Watch this project at: https://youtu.be/xJ0lqs_BoLg?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFctLfDQxsL5SmuE8zkwQFmu
- Your fingers
- Take the end of the yarn and loop it around the pointer finger of your non-dominant hand (if you are right-handed, tie the knot around the pointer finger of your left hand; if you are left-handed, tie the knot around the pointer finger of your right hand). Optional: Tie a knot to keep the yarn loop in place.
- On the same hand with the knot, weave the yarn around your fingers. Go behind your middle finger, in front of your ring finger, around your pinky, behind your ring finger, in front of your middle finger, and behind your pointer finger.
- Repeat the weaving pattern so that you have two loops of yarn around each finger.
- You want the loops of yarn around your fingers to be loose enough to slide off your fingers but tight enough that they don’t fall off accidentally. Use your thumb to hold the loose end of the yarn tight.
- Take the bottom loop of yarn on your pinky finger and pull it over the top loop of yarn and off your finger. You should have only one loop of yarn on your pinky finger.
- Repeat for each of your fingers. Pull the bottom loop of yarn over the top loop and off your fingers.
- Push the remaining loop of yarn on each finger down toward the base of your fingers. They are now the bottom loops of yarn.
- Repeat steps 3-8 until you’re ready to be done with your finger knitting.
- To cast off (or end your project), cut the yarn so you have about three inches left. Thread the end of the yarn through the loop of yarn on each finger, starting with the pointer finger and ending with the pinky.
- Pull each loop of yarn off your fingers and pull the loose end tight. Tie the end of the yarn in a knot around one of the loops of yarn to fasten. Cut off the extra “tail” of yarn.
- If you would like to take a break while working on your knitting, use a long, rounded object (a pen, pencil, chop stick, or knitting needle). Slide the loops of yarn off your fingers and onto object and put in a safe place until you’re ready to start finger knitting again.
To restart your project, slide the loops of yarn back onto your fingers. Remember that the loose end of thread will be on your pointer finger and that the knitting will lay against the back of your hand. Repeat steps 3-8 to continue knitting.
Watch this homeschool project at: https://youtu.be/Hes9P7sXTD4?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFcQoPQnZvsy70uOGw-GdBLE
- 2 half sheets of cardstock; 4 craft sticks
- 1 gable roof template- see below
- 1 hip roof template sheet of aluminum foil
- 1 “plate of fortune cookies” (photo on cardstock)
- Scotch tape
- Packing tape
- Shallow jar lid
- Sheet for foundation (cardboard, foamboard, or cardstock)
- Flat bake sheet (optional)
- Leaf blower, electric fan, or hair dryer
- squirt bottle or watering can with sprinkle spout
- Baking rack (or similar object)
- Plastic dishpan tub (optional)
See detailed directions and templates in the pdf links below!
Photo by Jo Kassis from Pexels
Have fun tearing or cutting strips of paper and creating a collage. A collage is a work of art made by gluing pieces of different materials or different size materials to a flat surface.
For this project, your child will glue strips of construction paper to the white paper to create a unique work of art. You'll need a piece of white paper and a few colors of construction paper plus glue.
- To begin, have your child use child-safe scissors to cut the construction paper into strips or different size pieces. Your child can tear the paper if you do not have child-safe scissors.
- Let your child glue or tape the construction paper onto the white paper however they want to create their collage.
Early Literacy Tip:
This project helps young children develop the fine motor skills they need to hold pencils and crayons. Having strong motor skills will help children as they begin the process of learning how to write. How can cutting or tearing paper develop this skill? As children tear or cut the paper, they are building the small muscles in their palm and hand. They are also enhancing their eye-hand coordination. They must be able to see what they are tearing or cutting while moving their hand. Learning how to use scissors plays an important role in developing fine motor skills. Here are some tips for teaching your child how to use child-safe scissors:
- To help your child remember how to hold a pair of scissors, draw a smiley face on the thumbnail of your child’s cutting hand. The smiley face reminds them to keep their thumb up when cutting.
- Cutting paper can be tricky; practice cutting playdough first.
