This past June, we signed up for the summer reading program for the first time. The previous summer, we had fun exploring several libraries in our area. We played at lots of different libraries and at parks in different towns. We didn’t get to explore new libraries quite as much this summer since we had to be at our local library every week to turn in our reading log and complete activities. But here’s a fun memory of a day complete with TWO libraries!
First, we started off the day building “green machines” based on an episode of nick jr.’s Butterbean’s Cafe. In the show, there’s a drawing to win a green ATV, but Jasper is having such bad luck, he thinks it’s not even worth trying to win. Butterbean creates little cars out of apple slices, toothpicks, and other fruit. We used blueberries for the wheels because that’s what we had (but we’ve also made them with grapes). I think our green machine turned out pretty cute!
Next, we went to our local library to turn in our weekly reading and activity log. My daughter got a slip to put in a jar for a prize drawing. She also turned in a list of ten books we had read so that there would be $1 donated to the food pantry. My daughter also got three marbles to send through a marble track. After all that, we picked out new books to read for the following week. As we looked through the shelves, we found a display showing how tall different space objects were and a ruler to compare your height to the objects. The theme for the summer was “A Universe of Stories,” so there we several space-inspired activities.
Since there was still plenty of time left in our day, we decided to check out a library we had never visited before. While it isn’t super far away from us (maybe 20 minutes or so), it’s in an area with lots of one-way streets and confusing intersections, so I don’t like to drive there often! This particular day was VERY hot, so my plan was to head straight into the library and its air conditioning, but my daughter noticed the playground so we got side-tracked. The playground was so cute, though – because it was Arthur-themed! Yes, like Marc Brown and the PBS show Arthur! Unfortunately, my daughter didn’t seem to remember the show or books we had read when she was really little, but I definitely sang the theme song for her to see if it sparked a memory! “Every day when you’re walking down the street/everybody that you meet/has an original point of view…”
Once we got too sweaty, we went inside the library. We ended up walking around the entire building though, because we weren’t really sure where the front door was. Turns out, it’s pretty obvious – if you park in the right spot! Inside, the library was very big and spacious. There was a large area where adults were working at computers. We went upstairs to the children’s area and were impressed with the sensory area for little kids. There were lots of fun little places to sit and tons of materials to choose from. We found a cool window seat to sit in, where we could spy on the adults down below! We read a few cute books before heading home.
After supper, we finished off our meal with a simple yet delicious dessert: strawberry shortcake. I had thawed a Sara Lee All Butter Pound Cake (which I found in our local supermarket’s freezer section) in the fridge, and then cut it into slices when I was ready to serve it. I chopped up strawberries and added a bit of sugar and then heaped it on top of the slices of pound cake. Adding a generous dollop of cool whip to the top, this dessert was the perfect way to end a summer day.
It may only be the beginning of winter, but this memory sure has me dreaming about the fun things we’ll do next summer!