Kids at Home with MPPL

Kids at Home with MPPL Blog

Visit with Children’s Author Christina Soontornvat

Christina Soontornvat

Today we are sharing a special booktalk to introduce you to children’s author Christina Soontornvat. We’ll meet her virtually this Wednesday at 6 p.m. and there’s still time to register! Kids can ask her questions about what it is like to be a writer, or tell her how much they like her books.

Watch this video to learn more about Christina Soontornvat’s novels for kids and her favorite things!

It’s Applesauce Season!

jar of homemade applesauce with apples in a basket

Applesauce is an easy and forgiving recipe to make. Many kinds of apples will work, and you can adjust the sugar to your liking depending on the type of apple used. 

  • Ingredients
  • 3 lbs of apples (approximately 8 medium apples total. Most apple varieties will work, such as Fuji, Johnathan, Gala, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, or a mix) 
  • 1/3 cup water or apple juice 
  • ½ cup sugar, brown sugar, or a few tablespoons honey or maple syrup (to taste) 
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon (optional) 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice  

Instructions

Peel and core the apples and then slice into 2-inch pieces. In a large saucepan, combine apples, water or juice, sweetener, and cinnamon. Cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the apples fall apart. Add lemon juice. For chunkier applesauce, use a potato masher to smash the apples. For smoother applesauce, transfer to a food processer or use an immersion blender to puree. Taste and add more sweetener as needed.   

Apples book cover

Check out these apple books: 

Apples and Pumpkins book cover

Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell 

Apples, Apples, Apples by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace 

Apples by Ken Robbins 

Apples by Gail Gibbons  

Harper College Experience Day

little girl painting a small pumpkin

Do you know what you want to be when you grow up? Harper College is having a month-long event to give students of all ages interactive and fun learning opportunities. Maybe this will give you some ideas about what you’d like to study!

Each Wednesday in October, a new activity will be posted and is designed for 3rd-8th graders. Here are some of the things you could learn about: 

  • Build a BristleBot
  • Clouds in a Jar
  • Make a Spooky Votive
  • Predator vs. Prey

If you’re interested in participating, you can REGISTER HERE.

Kits will be available to pick up from the Mount Prospect Main Library and South Branch, among other locations. 

For now, you can do your own Nature Scavenger Hunt. When you go for a walk outside, can you find:

  • Leaves from different kinds of trees? What kind of leaf is it? 
  • Birds and other creatures? Can you make a sound like that animal? Can you move like that animal? 
  • A seed from a plant? That could look like a white dandelion, a pine cone, an acorn, or a berry. 
  • Insects? How does the insect get around (flying, crawling, jumping…)? 

Be Who You Are

Todd Parr is the author of over 50 children’s books that are full of fun, positive messages. Be Who You Are Day on September 30 includes activities that help kids celebrate what makes each of them special.

Here are some ways to celebrate!

Tune in at 8:00 a.m. on September 30 for a live event with the author– click here for instructions to join.

Download and print some coloring sheets.

Be Who You Are book cover

Read some of Todd Parr’s fantastic books! There are many titles available through Overdrive (or the Libby app) as well as at the library. Click here for a list of some of our favorites. Youth Services staff will be happy to put some together for you to pick up! Call us at 847/590-3320 or email KidsRead@mppl.org.

Maker Monday: Enchanted Engineering

Who knew that reading fairy tales could lead to engineering experiments?

Last month at our Zoom STEAM at Home event, we led kids through these fun building activities that were inspired by fairy tales. These projects are easy to do with stuff you probably already have around the house.

pencil bow and arrow

Robin Hood’s Bow and Arrow

Supplies: 2 popsicle sticks, (duct) tape, string, and an unsharpened pencil. 

You can experiment with different types of string and various lengths to see what works best. After you build it, place your pencil with the eraser on the string, pull back, and see how far your pencil goes! Just don’t aim at any screens or people please! 

The Three Little Pigs, Rapunzel, and Goldilocks and the Three Bears

For The Three Little Pigs, experiment with different materials to see what house is the strongest. You can use toothpicks, straws, LEGO bricks, or many other things you have at home. 

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For Rapunzel, try building a slide for Rapunzel to escape the tower. Our slide was made of toilet paper/paper towel rolls and tape. You can experiment with making the slide steeper so she slides faster, or more gradual so it’s slower. 

For Goldilocks and the Three Bears, try to build a bed that can hold the most weight (we used coins). Some ideas for materials are cardboard, bubble wrap, tin foil, and cupcake liners, but there are many things that would work for this activity. Once you’ve built your bed, stack coins and see how many it holds.

Have fun and keep building! For more activities to do at home, check out this page.