Curated news and ideas
for youth services.
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Welcome to Think Outside the Stacks, there's been a lot going on at TOTS HQ lately but I've got some fun stuff for you. 

No featured book this week as I've been busy with reviews, but there are some good ones coming out this week. First, drop everything and go read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, and don't forget about The Ship Beyond Time. While you do that  I'll be stalking the delivery truck for my copy of Chris Colfer's new YA book Stranger Than Fanfiction. I love to hear feedback and suggestions for content at or @BethReads on Twitter. 

Here's What I Have For You Today:

18 Fun Things To Examine Under a Microscope for Preschool Science (via No Time for Flashcards)
Why? This microscope is affordable, age appropriate,  and the post has plenty of ideas for things to look at. You could easily set a science station up for your little patrons with the microscope and a basket of objects to look at. Encourage caregivers to talk with the child about what they see for an early literacy piece. 

Going on a Bear Hunt Activities for Preschool (via Pre-K Pages)
Several really cute hands-on learning activities to tie-in with We're Going on a Bear Hunt

4 Huge Lessons Children's Ministry can Learn from the Lego Company (via Relevant Children's Ministry)
Excellent thoughts about Lego's enduring popularity that are equally applicable to youth services in libraries. 

The Mile High Promise and Risk of School Choice (via NPR)
The results of school choice programs in Denver aren't that surprising. Poor kids still get the short end of the stick. Time and access to transportation play a big role and are very different across classes. 
Scavenger Hunt Ideas to Love (via How We Montessori) 
There are a number of scavenger hunt formats included that I think we could easily adapt for our libraries. I especially like Go Find It (pictured) that has kids look for things with certain qualities rather than specific items. 
How to Talk to Your Children to Discourage Stereotypes (via LifeHacker)
Good information about how generalizations, even positive ones, lead to othering and stereotypes and how to change how we talk to kids to minimize that. 

A Girl and Her Glitter Shooting Prosthetic (via CNN)
If you're having a rough day check out this 11-year-old girl who designs 3-D printed accessories to help with her limb difference. 

Educator Resources on Fake News (via EasyBib)
EasyBib has a decent infographic and a good set of links to get you started talking to your students about what "fake news" actually means. I once did an urban legends program where I'd give examples and have the teens vote true or false. You could do a similar program, or a bulletin board with flip up answer cards, that explain how to tell. 

The Lasting Impact of Mispronouncing Students Names (via NEA Today)
I may have shared this before, but it's clearly not getting through to as many people as it should.
Shadow Signs (via The Little Backyard Farm)
What a simple but smart idea. Kids could make reading/library inspired messages for a bulletin board or digital slide show. 


500 Cinderellas: Fairy Tales Reimagined (via All the Wonders)
Great insight on why fairytales and so many fairytale re-tellings persist. 

Kid Alphabet Photos (via TSJ Photography)
A school class did pictures of each letter of the alphabet for a fundraiser, and I'm just thinking of all the ways we could use our own versions. You could even do it with kids holding books over their faces to make it a bit more incognito. 

Want Be a Great Leader? Do This One Thing First (via Inc)
"No one cares how much you know until they first know how much you care about them." Boom. This may actually be the core principal of teen services. 

4 of Our Favorite Photo Booth Apps (via cool Mom Picks)
If you're thinking of adding a photo booth to your next big program (do it!) here are some apps to get it done on the tech side. 

Homemade Floam (via Parenting Chaos)
Here is a DIY recipe for floam that looks like it would save a bit of money if you wanted to make a big amount, say for a building or design themed summer reading program. 

Just for Fun

(via @glvdngoddess)
Check out the trailer for the new Julie Andrew's kid show about the performing arts!
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