What's New!

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Two children look excited on either side of a stack of books. An illustrated rocket lifts off between them. Text reads "Homeschool Book Blast."

Tell the world about your favorite book! Prepare a creative book report at home and present it informally to other families. You can make a diorama, design a game based on the plot and characters, or make a poster for the movie version. You can create a book in a bag, make a clothes hanger mobile, or retell the story in comic book format. The possibilities are endless! Projects will be presented in a science fair-type format. For grades K-8*

*Registration required

Please register each student who will participate. Or drop by to browse the projects and discover your next favorite book!

Need ideas to help you get started? Take a look at our idea file

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A person holding a cardboard sign that reads "Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week."

Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) Collects to Share is once again putting out the call to collect crafted items for our community shelters. Starting in November, as part of Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week, we will be accepting donations every month for a year. If you have knitted items such as hats, scarves, socks, and blankets that you would like to donate, please bring them to the public desk at any PPLD location and let staff know that they are for PPLD Collects to Share.


Resources

  • Helping Hands guide
    • This guide provides a list of services available to those in El Paso County. This includes topics such as housing assistance, veteran services, shelters, food, and crisis services that are available in the community.
  • National Safe Place Network
    • PPLD is a part of the National Safe Place network, working with local youth shelter, The Place, to provide resources to teens in crisis. If you are a teen and need a safe place - for whatever reason - all you need to do is come in to any PPLD library and tell a staff member that you need a safe place. The staff member will take you to a quiet area and contact The Place, who will help you with the next steps. It is safe, confidential, and 100% up to you. The volunteer from The Place won't tell you what to do, but they will get you the help you want and need. Please visit the National Safe Place homepage [nationalsafeplace.org/] for more information about the program.
  • National Initiative
  • Helping Hands LibGuide
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Stroll-a-Story Halloween 2022

Take a spooky stroll in Old Colorado City and read The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams and illustrated by Megan Lloyd.

Pick up a map at Old Colorado City Library, or print one here, and stop by each location to read the book. The story will be available Oct. 1 - 31.


Old Colorado City October Strolls

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams

Download the map!

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spinner

Take and Makes for this project will be available at area PPLD libraries on Oct. 14, 2022.

Supplies and Directions:

Materials we provide:

Paper Templates

Cardboard

Materials you provide:

Scissors

Penny

Glue

Markers, Crayons, or Colored Pencils

Directions:

Color your template. Glue the template to the cardboard. Cut out around your template.

Cut a small slit in the center of the circle to insert the penny. The slit needs to snugly hold the penny.

Spin. As it spins, note what you see.

The Science Behind it: Something in motion stays in motion unless a force acts upon it. In Penny Spinners, the friction between the penny and the surface slows it down and eventually causes it to stop. This project also shows color mixing as the colors combine when the spinner spins.

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Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from Thu., Sept. 15 - Sat., Oct. 15, recognizing the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States. PPLD hosts several opportunities to learn and celebrate.


Hispanic Heritage Month for Children – Criss Cross Mangosauce

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month! Don’t be afraid, here comes the wolf! ~ No tengas miedo, aquí llegó el lobo! Enjoy bilingual songs and stories, practice colors, and do finger plays with Criss, Cross Mangosauce. For ages 1 – 5.

Click here to watch this program.


Hispanic Heritage Month Recipe Cards

Learn about favorite foods and make recipes from some of the cultures celebrated during Hispanic Heritage Month. Available at all locations starting Wed., Sept. 14.


Booklists


Resources

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leaf

Take and Makes for this project, for ages 5-12, will be available at area PPLD libraries, beginning Sept. 9, 2022.

Supplies:

We provide:
Coffee Filters

Washable Markers

Leaf Template

Materials you provide:

Scissors

Cup of Water

Pencil

Directions:
(See pdf link below for additional pictures of this project.)

1. Stack your coffee filters. Use the template to trace a leaf on the top one. (If you’d prefer, just draw your own leaf.) Cut the leaves out through all the coffee filters.

2. Use a washable marker to draw a thick circle in the center of each coffee filter leaf. Do not fill in the center of the circle or color the entire leaf.

