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Books & Beyond

Great Outdoors

Oregon is an amazing state to explore from beaches to mountains, ancient forests to caves! Here's our collection of resources for exploring, including some fun books to get you and yours excited about outdoor adventures, wherever they may take you.

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Books & Beyond

Earth Day Every Day

In honor of Earth Day, here are some books to encourage kids' love of exploring and learning about nature.  We've also included titles about climate and environment. 

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Climate Change

Between ice storms, wildfires, and heat waves, Oregon has had its fair share of wild weather! Kids will encounter information about the environment and climate change in school, in the news, and at home. This big and complex topic can feel like a lot to explore with your kiddos, so here are some suggested resources for navigating the conversation.

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Books & Beyond

Nonfiction: Science Adventure

  Here are some of our recent favorite nonfiction titles that explore the science of the earth, the solar system, the human body, feats of endurance and ingenuity, and more.

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Exploring Mars

Robots, scientists, outer space...exploring Mars has it all! Check out some of our favorite web resources for kids on the planet Mars, along with a links to our catalog to find books for exploring for space-enthusiasts of all ages.

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Exploring Seasons: Summer

Long days, warm temps, and our beautiful outdoors...summertime in Oregon is pretty wonderful! Here are our ideas for getting out in your backyard and slightly beyond.

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Temporary Nature Art

From noticing the colors and textures to digging deeper into the symmetry and mathematics of plants, there is a lot to discover and enjoy. Creating temporary art with plants is an easy way to encourage kids to notice these patterns and create some of their own.

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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.

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Non-Fiction to Share

So maybe your bedtime reading is more realistic than magical, it’s all good when it’s time spent reading together! Here are suggestions for exploring a range of topics, from the natural world to history, inventions to adventure.

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Exploring Seasons: Spring

Yay, spring! After the cold, rainy months, the blue skies, warmer temps, and growing things sure do seem exciting. Have fun exploring this new season with your kiddo. Here are our ideas for having some springtime fun.

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Rocks and Minerals

Living in Oregon we are part of a rich geological history. Not all states can boast a state rock (hello, thunderegg!) along with federal lands that actually invite rock hunting. Here's our webliography of resources for learning more about rocks and minerals, along with a link to our catalog to find more books for exploring. Happy rock hunting!

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STEAM at home

Kids are naturally curious, and they learn about the world through exploration and play. To that end, we've gathered together various ideas for at home STEAM activities that invite kids to explore, invent, and create! 

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Exploring Seasons: Winter

January and February can feel like such long, cold months, but there's joy and excitement in the season of winter! Here are some of our ideas for finding the fun in freezing cold. So wrap up in warm clothes and head outside to explore the wonderfully, often rainy, season of winter in Oregon! 

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Snowflakes!

What do you know about snow? If you're curious and you want to learn more, then you've come to the right place. I dug through the internet looking for some great snow science sites for kids, and here's the best of what I found!

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Dinosaurs!

Why do we find dinosaurs so fascinating? We love to learn their names, look at pictures of how we imagine they looked, and daydream about that time in the deep past when dinosaurs ruled the earth.

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Pumpkin Math

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

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Spiders!

What do you think about spiders? Are you intrigued by them? Scared of them? They may be much smaller than us, but spiders can cause quite a reaction from people. So let's look closely at this creature that shares out world, and see what we can learn.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Homemade Science Lab

Kids are natural scientists. As a grownup without much of a science background, it can be daunting to try an experiment at home, because I feel like I don't have the vocabulary or knowledge to answer my kids' questions. But, it really doesn't matter! Science is about discovery, questioning and exploring. Look for the answers together! And just enjoy the process. 

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Kiddie Pool Science

Have a kiddie pool (or a bathtub)? There's something magical about those 4-6 inches of water! Kids are content to splash and sit in water for a ridiculous amount of time. Here are some simple ideas to extend that play, that require just a little prep.

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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.

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Flower Colors

With so many flowers blooming, now is a great time for some science exploration. Collect some various colors to see what colors (if any!) they produce. What can you do with the colored water?

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