Looking for a fun art activity to entertain your kids? This project is easy, requires only a few supplies, and will entertain kids for quite a while.

You will need:

paper (we used construction paper, but cardstock would work as well)

an aluminum tray (like a disposable roasting pan) that is slightly larger than your paper

craft sand in various colors (you can buy online or at some craft stores; call first to ensure they have it in stock)

white glue

newspaper (or something to cover your work surface)

optional: glitter, a pencil, paper plates or empty salt shakers

Project Notes: this project is a lot of fun, but it can get very messy! You may want to try this outside, if there’s a sheltered spot that’s not too windy. If you choose to try it inside, you might want to cover your work surface with newspaper or place mats of some kind.

Directions:

Step 1: Start with one piece of paper. You can draw out a pattern, picture or just random lines using your pencil. (Or you can skip this step altogether and just use the glue to draw patterns.)

Step 2: Place the paper into the tray. Take out your sand and either pour a little bit of each color onto a paper plate (I’ve found that it is easier for little hands to have one plate for each color of sand, instead of sharing plates with multiple colors of sand), or adding colored sand to salt shakers (I would use cheap and small salt shakers from a dollar store, if you choose to go this route).

Step 3: Trace over the pencil lines with the glue. If you skipped drawing on the paper, use the glue to create patterns or random lines directly onto the paper.

Step 3: While the glue is still wet, sprinkle craft sand over the glue. You can mix the colors together, or you can cover different areas of the glue with one particular color (for example, if you drew a flower, you might add pink sand to the petals, and green sand to the stem/leaves). If your kids are using the sand off of the plates, this is a good exercise for practicing fine motor skills (pinching the sand between fingers is great practice!) Salt shakers work will for little hands too, and can help with hand/eye coordination in using the salt shakers to add sand to the paper.

Step 4: Once you’ve covered all of your glue with sand, shake the excess sand off of the paper and into the tray. You’ll end up with all the sand colors mixed together, but you can always use the rainbow sand to decorate a new glue picture (this looks really pretty on random abstract glue lines!) If you really want the colors of sand to stay separated, you can dump the excess sand off of the paper before adding a new color. Store sand in ziplock bags for limited mess. Optional: Use glitter in place of one color of sand to add a sparkly pop to your artwork!

Step 5: Set aside to dry. This type of art project will not last for a long time, unless you want to seal it. You’d need to buy Modge Podge or another type of sealant in order to keep the sand from drying out and falling off of the page. They do look pretty while they last, and kids have a blast working on their art. This project kept my toddlers and preschoolers entertained for more than 30 minutes at a time. A great way to “save” these types of projects is to take a photograph.

 

 

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Today is the first day of winter, formally called the winter solstice. It is also known as the shortest day of the year, when the sun is in the sky for the shortest amount of time…at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere! For our friends in the Southern Hemisphere, such as those in southern Africa, Australia, and most of South America, it is the longest day of the year and the beginning of the summer solstice. It all depends on how far the Earth’s axis leans away from the sun. In December, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted furthest away from the sun, which is why we tend to get rain, snow, and all the other good stuff that comes with colder weather.

Regardless of the scientific explanation for why the seasons change the way they do, kids love all things related to winter. Take a look at all the winter-related children’s books the library has to offer!

dec16-winter

Highlights:

frosty


Snow Day! : Frosty the Snowman

Adapted by Courtney B. Carbone

A magic hat brings Frosty the Snowman to life! Can Frosty’s friends help him get to the North Pole before he melts?

 

 

 

crafts
10-Minute Seasonal Crafts for Winter
By Annalees Lim

You can do so many things with twigs, pinecones, and rocks. You can even use yogurt containers to make your own penguin bowling set!

Unicorns are fascinating. At the library, it’s common to hear requests from kids in particular for books on this specific creature of legend.

What is it about unicorns that is so appealing to us? Some people like horses, and unicorns certainly fit the form with the added bonus of having a magical horn. Unicorns are also mysterious, elusive, and otherworldly…and nothing stokes curiosity like the unknown!

At the library, we have books starring a variety of unicorns from gentle and ethereal to silly and spunky. See below for a sample!

 

nov16-unicorns

Highlights:

uni
Uni the Unicorn
By Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Uni the unicorn believes that little girls are real.

 

 

 

 

prophecy

 

The Prophecy
By Hilari Bell

Guided by the words of a prophecy, Prince Perryn, who loves books more than swords, sets out to slay the black dragon that is destroying his kingdom.

Halloween – the night when you can dress up in silly costumes and it’s not at all weird to go door to door asking for candy. And what an exciting time it is, too, with all of the festivities leading up to the day itself! Children pick pumpkins from the pumpkin patch and carve them into jack-o’-lanterns (with the help of an adult). Teens like to go to haunted houses and watch scary movies. Adults host parties complete with creative decorations and treats. There’s something for everyone to do on Halloween!

We have a Halloween book display at the library, but hurry – they go fast. See below for a sampling!

oct16-halloween

Highlights:

bad-kitty

 

Bad Kitty, Scaredy-Cat
By Nick Bruel

Bad Kitty is frightened by the creatures on Halloween.

 

 

scary-stories

 

Scary Stories 3 : More Tales to Chill Your Bones
Retold by Alvin Schwartz

Another installment in the Scary Stories series, recounting urban myths and folklore. Watch out for those pictures!

It’s apple season! Apples can be eaten in all sorts of ways – whole, cut into slices, dried, baked into pastries, stewed into applesauce, and drunk as juice or cider. There are many different types of apples as well, all of which are tasty in their own ways.

There may be a farm near you that hosts apple picking events, so be sure to keep an eye on your local community’s calendar. In the meantime, Dublin Library has plenty of children’s books about apples. Check below for availability!

oct16-apples

Highlights:

papa
The Apple Pie That Papa Baked
By Lauren Thompson

When a father decides to make an apple pie for his daughter, an enjoyable day is had by all.

 

life


An Apple’s Life

By Nancy Dickmann

From seed to seedling, tree to blossom, flower to fruit, the life cycle of an apple is beautiful to see.

It’s that time again! Sometimes adjusting back into school mode is a little difficult after a long summer break, but here are some books to help you prepare.

Aug16 - back to school

Highlights:

shopping


Daddy’s Back-to-School Shopping Adventure

By Alan Lawrence Sitomer

A family goes back-to-school shopping, but they have trouble sticking to the list when there are so many cool things to buy.

 

 

oliver
How Oliver Olson Changed the World
By Claudia Mills

Afraid he will always be an outsider like ex-planet Pluto, Oliver finally shows his overprotective parents that he is capable of doing great things without their help.

Summer is a great time to go camping and explore the great outdoors. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of camping themed books we hope will inspire you to find your own outdoor adventure this summer. We hope you enjoy them!

Jul16 - camping

 

Highlights:

scaredy squirrel


Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping

By Mélanie Watt

Scaredy Squirrel wants to try camping, but he’s afraid of skunks, quicksand, mosquitoes…and zippers. Will he enjoy camping?

 

week woods


A Week in the Woods

By Andrew Clements

The fifth grade’s annual camping trip in the woods tests Mark’s survival skills and his ability to relate to a teacher who seems out to get him.