- Ask about license and accreditation
- What is the child to teacher ratio? Ideally, there should be one teacher for every 7-10 students.
- Does the preschool teaching philosophy align with my parenting style?
- How many children are there per classroom? The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) suggests that 20 children per classroom is an ideal number.
- What is the education and experience of the teaching staff?
- Ask about curriculum. There should be a variety of activities appropriate for the children’s ages and needs.
- What are the costs and fees?
- Are there extended childcare hours, and if so, what is the cost?
- How much parent involvement is expected?
- What safety measures does the school have in place?
- Visit the school. See how the children and staff interact. What is a typical daily routine? Check the cleanliness and safety of the center.
We look forward to welcoming you at the Library’s 3rd Annual Preschool Fair on Tuesday, October 23 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the 95th Street Library.
-Karen B., 95th St. Library
Are your kids craving something sweet to eat when they get home from school?
Let them go bananas with this easy to make, healthy banana smoothie.
- 1 whole banana (ripe or frozen)
- 1 cup Milk
- 3 whole Ice Cubes
Peel the banana and put the ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth and creamy.
Change up the recipe by adding fresh or frozen strawberries, fresh or frozen blueberries, or even some mango. Try it with some unsweetened cocoa powder, peanut butter or add some protein powder. Use yogurt instead of milk for some extra tang.
This also makes an easy breakfast drink so use your imagination and Go Bananas!!
Nutrition Information for the basic recipe Per Serving:
Calories 250; Total Fat 8 g (Sat 4.5 g, Trans 0 g, Poly 0.5 g, Mono 2 g); Cholesterol 25 mg; Sodium 100 mg; Potassium 770 mg; Total Carbohydrates 38 g; Dietary Fiber 3 g; Total Sugars 25 g; Protein 9 g. Percent Daily Value: Vitamin A 6%; Vitamin B6 25%; Vitamin C 15%; Vitamin D 25%; Calcium 30%, Iron 2%
For more healthy banana snack recipes go to the Chiquita Bananas website at:
-Diana J @ Naper Blvd Library
In his book, OUTLIERS, Malcom Gladwell states that one becomes an expert in something only after practicing about 10,000 hours. That comes to almost 417, 24-hour days of practice!
How many hours did your child practice reading over the summer? Many children only have enough unscheduled time during the summer months of vacation to read for hours at a time. This is when the magic begins to happen. And now it is September.
School has started again, and many children get practice reading during school hours. But, what can you do at home, to encourage and model the fun of reading and writing?
*Go to the library often, and let your child choose what he or she is interested in. These visits can provide a great variety of books and music for the whole family.
*Keep books, magazines and games out and around, where your child can use them.
*Also keep lots of crayons, markers, pencils and paper around so your child can draw and write. When your child draws, ask him to tell you about the picture.
* Have a quiet time in the evening, where everybody reads. Never underestimate the power of imagination, so choose TV, videos and computer games wisely and in moderation.
The countdown to becoming an expert in reading begins now!
-Carla E. @ Naper Blvd. Library
ChopChop is a new magazine in our juvenile periodical collection. It is published quarterly by a non-profit corporation, ChopChop Kids, to encourage families to cook and enjoy healthy meals together. There are many nutritious, good tasting and ethnic recipes that are inexpensive to prepare in each issue. Click here for a yummy treat that uses fresh apples, Apple-cious Oat Bars. Check out this magazine on your next visit to the library. Our current issue is for library use only, but past issues can check out for 3 weeks.
-Wanda @Naper Blvd. Library
Numbers are all around us! As a parent, you use them everyday — let your child in on the power of math!
In an emergency, does your child know their age, address, phone number and how to dial 911?
Count together. How many books did we check out today at the Library?
How tall is your child? How much does he or she weigh? Numbers again!
Which cup is the largest? Smallest? How many ounces in each one?
Numbers are everywhere, especially at THE LIBRARY! So, Moms, Dad, Grandmas, Caregivers–grab your preschooler and come play with us at all 3 locations during our first Special Program of the Fall Season, the interactive program, “FUN WITH MATH”:
September 4 at 95th St. Library;
September 12 at Naper Blvd. Library
and September 27 at Nichols Library.
All programs are 10:30-11:15 am.
We will have more fun than 101 monkeys!
-Carla E. @Naper Blvd. Library
If the happy faces I’ve been seeing are any indication, there are some very eager readers visiting the library in the week or so since school started. We are always willing to share tips and tools on how to help your child to read but some parents quickly find out that one style does not fit all children.
Children often learn to read at their own pace and when they are really ready. For some children this might be well before their first day of school and others may not be ready until they reach first grade. Below are some tips for you, some that I have used myself and some shared by other parents.
- Make letters out of everything. Spell it out with food, toothpicks, sand, sugar, or anything else you find.
- Make reading part of the day and look for letters and words everywhere you go. The grocery store is a great place for this. Point out print everywhere.
- Read a lot of books.
- Once is not enough. It’s really okay to read the same story or book 100 times if the child is enjoying it. Re-reading helps kids read more quickly and accurately.
- Label the objects of your home with the name of the item written on an index card. Seeing the word “clock” next to the clock helps your child to recognize the names to familiar objects.
- Give everything a name to increase your child’s vocabulary.
- Reading is fun so remember to read to your child with humor and expression. You can even use different voices for each character!
- Know when to stop. If you have lost their attention then it may be time to take a break.
- Read it and live it. If you have been reading about animals then perhaps a trip to a farm or zoo would be fun to share.
- Play word games. Recite tongue twisters and silly rhymes. This helps kids to hear the many sounds in each word.
- Don’t leave home without a book or magazine to help pass the time while waiting in lines.
- Find books that are not too difficult. Your child needs lots of successful reading experiences to become a confident reader.
- Lastly, be patient. Give your child a chance to sound out the words on their own before you gently correct them or point out their mistakes. Remind them to look closely at the letters of each word.
The Nichols and the Naper Blvd branches have labeled the easiest Readers in our collection with a big green and white striped sticker on the spine of the book for easy selection of the simplest books. Our 95th Street branch has a list that you can borrow to find these same easy Readers in their collection.
We hope you visit us soon to continue on your reading adventure.
~Deanna @ Nichols
So you’ve just picked up the kids from school or perhaps just finished dropping the older ones off, what can you do now that would really be fun for everyone? How about stopping by the library for some great family fun? Many families visit the library on a regular basis and one of their favorite gathering places is our Family Center. In the Family Center you will find many fun things to do and play with. There are puppets, lots of puzzles, board books, toys, rubber animals, blocks, activity cubes, and coloring pages with crayons just to name a few. I always enjoy seeing the creative ways that some families have fun. Just look at this grown-up being buried by puppets and alphabet letters!
Sometimes the families gather just to let the grown-ups have some time to chat with other grown-ups. Sitting on the floor with the kids on the colorful rug amongst, the puzzles, toys, and books, these ladies are having a relaxing afternoon with their families and friends in the Family Center at Nichols.
Can you see the Letter of the Week display on the back wall in the photo above? You will often find Literacy Spots sprinkled throughout each of our buildings. One of my personal favorite things for families to do is to stage their own puppet shows. Sometimes the parents put one on for the kids and other times the children will line up the chairs and put on a show for the entire group.
I never tire of listening to the laughter and learning that goes on in the Family Center. Please stop by any one of our buildings and start having some fun with us today! We always look forward to your visits with us. See you soon!