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Karen, Kids and Families Outreach Librarian

I love the fall! From the changing leaves to drinking hot apple cider on chilly evenings, the fall brings a rich variety of things to do and to make.  When I was a teacher, we would go on nature walks and talk about the season changes while collecting leaves for crafts and games.  I thought I would share a couple of my favorite craft activities as well as some fall themed books.  I savor this season as long as I can before the snow flies!

*I found instructions for these activities and more on www.kidsactivities.net. Make sure to check out 'Stained Glass Leaves with crayons'.  Another one of my favorites!

1. Sun Prints

You will need: Colored construction paper (that can fade in the sun), leaves gathered outside, glue stick or liquid glue, tape

  • Dab a bit of glue into the back of a leaf.  I suggest using leaves that are not too crunchy.
  • Glue the leaf to a piece of construction paper.
  • Tape the paper to a sunny window with the leaf facing outside.  Leave for 3-4 days or until you notice the paper color has faded.
  • Remove from window and gently peal the leaf off to reveal the print.  
  • Talk science with your child! Why did the paper around the leaf fade? (bleaching)  Why didn't the paper under the leaf fade? (not exposed to the light or shadowed)

2. Leaf Animals, People, Cars...

You will need: A variety of leaf types- different shapes, sizes and colors, construction paper, liquid glue, tape, crayons or markers

  • Gather different kinds of leaves outside- make sure they aren't too dry!  Talk about sizes, shapes, colors.  
  • Arrange leaves on paper to make an animal or person or car.  What other things can your child think of?
  • Glue each piece on the paper.  Let your creation dry.  Tape can help hold leaf edges down.  
  • Use crayons or markers to draw eyes, other body parts and details.  Make a fall scene! 


Fall themed books to inspire you! 

Fall Leaves by Loretta Holland. Gorgeous Illustrations light up each page!

Winter is Coming by Tony Johnston. See the fall through the little girl's eyes as she returns to same place to watch autumn change to winter.  


Photo credit: Flickr

Anna, Kids and Families Outreach Librarian

I recently heard Rae Pica speak on the importance of moving while learning. This is active learning; engaging the body and mind. Research shows children learn best when they experience new ideas and concepts through play and movment. In an article Pica wrote titled In Defense of Active Learningshe explains that moving our bodies helps activate our brains. She had a few cute pre-writing movement ideas I thought would be fun to do at home with your little ones. 

- Hand and Finger Activities: Sing "Open, Shut Them". Many libraries sing this song to begin their Storytimes. This song activates the brains of our babies, toddlers, and preschoolers as they practice their hand-eye coordination; a must-have pre-writing skill.  

- Sky Writers: Use your index finger to "write" a letter, word, or a name in the sky. This will help your child practice the feeling of straight and curvy. You could take this a step further and pretend to put your sky writer in your belly button or on the tip of your nose while writing the word in the air. Kids love the belly button writer and it's super cute to watch too! 

- The Above, Below, and On movement: Tape a line on the floor, use the straight edge of a rug or strech a ribbon across the floor and jump above the line, below the line, or on the line. This will help your child understand where to start and where to finish writing lower case and upper case letters. After playing this game, practice writing letters, words, or names on paper. 

- Build a Story: Start a story and take turns adding to the plot creating the beginning, middle, and end of a story. For example, you could start this activity by saying, " Once there was a dog who..." and let your child add the next idea. Then you, or another family member contributes the following part of the story. This activity demonstrates the beginning, middle, and end of a story. It's a great way to pass the time in the car too! 

-The Mirror Game: This game is important for replicating what the eye sees. This replication is what learning to write is all about. Stand infront of your child and take turns mimicing each others' movements. You and your child should try to move as if you were seeing a reflection of yourself in the mirror. Lucy does it best in this video clip below. Lucy is a crack up and I think this should have you and your child smiling too! Go ahead, throw on that Halloween costume while you do this! 

Come to one of our 'Movin and Grovin' Fests'. The next fest is this Saturday, October 24th, at the Arvada Library and the Evergreen Library from 11:00am-4:00pm. We will have crafts! 

Photo Credit: Neville Nel


Register now for Monday's special presentation with author Ann Ross through the Libary to You's special Author Phone Talk. Listen in as Ann Ross discusses the writing, characters and plots of the popular Miss Julia mystery series. One fan pegs the infamous Miss Julia as “a strong, sassy, Southern woman transformed by dramatic and sometimes comical circumstances outside her control.” The sixteenth in the series, Miss Julia Lays Down the Law is perhaps the steel magnolia’s most exciting adventure yet.

We'll be live tweeting throughout the talk, so if you haven't already followed us on Twitter, be sure to do so here.

