Note: See pdf file below to print and see pictures of activities.
I. MAGIC PUMPKIN
• Large bag of Reese’s Pieces
• Measuring cup with hot tap water (works best with freshly boiled water due to
Colorado’s high altitude; an adult can place in a measuring cup and pour)
• White plate or platter
• Toothpicks or small straws
1. Arrange your Reese’s Pieces in the shape of a pumpkin. We placed the orange candies in
a circle to form the sides and used four brown candies to make the stem at the top. You
can add a brown mouth and maybe even yellow for the eyes if you like. Do you like the
way it looks?
2. What do you predict will happen once we add the water? In science, we call your guess
a hypothesis. Tell each other your guesses or write them down. You can even draw what
your pumpkin looks like now and what you think it will look like after we add the warm
water. This is called the Scientific Method (see below for more information on the
3. Very slowly add some hot water, pouring along the outside edge of the pumpkin. Add
only enough water to cover the plate (adult help may be required).
4. The magic pumpkin will slowly appear! Enjoy a couple nibbles of candy and watch what
the water does. You can use your toothpicks or straws to swirl the colors. It’s magical!
The Science Behind It
The shells of Reese’s Pieces are made with food coloring and sugar. When the candies come
into contact with the hot water, that sugar dissolves into the water and the colors spread
across the plate, filling the pumpkin. This activity is a simple way to introduce states of matter
Project adapted from: https://www.playdoughtoplato.com/magic-pumpkin-science/
II. CREEPY SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS WITH DRY ICE
SAFETY NOTE: Dry ice can be purchased at the Customer Service counter in the grocery store. Keep it in the heavy plastic bag it comes in! The ice should be purchased the same day you plan to use it; it will gradually sublimate, returning to its gaseous state, if it sits unused for too long. Don’t plan to store the dry ice in your freezer! It is so cold that it will trick your freezer into thinking that it needs to shut off!
Do plan to store it in a Styrofoam chest … unless you are going to use it as soon as you get it
home. An adult should oversee these projects for safety.
Screaming Dry Ice
• Dry ice
• Heavy work gloves
• Stainless-steel tongs
Using a pair of heavy work gloves (leather is best), hold a piece of dry ice in one hand,
and a pair of stainless-steel kitchen tongs in the other. Use the tongs to securely grab
hold of the chunk of dry ice.
As the room temperature tongs bring heat to the surface of the extremely cold dry ice, the ice
will begin to sublimate (kind of like “melting” from a solid back to a gas). The process causes the tongs to slightly vibrate, producing a high-pitched scream! So be prepared!
Set your dry ice aside for another experiment.
Spooky Bubbling Tower
• Dry ice
• Heavy work gloves
• Tall glass container
• Tray or cookie sheet with low sides
• Very warm water
• Food coloring
• Dawn dish soap
1. With a gloved hand, place your plastic bag of dry ice on a surface that will allow you to
hammer the ice into some smaller chunks (not too tiny) … like a sidewalk or driveway.
Leave all the pieces in the bag and return them to the Styrofoam chest until you need
2. Place the glass container on a tray or cookie sheet. Fill the container with 2-3” of very
3. With your gloved hand, pick up a couple of ice chunks and place them in the container.
The water will bubble as the ice begins to sublimate, and carbon dioxide gas will be
released from the ice in the form of a misty “smoke,” or “fog.” Put your hands in the
“fog” and blow it around a bit!
4. While the water is rapidly bubbling (you may need to add 2-3 more chunks of ice …
don’t forget the leather glove), add a couple drops of food coloring for a spooky potion.
5. Next, drizzle in some Dawn dish soap. This will produce a bubbling tower! The
movement of the water, caused by the sublimating ice, will cause soap bubbles to form,
bubbles that are filled with carbon dioxide. Go ahead … POP a handful of bubbles. Then
watch to find out how long it takes for the ice to completely sublimate and escape in the form of a gas in the soap bubbles.
Crystal "Bubble" Ball
• Dry ice
• Heavy work gloves
• Glass mixing bowl with rounded rim (less than 12” in diameter)
• Tray or cookie sheet
• Very warm water
• Dawn dish soap
• Strip of cotton fabric (old t-shirt)
• Small plastic cup
1. Mix 2 tablespoons dish soap with 1 tablespoon warm water in the small cup. Submerge the cotton strip in the cup to soak.
2. Fill the glass bowl half full with very warm water. Place on tray or cookie sheet. Add a
few chunks of dry ice to the water so that a lot of “fog” is produced.
3. Dip a finger in the soap/water solution and run your finger around the rim of the bowl,
wetting the rim surface.