3. Fold the leaf 3 times (in half, in half again, and in half again). You should have a point in the middle of your circle.

4. Carefully dip the point of the leaf in the cup of water and hold it there until the leaf is saturated. It may need a minute or so. You will probably want a new cup of water for each leaf.

5. Let the leaves dry on a surface that can get color on it. Once they are dry, carefully unfold them.

This STEM project is a favorite from our quarantine days of virtual programming.

Supplies:

Large jar (24 oz. spaghetti sauce jar or a large mason jar)
Water - 2 1/2 cups water (or until it reaches 3/4 of the way up the jar)
Oil - 1/2 cup
Sprinkle in as much salt as necessary but you'd need about 1/4 cup total
Food coloring (optional)

Directions:

Pour water 3/4 to the top of a mason jar. Stir in optional food coloring.
Pour oil into jar. Allow water and oil to separate.
Sprinkle salt into jar. Watch the reaction occur and make observations.
Watch this project at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3qhs9SW-RA

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APPR22


Our APPR title for grades 4-6 is The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor.


Homeschoolers: Register your homeschool group, or children for a live Zoom visit with the author, October 20 at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m. at https://ppld.librarymarket.com/events/month/2022/10. We will send you the link a few days before the program. Registration begins August 15.

Schools: Please contact Barbara Andros to register at bandros@ppld.org
If you are not able to make the live session, a recording of the program will be available for 30 days. Contact bandros@ppld.org for more information.

Book description: Mason Buttle is the biggest, sweatiest kid in his grade, and everyone knows he can barely read or write. Mason’s learning disabilities are compounded by grief. Fifteen months ago, Mason’s best friend, Benny Kilmartin, turned up dead in the Buttle family’s orchard.
An investigation drags on, and Mason, honest as the day is long, can’t understand why Lieutenant Baird won’t believe the story Mason has told about that day.
Both Mason and his new friend, tiny Calvin Chumsky, are relentlessly bullied by the other boys in their neighborhood, so they create an underground haven for themselves. When Calvin goes missing, Mason finds himself in trouble again. He’s desperate to figure out what happened to Calvin and, eventually, Benny.
But will anyone believe him?
Leslie Connor is the author of several award-winning books for children, including two ALA Schneider Family Book Award winners, Waiting for Normal and The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle, which was also selected as a National Book Award finalist. Her other books include All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, Crunch, and The Things You Kiss Goodbye. She lives in the Connecticut woods with her family and three rescue dogs. You can visit her online at www.leslieconnor.com.
Sponsored by The Friends of the Pikes Peak Library District

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sharkgame

Shark Week begins July 24. Here's a preview into our cool shark game Take and Make, for ages 5-12, which will be available at area PPLD libraries beginning July 8, 2022.

Supplies and Directions:

Materials provided in Take and Make:

  • Paper Tube
  • Blue paper
  • Googly Eye Stickers
  • Yarn
  • Bead

Materials you provide:

  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Markers
  1. Tape blue construction paper around the paper roll.
  2. Create and tape a triangular fin to the top.
  3. Decorate the roll at one end to look like a shark with its mouth open. Use the sticker eyes if desired.
  4. Push one end of the yarn through the bead and tie a double knot. You may need to use a pencil to push the yarn through.
  5. Tie a double knot around the paper roll. Leave approximately 6-8 inches for the ball to swing on. Cut off any excess yarn.
  6. Gently swing the ball and see if you can catch it in the shark’s mouth! Gentle swings are the key!

Supplies:

Clean, clear jar with lid
Thin glow stick
Scissors
Table covering or tray
Glitter (optional)
Directions:

With a grown-up's help, cut the tip off the glow stick.
Place the open end of the glow stick in the jar and shake it back and forth so that it splatters. Turn the jar as you splatter.
Add a small pinch of glitter, sprinkling onto the sides of the jar where the splatters are.
Cover with lid and take into a very dark room.
Fireflies are not flies but beetles and do exist in Colorado! They hang out by permanent water sources like ponds, lakes, and streams. Watch this project at: https://youtu.be/LRNWJVQRFYw

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FileFolderAirplane

Take and Makes for this project, for ages 5-12, will be available at area PPLD libraries beginning this Friday, June 10, 2022.