- Cardstock is easier to cut than paper. Let your child cut old greeting cards or old playing cards.
- Provide activities that use tools such as tongs, hole punches, tweezers, eyedroppers, and clothespins to strengthen fine motor skills necessary for cutting.
- It might sound easy, but teaching young children how to cut with scissors is a very complex task. Try using this rhyme to help your child remember how to hold and use scissors properly:
Two fingers on the bottom
and the thumb on top.
Open the mouth and go
chop, chop, chop.
Uniting Manitou Springs’ library and art center to enrich community
The community of Manitou Springs now can find art, literature, creative studios, meeting spaces, and the vast resources and services of the public library all one place! Thanks to a new co-location partnership, Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) has relocated Manitou Springs Library to the Manitou Art Center (MAC).
Building upon a decade of trust and cooperation, PPLD and the MAC transformed the historic building at 515 Manitou Avenue to become a shared space that extends more benefits to local artists, Library cardholders, and the greater community. PPLD can offer more than traditional library resources and services – and in a way that’s accessible – to all in Manitou Springs. The MAC will join us in welcoming more residents to learn, connect, create, and tinker with their already extensive offering of equipment and creative spaces.
Manitou Springs Library officially opened inside of the MAC on Fri., March 5, 2021. Patrons can now safely browse the collection, speak with a librarian, book a computer session, or use the fax, scan, and copier machine. Curbside services are also available at the new co-location.
Get your limited-edition library card while supplies last!
Congratulations to artist Susan Odiam of Manitou Springs! Her original creation will be featured on our limited-edition card to celebrate the relocation of Manitou Springs Library to the MAC.
“We’re thrilled to pair our physical collection and other library services with an organization so focused on serving residents of Manitou Springs,” said PPLD Chief Librarian and CEO John Spears. “Their facilities will immeasurably enhance what we can provide to the local community.”
As the shared spaces expand in the future, Manitou Springs Library and the MAC will offer broader access to on-site meeting rooms, computer labs, makerspaces, art studios, and workforce development opportunities. The new co-location partners look forward to a future with more synergy, right in the heart of Manitou Springs, to support people’s aspirations, foster creativity and innovation, and boost prosperity.
“We’re excited to see what other long-term benefits arise from this venture, like increasing access to the MAC and expanding PPLD opportunities in Manitou Springs,” said MAC Executive Director Natalie Johnson. “We will leverage each other’s strengths of service.”
PPLD’s departure from the historic Carnegie building provides the City of Manitou Springs with necessary time to plan for its future, while still allowing the Library to adequately serve the public right now. PPLD’s leadership welcomes the opportunity to work with the City and return to the historic Carnegie building – if an expansion or facility improvements allow the Library to serve residents of all abilities, and everyone also has the opportunity to take advantage of other common services across El Paso County like access to meeting and study rooms, makerspaces, and more.
In the meantime, PPLD and the MAC looks forward to a strong co-location partnership so both can best serve the community now and into the foreseeable future. It’s beneficial for PPLD cardholders, MAC members, local artists, community partners, taxpayers, and the local economy.
“This is what can happen when we unite to find ways to better serve our community regardless of the circumstances,” shared Andy Vick, Executive Director for the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region. “I applaud Pikes Peak Library District and the Manitou Art Center for their collaboration, and I hope other organizations are inspired to move beyond traditional community partnerships and consider embracing the shared-space model that capitalizes on existing resources and plays to each other’s strengths.”
“Such alliances can lead to more people and businesses flourishing, which is what we need to strengthen the fabric of our communities for years to come.”
Due to continued restrictions and concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Pikes Peak Library District's Mountain of Authors will be a hybrid event.
Our showcase authors and keynote speaker, Lt. Joe Kenda (Ret.), will be virtual; we are currently planning for an in-person panel held at the end of April with a limited audience (more details forthcoming).
We still wish to acknowledge and celebrate the work of the wonderful local authors of southern Colorado and the Pikes Peak Region!
The 2021 Mountain of Authors event will be held on Sat., May 1, and will feature a mix of virtual, live, and pre-recorded presentations. The Virtual Book Buzz Showcase will take the place of the traditional Author Showcase.