About the Book

At first, Miss Julia and the other A-list ladies are pleased to be invited over to newcomer Connie Clayborn’s for coffee, but the afternoon turns into a slap in the face when their snobby hostess spouts nonstop criticism about Abbotsville. Why, how dare she?

Days later, Miss Julia decides to confront Connie woman to woman, but when she arrives, Connie is lying on the kitchen floor—lifeless in a pool of blood. Who could have done this? Miss Julia will need to find out fast—particularly because her fingerprints are now all over the crime scene...

We welcome 100 participants to listen to the presentation and then have questions answered by the author! Submit your questions and comments when you register at homeservices@jeffcolibrary.org or by calling 303.275.6173. 

Date: Monday, November 16, 2015

Time: 1 – 2 p.m. MT

Location: We’ll call the number you register with, so listen in from wherever y'all are!

Check out the book from Jeffco Library. Also, autographed copies of Ms. Ross’ books are available from her hometown bookstore, The Fountainhead Bookstore. Call 828-697-1870 to order and be sure to mention “Jeffco Library” for special autograph and inscription requests.

Limited to the first 100 registrants.



Teen Read Week™ is a national adolescent literacy initiative created by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). It began in 1998 and is held annually in October to encourage teens to be regular readers and library users. We’re kicking off Teen Read Week by highlighting some of the programs and opportunities Jeffco Library offers exclusively for teens.

Teen Advisory Board

We include actual teenagers in the decisions we make regarding teen programming and materials. Every library has its own TAB (Teen Advisory Board), a group of teens interested in becoming more involved in their library and community. These teens work with our Teen Services staff to give input on library YA collections, contribute to the Teen blog, help create teen programming, volunteer at events, organize community service projects, and influence how their library serves teens. Want to learn more about joining your local TAB? Just ask your local Teen librarian. 

Teen Blog Submission

We love highlighting our teens’ amazing talent! Teens can submit their original creative writing, editorials, book/movie reviews, photography, or artwork to be featured on our Teen Blog. Check out what’s been posted recently and submit your own work.

Movie Passes

Our Teen Services Coordinator has incredible connections that get our teens exclusive access to FREE passes to advanced screenings of hot movies, like Goosebumps and Me & Earl & The Dying Girl. Join her email list so you can learn about upcoming advanced screening passes too! 

After Dark Events

Ever wonder what your local library’s like after hours? Many of our libraries become TEEN ONLY zones once a month by offering programing that takes place after we’ve kicked everyone else out of the library. Find an After Dark event at your library.  


Teens can get homework help from Colorado School of Mines student volunteers every Wednesday and Thursday at the Golden Library.

Special Events

Our Teen Services staff puts on more programs and events for teens than we can count; LEGO Clubs, movie nights, writing workshops, and more! See all our Teen events right here


You can learn more about Teen Read Week and join the conversation about it on Twitter with #TRW15.



Halloween is lurking just around the corner. We love this holiday and have a hauntingly fun list of events to get you in the spirit. 

Join us throughout the month for terrifying treats and haunted horrors on the big screen. DO dress up as your favorite spooky specter so the other monsters don't think you're just a tasty tidbit. And speaking of tasty tidbits, feel free to bring your own snacks to enjoy and share with our other ghoulish guests.

11:30 a.m. Saturday, October 24 - Poltergeist (PG)
2 p.m. Saturday, October 24 - Hotel Transylvania (PG) - This movie is part of our Family Movie Matinee series.
10:30 a.m. Saturday, October 31 - Universal Monster Movie Marathon

Teens, 11-18, join us for a Halloween party with plenty of spooky activities and light snacks. Don't forget to dress up. The best costume wins a prize!

6:30 p.m. Friday, October 30

Twisted Tales: A Murder in Wonderland. There’s been a murder in Wonderland and you need to solve it. Don’t be late for this very thrilling date. Murder Mystery written and performed by teens.

6:00 p.m., Friday, October 23
Grades 6 – 12. Costumes required, cosplay encouraged. Register online.

Join the Lakewood Library staff for spooky stories, crafts, and other fun activities. Great for young children.

6:30 p.m. Thursday, October 29

Arvada, Belmar, Columbine, Edgewater
Superhero Training Academy

Calling all Superheroes! It’s time to decide if you’re a bird, a plane or… [make something up!]. Visit your favorite library to enroll in Superhero Training Academy. Enjoy heroic stories and create your own identity. Make a costume and start training for super exploits. Hang out and compare your super power with other superheroes too. Who knows, you could save the world! Registration is required. Free tickets available one week before the program.  Go online to jeffcolibrary.org or call 303-235-5275 (JCPL). Ages 5 -10.