Supplies and Directions:

Materials We Provide:

File Folder

Origami Paper

Rubber Band

Materials You Provide:

Stapler

Scissors

Ruler

Pencil
Directions: (for additional pictures, see pdf link below:
1. Draw a rectangle along the fold of your file folder that’s approximately 4.5 x 7 inches. The folded edge should be part of your rectangle. Cut it out, but don’t cut the folded edge. When you open your rectangle, it should be about 9 inches x 7 inches.

2. Fold one side down to the folded edge. Turn the folder over and do the same to the other side.

3. Fold each side back up to the top. Crease well.

4. Open the folder up along the original fold. Staple the rubber band to one end near that center fold.

5. Use the origami paper to fold a classic dart airplane.

6. Stretch the rubber band around the front of the launcher and around to the back. Hook it to the back near the top.

7. Slide the airplane into the center slot of the file folder launcher. It should rest all the way back against the rubber band.
8. Pull the sides of the launcher apart. The rubber band should propel the airplane forward!

To expand this project, experiment with different weights of paper for your airplane, different rubber band thicknesses, and different launcher lengths. You could also change the trajectory to see how the distance traveled changes.

Based on: https://frugalfun4boys.com/file-folder-paper-airplane-launcher

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suncatcher

Take and Makes for this project (from May 13, 2022) may still be available at area PPLD Libraries!

Supplies and Directions:

Materials we provide:

  • Paper plate
  • Contact paper
  • Yarn

Materials you provide:

  • Natural materials
  • Scissors

Directions:

  1. Go outside and pick up a variety of natural materials.
  2. Cut out the center circle of your plate.
  3. Peel the backing off your contact paper.
  4. Place your contact paper sticky side up on your surface.
  5. Place the outside plate circle over the contact paper.
  6. Arrange your natural materials on the sticky side of your contact paper.
  7. Use the yarn to hang your suncatcher.

Based on https://handsonaswegrow.com/craft-for-toddlers-nature-collage-suncatche…

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water balloon parachute

Can your water balloons survive a big drop? Find out with this experiment.

Supplies and Directions:

  • One balloon
  • Water
  • One plastic shopping bag
  • One rubber band

Directions:

  1. Add water to your balloon, don't fill the balloon, leave lots of room to tie the balloon closed.
  2. Cut the ends of the handles of the bags. Tie or rubber band them to the knotted end of a water balloon
  3. Go outside and drop it from a high place to see if it breaks when it lands.
  4. Test and retest until your balloon breaks.
  5. Try it again with another balloon.
  6. See what else you can attach to your parachute and let drop.
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trashart

Happy Earth Month!
Does your family recycle? There are tons of companies in town that recycle. Maybe you could encourage your family to join in this simple process but yes, it's does cost something. Try cleaning and saving some plastics with caps and cardboard and other stuff. Make a Trash Art creation!

Did you know you can't just recycle anything? According to one recycle business in town, here's what you can/cannot recycle:

Do Recycle:
CLEAN glass jars and metal lids (but not all companies accept glass)
CLEAN plastic bottles and containers. Look for the recycle symbol with a #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7.
Flattened cardboard cereal and other dry food boxes, shoe boxes, tissue boxes, moving boxes, soda cartons, TP/paper rolls
CLEAN aluminum, steel, or tin cans and lids
Newspaper, scrap paper, paper bags, index cards, envelopes

Do NOT recycle:
Styrofoam
dirty cardboard like pizza boxes
electronic devices and monitors
yard waste
shredded paper
plastic bags
plastic caps unless there is a recycle symbol on it
food
dishes
paint cans
motor oil containers

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dog toy

Supplies and Directions:

Supplies:

All you need is three long strips of fleece and scissors.

Directions:

  1. Trim your pieces of fleece so you have three pieces that are each 2 in. wide by 2 ft. long.
  2. Take your three pieces of fleece and tie them together at one end.
  3. Braid the three pieces together.
  4. Tie them together in a knot at the other end.
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wind sock

Take and Makes for this project will be available at area PPLD libraries, beginning Friday, March 11, 2022.

