Kuna Reads!

Archive for the ‘Activities for Kids’ Category

SpongeBob SquarePantsWe can only stay away from storytime for so long…  Weekly storytimes are back at the library at noon on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. This week’s theme is “As Seen on T.V.”, so expect appearances from favorite characters like Dora, Diego, SpongeBob and more. Plus, we’ve got some cool giveaways for all kids at storytimes this week, so drop in for a half hour of stories and fun.

The countdown to regular programming is on, so keep your eyes and ears open for updates on Music and Movement sign-ups, which will be available soon!

Photo courtesy of vox_efx

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The last weekly summer reading program finished up yesterday, and it ended with a bang.  Over 300 people came out to Footloose and Fancy Free programs this week and participated in our family dances.  (More than 300! That’s a huge turnout, especially for the last week—Kuna rocks!)  We did the chicken dance, the hokey pokey, the cha-cha slide and yes, the pancake dance. That leads us to…

We’ve still got one big party up our sleeves, though, and that’s the Flapjack Attack!

Be Creative Pancakes

Who:  The entire Kuna community is invited

What: Free pancakes and fun all morning long

When: 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 29

Where: The Kuna Library on the corner of Maple and Syrup

You’re invited to attend this free community event, gobble up some deliciously creative pancakes, and join the fun.

Plus, keep your eyes peeled for some special guests from the Tales to Tails reading program, which will resume this fall as school starts.

See you there, Kuna!

Our brand new teen summer reading program kicked off yesterday with the first of three open Wii gaming parties.  Among the offerings were Guitar Hero (love the drums!), Super Smwii remotesash Bros Brawl, and Mario Kart. 

To get an entry ticket, all teens have to do is read for 2.5 hours each week—that averages out to less than half an hour each day.  Teens can bring their completed tracking sheets to the library to get their ticket, or just bring their completed tracked sheets to the library on game day for express entry. 

Of course, no expects Kuna’s teens to be video game zombies.  Wii-wary adults will be happy to know that classic board games like Battleship turn out to be just as popular as the latest Nintendo fad.  (We’re not kidding–just stop by on a game day to see for yourself…) 

Bummed that you missed the first Wii Read game day? No worries, since there will be two more game parties this summer.  If you or your teen (ages 13-17 can participate) wants to join in, just sign up for the summer reading program at Kuna Library anytime, grab a tracking sheet, and get going.  The next Wii Read game day will be Thursday, July 16 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. in the community room at Kuna Library.

Wii Read, Kuna’s first teen-targeted summer reading program, has been made possible in part by a grant from Wal-Mart and the Idaho Commission for Libraries.  The grant, which was created to spark creative ideas in youth library programming, allowed us to get the funding to buy the Wiis, projectors, projection screens, gaming mags, games, and accessories required.  With three Wiis in one room, there’s playing time for dozens of Kuna teens.

There’s a pretty sizeable percentage of the population that views a love of reading as something you’re either born with or you’re not.  I’d have to respectfully disagree.  Sure, some kids take to books like other kids take to, well, candy.  But there’s room to encourage even the most reluctant readers to find their place in the world of books.  Here’s five ways that you can make reading more fun:

Let Kids Pick Their Own Reading Materials

Choosing their own books is seriously empowering for kids.  Whether they pick a winner or a real stinker (yeah, bad books are out there…), they start to develop a sense of what they like and don’t like.  This encourages kids to view reading as a big experiment where they’re in control of the outcome.  But what happens if all your child wants to read is Goosebumps and graphic novels?  Don’t sweat it.  As long as the material is appropriate to your family’s values and your child is reading—what could be bad about that?  Besides, I’ve yet to meet a full-fledged adult who considers Goosebumps to be Pulitzer Prize material; we really do grow out of it.

Ignore Reading Levels

Some reluctant readers don’t want to be judged on their abilities, so they stay away from reading out of fear.  What happens?  They don’t get the practice they need, and their reading levels really do suffer.  By letting your child read at the level they’re comfortable with–even if it’s lower or higher than you feel is appropriate–you help them learn to read for pleasure.  When your child is ready to more on, they will.

