Lunch box inspiration

Looking for inspiration as you face another school year of packing lunches? Or maybe this is your first year sending a young one off to school during the day. Maybe, even, this isn't the first year in school, but you've decided that this is the year you don't go for the hot lunch, and decide to pack lunch instead. Maybe you don't have kids, and you're looking for ideas to make your own lunches more fun. In any case, we have some cookbooks that might help.

Best Lunch Box Ever: Ideas and Recipes For School Lunches Kids Will Love is a packed-lunch cookbook with ideas that you can implement without driving across town looking for hard-to-find ingredients. It might even make you see some of the things you already cook in a new way, as candidates for lunch.

The vegans don’t need to be left out! Vegan Lunch Box: 130 Amazing, Animal-Free Lunches Kids and Grown-Ups Will Love! is full of ideas that will make those packed lunches interesting. You don’t have to be a vegan to see the fun in this book. Long before her book was published, McCann maintained a blog where she photographed and posted the vegan lunches she made for her son.

If you’re looking for something more striking, you might try Face Food: The Visual Creativity of Japanese Bento Boxes. Bento is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal, and is common in Japanese cuisine. This book can help you see how different edible building blocks can combined to make visually impressive lunches for your kids (or yourself).

Winners of the 8th Annual LEGO contest! Congrats to all of them!

Once again our annual LEGO contest was hotly anticipated and the entries were bigger and better! All ages from Preschoolers through Adults participated in the event. There were a total of 188 entries and the contest was held on Thursday, August 8 at the Kensington Court Hotel. There were six age categories and winners were chosen within each age group. The top three finishers and the People's Choice winners received custom LEGO trophies. The top three finishers also got medals and gift cards to Target. Please congratulate the winners! Photos of the winning entries will be added to this post on to our gallery soon.To see the contest guidelines and start planning for next summer click here.

Preschool Winners:

1st Place - Lucas Long
Runner-Up - Iris Brabbs
Honorable Mention - Steve Samuel
People's Choice - Lucas Long

Best Motorized Project - Vicky Kotsis
Best Architectural/Engineering Project - Becca Van Lent
Coolest Robot = Sanchia Gupta
Best Vehicle - Scarlett Williams
Most Creative - Eliza Farr
Most Sophisticated - Sarra El-Tawil
Best Local Interest - Kevin Chen
AADL LEGO Master Builder - Owen TenBroeck

Spinners, Gliders, & Projectiles

If you like paper planes, you might like Spinners, Gliders, & Projectiles.

Here we'll make a few paper objects that all fly or glide a bit differently.

If this sounds good to you, join us on Thursday, August 22, 2:00-3:00 PM at the Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room.

This event is for grades K-5.

Great Start Readiness Pre-School Program

Give your pre-schooler the benefit of early-childhood education. Your family may qualify for Free Public Pre-School. The Great Start Readiness Program prioritizes children by risk factors that may typically be a barrier to success in school. To see if you or a family you know qualifies for this program call your local United Way 2 1 1 line, or go to this website for more information.

Miny Clay Figures: Kerbal Edition

Join us for Mini Clay Figures: Kerbal Edition on Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at Malletts Creek, 2:00-4:00 PM.

We'll use polymer clay to create small clay figures based on the Kerbal Space Program game. If you'd like to make a few green-faced space explorers, this event is for you.

This is a drop-in program for grades K-5.

Parent’s Corner: Art Attack

The Downtown library has a shelf in the Youth Department known as the Parent Shelf. On this shelf you’ll find a variety of parent-child related books on a multitude of topics- including everything from language to tantrums to potty training to homework. These books are available for checkout, and can be found in the catalog when searching “parent shelf,” if you’d like to have one sent to a branch of your choice.

Many children enjoy drawing or sculpting with Play-Doh. Their little hands and minds are ever creative and always imagining. AADL has some books that may help in facilitating their enjoyment of the arts with ideas on how to nurture this interest and enjoy art together. Check out Creative art & activities: fun with art!, Picture books plus: 100 extension activities in art, drama, music, math, and science, as well as Young at art : teaching toddlers self-expression, problem-solving skills, and an appreciation for art.

For more Parent Shelf finds on other topics see here.

Doggie Tales and Tricks

Join us for Doggie Tales on Friday, August 9th at 10 am in the Downtown Library MultiPurpose Room. Our friends from Therapaws will bring some of the most lovable service dogs you will ever meet. A story or two and some time for doggie love is what it's all about!

Bubble Art Fun

Come make a unique piece of art using different bubbles (and creative interpretation of crafting with bubbles). We'll get a little sudsy on Thursday, August 1, 2013 at the Malletts Creek Branch on the grass near the parking lot from 2-3 PM. If the weather cooperates, you'll see us setting up as you arrive.

This activity should be a blast, but you might want to dress for a mess.

We will hold this event rain or shine. In the case of rain, we'll be in the program room. In either case, we hope to see you there!

This event is for grades K-5.

The Great Diaper Experiment

graduatedcylindergraduatedcylinderYou've seen the commercials that say their diaper is the best.

Find out for yourself which of the diapers we provide holds the most liquid, and learn a little about setting up experiments!

Join us Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at the Malletts Creek Branch from 2-3PM for a bit of experimental fun.

This event is for grades K-5.

Babytime iPads

Thursday July 25 | 10:00 to 11:00 am | Pittsfield Branch

Did you know that there are apps available for babies to use on your ipad, as well as apps to soothe your child? Bring your baby and explore these apps together on our baby-proofed iPads. Join us Thursday at our Pittsfield branch, where we'll kick off the event with rhymes and music, then give you and baby time to poke around our iPads!

This event is for parents, caregivers, and infants & toddlers from birth to 24 months.

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