Curated news and ideas
for youth services.
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Welcome to Think Outside the Stacks. We're getting to the busy time of year as public libraries gear up for summer reading and school libraries get ready for the end of the year and all the administrative work that comes with it. I had to dig a little deep as Easter has taken over the kid-internet lately.  As always I love to hear feedback and suggestions for content at or @BethReads on Twitter. 

Here's What I Have for You Today:

Picture Books You Can Use for Writing Prompts (via Imagination Soup)
Several ideas for using picture books to inspire a child's own writing. It's pretty much my dream to run a bunch of fun writing clubs for different age groups so this is going in the save file. 

Required Reading: 50 of the Best Kids Comics (via Paste Magazine)
If you need a core collection of graphic novels and comics for kids this is a great place to start or to check for lost and missing books. No list is perfect alas, as my current fave Hilo was not included ;-)

Printable Science Journal with Zoey and Sassafras (via Little Bins for Little Hands)
STEM-centered fiction for early elementary readers with a little black girl as the main character. If you aren't familiar with the series you can read the SLJ review and download the free printable from the post to help your own junior scientists work through the scientific method like Zoey.

14 Children's Books with Multi-Racial Families (via What We Do All Day)
Lots of lovely picture books featuring families with diverse backgrounds. 
A Penny For Your Thoughts (via CoolMomPicks)
For those of you who circulate toys, parent kits, or other non-book items I found this very interesting. The cards are designed to help children talk about and deal with emotions and would be ideal for parent/child interaction, especially for kids who struggle with emotional intelligence. 
15 Of Our Favorite Children's Picture Books About Bees (via Homeschool Preschool)
Spring and Summer is a great time for a bee themed program or class visit. Here are some fiction books to get you started. 

How a Roadside Rest Stop Inspired an Entirely Different Approach to FAQ (via Signal v. Noise)
So here's some thinking outside one's own field that we can turn around again. I'm thinking a more positive "Yes!" sign with We can help you find a good book, We can help with the computer, We can help you find answers, We Have Programs for Preschoolers etc. etc.

Alphabet Objects (via Action Alphabet)
Many of you use featured letters either in storytime or for displays and bulletin boards. It can be hard to think of all the objects for a particular letter, but this site has a nice list. 
Paint Chip Poetry (via Zauerbear)
This would make a fun icebreaker for a poetry program or a passive program. Have teens or tweens create informal poetry around the color names on a paint swatch card. 


For those of you who might need building ideas for the summer:

Invitation to Play with Blocks (via Claire's Little Tots) 
I love how something simple as adding a few sheets of aluminum foil completely transforms block play into a new experience. 

17 New Ways to Build (via Modern Parents Messy Kids)
A whole collection of different building ideas. I know I've shared a few before. I really like the chalkboard blocks, but alas the link doesn't work. Picklebums DIY'd some out of wood, and I bet you could try it with some milk cartons and other recycled cardboard too. 

The Best Marble Runs for Kids to Build (via Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls)
There are lots of inexpensive ways to have kids build marble runs and it takes a good bit of planning and experimentation as well. 
Corner Bookmark How-to and Round Up (via Red Ted Art)
A huge selection of corner bookmarks on lots of themes including pop-culture related ones like Star Wars and TMNT. 

Just for Fun

Cute Animals and Encouraging Words (via The Latest Kate)
Lovely animal drawings with words of wisdom to cheer you on. 

Harry Potter Cocktail Pairings (via BookRiot)
Coordinate your adult beverages for your re-read with these recipes. 
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Think Outside the Stacks · Email · Cleveland Heights, OH 44118 · USA

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