What is a Book Buzz? A Book Buzz for our purposes is a short (3 minutes or so) video clip featuring authors talking about their most recent book.
Please fill out the application HERE to be considered for participation in PPLD's Mountain of Authors Virtual Book Buzz Showcase.
If selected to participate, you will send us a video clip that will air on PPLD's YouTube channel beginning on Sat., May 1. Also if selected, we will reach out with more information about the logistics and detailed information about the content of the Book Buzz.
PPLD will need to receive your finished Book Buzz recording by Thu., April 1.
We would like to recognize Peggy and Clarence Shivers for their work with Pikes Peak Library District and service to the community of Colorado Springs.
Clarence and Peggy Shivers created the Shivers Fund at Pikes Peak Library District, in concert with PPLD, in 1993. They introduced the Shivers African American Historical and Cultural Collection at PPLD, which continues to expand annually thanks to the Shivers Fund and its many supporters. In addition to the collection, the Shivers Fund at PPLD also provides opportunities for our community to celebrate history, culture, and the arts. The Fund hosts concerts and other events, as well as helps expands educational and cultural opportunities for young people to encourage tolerance and diversity. Our Library District and Foundation applaud the Shivers Fund for its continued investment to create more tolerance, diversity, and community in the Pikes Peak region. Learn more about the history and work of the Shivers Fund.
It's that time again. Taxes are due on Tue., April 18, 2023. Lucky for you PPLD has all the information you need to file on time. Visit our Tax Information page for more.
Tax Assistance at PPLD
Get help in preparing and filing your tax returns! AARP Foundation Tax-Aide & VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program) offer free tax preparation services (geared towards low- to moderate-income taxpayers) on-site at Library locations, thanks to a team of IRS-certified volunteers.
Appointments are available through AARP Foundation Tax-Aide at Library 21c Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. from Feb. 2 - April 13, 2023. Please call 719-235-6757 to make an appointment.
Appointments are available at Penrose Library through VITA between Feb. 1 - April 15, 2023. Reserve your spot online,
or call 719-208-7775 and leave a message.
- Wed. 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
- Thu. 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.
- Fri. 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. (and some Saturdays available)
Watch this project at: https://youtu.be/C1oVgbWPcIQ?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFctLfDQxsL5SmuE8zkwQFmu
- Paper star
- Large craft stick
- White paper to cut out a snowflake
- Silver sequins
- Other decorative bling
- Glue your craft stick to the back of your star so it looks like a wand. Add a piece of tape to keep it extra secure.
- Using the white paper, cut out your own snowflake to glue onto your star (you might need to cut your paper into a square first and you might need a grown up’s help with this).
- Decorate the craft stick with markers and add sequins and any other decorations to your wand that you would like.
- Make some wintery magic.
Enter your creations in our PPLD Challenges! Randomly selected entries will be featured on PPLD’s websites and social media accounts and one randomly drawn entry will receive a gift certificate and prize pack of curated craft books from the Friends of the Library.
Love Letters to the Library
February is Library Lover's Month! Show us your love by writing us a love letter or note. Post a photo of your note on Facebook or Instagram any time from Mon., Feb. 15 - 28 and make sure to include the hashtag #ppldchallenge and tag @ppld to be eligible to win. Alternatively, you can send your photo to email@example.com and we will post it to social media for you! Want to post anonymously? Use the webform here.Rules for participation:
- Please participate in good faith.
- Keep competitions civil and fun!
- PPLD reserves the right to remove inappropriate content, including but not limited to obscene or offensive statements or personal attacks. Learn more about our policies here.
Have you ever wondered how much you talk to your baby/toddler?
Would you like to learn ways to increase talking practice and get your child ready for school?
LENA Start is an 8-week program that helps parents with children 0 - 32 months increase back-and-forth talk. Weekly sessions combine videos and group discussion to build knowledge and skills that you can put into practice with your child.
How does LENA Start work?
