Ben Brilliant: Science Experiments for Kids!

Ben Franklin was a legendary inventor whose imagination and hard work led him to conduct famous scientific experiments and invent many new devices.

Inspire the young scientist in your family with stories of Franklin's experiments and inventions with Gene Barretta's Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions Of Benjamin Franklin, Rosalyn Schanzer's How Ben Franklin Stole The Lightning, and Pamela Nettleton's Benjamin Franklin: Writer, Inventor, Statesman.

Then dig into some experimenting yourself! This website from the Franklin Institute has instructions for experiments with electricity, air, heat, and the glass armonica. If electricity sparks your imagination, there are plenty more experiments on this topic, including how to build your own Leyden jar!

Did you know that Ben Franklin was the first scientist to study the Gulf Stream, a powerful, warm current in the Atlantic Ocean. Take your own voyage on the Gulf Stream with these science and math activities!

If you're a teacher or parent seeking to incorporate educational lessons and experiments inspired by Ben Franklin's life, refer to the PBS Benjamin Franklin Teacher's Guide, a series of eight lesson plans aligned to National Standards.

BenFranklinScienceBenFranklinScience

Revolutionary War Spycraft: Codes and Deciphering

Don your spy mask and join us for Revolutionary War Spycraft: Codes and Deciphering! Learn how to create and decipher cryptic messages (like spies in the American Revolution) and compete to crack a secret code! Cheney Schopieray, manuscript expert from the University of Michigan Clements Library, will also shed light on the history of American and British spies at work during the lifetime of Ben Franklin. This program is geared toward participants grade 6 to adult. No registration required; all supplies provided.

When: Thursday, June 30th, 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Where: Malletts Creek Branch: Program RoomSecretCodeSecretCode

Magazine Update -- Film Stars, The World Cup and Swimming Babies

swimming baby by tomeppy, Flickr.comswimming baby by tomeppy, Flickr.com
If our scorching 90-degree weather is any indication, summer is finally here! Before packing up to hit the beach, make sure to check out some of our awesome youth magazines.

For Parents:
American Baby -- Stroller reviews, tips for new dads and a guide for teaching your tot to swim.

For Kids:
Nintendo Power -- Check out Sonic Generations for the 3DS, plus an advance look at Mega Man Legends 3!

Sports Illustrated Kids -- Learn more about the Cincinnati Reds' Joey Votto and the Brazilian world cup star Marta. Also in this issue, a profile of the US women's world cup team, and "10 Ways to Make Sports More Awesome."

For Teens:
Justine -- College advice, a great list of books for summer reading, and a look at actor Grey Damon - leading man of new series "The Nine Lives of Chloe King" (based on these books).

Lucky -- A talk with actress and teen book author Lauren Conrad, and style advice from actress Rose Byrne.

Thrasher -- It's "The Interview Issue," and you will not believe how many interviews they managed to cram into this magazine: Aaron Homoki, Cody McEntire, Ben Hatchell and Daniel Lutheran are only the merest sampling of what Thrasher has to offer.

WWE Magazine -- An interview with John Cena, and 50 things to do this summer.

Saturday Stories!

Join us at the Malletts Creek Branch every Saturday morning at 10:00. A friendly AADL storyteller will read several stories that kids of all ages will enjoy. Bring the whole family for an entertaining start to the weekend.

Spy School: Invisible Ink

Grab your quill pen and parchment, and get ready to enroll in the Ann Arbor District Library Spy School! Learn how to craft a pot of invisible ink from household ingredients and use invisible ink antidotes to reveal secret messages as we travel back into the exciting world of spies from the American Revolution. Track down a spy gang, draw a hidden treasure map, and write mysterious letters using simple ingredients and kid-friendly recipes. It's science, it's history, and it's a lot of imagination! This program is geared toward children grades K-5. No registration required; all supplies provided.

When: Monday June 20th, 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Where: Traverwood Branch Program RoomInvisibleInkInvisibleInkSpy LetterSpy Letter

Magazine Update -- Owl Cake, Skateboarding Stars and "The Other Middleton"

Pippa with Pink HatPippa with Pink Hat
Memorial Day is right around the corner! If constant rain prevents you from hitting the pool, at least you will be able to read some great new youth and teen magazines! Or, hey, you could also read them at the pool...

Kids:
Owl Magazine celebrates their 35th birthday by giving you presents! You can win a retro owl t-shirt, and also bake an owl-shaped caked. Cuuute! Also inside are "Animal All Stars" and "10 Things You Didn't Know About Water."

Teens:
Transworld Skateboarding welcomes the "New Breed" of up-and-coming skateboard virtuosos and has fun interviewing Julian Davidson, Felipe Gustavo and Theotis Beasley, as well as oodles more.

Us Weekly shares the diet and exercise secrets of the stars in the "Hot Bodies" issue. You can also read the latest gossip about Leonardo DiCaprio's love life and Pippa Middleton, the sister of the new Duchess of Cambridge.