  • 5 p.m. Tuesday, October 20 – Edgewater
  • 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 21 - Golden
  • 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 21 - Evergreen
  • 6:30 p.m.  Tuesday, October 27 - Arvada
  • 3:30 p.m. Thursday, October 29 – Belmar
  • 3:30 p.m. Friday, November 13 - Standley Lake
  • 6 p.m. Monday, November 16 – Columbine

Standley Lake
Spooky Stories with a Grin
7 p.m. Friday, October 30
Age 6+. Free tickets available one week prior.

Don't get spooked. Do get in the mood and enjoy Halloween with Jeffco Library!


This week we hosted author and education specialist Rae Pica as the guest speaker at an event for parents, teachers, educators and childcare providers.

The Movin’ and Groovin’ event kicks off a month of special events for our littlest patrons. Throughout October and November our locations are hosting Movin’ and Groovin’ Fests to put into action some of the strategies to help get every child read to read when they start school.

Rae shared some of her favorite strategies and we want to share them with you.

Take a Listening Walk.
Walk with your child. Even as a baby in a stroller, talk to your baby as you walk along.  Use words to describe the sounds you hear along the way. Your baby is absorbing it all as he processes his environment.  Ask your toddler to listen for the natural sounds of birds, wind, or dogs barking. Then ask them to listen for the human sounds of cars, laughter, and construction.

Use music to encourage active listening.
Those childhood favorite songs, like BINGO or Heads-Shoulders-Knees and Toes, and Old McDonald, are key to helping young children learn sequencing, body movement and awareness, and patterns.

Play musical games.
Toddlers and preschoolers love musical games that get their bodies and minds engaged. Add a twist to the old favorite “musical chairs” by asking kids to freeze like a statue when the music stops, or play musical partners, giving their friend a hug when the music stops playing.

Talk – sing, whisper, shout!
Sing, chant, and mix it up by having the children say their name different ways.  Have them chant their name to learn rhythm. Have them say their name fast and then slow to practice tempo. Have them say if softly in a whisper, then shouting to learn volume. Have them sing their name to put it all in action.

You’ve got to move it, move it!
Ask children to move differently when saying their name in fun ways. As they whisper their names, have them put that quiet movement into action by tiptoeing. When they shout it, ask them to stomp each syllable/beat.  When they sing their name, encourage them to dance it.

Sky write!
Imagine your finger is a giant crayon, and then ask the children to “draw” in the air the first letter of their name. Start big, then go smaller, and smaller.  Get creative by using different parts of your body. Have them try writing the letter as if their bellybutton held the crayon, or their head.  The giggles will come out, but without any pressure.  Skywriting encourages movement, helps kids understand straight versus curvy lines, all without pressure since it’s not permanent and mistakes can’t be seen.

Play balloon volleyball.
There’s no better way to build eye-hand coordination (a prerequisite to writing!) than by playing volleyball with a balloon. Or through a chiffon scarf into the air and encourage the children to catch it. Nobody gets hurt, but they’ll be developing that precious coordination they’ll need later to hold a pencil and write.

All of these strategies of free language and movement help promote directionality and spatial awareness for children. They build word comprehension and future literacy skills. As Rae said when she wrapped up her presentation, “the best way to teach a child to write is to let them play at the playground. Gross motor skills must be developed before fine motor skills can be honed.”

You can find some of Rae’s books in our libraries and we encourage you to bring the family to one of our Movin’ and Groovin’ Fests.

Oh, one last thing…we’d like to thank the Jefferson County Library Foundation for supporting the Movin’ and Groovin’ event this week! Their support of our programs made the evening possible.


If you’ve been there, you get it. People spend hours browsing our Foundation's Whale of a Used Book Sale to see what hidden treasures await.  The first day is always packed. That’s the simple truth.

Granted, some folks thrive on this kind of environment. They totally rock the elbowing, grabbing and “swimming against the tide” thing. If you’re not that kind of person, and/or you’ve ever wondered how to get ahead of the stampede, here’s how.

Your membership to the Friends of Jefferson County Public Library guarantees you a spot at preview night before the Whale Sale begins. This is your opportunity to get your hook into the best catch.

The Preview night takes place from 6-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22. Join Friends now or you can join at the door. We promise, once you join, you’ll be hooked.


Whale Sale Details:

Fall Whale of a Used Book Sale Free Admission! Browse through 100,000+ books, CDs, DVDs and more!

Thursday, October 22 - Preview Night for Friends members
6 - 8 p.m.


Friday,October 23-24
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

* Sunday, October 25
11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

* Sunday is "Bag Day". Stuff as many items as you can into a grocery sized bag for just $6.

For more information call 303-403-5075




October is National Adopt-A-Dog Month! We’ve teamed up with the folks at Foothills Animal Shelter to create reading recommendations for some of their adoptable dogs. You can learn more about the dogs featured in this post by visiting www.FoothillsAnimalShelter.org or calling 303-278-7575.