In addition to the weekly sessions, each week your child wears a "talk pedometer" to track the number of adult words, conversational turns (back-and-forth talk), and minutes of electronics they are exposed to. Participants receive a detailed report after each recording to help track their progress. The goal is to increase conversational turns by the end of the 8 weeks.
*Please note: Your child does not have to attend sessions with you to participate in the program.
At the end of the program, qualifying families receive 10 free books, a $20 gift card, and a chance to win $100!
For more information contact: Evan Childress, firstname.lastname@example.org or (719) 531-6333, x6069.
Keep scrolling for information about the current sessions being offered!
** IMPORTANT PLEASE READ BEFORE REGISTERING **
LENA Start is open to residents of El Paso and Teller counties only and registration is required.
One child per family may participate. If you have previously completed the LENA Start program, you are not eligible to participate again.
PPLD is offering virtual and in-person sessions in Spring 2023! Register below.
April 4 – May 23: Tuesdays, noon – 1 p.m. (Register for the 8-week series here. Orientation registration below.)
April 5 – May 24: Wednesdays, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. (Register for the 8-week series here. Orientation registration below.)
You must attend ONE of the in-person orientation sessions to participate in the program. Orientation allows you to learn more about the program, ask questions, and receive your program materials. Your child does not have to attend orientation with you.
Orientation is separate from the virtual sessions. Please register for the one orientation session you will attend below:
In-Person Session Dates
We are offering one in-person LENA Start series. All sessions are in-person and will take place at Academy Christian Church (2002 West Pikes Peak Avenue). Childcare and a meal are provided at each session. Your child does not have to attend the sessions with you.
- Tuesdays at 6 – 7 p.m., April 4 – May 23, 2023 (Register for the 8-week series here.)
Starting Friday, Feb., 5, 2021, visit your favorite Library location to pick up a Take & Make (materials for the program), while supplies last. For ages 9-12.
Watch this project at: https://youtu.be/YVNFFC8UttI.
- Card printed on cardstock
- Button cell battery
- LED light
- Copper tape
- Colored pencils or markers
- Pencil, or pen (to poke a hole in the cardstock)
- Color in the template first
- Use a thumb tack, pencil, or pen to poke a hole through the middle of the robot’s heart (for the LED light to go through).
- Fold the card in half.
- Lay the copper tape along the two paths (polarities) of the circuit, following the diagram. Leave space at the corner where there’s a drawing of the LED light. Reserve some copper tape for step 6.
- Add the LED light by inserting the wire legs through the hole on the front of the card and bending the wire legs to reach the circuit path. Match the shorter wire leg with the negative path (the copper tape leading to the circle) and the longer wire leg with the positive path (the copper tape going through the dotted “fold” line. Don’t worry if your LED light placement doesn’t exactly match the drawing on the diagram – as long as the leg wires of your LED light connect with the copper tape, it should work.
- Secure the legs of the LED light using small pieces of copper tape.
- Add the battery negative side down inside the circle on the template and secure it by taping only the half closest to the LED light down to the card. If your battery is smaller than the circle on the template, center it in the middle of the circle.
- Fold the corner of the card over to create a switch to turn the card on and off.
- If you want, write a greeting in your card, and give it to someone special.
Birding is a great way to engage with nature safely, relieve anxiety, and otherwise slow down. Download your Birding 101 guide here!
- Do not disturb the birds’ habitats - you are an observer.
- Use appropriate gear! Binoculars, a field guide, and a notebook should suffice for beginners.
- For those with mobile devices, try the Audubon Bird Guide App for iPhones and Androids!
- Find a quiet spot to sit and observe. Your backyard can offer quite a selection!
- Try different times of day.
- Find other birders in the community!
CHECKOUT THESE LIBRARY MATERIALS FOR YOUR BIRDING ADVENTURES:
- Books on Birding are available on Overdrive/Libby
- Check out Colorado State Parks Pass
- Try one of our databases or suggested websites
- Books in our nonfiction collection with the number 598.07234
Gardening in the high prairie can be difficult, so the staff at High Prairie Library have created this handy year-long guide to making the most out of your gardening efforts!