Of course, we have plenty more great magazines to read while working on your tan! Come on down and check some out, before Memorial Day Weekend!

Literacy Series -- Be a Renaissance Kid

Ben Franklin caricature by Donkey Hotey, Flickr.comBen Franklin caricature by Donkey Hotey, Flickr.com
You may have noticed that here at the library we are crazy for Ben Franklin. In honor of Ben's 300th birthday, we are going to party all summer long, and the literacy series is getting into the act.

Why was Ben Franklin famous? Because he was a true "Renaissance Man" -- someone who has many different talents. If you would like follow Ben's lead and be a Renaissance Kid, just take a look at these suggestions below:

1. Music -- Ben Franklin was a talented musician who played the guitar, violin and harp, and invented an instrument called the glass armonica. Be like Ben by exploring music.
Check out this interactive glass armonica.
Dallas Symphony Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony webpages.
Renaissance Kid - Music

2. Reading -- Ben Franklin created the first American library. Be like Ben by enjoying some books!
Ben Franklin for Children
Renaissance Kid - Reading

3. Sports and Games -- Ben Franklin was an avid swimmer and a chess fan. Be like Ben by cultivating your physical and mental health!
Parent Child Education -- Colonial American games, crafts and activities.
Renaissance Kid - Sports and Games

4. History -- Ben Franklin lived during an exciting time in history, the founding of our nation! Learn all about this tumultuous period in our history.
Colonial Williamsburg's kids' page
Liberty! -- A page by PBS on the American Revolution.
Renaissance Kid - History

5. Science and Invention -- Ben Franklin's curiosity and constant exploration of his world led him to make inventions that are still used today. Be like Ben by exploring and inventing!
Ology -- The American Museum of Natural History's website for kids.
Inventive Kids
Renaissance Kid - Science

6. Spycraft -- Ben Franklin was part of the exciting world of Revolutionary War spies. Learn more about espionage of the past...and the present!
International Spy Museum's kids' page
Renaissance Kid - Spycraft

Of course, don't forget to come to our Ben Franklin events! Concerts, Spy School, Crafts -- we have it all. Hope to see you there!

Celebrate Children's Book Week!

Celebrate Children's Book Week!Celebrate Children's Book Week!

Come sing, stomp and shout in celebration of Children's Book Week. Kevin Kammeraad will be here to lead us in the festivities. Kevin is a Michigan author, singer, and educator who believes that singing and motion is essential to children and adults alike. He uses puppets, silly songs and dances to get everyone moving. Visit his website to learn more.

Come to the Traverwood Branch on Thursday, May 5 at 7:00 p.m. to see Kevin. This will be a treat for the whole family!

Magazine Update -- Beauty, Money, Drama ...and Recycling

piggy bank by alancleaver_2000, Flickr.compiggy bank by alancleaver_2000, Flickr.com
As some gear up for the chocolate bunny and jellybean eating of Easter weekend, others are excited about our new teen and youth magazines!

Teen magazines have a bumper crop this month:
Celebrity Hairstyles -- Learn how to choose the right makeup for your hair and steal the hairstyle secrets of the cast of Modern Family, plus "350 Summer Hair Secrets."
ESPN Magazine -- This issue is "All About the Money." Find out how athletes splurge, and what they do when the money runs out.
Teen Voices -- Learn about henna, as well as serious issues like child marriage and teen runaways. Includes an interview with Liz Murray, who wrote Breaking Night as a memoir of her own experience as a homeless teen in New York.
Us Weekly -- The drama behind the scenes on "Dancing With the Stars," and the Style Stars of 2011!

For the kids and parents we have:
Family Fun -- With crafts for Easter, Mother's Day and Father's Day, as well as recycle crafts for turning trash into treasures.
New Moon Girls -- The issue shares girls' true travel stories, and asks the question "What's your definition of beauty?"

AADL youth and teen magazines -- as colorful as a spring treat, but 100% sugar free.

Take Part in Art -- The Art of Words

image by Umair Mohsin, Flickr.comimage by Umair Mohsin, Flickr.com
Did you think you had to write a novel to make art with words? Think again! From calligraphy to graffiti, people all over the world have figured out ways to make art from letters and words. You can come down to the youth art table to have fun making art from words with us, or you can join in at home:

Kids:
Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad – A young boy finds shelter from the chaos of war in the act of creating calligraphy.
My First book of Chinese Calligraphy
Calligraphy for Kids
Here are some ideas for word art activities for kids.

Teens:
Stencil Graffiti by Tristan Manco will give you tips to create your own hip stencil graffiti.
The Graffiti Verite DVD series explores the culture, history and techniques of graffiti art.

We have plenty of books for grown-ups, too!

To hone your technique, try:
Chinese Calligraphy Made Easy by Rebecca Yue.
Zen Brushwork by Tanchu Terayama.
All About Techniques in Calligraphy
To learn more about the history of calligraphy in the Islamic world, read:
Islamic Calligraphy by Shiela Blair.

Syndicate content