Star Wars Reads in May

Calling all Star Wars fans! This month, the Library is journeying to a galaxy far, far away with Star Wars! We’ll be hosting storytimes and giving away kits for kids and teens this month.

Check out our full list of storytimes here on Facebook.

These are the books you are looking for: we have INTERACTIVE bookshelf for you to check out books related to space! Look at them here.

Kids ages 9-12 will have a DIY lightsaber kit! Use LEDs, conductive tape, plastic, and paper to make a lightsaber that actually lights up. Register here starting on 5/11 at 7 p.m. 

Teens ages 12-18 will have felt ewok kits. Make your own fuzzy little forest dwelling ewok with this fun kit. Register here starting on 5/11 at 7 p.m. 

Kits are limited and registration is required for both of them. Pick up for kits starts on 5/18 and runs until 5/24. Kits not picked up in that time span are released to the public.

Any questions or comments? Contact the Library at 512.930.3551.

April kits for all!

This month, we have kits available for kids, teens, and adults.
Kids ages 0-12 can register for a bird feeder kit. Teens ages 12-18 can register for a blackout poetry kit. (It is National Poetry month, after all!) Adults ages 18+ can register for a seed + plant marker kit.

  • Kits are limited. Each kit requires registration to pick up.
  • Registration starts 4/13 at 9 a.m. until all kits are reserved, or until 4/19
  • Pick-up kits on 4/20 through 4/26
  • Any unclaimed kits will be released to the public on 4/27

If you have any comments or questions, please contact the Library at 512.930.3551.

Spring Break 2021

Spring Break at the GPL is all about…science!

Mad Science: 3/16 at 10:30 a.m. Fun science experiments you can do at home. Experiment-a-long with us as we use common household materials to explore the wacky and wonderful world of science. Gather this list of materials so you can experiment along with us:

– 5 pennies or nickels

– a cup

– a piece of cardstock or an index card

– a piece of paper

– a pencil

– a piece of tape

Laboratory coats optional. For kids ages 0-12. Register here. 

Monarch Watch: 3/17 at 1 p.m. How do monarch butterflies change our world? How many miles do they fly to migrate? Do they really taste with their feet? All these questions and more as butterfly expert Carol talks to us about monarchs! Want a free milkweed plant to help monarchs as they fly through your backyard? The Library is giving them out! Click here.

Register here for the event! Recommended for kids ages 9-12.

Love, Your Library

This February, the Library hasn’t forgotten our youngest users. We’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with our love language: books!

 Kiddos ages 0-12 can register for a free book, bookplate, and colorable bookmark. These aren’t library books-they are books to keep. Teens ages 12-18 are getting some love too: they’ll get their own book and some candy!

Registration will run from Feb. 2-8, with pick up via curbside following from Feb. 9-15. Register here for kids and here for teens. Spots are limited, be sure to register on time!

The curbside schedule can be found here. If you have any questions, please contact the Library at 512.930.3551.

Resources for Learning at Home

As we all settle in and begin our education at home adventures, here are some resources to help parents and inspire all the learners out there.  We miss you and can’t wait to see everyone again.  Until then, stay safe, stay healthy, and stay at home and check out the library’s social media channels for more fun content and to see what the library is up to.

Library Databases
The library has several databases if you’re searching for primary sources or researching any subject. A few selected ones are particularly helpful with education, including Learning Express, which offers practice and tests for a variety of subjects from Elementary to College Prep.
General Education

BrainPop is giving free access to families as long as school is closed. Its great resource for anyone with kids in elementary and junior high school. This includes access to BrainPop, BrainPop Jr., and BrainPop ELL.

Khan Academy has resources in every subject for preschoolers through high schoolers. If you are looking for support for your high schoolers AP course, this is where to go!

The New York City Department of Education has made their Learn at Home activities available for everyone. These materials cover early childhood through high school and include suggested schedules, instructional guides and materials, and more. The site also includes plans for students with special needs and English Language Learners. Take advantage of this free resource while you can! 

PBS LearningMedia has lessons and activities for Pre-K through high school and beyond.

Classroom Magazines from Scholastic offering three weeks worth of daily lessons in a variety of subject areas for Pre-K through ninth grade.

Abdo Zoom Databases (online research for beginning readers) are available for free now through June 2020.  Databases include Animal, Biographies, STEAM, and Animales (Spanish).

Books

ABDO Elementary Digital Bookshelf  Free online books for grades Prek-8 including fiction and nonfiction, picture books, beginning readers, early chapter books, and chapter books.

ABDO Secondary Digital Bookshelf  Free online books for grades 5-12 including fiction and nonfiction, hi-lo and chapter books.

Audible Free audio books for kids including titles across six different languages.