Take and Makes for this project will be available at area PPLD libraries beginning this Friday, Jan. 29, 2021.
Supplies and Directions
Provided in your bag: a bookmark, a stylus, and a ribbon
From home: you will need a book, so you can use your new bookmark!
- Think about what you want to draw on your bookmark: your name, a space sky, a flowery garden, stripes, polka dots, anything you like!
- Using the stylus, scratch your scene into the bookmark. Keep in mind the hole goes at the top for your ribbon, so make sure you scratch your scene the right way up.
- After you're done with the rainbow scratching, tie your ribbon through the hole at the top of the bookmark to give it even more color!
- Pick a book and use your colorful bookmark!
Need help choosing a book? Check out our booklists with recommendations for everything from mysteries to humor!
Check out our many KidsMAKE videos at: tinyurl.com/PPLDVirtualKidsMake
Check out these stats and our top title of 2020 below.
- Physical material checkouts: 1,845,866
- Additions to physical collection:18,000 titles and 58,000 items, plus 15,570 magazines
- Checkouts: 2,430,575
- Patrons: 61,278 patrons; an increase of 22%
- Song Downloads: 76,007
- Songs Streamed: 248,986
- Kanopy: 58,201 videos streamed
- Hoopla: 40,813 checkouts, movies and television mostly
- New cardholders during 2020: 26,215
Top 10 Adult Titles
- The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
- The Guardians by John Grisham
- Educated: a Memoir by Tara Westover
- The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
- American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
- The Giver of Stars: a Novel by Jojo Moyes
- A Minute to Midnight by David Baldacci
- The Dutch House: a Novel by Ann Patchett
- Long Range by C.J. Box
Top 10 Young Adult Titles
- All the Impossible Things by Lindsay Lackey
- Ranger's Apprentice by John Flanagan
- The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
- Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
- Nowhere Boy by Katherine Marsh
- Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
- Eragon by Christopher Paolini
- The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
Top 10 Children's Titles
- The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA by Brenda Woods
- A Long Walk to Water: A Novel by Linda Sue Park
- The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K Rowling
- Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin
- Tales from a Not-So-Best Friend Forever by Rachel Renée Russell
- Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
- Narwhal on a Sunny Night by Mary Pope Osborne
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid: the Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney
Create your own work of art using the stickers and frame.
Before your child can learn to write, they must develop the small/fine motor skills which are used to grip a crayon/pencil. Peeling the back off the stickers and placing them in the frame provides your child with the opportunity to develop these skills.
To prepare young children for writing, provide them with opportunities to use their hands and fingers. This will help them later when they hold crayons and pencils.
- Open and close containers with lids
- Cut with child-safe scissors
- Finger paint with paint, shaving cream, yogurt, or pudding
- Use a paintbrush
- Play with play dough and clay—roll, smoosh, pat, pound, and use tools like popsicle sticks or stamps
- Lace Cheerios onto pipe cleaners
- Lace pipe cleaners into the holds on a colander
- Draw, scribble, or write with crayons, pencils, and markers
- Put together puzzles
- Build with small blocks
- Ruler (12" or 18" or 36") or measuring tape
- Yarn or string
- A stuffed animal or your pet
- Measure, as best you can, your pet or stuffed animal and determine its length in inches.
- After you know how many inches, cut a piece of string or yarn the same length.
- Take this piece of string and measure items around your house. How many cats (or hamsters or dogs, etc.) long is your kitchen? Your table? Your bed?
Please leave a comment below, tell us what you used to measure items around your house.
You can watch this project at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCU1Ks8mBf0
- One small block of dry ice (about 1 lb.) broken into large pieces. (Do not touch dry ice with bare skin, it will burn!)
- Large bowl on a tray
- Table covering
- Warm water
- Dish soap
- Food Coloring
- Paper (any kind)
- Pour warm water into the bowl.
- Add 2-3 squirts of dish soap (it may help to stir the solution gently at this point although I didn't).
- Add a chunk of dry ice using tongs or garden gloves.
- As bubbles rise up, add food coloring (2-4 colors).