Materials and Directions

Materials we provide:

  • Colored Paper
  • Stickers
  • Ribbon or yarn

Materials you provide:

  • Tape or stapler
  • Crayons or markers

Directions:

  1. Color one side of your paper if desired. Apply stickers to the same side.
  2. Roll the paper into a tube with your decorations facing the outside.
  3. Use tape or a stapler to fasten the short edges of your tube together.
  4. One end of the tube has multiple holes punched in it. Tie ribbons or yarn through each of the holes.
  5. The other end of the tube has just 2 holes. Tie one ribbon through those holes to allow it to hang.

PPLD celebrates Women's History Month with a booklist that aims to inspire girls in 2022!

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Studio Makerspace Open House blog

Spring Open Houses!

Drop by the makerspaces to create some fun spring crafts and explore what the spaces have to offer! Experiment with cardmaking, laser cutting, flowerpot painting, and other projects to give as a gift or keep for yourself. All ages welcome and all materials provided.


Projects:

  • Cardmaking
  • Precut laser designs for Mother’s Day gifts
  • Paper flowers
  • Mini flowerpots and seed packets
  • At Sand Creek Library, explore Studio916 and test out their instruments

In PPLD’s efforts to continually provide resources and opportunities that impact individual lives, we’re excited to announce two new additions to the Pikes Peak Culture Pass. The Pikes Peak Culture Pass is a museum pass program that lets patrons explore attractions at no cost by making an electronic reservation similar to checking out an eBook or other digital resource.

Pikes Peak Children’s Museum is a community-built, hands-on educational destination that engages ALL children and their grown-ups by sparking creativity and a passion for life-long learning through purposeful play. Patrons can explore exhibits like outer space, simple machines, and farm to fork. Pass allows for admission for one adult and one child, additional children under 2 years old are free.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science encourages exploration of world-class wildlife displays that take you to Earth’s wildest places, huge dinosaurs that transport you back in time, interactive space exhibits that make your mind wonder, and personalized health science fun that puts your body to the test. Pass allows for admission for up to 7 guests and additional children under 3 years old.

These organizations join existing Culture Pass partners: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Glen Eyrie, The Money Museum, ProRodeo Hall of Fame, Rock Ledge Ranch Historical Site, Space Foundation Discovery Center, and the Western Museum of Mining and Industry.

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rain

Try this easy experiment with the help of an adult.

Supplies and Directions:

Supplies:

  • Bowl
  • Large glass jar
  • Plate
  • 12 ice cubes
  • Water
  • Microwave

Directions:

  1. Fill the bowl with water and heat it up in the microwave for about 3 minutes. It doesn’t have to boil. CAREFUL – the bowl will be hot.
  2. Pour the water into the large glass jar and cover it with a dinner plate.
  3. Let the plate-covered jar sit about a minute, then put 12 ice cubes onto the plate.
  4. Watch what happens. It will rain inside the jar!

Watch this project from a year ago at https://youtu.be/nNIaTK7sFgA?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFctLfDQxsL5SmuE8zkwQFmu

Supplies and Directions:

Supplies:

  • A bendy pencil or a straight one will do
  • Feathers
  • A Mad Lib (there is a Mad Lib example seen on the video link above, or make up your own)
  • Glue (preferably a liquid glue like Elmer's)
  • Pencil sharpener

Directions:

  1. Glue your feathers to the erasure side of the pencil.
  2. Add a little pressure to the feathers around the pencil. This will help keep them in place.
  3. Wait for the glue to dry
  4. Use your Truffula Tree pencil to create a silly story using the Mad Lib! Try not to read the story until you've filled out all the blank spaces. You might need help from a grownup with this.
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straw propeller

Take and Makes for this project, for ages 5-12, will be available beginning Friday, Feb. 11, 2022. Learn about air pressure with this simple experiment! You can also find more step-by-step pictures in the pdf link provided below.

