Concerned about lead in toys?

Have the reports about the lead content in toys been scaring the daylights out of you? It turns out that there are do-it-yourself lead testing kits that you can buy to test the lead content on the surface of a toy. NPR reported on these tests today, describing recent evaluation of these tests by Consumer Union to determine the accuracy of the tests. If you are are interested in testing your child's toys for surface lead, check out this NPR report and the evaluations.

No Parent Left Behind

Ever feel like your child is speaking a different language? Are you so far behind on the tech lingo that you don't understand how they are using technology in their lives? Check out E-Parenting by Sharon Miller Cindrich to learn more about digital technologies, how kids are using them, and how you can make the most of these technologies to bring your family closer together. Cindrich defines terms such a "wiki", "vlog", etc., and provides Tech Tips for parents on how to approach tech-related topics with their child. In addition, you'll find specific instructions for family projects that highlight the family-friendly capabilities of multimedia technology.

Outings for the family

Are you always looking for outings or events to experience with your family? Check out Metroparent Online and look through their up-to-date Family Fun Guide for a list of upcoming possibilities. The guide covers most of southeast Michigan, and is also searchable by county, month, event type, etc. You can even narrow down the listings to those events that are free of charge.

TweenSpace: Wacky Olympics @ Malletts Creek, Tuesday, October 9

Attention all 4th and 5th graders! Do you have what it takes to lead your team to victory in a marshmallow relay race? Can you build the ultimate obstacle course? Join us Tuesday, October 9th (4:30-6:00), to show off your athletic skills at the Malletts Creek Branch.

Fire Station Open House

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This Sunday, October 6th is the annual Ann Arbor Fire Department Open House. There will be lots of fun activities where kids will learn some serious fire safety tips like Stop Drop and Roll and parents will learn how to keep smoke alarms working properly.

Splish Splash at Buhr Park

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Or slip and slide into a pool of Jello, hang out with 100 rubber duckies, swing away at a giant shark pinata. There's something for everyone at the Buhr Park Summer Splash Day, Saturday, August 18th, 2:00 - 4:30 p.m. You don't have to register in advance, just grab your swimmies and head to the pool.

E-books (and more) for kids!

If your kids are clamoring to use the computer this summer, check out the activities available in the Tumblebooks Library database. The Tumblebooks e-books, audiobooks, puzzles, and games can be accessed from home with your library card.

Find Tumblebooks in the Kids & Teens section of our Research page. Select a category on the Tumblebooks homepage to get started, or choose the index list to browse for your favorite authors and titles.

County 4H Fair

It’s that time of year again. 4H at the Washtenaw County Fair grounds on Ann Arbor – Saline road at Pleasant Lake Road just south of town.

It starts Sunday July 22nd through Friday, July 27th. It’s all free to spectators. Come out and enjoy the many judging and showmanship events including cows, pigs, chickens, cats, dogs, horses, llamas and more. Click here to get the full schedule for the week.

You don’t need to have kids involved in 4H to enjoy the many great dramas that occur there throughout the week. Come out and have a good time.

Liked Ida B? Try Emma-Jean

Need a good book to read? Try Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree by Lauren Tarshis. This is the author's first book.
Emma-Jean is in the seventh grade. Her beloved father died about two years ago and she's still dealing with that. She doesn't fit in well with her classmates. But Emma-Jean is soft-hearted. She tries to fix everyone's problems. A girl has best friend problems. One classmate has a big issue with a teacher. Emma-Jean's mother might be starting to date. All problems can be solved! Well, maybe.
Emma-Jean is very smart and wise beyond her years. (She brings to mind another great character who tried to be a problem-solver. Check out Ida B and her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster and Possibly Save the World.) But even smart kids need a little help sometimes.
Emma-Jean learns to take responsibility for her actions, both good and bad, as she moves through her seventh grade year. And yes, she literally falls out of a tree.

Picture Book Best Seller List

When you think of best seller lists you think of John Grisham's new title or the South Beach Diet. But there are lists for all kinds of books. Here is the list of the current best selling children's picture books according to this coming Sunday's New York Times.

1. Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy by Jane O'Connor. Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. This sequel is as good as the original. See #6.
2. Someday by Alison McGhee. Illustrated by Peter Reynolds. A Mother's Day favorite.
3. Thanks to You by Julie Andrews Edwards and Emma Walton Hamilton.
4. Bad Dog, Marley! by John Grogan. Illustrated by Richard Cowdrey. Children's version of the author's Marley and Me.
5. On the Night You Were Born written and illustrated by Nancy Tillman. This is a celebration of a child's birth.
6. Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor.Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. This has been on the best seller list for 69 weeks.
7. Flotsam by David Wiesner. 2007 Caldecott Medal winner.
8. Ghost Ship by Mary Higgins Clark. Illustrated by Wendell Minor. A writer of mysteries for adults is trying her hand at a children's book.
9. Pirates Don't Change Diapers by Melinda Long. Illustrated by David Shannon. A crew of pirates try their hand at babysitting.
10. The Longest Season by Cal Ripken Jr. Illustrated by Ron Mazellan. This title is being ordered but is not yet in the system.

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