Incorporate Books into Play Activities

 There are thousands of book-related activities that go beyond, “Hey! What did you think of that one?”   Kids can create art projects around their favorite characters, make up new rules for board games based on their latest read, you can let them decorate their morning pancakes in Slytherin colors, or go to Arctic Circle in full Fancy Nancy regalia… Get creative and have fun.  Reading goes beyond books and bedtime, and those extra activities help kids build on what they learn in books.

Read Yourself

Despite how much they may love Wolverine or Kobe Bryant, you’re still the biggest role model in your child’s life.  If you show an interest in books, there’s a really good chance your kids will absorb and reflect this. If curling up with a book (or listening to audiobooks in the car) is a regular family activity, kids get the message that reading is a normal, enjoyable way to pass the time.

Seek out Exciting New Books 

Sure, you may have loved Hatchet growing up (and trust me, lots of kids still do), but if your young one still needs to be convinced that books are a viable alternative to Wii, going with something shiny and new doesn’t hurt.  Consider looking into graphic novels, which are written in a comic book style but contain complex plots and character development. (And quite a lot of actual words, too.)  Twisted Journeys are a graphic novel twist on the Choose Your Own Adventure format of the 1980s that’s still hugely popular.  Or, let your child browse the New Books sections in the Young Adult or Children’s section. 

What ideas and tips have worked for you?  Drop into the comments and share your ideas and success stories!

Summers are packed with time for creative projects and play… if you’re a kid.  If you’re a parent? Not so much.  So to help keep your digital kids engaged, we’ll be posting Kids’ Activity Round-ups every Tuesday, all summer long.  These posts will link you to fun online activities, cool project ideas, and easy games. Best of alll, every idea will be budget-friendly!

Without further ado, bring on the fun!  This week, we’d like to share some cool online activities that are created with kids in mind.

You may have seen Ben 10 Alien Force on TV, but have every played the video game? Better yet, how about creating your own customized Ben 10 video game level?  If you’re game, head over to the Ben 10 Game Creator, featured on the Cartoon Network site.  On this site, you can create your own video game level using templates, or really challenge yourself by starting from scratch! And watch out—it may look easy at first, but creating a video game that’s playable and fun is more of a challenge than it appears.  Once you’re done, you can save your game for free to Cartoon Network’s Game Gallery and challenge friends to play your course.  (And if you’ve never seen Ben 10 Alien Force, don’t worry—no prior knowledge is needed to have fun with this.)

Okay, how about something a little more low key?  Try building a sand castle with Curious George over at PBS Kids.  This fun activity is a cool way to introduce younger children to online games and helps them work on fine motor skills.

Looking for something even simpler?  Try learning a new card game!  For just a couple of dollars, a brand new deck of playing cards can provide hours of fun.  The U.S. Playing Card site offers easy to understand instructions for games like War and Go Fish, as well nas newer games like Slapjack and Rolling Stone. The instructions are kid-friendly and there’s something for even the youngest kids. (Like Tossing Cards in a Hat… 🙂 ).  Also, even though this is a corporate website, there’s virtually no advertising on the page–a big plus.

Try ’em out and let us know what you think—and drop your own suggestions for fun, safe kids’ sites in the comments!

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David Catrow Be CreativeYou’ve probably been hearing whisperings about summer reading for a few months now.  While the summer theme isn’t exactly a state secret (in fact, it’s being used by libraries across the country), we still get a kick out of unveiling it each year. 

This year, Kuna Library is super excited to Be Creative!  What does that mean? It means that this summer is all about anything that’s creative: art, music, dance, film, photography, homework excuses…  You get the idea! 

Here’s the million dollar question: How do you get to be creative at the library?  We don’t like to give away our secrets, but here’s a quick preview of what we’ve got planned for this summer:

  • Live music
  • Interactive magic
  • All-you-can-eat pancakes
  • Our first ever teen summer reading program
  • A very special 10th birthday party

And that’s just a taste of what we’ve got in store for you!  If you want the full scoop on summer events, please pick up a calendar at the library, or download the calendar **here.**

P.S.: Sign-up Week starts today!  Drop by Kuna Library to sign up for the summer reading program anytime; kids of all ages, from 0 to 18, are welcome as well as adults! See you there!