Crabtree Digital Free online books for grades K-8 including fiction, nonfiction, and hi-lo books.

Magic Treehouse Home Adventures Find activities, online reading challenges, crafts, recipes, games, and more to explore your favorite Magic Treehouse books.

Storyline Online is a free service that streams videos featuring celebrated actors, like James Earl Jones reading childrens books alongside creatively produced illustrations.

KidLit TV has several shows as well as crafts, activities, and more all about your favorite books. You can even watch trailers about books coming soon to a library near you!

Early Childhood Education

Everyday Learning has videos and activities to introduce basic concepts of math, science, social studies, art, and health to Pre-K students.

Sesame Street This resource is packed full of age-appropriate, quality content for early childhood through early elementary grades. Sesame Street also offers resources to help parents and caregivers talk with their children about hard topics.

Sesame Street Caring filled with content you can use all day long to spark playful learning, offer children comfort, and focus a bit on yourself, too.  Includes links to free Sesame books on multiple platforms.

Circle Time of Fun offers music, art, yoga, and more for kindergarten and younger. Some are recorded and some can be streamed live. Use code: homefun1 to join beta.

P.E.

 Joe Wicks, a YouTube fitness instructor, has taken it upon himself to become the world’s PE teacher.

Cosmic Kids Yoga on Youtube Yoga, mindfulness and relaxation designed specially for kids aged 3+

English Language Arts

ReadWorks.org has reading passages, articles, and paired texts to develop the reading comprehension skills of students in kindergarten through high school and English Language Learners. They are also offering free webinars to support remote teaching and learning.

Art

Mo Williams! The author of such classics as Dont Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! and There is a Bird on Your Head! is bringing us into his studio everyday for the next few weeks for his Lunch Doodle. New episodes will be posted each weekday at 1:00 p.m. ET and then remain online to be streamed afterwards.

Kimberly Keller Follow along with certified art teacher as she guides your child through art lessons step-by-step.

Kinder Art  Step by step instructions on how to teach drawing, sculpture, art history, and more!

Metropolitan Museum of Art This resource is designed specifically for middle schoolers and younger to help them learn about more than 5,000 years of art. It also includes ideas for projects you can do at home.

Visit the Louvre Visit the museum’s exhibition rooms and galleries.

Music

Playtime Playlist Website that collects information on live streaming shows and music classes for kids.

Saint Paint Chamber Orchestra Concert Library Experience full-length digital performances for free.

Math

Prodigy Play games while practicing your math skills! Best for 1st-8th grade students.

Bedtime Math Quick to learn and easy to play math games without a screen! This resource is best for elementary school age children. Bedtime Math is also publishing Fun Factor Math Activities, new hands-on math activities every Monday and Wednesday.

Science

Childrens Museum Houston They have over 100 activities with videos covering all areas of science-biology, chemistry, physics, and more! Check it out and tell us what you learned.

Science Friday is a radio show and a podcast, but they also offer free STEM activities for Pre-K through high school created by educators and scientists.

San Diego Zoo Includes activities, videos, and games to learn about the various animals at the zoo. This resource is best for elementary school aged students.

NASA STEM @ Home Space-based STEM activities created by NASA.

Social Sciences

Time for Kids free digital access until the end of the school year.

The New York Times has current event activities for students (best for 13 years old and older).

Smithsonians History Explorer! The website has a searchable collection of hundreds of lessons and activities for kindergarteners through high schoolers as well as primary sources, artifacts, and other research material.

The Houston Museum of Natural Science has several collections you can explore online.

Ellis Island Take a virtual tour of Ellis Island as part of a larger unit on immigration in the United States.

Coding

The Hour of Code website is up year-round and has activities for preschool through high school.

Studio.org presents a series of four courses that teach computer science fundamentals. At the end of each course, students are able to create interactive games or stories for sharing online. (ages 4-14)

Scratch is a programming language used to create stories, games, and animations. Kids learn Scratch by building projects and sharing them in the Scratch online community. (ages 8-16)

Museums

Google Arts & Culture has hundreds of virtual museum tours from all over the world that you can visit without leaving your couch! You can choose to view the exhibits individually or use “street view” and “walk” around the museum.

Distractions and Other Ways to Pass the Time

Dav Pilkey at Home– get creative and have fun with some of your favorite characters from Dog Man and Captain Underpants!

PBS Kids has games and videos for fun and education geared towards younger elementary grades.

Arcademics Free math and language arts games for grades 1-6.

Genius of Plays Running out of games to play? There is probably something on here you havent played yet!

Chess Kid Learn to play chess.

Breakout EDU Fun @ Home Digital learning games for K-12th grades.

Typing Club Learn to touch type.

Free access to Amazon.com kids shows including PBS titles.  Must have an Amazon.com account.