- Lay paper over the colorful bubbles and press gently into bubbles. Add a different color and repeat with another piece of paper.
- Keep adding warm water and chunks of dry ice. Or start over with a fresh batch.
- Enjoy your wonderful bubble art!
Watch this project at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=852TC3_bSbU&list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFctLfDQxsL5…
PPLD PowerPass from PPLD TV on Vimeo.
Knowledge is power. Unlock your potential! The PowerPass is a just-for-students library card from PPLD, granting access to the Library’s digital resources like databases, eBooks, and song and movie downloads. Each PowerPass holder can also check out five physical items at a time from any of the 15 PPLD locations or mobile library services.
- PowerPass for Elementary Students
Elementary students and their parents will benefit from kid-friendly eBook and audiobook access, digital education resources, and in-person classes at PPLD to learn how to write, draw, code, or use makerspace equipment.
- PowerPass for Middle School Students
- PowerPass for High School Students
High school and middle school students can use their PowerPass for online access to live tutors and online foreign language courses. They can also get help with projects and prepare for the future with practice driving and SAT tests.
Get Started with PowerPass:
If a parent does not wish for their child to use PowerPass, they may opt out at the child's school.
How to Use your PowerPass with PPLD Resources
More Drive-in Storytimes are scheduled at High Prairie Library, 7035 Old Meridian Rd.
Peyton, CO 80831:
- Register here for 9:30 a.m., Jan. 12, 2021: https://ppld.librarymarket.com/drive-storytime-high-prairie-library
- Register here for 10:30 a.m., Jan. 12, 2021: https://ppld.librarymarket.com/drive-storytime-high-prairie-library-0
- Barn and rooster shapes
- Four pipe cleaners (two pink)
- Googly eye stickers
- Green paper
- Shoe box or other small box (optional)
- Scissors or wire cutters
- Take two pink pipe cleaners. Use caution as the ends of pipe cleaners can be sharp, especially once cut.
- Twist one pink pipe cleaner into a coil.
- Cut the second pipe cleaner in half. Take one half of the pipe cleaner and bend the middle into an “m” shape to make the ears. Twist the ears into one side of the pipe cleaner coil to make the ears.
- Cut the second half of the pipe cleaner in half again. Bend both halves into legs and twist into the body of the pig.
- Peel the tiny stickers off the back of the googly eyes and attach to the face of the pig.
- Cut the two remaining pipe cleaners into three pieces – one that is 6 ½ inches, one that is 6 inches, and one that is 3 ½ inches.
- Take the longest piece and twist the top into a circle for the head.
- Take the second longest piece and twist around the base of the head as the arms.
- Use the shortest piece to make the legs. Just wrap and twist it around where the other leg would be.
- If you want, make a farmer’s hat out of paper and tape it to the figure’s head.
Assemble the Farm:
- If using a shoe box, arrange the farmer, the pig, the barn, and the rooster inside the shoebox. Cut a strip of the green paper about 1 ½ inches wide and 9 inches long. Fold a narrow strip over and glue or tape to the inside of the box. Use
scissors to cut the longer side of the paper into little strips to make grass.
- If you don’t have a shoe box, use the sheet of green paper as the base for your diorama. Fold a 1-inch strip along the long end of the paper. Cut little strips into the paper to make the blades of grass. Use tape to attach the farmer, the pig, the barn, and the rooster to the green paper.
Want to show off your farm diorama? Post a photo on Facebook and tag @ppldteens or @ppldkids. Find more fun projects to try at https://ppld.org/kids/create/whats-new.
In honor of our annual cookie competition and as part of our anniversary, High Prairie Library is compiling an online cookbook: Harvest of Recipes - A Collection From the Falcon Community. We will be collecting YOUR recipes for our very own cookbook! Click here to submit your recipe and (optional) photo!
Take and Make kits for this project will be available at area PPLD libraries beginning Dec. 26, 2020
Materials Provided in Take and Make:
- Various papers
Materials Needed from home:
- Container of water
Reading and writing go together! Writing begins with scribbles and other marks on paper. Encourage your child to “write” in various ways. In doing so, he’ll practice hand/eye coordination and develop hand muscles. Encourage your child to talk about what he is drawing. You can write captions for the drawings. As you do this, he’ll start building connections between written and spoken word.
