Dive Into Online Activities with Your Favourite Authors!

As we move into Level 3 of the nationwide lockdown, I was curious to know what some authors were doing with their time. I decided to do some online searching, and it was fascinating! Not only are there some very creative authors out there, but I also kept getting side-tracked by all the other groovy stuff that’s being created and shared online at this time. It reminded me of diving into a very deep swimming pool of creativity.

Maybe you could “go swimming” yourself, with a parent or caregiver on hand to keep you safe online of course!

Here’s some of the great activities and webpages I discovered, so this might be a good place to start your swim:

Dav Pilkey – author of Dogman and Captain Underpants books and so much more has created a fantastic lockdown activities page, Dav Pilkey At Home, on the Scholastic Books website. This page is chock full of videos, activities, and things to draw, read and write to keep you occupied during lockdown. While you’re checking out Dav Pilkey At Home, why not read Dav Pilkey’s books online through our eLibrary?

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Fifi Colston is not only an amazing NZ children’s author, but she’s a wonderfully creative artist as well. Check out her Fifi Colston Creative Pandemic Resources page for a huge range of really creative craft activities you can do with stuff you find at home. For example, see below for an incredibly cool project you can do with nothing but empty toilet paper rolls and a couple of other bits and bobs

Image credit: Fifi Colston – Pots of Love

Finally, don’t forget to check out local school websites as well. Wellington’s Raroa Normal Intermediate School library website has a very deep pool of at-home resources and activities to swim amongst, and it was here that I really started to swim down some side streams and waterways! They’ve aptly named their page Rāhui Resources.

Here are just a couple of pages I freestyled my way into from Rāhui Resources:

  • New Zealand Geographic magazine have put together an awesome Together at Home page with something new to explore in this beautiful country of ours for every day of lockdown.
  • And life just wouldn’t be complete without a few comics to enjoy. SJL.com (School Library Journal) have put up some free kids and teen comics for you to enjoy including the popular Cucumber Quest, Ozy and Millie and Wormworld Saga comic books.

Finally, just because… if you’ve got an iPad at home, why not try your hand at some blackout poetry:

Here’s my blackout poem using this Stuff News KEA Kids News article

Celebrating in lockdown,
Special day, cake, video chats
A happy family wish to you.
Our planet healthier
Growing native plants
In this unusual time.

Keep safe, and remember — wash your hands!

Real Time, Real Person, Real Help with your Schoolwork

Note: this Kids’ Blog post is targeted at adults! Kids read on with caution.

In these strange new times, teachers, parents and other educators are looking to the Internet for homework help and educational resources to keep their kids’ brains active while schools are closed. Good news! The library can be an invaluable resource for anybody who is trying online education at this time, above and beyond eBooks and online databases. How? Enter AnyQuestions.

Have any questions? Why not try AnyQuestions!

AnyQuestions is a service run by the National Library and staffed by public librarians from around New Zealand, including Wellington City Libraries. On it, children are able to chat in real-time with a real librarian fully trained in web-based research about any question they might have. The librarian working with your child won’t just give them the answer directly — instead, they guide the student through the process of doing online research, checking their understanding every step of the way.

For the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, the service’s opening hours have been extended — now there are librarians on hand to help every weekday from 10am – 6pm.

If you prefer to work outside those hours, or just want a place to find great resources, try AnyQuestions’ sister site, ManyAnswers. This is a service also provided by the National Library and public librarians, and it’s a fully searchable, always-available database of reliable information and vetted resources for the most commonly-asked questions we receive. You can even search by year level to make sure you’re getting information that’s curated for the right level.

Both services are available year-round, so why not start making use of them today?

KEA Kids News

Want to know more about the latest news and important issues? Tune in to watch KEA Kids News, which will help explain the tough stuff. KEA Kids News is a twice-weekly video bulletin of new by kids for kids.

Inquisitive kid reporters will pick and peck through local, national, and international news to find interesting stories and ask questions. It’s aimed at 7 – 11 year olds.

Tune in every Wednesday at midday, and Saturday at 9am for the latest video bulletin at stuff.co.nz/KEA

Here’s the most recent episode for you to enjoy.

 

Also, don’t forget about Kiwi Kids News, which is another amazing news site for New Zealand children that has daily updates on all sorts of interesting and inspiring things. Bookmark them both!

New Zealand Sign Language Week: 6th- 12th May

This week is New Zealand Sign Language week. It is a good chance for us to learn what life is like for those people who have hearing loss and to help raise awareness for the New Zealand Deaf Community.

New Zealand Sign Language is one of our official languages and is unique to New Zealand. It includes signs for Maori terminology and concepts that you will not find in the sign language of other countries. Sign languages are different all over the world and even in New Zealand people in Wellington may sign slightly differently to people in Christchurch.

One in six New Zealanders have some form of hearing loss and there are thousands of New Zealanders that use NZSL everyday.

Head on over to the Deaf Aotearoa website where there are some great resources and you can check out events happening in your area.

The library also has books on learning NZSL plus books about children who have hearing loss and what life is like for them.


Bee Aware Month!

September is Bee Awareness month and this year Apiculture New Zealand are focusing on bee health by educating us on how we can feed the bees and help protect our precious bee population.

Did you know that bees support New Zealand’s agri-industry exports by over $5 billion annually – that is heaps! Plus they help grow one third of all the food we eat as well as helping our gardens flourish and look beautiful.

There is heaps that we can do to help out our little buzzing friends and one of the easiest way is by planting bee friendly plants and flowers. Bees need food so that they can help pollinate the food we eat. Bees will feed on pollen and nectar and this helps them to grow and Bee strong which helps them to fight off disease and parasites.

