Dark
Books & Beyond

Picture Books: Big Changes, Big Feelings

Starting a new school year, moving, swimming in the deep end for the first time -- big changes are often accompanied by big feelings. We've gathered some books for children about doing something new. 

Read More
Parenting Place

Helping Kids Become Web Smart

How do we help our kids (and face it, ourselves!) become more web smart? Try out some family guides that help kids learn more about becoming information literacy experts. In addition, kids can take their first steps as informed citizens with kid-focused news sites. All of these resources are great to explore as a family, sharing with your child the importance of being knowledgeable, perceptive web users.

Read More
Create!

What Is Process Art?

Children of all ages benefit from experiencing art processes and materials without the goal of a particular product that can be stuck on the fridge or given as a present. Process art can seem messy and daunting but there are some tricks for making it an enjoyable experience for everyone.

Read More
Let's Learn About...

Music

Whether your kiddo plays a musical instrument or just likes listening to music, there are some incredible musical resources out there. From symphony storytimes to classical quizzes, there is a wealth of information created with kids in mind! 

Read More
Explore Your World

Volcanoes

It's pretty incredible that we live in a region with volcanoes! Hike around the extinct lava dome at Scouters Mountain in Happy Valley or take a drive to the caves, fossilized trees, and slopes of Mt. St. Helens to see the geography of our history.

Read More
Books & Beyond

What About the Classics?

What happens when the books from our youth contain language, stereotypes, and situations that are problematic? As librarians, we don’t have all the answers for you, but here are our tips for approaching those classics that have ideas and ideals that may not match your current views.

Read More
Explore Your World

Pumpkin Math

Have a few pumpkins around? Kids of all ages (and grownups) can flex their math muscles with some simple activities using pumpkins!

Read More
Explore Your World

Exploring Seasons: Autumn

Each season brings a special opportunity to explore and discover the world around us. As someone who grew up in a place with mostly one season (ah, Louisiana, the land of muggy and hot, and muggier and hotter), the beautiful relief and joy of autumn is something to celebrate! Here are some of our suggestions for exploring the season with your kiddos.

Read More
Explore Your World

Trees!

Want to learn more about trees? It's easy to find information online, but it's hard to know what's worth your time. Here are some sites to enlighten, entertain, and amaze you!

Read More
Explore Your World

Germs!

Are germs and microbes the same thing? Is a microorganism alive? Can they be seen without a microscope? The world of microscopic creatures is all around us, hanging out in our gut, on doorknobs, in ponds...pretty much everywhere. Here's our guide to the world of microorganisms, including websites, databases, and search terms to use to find library books to dig deeper.

Read More
Books & Beyond

Start a Family Book Club

Kids are starting school, but it doesn’t look or feel the way it usually does.  The standard books about starting school just don’t apply this year.  We've gathered some books about doing something new.  We looked for titles that address the inner thoughts and emotions of children.  We hope that that sharing one or two of these books with your child helps them to acknowledge and talk about feelings of excitement, fear, or worry accompanying the start of this school year.  Searching for ways to make this time feel special?  We’ve included books that celebrate growing up and being you!

Read More
Create!

Let’s Get Writing!

Just like reading, writing is a skill to nurture in young learners. Writing allows them to make a connection between written and spoken word. It also encourages them to develop their creative side, whether they are crafting a new story or writing a letter.  Rather than just copying down words from a page, there are some fun and simple activities your child can do to become a better writer (even if they can't read yet!). 

Read More
Books & Beyond

Politics for Kids

More and more families are having open conversations about big issues, including politics. We most often associate politics with big moments in history, things like presidential elections. But when you boil it down, politics is how people in groups make decisions, at many different levels. Here are some ideas of how to introduce this concept of politics, voting, and what it means to be a citizen to your kid.

Read More
Explore Your World

Virtual Trip: Outer Space

It orbits around the Earth every 90 minutes and has for the last 20+ years! The International Space Station acts as a home, research facility and exploration tool for many countries. Here are some of resources to start your own adventure to the great unknown.

Read More
Books & Beyond

Social Justice for Kids

Parenting is hard. Having big discussions, even with other grownups much less kids, can feel daunting. Navigating what to share, how much detail and all of the other decisions can make you feel like it’s easier just not to talk about it. But kids know stuff happens. They hear it from friends, hear their grownups ...  

Read More
Books & Beyond

Podcasts for Kids

Podcasts can be completely overwhelming, but once you’ve found ones you like it’s great to have new episodes queued up and ready to go! Here’s some of my current favorites for sharing with my kids.

Read More
Parenting Place

Wide Open School

How's it going with structured activities in your home? For me, it's a balancing act, and some days I feel successful if my kids have eaten food, gotten some fresh air, and cracked open a book.

Read More
Follow Happy Valley on Facebook