Your Guide to Avoiding Summer Boredom

I don’t know about you, but I’m counting down the days until summer vacation! Summer is the perfect time to explore, build, create, imagine, and discover. Here some books and websites to get you started, whatever your interests or age: is a comic-style website of directions for making some crazy new toys. How about a Speed Blaster or Robofingers? There is something for everyone here and all the projects can be made with common household items like pop bottles, paper plates, and straws.

If you’re planning a campout or a hike, Camp Out! and Follow the Trail have all sorts of information about what to bring, what to do, and how to prepare for emergencies. Another fun book is Cooking in a Can, full of recipes for cooking over a campfire, from vegetables to grilled sandwiches to cake.

Even from your backyard or a park you can get up close with nature. 101 Nature Experiments includes how to grow various types of gardens, make your own compost, and discover all sorts of things about critters, bugs, and plants up close.

More into art than science? How to Draw What You See and Illustrating Nature will get you ready to draw and paint plants, animals, and landscapes 'en plein air'. There are also tons of crafts to make using stuff from nature: check out Organic Crafts, Ecology Crafts for Kids, and Nature’s Art Box for inspiration.

Summer is also a great time to update your wardrobe. How about making your own purse from fabric and embellishments, jewelry from beads and fiber, or perhaps a wallet or tool belt made from duct tape? These books give step-by-step instructions for creating one-of-a-kind accessories to keep or give as gifts. The Hip Handbag Book, Ductigami, Hemp Masters, and Creative Beading will get you started and you can let your creativity do the rest.

Finally, don't forget about the AADL Summer Reading program! Our theme this year is "Make it Happen," and events include art workshops, games, and all sorts of activities. Check out the Summer Reading events page to make sure you don't miss out!

BabySitting Bits - MAKE It Happen!

A great summer job for older kids is to be a "babysitter".
If you are good at it, it's a great weekend job all year 'round.
The following books will help prepare you for doing a great job:
Babysitting 101: Your Complete Guide To Becoming The Best Babysitter
Babysitter's Handbook
Babysitting Safety provide successful tactics for leading young children in safe activities.
Babysitting Activities: Fun With Kids Of All Ages
If you know what ages you will watch, these books describe what kids might be interested in for their age ....
Babies: All You Need To Know
Hello Benny! a book about "what it's like to be a baby".
Go! Go! Maria! a book about "what it's like to be 1".
Sweet Jasmine, Nice Jackson a book about "what it's like to be 2 ... and twins!".

Teen Volunteers Needed at AADL

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AADL needs teen volunteers to help sign up summer reading participants June 17-July 2. Interested? You need to:

-be in grades 6-12 in the fall,
-attend training Thursday, June 17, 4:30-5:30 p.m.,
-work June 17-July 2.

Stop by the branch (Downtown, West, Malletts Creek, Pittsfield, or Traverwood) at which you are interested in helping. Go to the information desk, sign up, and take forms to complete. Return completed forms by Friday, June 11.

Jump in and lend a hand to make this our biggest summer yet!

History Bits - Building America

History in Picture Books is difficult to place where kids might discover it. Picture Books limit the text, illustrate the drama, and make real stories in history come alive for children. Here are some wonderful stories of the building of American landmarks:
Twenty One Elephants is a story of P.T Barnum's elephants and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Sky Boys and the building of the Empire State Building in 1931, one of the first "Skyscrapers".

Book Bingo!


Kids in grades K - 5 are invited to join us at the Pittsfield Branch on Thursday, July 30 from 2 - 3:30 for an afternoon of bingo. Prizes will be books, generously donated by the Friends of the Ann Arbor District Library. Each child can win one book. There will be other smaller prizes for any subsequent wins. Parents should plan on staying with the youngest players.

Ben Spitzer - Juggler and Comedian


Ben Spitzer, juggler and comedian, will return to Ann Arbor on Tuesday, July 28th for two shows to liven up your summer. He'll be at the Pittsfield Branch at 2:00 p.m. and the Downtown Library at 7:00 p.m. Join us for this fun event!

To learn how to juggle yourself, go here.

Web Bits - I'm B-O-R-E-D !!

SUMMER FUN sites on the internet "for staying safe and active" come from Gail Junion-Metz' column in SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL. Check these sites when you have free time and perhaps get UN-bored:
Exploratorium Sport Science offers incredible science bits behind sports, like why do skateboards seem to magically stick to skater's feet?
Funology Boredom Busters for craft ideas and other things to make and play.

Truck Stuck author Sallie Wolf comes to Ann Arbor!

Calling all preschoolers who love those big noisy vehicles. Come to the Pittsfield Branch on Thursday, July 23rd at 2:00 to meet Sallie Wolf, author of the picture book Truck Stuck. See what happens when a big red truck causes a traffic jam by getting stuck under a bridge. How can it be unstuck?

Craft Bits - Make Exotic Pencils

Monday we created exotic pencils to impress friends when schools start again. You can find more craft ideas to do at home in the following books:
Earth-Friendly Crafts with "clever ways to reuse everyday items".
The Usborne Children's Book Of Art an "introduction to painting ..." of famous artists, includes suggested internet links.
Usborne Complete Book Of Art Ideas with "Over 400 inspiring ideas for things to do with paints ...pens, found objects, stitches, rubbings."

Great summer walks with Brenda Bentley


Don’t miss meeting Brenda Bentley, author of Riverwalks Ann Arbor when she speaks at the downtown library 7-8:30 p.m. Friday, July 10. Her book is gaining plenty of attention, and she recently spoke to city council against removal of Argo dam, according to the Ann Arbor Chronicle. Her library program is called "Walking For Fun, Exercise And Cultural Edification In The Ann Arbor Area." Books will be on sale, and a signing will follow the presentation.

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