Bees also need clean water so why not make a shallow container for them to drink from. Just make sure you put pebbles and twigs in the water so the bees have something to rest on while they are drinking.

Another way we can help the bees is to stop spraying our gardens with harmful pesticides which kill the bees.

Palmers Garden Centre who are supporting Bee Awareness Month have information and competitions on their website plus check out their 5 top tips for a bee friendly backyard.

The library also has heaps of books on bees so take a look and… Lets save our bees!

International Asteroid Day

Did you know that there is an International Asteroid Day?

Asteroid Day aims to raise awareness about asteroids and what can be done to protect the Earth, its families, communities and future generations from a catastrophic event.

It was co-founded in 2014  by Dr. Brian May an astrophysicist and rock legend, Danica Remy  president of B612 FoundationRusty Schweickart an astronaut and Grig Richters a German filmmaker.

Following on from this the United Nations General Assembly officially declared June 30th each year as the International Asteroid Day.

June 30 was chosen because it marks Earth’s largest asteroid impact in recorded history, the Siberia Tunguska event, which occurred on the 30 June 1908 and devastated over 2,000 km2 of forest, an area the size of any major city today.

A declaration was created called the 100X Declaration where scientist and technologist who support the idea of saving the earth from asteroids were asked to sign. But the really cool thing is that everyone has the opportunity to sign. To date the 100X Declaration has been signed by more that 22,000 private citizens.

There is heaps of information, resources, movies, videos, fun stuff plus the countdown until June 30 on the official International Asteroid Day website so check it out. And don’t forget we also have lots of information and books in the library.

 

 

 

 

Talk Like a Pirate!

Well “Shiver me timbers” and “Hoist the mainsail” it’s International Talk Like a Pirate day on Tuesday the 19th of September! So how good is your pirate language? Ever wanted to learn how to speak pirate? Well now you can through Mango Languages! If you go to My Gateway on the Library website: www.wcl.govt.nz/mygateway then select Mango Languages on the database, put in your library card number and surname, then select Pirate you’ll come up with the “Booty”! Soon you’ll be confounding your teachers and classmates by asking them to “Belay yer carsouin’ and haul wind smartly”. So try introducing yourself on Tuesday as “A fine gentleman of fortune, I may tell ye plainly” and see how many people turn tail and run before they have to walk the plank!

Want to find out more about the real pirates who sailed the seven seas? We have loads of books with information about what really happened on the high seas. There were many famous pirates such as Captain Kid and Blackbeard who I most definitely would not want to have met! But did you know that there were female pirates as well? Anne Bonny was one of the most famous and could handle a cutlass as well as any man. Lots of interesting facts to find out about pirates in this book, “The Everything Pirate book: A swashbuckling history of adventure on the high seas” by Barb Karg and Arjean Spaite.

Have you ever read “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson? “When young Jim Hawkins is left a treasure map by the dying buccaneer Billy Bones, he sets sail on the Hispaniola in search of the island. Among the crew, the one-legged Long John Silver becomes his greatest friend, but Silver has a shocking secret in store, and when they reach their destination, Jim faces danger and adventure greater than he could ever have imagined.” A truly great read! Continue reading

Wonders of the World!

There are so many awesome things to discover about our world.

The land we live on, the animals that share it, different cultures, ancient times, volcanoes, earthquakes and World Wars. Not to mention us!  Now that is a very interesting and complicated topic.

The National Geographic Kids website is a great place to visit and just have fun discovering all sorts of interesting things about our planet and everything on and in it.  We can even go a little bit further and explore space and beyond. For instance I discovered that there are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on all the beaches on Earth. That’s at least a billion trillion. Wow – amazing.  I also learnt that a new skyscraper goes up in China every 5 days and that all the blood in my body travels through my heart every minute.

I love this website – there are so many great and interesting things to discover.

You also might like to check out these great books on some of the very special places and interesting things about our world.

 


 

 

Water, water, everywhere!

There has been a lot of talk in the media lately about how clean the rivers and streams are in New Zealand.

Most of us would love to be able to swim in local rivers but unfortunately that is not always the case. Some have so much pollution that it is not safe for us to do so.

Having enough clean water is becoming a really big concern throughout the world. When you turn on the tap at home, stop and think where did this water come from, or why it is that not everyone in the world has enough water?

Did you know that the average family of four uses 45,000 litres of water a year just to wash clothes. That’s 300 bathtubs full. How about that cheeseburger you had for dinner last night. That required 2,400 litres of water to produce. Most of the water is needed for producing the beef and when you include the slice of cheese and the bun that is another 100 litres of water. Even that bar of chocolate requires 1,700 litres of water to produce – in fact chocolate is made from ingredients with large water footprints: cocoa paste, cocoa butter and cane sugar. Cocoa beans are native to rainforests and require vast amounts of water to thrive.

So come on, lets make a start to help clean up our waterways and share these great ideas with your family to help save water

Come on a time travelling adventure!

If you could travel back in time to any point in history, where would you go?

Right back to the Stone age being chased by a saber tooth tiger. Maybe in Ancient Egypt helping build the great pyramids or how about being a Viking sailing on one of their great ships.

What about going the other way – into the future. What do you think our world will be like? Maybe we could be living on Mars!

How do you feel about time travel? Do you think that one day we might be able to travel to any point in time or do you think that’s just weird.

Either way it is fun to read books on time travel and we have heaps of choice for you.