See what he can create with these simple reading readiness activities:
- Draw with chalk on sandpaper
- Dip the chalk into a container of water to draw on the black construction paper
- Crumple a paper, flatten it again, and then draw on it to experiment with texture
- Draw on colored paper.
- Take the chalk outside and draw on the sidewalk. What can he create? How does the texture affect the drawing?
From Books to New Beginnings: Using the Library as a Resource to Build a Better Life
As one of the founders of Grey Wolf Resort, a health and wellness agritourism business in Victor, Colorado, award-winning chef and entrepreneur Nathan Dirnberger is just as likely to be found planning menus for gourmet picnics as chasing down a loose rooster.
But among these tasks, and the many others he tackles on a regular basis, there’s one more the Colorado native wraps into his days as well: reading.
“My mom's a librarian, so she always read to me as a kid, and I grew up reading,” says Dirnberger.
As he got older, he says, he went to school to become a chef. Years after graduating, Dirnberger wrote an article for the American Culinary Federation (ACF) on quantum physics and how it connects to a chef’s thoughts becoming a tangible experience. “If you give us a pile of ingredients,” he says, “we think about what we're going to create, and then we apply ourselves — that's the key right there — to turn it into a dish.”
In the ACF story, he says, he made the broader analogy of “encouraging people that they can make changes in their lives” if they apply that same theory.
About six years ago, Dirnberger started applying the theory to his own life outside of the kitchen, and “a big part of that,” he says, “was books.”
Dirnberger began to take advantage of all of the free resources his Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) card could offer, from checking out print copies of books to downloading audio reads through OverDrive — which mom Cynthia Roberts, who has been a PPLD librarian now for almost three decades, introduced to him. Dirnberger was able to dig into and study popular titles by authors like Tim Ferriss, alongside other books about entrepreneurship, marketing, and business.
One in particular, stands out for him, though: David Schwartz’ classic The Magic of Thinking Big, first published in 1959, which Dirnberger listened to during a cross-country trip after finishing an internship on a farm. The book’s push to get people to dare to dream (and put concrete habits behind those dreams) spawned his concept for an agritourism-focused farm and ranch — what would become Grey Wolf Resort.
But books aren’t the only PPLD resources Dirnberger used.
“When I actually started creating my businesses, I would use the library too,” he says, reserving classrooms at Library 21c so he and his business partners could set up projectors and map out plans on whiteboards. “I pretty much started all my businesses there.”
“Tony Robbins talks about how there’s never a lack of resources. There’s a lack of resourcefulness,” Dirnberger says. The Library District is “a resource box,” he adds, “full of tools for people to change their lives … if they apply themselves.”
Currently billed as a “boutique, private, high-altitude health and wellness center” situated on a family farm and ranch, Dirnberger’s two-year-old Grey Wolf Resort offers guests everything from massages and guided mountain hikes to farm-to-table gourmet picnics. And Dirnberger still has lots of big dreams when it comes to the resort, ranging from building a commercial kitchen and a little restaurant on the property to setting an example for those interested in emulating the concept and creating more agritourism across the country.
With his passion for books, one might wonder if Dirnberger has another dream up his sleeve.
“Well, yeah,” he says, “actually, I’ve been writing one for a few years now, but as I started writing, I knew the story still had to be finished. … I needed to be able to do something that was actually worth telling. … I wanted a family. I wanted to be able to spend time with my family, that’s why I wanted to become a farmer, to spend time outside and be with nature, and help out with food and clean water and air, and all the things that people and animals both deserve.”
“Now that I’ve got all of that,” he says, “it’s a matter of starting to tell the story.”
cardboard rectangle or square stand
1. First, have a grown-up help with cutting cardboard (see supply list above.)
2. Glue paper strips to cover the cardboard triangle trees.
3. Trim excess.
4. Stick a toothpick into each cardboard tree as a trunk.
5. Stick your trees into the cardboard stand to make a winter scene.