Tag Archives: CD

Library Space Camp


Yesterday and today we had Library Space Camp at our Smithville and Redbone branches!  It really was a lot of fun!  I grew up near the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, so I have always had a fascination with space camp.  Almost from the moment I started brainstorming about what activities to do for this year’s theme, Dream Big–READ! I knew that we HAD to do a space camp.  Basically, I had two stations–crafts and pretend play.  I find it really effective to mix things up like this, because some kids like to do both, but some kids only like crafts or some kids only like playing.





Here’s the “Space Crafts” (hehe–get it?) table.  There’s white glue, glue sticks, scissors, markers, and tissue paper.  The two crafts were paper bag space helmets and design your own CD planet.







Here are a couple of our paper bag space helmets.  You just cut the bottom off of a paper grocery bag, then cut a hole for your face out of the front.  Then, decorate as desired.  I found a printable of decorations that the kids could color, cut, and past on their helmets.  The link doesn’t seem to be working now, but you can get to the image by googling “astronaut helmet craft.”






We recycled old CDs to make our own planets!  I painted the non-silver side of the CDs with several coats of blue or black acrylic paint ahead of time.  The kids just put down some white glue and tore up pieces of tissue paper to decorate their planets.  It was really interesting to hear the stories behind all of the different planets!






The other part of space camp was a pretend play area.  Here, the kids could dress up, take a space walk to Mars, hold things down at Mission Control (pictured at the top of the page), examine the rock samples at the Discovery Lab, and sample astronaut ice cream.

The astronaut dress-up station had gloves, jet pack, grabbers, and bags for the rock samples).  I also created a diagram of special astronaut gear and what it is used for.





Mission to Mars–the kids donned their astronaut gear and tried to collect rock samples with the grabbers pictured above.  (Grabbers were about $3 at Target).  To set the stage (and protect the floor!) I put down some red and orange fabric.  And yes, I actually had a huge bag of rocks to use as Mars rocks.






The Discovery Lab consisted of two pie plates, a food scale, two magnifying glasses, and two paintbrushes (to clean off the samples).  I also printed out some simple “discovery journals” and pencils so that they could record their findings.






Finally, I put up some information about eating in space, and served samples of astronaut ice cream (that is what’s in the Dixie cups!)  The kids really liked the ice cream!







After real space camp, attendees earn a pair of wings.  Library Space Camp is no different!  We gave each participant a pair of wings (as modeled by Baker the Monkey).









We also had a rocketship photo-op that my brilliant husband drew and I painted.  I got the idea for it here.  Our wonderful teen volunteer is trying it out with Baker the space monkey.









All in all, we had a space-tacular time! 🙂

Next week, we are presenting a puppet show based on the book Good Night, Good Knight.  All summer reading events are sponsored by the Lee County Library and are free and open to the public.  For more information, call 759-2369.
















Crafternoon–CD fish (including slideshow!)


Thanks to Mega Story Time for this excellent craft idea!  We had lots of CDs that we couldn’t use anymore, so I thought we could celebrate Earth Day by making something cool out of them.  I painted the non-shiny side of each of them blue.  The rest was just glue, beads, scrap paper, and wiggly eyes.  We had a lot of fun, and there was a lot of fishy cuteness happening!  Check out the slideshow here.

Join us for crafts at the Leesburg Library every Tuesday starting at 3:00 p.m.  Sponsored by Lee County Library.  Free and open to the public.

Give audiobooks a listen!


I have to admit that I didn’t listen to many audiobooks before I went to library school.  However, in my young adult literature class I listened to one that was so amazing that I thought I might like to listen to more.  (For those who are interested, that book is “Story of a Girl” by Sara Zarr, read by Sara Zarr.  Love, love, love it!)

Fast forward to 2011–when I first got this job and was commuting nearly 4 hours a day, audiobooks not only made the drive bearable–listening to those stories made the drive enjoyable.  I began to actually look forward to listening to the next installment of my book rather than dread getting up early or driving so far.  I listened to (among others) The Giver, two Harry Potters, Ballet Shoes, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  It was great!  In fact, the only thing I miss about commuting is the opportunity to listen to audiobooks.

So you might be wondering–what is the benefit of audiobooks for children?  See this article to read more about the benefits of audiobooks for all children.

For me personally, listening to an audiobook is an experience quite apart from (yet equally enjoyable t0) reading the text of the same book.  For example, I listened to Harry Potter and the Sourcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, both of which I had read previously and enjoyed.  Both of these audiobooks are unabridged and masterfully portrayed by actor Jim Dale.  It’s difficult to explain, but I felt that identified with the characters in a deeper way through listening to Jim Dale’s performance.  It’s somewhere between reading the book and watching the movie–you have the benefit of interpreting the intonation of the spoken word while not losing any of the original text, and your imagination still gets to work at envisioning what the people and places look like.

Here I need to give a word of caution–the reader of an audiobook can DEFINITELY make or break it, in my opinion at least.  You’re usually safe choosing an author reading his or her own work.  Also see the Young Adult Library Services Association’s list of Amazing Audiobooks for teens.  The article I linked above also has some resources for reviews of audiobooks.

Lee County Library has a nice collection of audiobooks on CD (children’s are in the children’s section; young adults are in the adult section).  If CDs are too clunky for you, we also have a number of titles that you can download to your mobile device (cell phone, MP3 player, tablet, etc.) available on audiobook through Overdrive.  They are enormously handy for passing time in waiting rooms, during lunch hour, or–long commutes. 🙂