December is here and that means winter! Short days with cold weather are a great opportunity to snuggle up with your kiddos and the library is here to help make it a great experience.

We started to celebrate the holiday season with our annual Gingerbread House Party on December 4th. We also have a take-home Gingerbread House program for families with young children. Both of these programs are popular and require advance registration, so make sure you reserve your spot. We have many other holiday themed crafts to grab-and-go such as Gingerbread Man craft for grades K-2, and Snowy Craft Jar for grades 3-6. As always, we have a collection of holiday themed books and dvds on hand to get you in the holiday spirit. There’s always something happening, so check the program calendar often, or drop in to the library to sign up and see what’s new.

Looking for a way to spend some time with your kiddos wrapped up in a blanket on the couch? Check out our new Virtual Story Adventures. Virtual Story Adventures are themed collections of books, songs, crafts and more! It’s a really fun way to explore topics with your child. For example, The Friendship Collection has links to books you can check out virtually, including audio books. There are simple craft ideas and links to videos. Every topic has a different collection of ideas, and more themes are coming soon. Click on the ‘Departments’ tab, then Children’s and Parents’ services, then Virtual Story Adventures. Or click the link below.

While you’re browsing around the website, take a look at the Just for Fun tab. You’ll be amazed at all the games and other content that you can enjoy with your children. PBS kids, Disney LOL, Nick and FunBrain are all linked.  The Homework Help tab also has fun resources. If your child is interested in science and animals, check out the National Geographic Kids tab.

Movie night is always a cozy way to spend a cold winter evening. Right now we have some classic family movie DVD’s on display with some popcorn for you to take home! The movies have recommendations from our staff to help you choose one your family will love. You can also use one of the library streaming services; Kanopy or Hoopla. Click on the Books, Movies and Music tab, then pull down Digital Collections and ‘Stream movies’. Be sure to have your library card on hand to sign in.

There are lots of ways to make family movie night something special to look forward to. Here are a few ideas; Choose a theme and look on for simple crafts to fit the theme. For example, you can stream Free Willy on Hoopla, and then make a printable orca whale craft. You could even pop some popcorn and drizzle with melted chocolate chips for a matching snack. Let your imaginations run wild!

You could pick a movie at the library, then find books that relate to it. For example, if you borrow 101 Dalmatians, look for books about dogs, then read a few before you watch your movie. Eat mini-Oreos to match the puppies!

There are so many great movies based on books, why not try reading a chapter book out loud to your child, a chapter at a time, then have a special movie night to celebrate after you’ve read it? Even older children who can read easily love to be read to.  Charlotte’s Web is a great book for this purpose; you can borrow the book and the dvd from the library. The original animated version is also available on Hoopla (if we don’t have something you want, you can request it from another library and it will be delivered here.)

Have a warm, cozy Winter!