Three-month-old Chihuahua mix, Melvin, is curious about everything and wants to have someone show him around! Since he’s also a great snuggler, we think he’ll enjoy cuddling up with someone and reading Stanley at School by Linda Bailey. Melvin’s pet ID is 153102 if you want to meet him! 

Meet June Bug! This 6-month old American Bulldog mix is looking for someone to keep her company! She has a passion for the outdoors and people, and she loves giving kisses. We think she’d love reading about a girl and her dog’s autumnal adventures in Jung-Hee Spetter’s Lily and Trooper’s Fall. If you want to learn more about June Bug, her pet ID is 162703.

Say hello to Merlin! He’s in search of an active, high energy home where his outgoing and affectionate nature will be appreciated. Since he seems like the perfect hiking companion, we thought he’d like Hiking and Backpacking with Dogs by Linda B. Mullally. He'll be sure to find and share some tips with his new owners. Merlin’s pet ID is 153102 if you’d like to meet with him. 

This is Kaiser and he just wants to play all day. He’s a one-year-old Rottweiler mix seeking an adventurous buddy with whom he can explore the great outdoors. We think he’ll be able to appreciate the adventures in Sophie: The Incredible True Story of the Castaway Dog by Emma Pearse. Want to discuss the book with Kaiser? His pet ID is 162653.   

Cute Critter Extra! 

This adorable Chinese dwarf hamster is Mamay. She can be a little shy, but she’s very nice and easy to handle. She likes to burrow deep down in her bedding. We think she’ll enjoy reading about other animals' cuddling habits in Can You Cuddle a Koala? by John Butler. Mamay’s pet ID is 160965 if you want to cuddle up with her.  

Jenny, Golden Library

My three year old loves this app ($2.99 apple/android) but I was hesitant to recommend it, at first. It doesn't SEEM like an early literacy app. It seems like a cute diversion for waiting rooms and restaurants (and it is that!), but the more I thought about it, and I thought about WHY she likes it, I figured I should share with you. 

Jinga the cat is going on a road trip to visit your child's choice of 3 friends: a dog, a rabbit, and a bird. Each friend lives in a exotic locale: mountains, pyramids or beach. You tap a friend to get started on your trip. 

Next, you must pack Jinga's suitcase. And this is where I started to realize that Road Trip is an excellent app for teaching narrative skills. We talk about where Jinga is headed: "Do you think she's going to need her swimsuit in the snowy mountains?" "What else do you think she should bring?"

Then, you choose a car. There are normal cars, sure, but the ice cream truck, pickle car, and shoe car are big favorites in our house. All you have to do to get Jinga going is tap her car. The more aggressively you drag Jinga, the faster she goes - much to her dismay at times. She has wonderful expressions for bumpy roads and hard landings. My daughter's favorite part is making Jinga look positively terrified. 

Other features include the ability to stop for a car wash and gas. Once Jinga reaches her destination, you're back to the map and ready to choose another friend to visit! There aren't any levels or time limits, it's just a child-driven road trip adventure with fun cartoon friends. 

As is, this is a great addition to a "first app" collection for 2-4 year olds. Talking about the story and the choices your child makes for Jinga along the way (the middle) from Point A (the beginning) to Point B (the end) also makes it a fantastic app for practicing Narrative Skills

Bonus: no in-app purchases! No ads! No Wifi needed to use the app once its downloaded!

Caveat: it's kind of expensive for what it is, but it's offered for free fairly regularly. We've also got Sago Mini Boats (pretty much the same, but with boats!) and Friends (an animal friends playdate) and didn't pay for any of them. Try Apps Gone Free (apple) or App of the Day (Google Play).

Jill J. Outreach Librarian, Kids & Families

As the weather turns colder, we find ourselves spending more and more time indoors.  Why not turn cooking with your kids into a fun, healthy experience which helps reinforce elements of early literacy too? 

Recently, my 5 year old son came home and asked me “Mommy, what is lasagna?”  I used this opportunity to have a lot of fun!   I found a cookbook with attractive photographs  and showed him how to use the index to look for “L” for lasagna.  After we found a great recipe, we grabbed some paper and pencils to create our shopping list.  I had him do a combination of drawing pictures of food and writing words.  We headed to the store, looked for our ingredients together, brought them home and got everything ready to go.  We had a lot of fun reading the recipe together and following the different steps on our way to making our fantastic lasagna dish.  My son had so much fun with this cooking adventure and felt very proud for helping make such a yummy creation.  To top it off, he got to practice reading and writing activities AND we got to spend some wonderful, fun, quality time together. 

Check out your local library for some great cookbooks.  Be sure to look for ones that focus on cooking with kids to find simple, fun recipes with colorful photographs to really attract your kids’ attention.  Here are a few I would recommend:


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