Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Web Wednesday - Outdoor Fun!

This summer has been forecasted to be rainy and wet.  We are looking to make the best out of each and every sunny day we can get by playing outside!  We would love to share some sites that suggest activities to try out and play together.

From Modern Parents, Messy Kids, you can scope out a list of 25 ideas for outdoor play. Each day is another chance to explore the great outdoors together and interact with nature.  Ideas run the gamut from creating critters from items found in nature to hosting a camp-out.  Another top 25 list from the same site offers up excellent sports and activities. Bowling with tin cans or a creative fishing game await you on this list.  If you're not familiar with Modern Parents, Messy Kids - you are in for a treat!

If you are looking to share old favorites with a new generation, look no further than Wired magazine's Geek Dad .  Classic games such as Kick the Can and Marco Polo are broken down for easy play, and each game includes an equipment list.  The nice thing about these games is the majority of them don't require anything other than you, a friend, and the great outdoors!

She Knows offers 8 more outdoor activities that involve teams or a bigger group of pals to play with.  The site also suggests other games traditionally found on the playground.  From a shoebox relay race to flashlight tag, you'll have a blast with your friends!

Finally, Family Education offers a huge collection of ideas.  From snacks and crafts to games and experiments, this list will help you keep busy this summer. For the pre-tween set, the site has created a list of summer activities and organized them by variety.  Gardening, games, and more physical activities are a few of the headings you can search under.  Warning: You may lose track of time while surfing this site!  Once you read one list, you may see another slideshow of ideas you want to scope out. 
If you stop by the library, make sure you ask your librarians to point you towards some summer fun books. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wed Wednesday - Hit the Dusty Trail

Happy summer vacation!  We hope your summer has started off well and we would love to hear what you have planned. We have gathered some resources to help entertain your young travelers during any road trips you will take this summer.  Hopefully some of these resources will help quiet them from asking "Are we there yet?" at least once, and save your sanity.

If you are looking for road trip games and printables to take with you we recommend TLC's Parentables site.   My Delicious Ambiguity's collection of sites mostly come from Family Fun magazine's site, but it is nice to have them all in one place.  Family Fun Education always does a nice job rounding up quality resources, and their road trip games are no different..

For help packing a road trip busy bag, look no further than Polkadot Prints.  For help placating other passengers on a train or plane with sweet treats, help putting together activity bags during the trip for your wee ones, knowing what treats to pack for car snacking, or bribing your kids with snack packs for accomplishing car activities, this site has it all.  Polka-Dotty Place also has a great visual and packing list for help packing up a travel busy bag. Not surprisingly, Martha Stewart's site offers a beautiful slide show for suggested summer travel activities.

Before you leave the house, there are some great games from Scholastic to help you read up on any travel destination.  Global Trek allows you to plan a virtual trip around the world right from your computer.  You can look into the timeline of a country from the selected list, learn about the people who live there, and get some background information on the country's history.  You can also create an electronic travel journal to keep track of your own trips and travel experiences.  If you are traveling throughout the states, 50 states has gathered a ton of information on each state.  If you would rather search by popular topics, such as state birds or songs, the sites has an option for that as well.
  You can also stop by the library for help finding books related to your travel destinations. 

Safe travels this summer!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Road Trip Season

Summer is just around the corner! There are so many great things to love about summer- ice cream, swimming, barefeet and toasty days spent at the pool. One of my most favorite summer activities though is taking road trips! Whether you are trekking cross country for a family vacation or piling into the van for a weekend adventure, audiobooks and Playaways are great routes for fitting in some reading fun! Audiobooks allow the whole family to listen to a story together while Playaways are good choices for families that need a little reading independence while in the car.
Check out some of my recommendations for spectacular summer listening on your trip.

Ages 8 and younger:

THE GREAT CAKE MYSTERY by Alexander McCall Smith

Read by Adjoa Andoh (Listening Library) 1 hr. 

     The heroine of Alexander McCall Smith’s popular series becomes accessible to the younger set with this charming story which won the 2013 Audies Award for children's titles up to age 8. Precious Ramotswe dreamed of becoming a detective when she was a child, and her sharp sleuthing skills are clear in this story of her first case. Adjoa Andoh brings Precious, and the land of Botswana, to life with her entertaining narration. At only an hour long, a great little mystery for younger children who may not be able to sit through a long narration. 

KNUFFLE BUNNY by Mo Willems 

Read by Mo Willems, Cheryl Willems, Trixie Willems (Weston Woods) 7 min.

      A 2007 Audies Award winner and one of my favorite picture books, this is a wonderful choice for youngsters. As she walks down the sidewalk with her dad past the park and school and into the Laundromat where they load the family's dirty clothes into the machine, Trixie doesn't miss a thing. Her father does, and therein comes the fun. Audio doesn’t get more authentic than having the real-life characters themselves narrate their own story. Just as her character does in the book, toddler Trixie Willems’s voice steals the show from her parents. Children and parents will love hearing the real-life family dynamic unfold in this short audio and want to listen over and over.

AMELIA BEDELIA: Audio Collection Volume 2 by Peggy Parish

Read by Suzanne Toren. (Harper Children's Audio) 1.5 hrs. 
      This Playaway audio is perfect for kindergarteners and grade school students who want to enjoy some silly laughs independently. Amelia gets into her usual mixed-up antics in this collection of 6 stories. Especially perfect for the summer months is Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping. Amelia has never been camping in the great outdoors before and she's trying her best to do exactly as she's told, but pitching a tent is not the same as throwing it into the bushes! Kids will love the messes she gets herself into on this camping adventure.

Ages 8-12:

SAME SUN HERE by Silas House, Neela Vaswani 

Read by Silas House, Neela Vaswan (Brilliance Audio/ Candlewick) 6 hrs.                           
      This author narrated audiobook won the 2013 Audies Award for excellence in audiobooks for children ages 8-12. Silas House portrays River, a Kentucky coal miner's son, and Neela Vaswani portrays Meena, an immigrant girl from India who is living in New York's Chinatown. The two children become pen pals who write actual paper letters because Meena has access to email only through her local library's computers. They discover common ground and relate to each other on their problems and experiences, realizing that although they live in very different parts of the world, they are friends under the very same sun.

THE FREEDOM MAZE by Delia Sherman

Read by Robin Miles (Listening Library) 8.5 hrs. 

      A 2013 Audies Award Finalist, this story blends historical fiction with the fantastical as you are transported to the antebellum South with 13-year old Sophie. Spending the summer at her grandmother's house on a former sugarcane plantation, Sophie is searching for an adventure. She soon finds herself transported into the past, into a time of slavery, racism and struggle. Sophie meets many characters in this new time and place, some who will be helpful and others who will hinder her as she grows and learns from her experiences in this time-travel story. 


Read by Brooke Shields (Listening Library) 4.5 hrs.
      All ages will enjoy listening to this classic story! Dorothy thinks that she is lost forever when a horrifying tornado crashes through Kansas, whisking her and her canine companion, Toto, far away to the magical land of Oz. She meets some friends along the way and together they embark on an enchanting adventure. A great choice for children who may not have been exposed to the original stories but are familiar with the various film adaptations. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is also available on a Playaway for more independent listening!

Don't forget that this week is the first week you can come in and sign up for our summer reading program! When you sign up you will receive a cool backpack full of all the materials you need to read towards awesome prizes this summer. Time spent listening to audiobooks and Playaways counts towards prizes too! Summer reading at the Grafton-Midview Public Library runs from June 10th through July 20th. Happy travels and I hope you enjoy some of these road trip friendly audio choices!