Supplies and Directions:

Materials we provide:

  • 2 large straws
  • 1 skinny straw

Materials you provide:

  • Scissors
  • Tape

Directions:

  1. Use the scissors to cut 2 diamond shaped holes in your skinny straw. Do this by folding the straw in 2 separate places and cutting a triangle. The holes should be in a line on the straw.
  2. Tape one end of the skinny straw closed so that no air will escape when you blow into it.
  3. Bend one of the large straws in half and cut a diagonal hole on each side of the straw.
  4. Squeeze this straw flat and tape the ends closed. The hole should line up with your work surface. If you hold your straw up to look through the holes, the taped ends should be up and down.
  5. Cut notches in the ends of the large straw. The cut should be at the top of one end and at the bottom of the other.
  6. Slide your skinny straw through the holes in the large straw. You might want to place a piece of tape to keep the straw in place over a hole in the skinny straw while still allowing it to rotate freely.
  7. Repeat the process with the other large straw.
  8. Blow into the open end of the skinny straw and watch things twirl. If your straws don’t twirl freely, you might need to adjust the size of the holes.

Supplies:

  • Half a cardboard egg carton
  • Scrap pieces of newspaper or other paper
  • Tape: masking tape, or painter's tape, or scotch tape
  • 7 rubber bands
  • Plastic spoon
  • Pompoms or cotton balls or mini marshmallows
  • Various clean containers

Directions:

  1. Stuff each section of the egg carton with balled up newspaper.
  2. Close the lid and secure with 2 rubber bands, placed around the body of the carton.
  3. Wrap 2 more rubber bands horizontally around the carton, just below where the lid closes.
  4. Tape a rubber band to the handle of the spoon by attaching a long piece of tape to one side of the handle and inserting a rubber band before attaching the tape to the back of the spoon.
  5. Tuck the handle of the spoon under the rubber bands that were attached horizontally around the carton. The scoop part of the spoon should be facing away from the egg carton.
  6. Stretch the rubber band that's attached to the spoon up and over the spoon and around the back of the carton.
  7. Wrap 2 more rubber bands around the body of the carton so there are 4 rubber bands around the carton helping to keep it closed.
  8. Place a cotton ball in the spoon and shoot!. Place clean containers where you can aim your cotton ball.

To watch the project, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4o4eC5E_Qs

February is Black History Month. Here is the link to PPLD programming going on in February: https://ppld.org/blackhistorymonth The Harriet Tubman Herself presentation looks really cool and is available all month!
Also, check out these additional resources:
Black Voices booklist for Kids
Storytime @ Home: Black Joy!

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ice lantern

Take and Makes for this project will be available at area PPLD libraries starting Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. Watch this project (a favorite from last winter) at: https://youtu.be/1spsamOSMtg?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFctLfDQxsL5SmuE8zkwQFmu/

Supplies:

  • Plastic cups in 2 sizes
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Pompoms and other doodads or baubles or other items of your choice
  • Battery operated tea light candle
  • Tape
  • Water
  • Freezer
  • Paper towel
  • Additional baubles or doodads
  • Weights, like rocks

Directions:

This is an engineering challenge! For more step-by-step pictures of project, open pdf link below.

  1. Twist your pipe cleaners up the inside of the larger cup.
  2. Slide the smaller cup inside with the pipe cleaners in between the large and small cups.
  3. Carefully push pompoms and/or other baubles or doodads between the 2 cups also.
  4. With the tops of the cups even, crisscross two pieces of tape across the top of the cups.
  5. Placing cups on a paper towel, gently fill the larger cup with water until it’s about 1 inch from the top. You do not want water to go into the smaller cup. You may need to add something to weigh down the smaller cup.
  6. Place in the freezer until it’s frozen solid. This could take about 5 hours.
  7. Observe your creation! You may notice that the smaller cup is higher as is the water/ice level. This is a great illustration of how water expands as it changes states from a liquid to a solid.
  8. Remove from freezer and let sit about 10 mins., carefully remove the smaller cup (and tape). Then remove the larger cup. You may need to cut the cups off.
  9. Turn on the battery operated candle and place it in the center of your lantern. Put your lantern outside to admire!

Based on https://www.steampoweredfamily.com/activities/engineering-ice-lantern-s…