Library has plenty of books to get kids school ready

Published 1:02 am Saturday, July 15, 2017

As kids head back to school, you can help put them in a learning mindset by beefing up your home library or making a trip to the public library.

“We have several home science experiment books for parents and children to check out and complete together,” said Andalusia Public Library Children’s Librarian Caryl Lee Ray. “Books explaining scientific ideas have always been popular with young adults.”

Ray said that geology books have become even more favored with the rising interest in Andalusia Rocks, the initiative in which rocks are painted with positive messages and hidden in the community.

“The library is implementing Maker Labs with hands-on activities that patrons can utilize, while visiting the library,” Ray said. “There are legos, jigsaw puzzles, and art activities available for kids and adults throughout the library. The preschool/children’s department encourages imaginative play with the use of puppets, a treehouse, boat and a doghouse. Hands-on manipulatives with blocks, flash guards, beads, as well as lots and lots of books to share with little people can also be found at the library.

Here are a few new books to consider that can make learning fun, as well as support STEAM education initiatives.


It’s Elemental

Created in association with the Smithsonian Institute, “The Elements Book: A Visual Encyclopedia of the Periodic Table” is an easy-to-understand guide to the 118 chemical elements that make up our world.

Cataloged by type, each element’s properties and atomic structure is explained. More than 1,000 full-color photographs showcase the natural forms of each element, as well as a wide range of unexpected everyday objects in which each is found, to make them relevant to a child’s world. This guide brings the periodic table to life for children ages 9 and above.


Creative Coding

For kids ages 10 and over, “Coding Projects in Python” teaches those with some experience already how to build graphics, games and useful apps. All they need is a desktop or laptop, and an Internet connection to download Python 3.

Instructions illustrated with pixel art teach essential coding basics, like loops and conditionals, and outline seven fun projects, including a script that cracks secret codes, a quiz to challenge family and friends and a tic-tac-toe game. Once kids are feeling confident, they can creatively use the tips and tricks provided to personalize each project.

Coding is a sought-after skill that teaches kids how to think creatively, work collaboratively and reason systematically.


Kitchen Adventures

With easily prepared recipes, visual step-by-step instructions and charming designs, “Look I’m a Cook” is a great activity book for parents and little ones to share. From ice pops to chocolate muffins, more than 20 hands-on recipes for kids aged 3-6 will help children discover everyday science and cook up fun-filled food.


Scientific Discovery

More than 20 hands-on projects await kids aged 3-6 in “Look I’m a Scientist.” From an iceberg animal rescue to stretchy slime, each sensory-friendly activity becomes an exciting science experiment that’s easy to prepare and create. Visual step-by-step instructions make it a fun activity book for parents and kids.


Fun Formations

Colorful and informative, “My Book of Rocks and Minerals” gives kids the expert knowledge they crave and will have them digging deep to discover all they can about rocks, minerals, gems, and fossils, from the deepest caves to outer space.

From crystals to glow-in-the-dark minerals, illuminating images provide a closer look at amazing geological formations. Kids can take their fascination one step further and use the catalog and activity pages to help them collect and group rocks to discover how different rock types fit into the world around them.


Applied Science

“Maker Lab” includes 28 projects and crafts requiring only household materials. From exploding volcanoes to race balloon rocket cars, photographs and facts detail the “why and “how” of each experiment using real-world examples.

Help make this school year a success by offering kids fun learning opportunities outside the classroom.


StatePoint contributed to this report.