4. Remove the cotton strip from the cup, running your fingers down it to remove excess
soap. Stretch the cloth between your hands and slowly pull the soapy cloth across the
rim of the bowl. Your goal is to create a soap film that stretches across the entire bowl.
*It might take a little practice to master the technique! The thin layer of soap stretched
across the rim of the bowl traps the expanding cloud of carbon dioxide gas to create a
giant bubble … a kind of crystal ball perfect for looking into the future!
III. FROG EYES (Edible Water Beads):
• Tapioca pearls
• Food coloring (if desired)
• Pot for boiling water
• Container for bead play
1. Follow instructions on package for boiling Tapioca.
2. Once boiled, rinse Tapioca under cool water.
3. If desired, divide pearls into separate containers, add food coloring, let sit for about 15 minutes, then rinse.
4. Place beads into container and have fun!
Pick up your Cupcake Liner Monster Take and Make at area PPLD Libraries beginning this Friday, Oct. 23, 2020
- Construction paper
- 1 cupcake liner
- Googly eyes
- 1 craft stick
- Glue (not in Take and Make)
- Scissors (not in Take and Make)
- Markers (optional)
- Start by flattening your cupcake liner and glue it onto the piece of construction paper to give it more weight. Cut out the cupcake liner.
- Cut out a mouth, arms, legs, horns, and teeth (or whatever you want on your monster) from your construction paper and glue them onto your cupcake liner. Glue the googly eyes onto your puppet. Make it scary or silly!
- Add some glue to the top of your craft stick and glue your cupcake liner onto it. Once it has dried completely, you can have fun putting on a puppet show with your monster puppet!
For video instructions, check out last Tuesday, October 20's video for detailed instructions with one of our librarians here: https://youtu.be/e60Ig4x0XXQ?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFctLfDQxsL5SmuE8zkwQFmu
Are you expecting and have so many questions? Join Pikes Peak Library District and Nurse Family Partnership for a series of prenatal classes. Classes are every Wednesday from Nov. 4 - Dec. 23 at noon. Each week we will explore a different topic and have a Q&A session.
*This is an eight week series, if you are interested in any of the other sessions please be sure to register for those as well.
- Nov. 4: Birthing Plan
This session will cover birth plans & alternatives to medicines. We will discuss medications you may encounter in the hospital.
- Nov. 11: Postpartum - The First Week After Birth
As a new parent you may wonder what happens after your baby is born. We will discuss the first week after birth, learn about what happens in the hospital, lack of sleep, postpartum recovery, and more!
- Nov. 18: Postpartum - The First Six Weeks
Wonder what life will be like the first six weeks after your baby is born? We will discuss healing, rest, and mental health and moods associated with postpartum.
- Nov. 25: Prenatal Self-Care
You have a new baby to care for and we want to help you take care of yourself, too! Learn different meditation strategies and prenatal yoga. Our friends at Peak Vista will share information about their First Visitor program.
- Dec. 2: Dealing with Sleep
Having trouble getting enough rest? Learn techniques to help you and your newborn rest. We will also talk about Purple Crying Period and tools to help calm your baby.
- Dec. 9: Early Literacy
This week, learn about brain development, and the five early literacy tips to begin at birth.
- Dec. 16: Breastfeeding Part 1
This week is part 1 of 2. We will cover latching and breastfeeding how-to’s.
- Dec. 23: Breastfeeding Part 2
This is week 2 of breastfeeding. Part 2 will cover nutrition and more!
The Take and Make for this project will be available at area PPLD Libraries starting Fri., Oct. 16, 2020.
- 1 plastic straw
- 2 twist ties (or bread ties) or two paper clips
- 1 clothespin
- 4 same size buttons
- Cut 2 straw pieces that are each about 1 inch long.
- Slide a twist tie through each straw.
- Use the bread tie to secure a button at each end of the straw by looping the tie back through the button hole.
- Clip one axle to the clothespin.
- Slide the second axle into the back of the clothespin as close to the spring as possible.
- Use a rubber band to secure it in place.
- Begin racing!
Find the tutorial video at: https://ppld.librarymarket.com/virtual-stem-clothespin-racers
TAKE AND MAKE: Tween Twist: Dragon Eggs
Pick up your Take and Make supplies at area PPLD Libraries starting this Fri., Oct. 9, 2020
- Styrofoam egg
- Box of thumbtacks
- Optional supplies: Sharpie markers, nail polish, or rhinestones
Watch the “how to” video on PPLD TV https://youtu.be/YyPNAoIxy3w
- Start the dragon egg at the very bottom of the Styrofoam egg. You can glue this “starter” tack in for stability.
- Insert tacks into the egg so that they overlap the “starter” tack and each other. The tacks overlap like fish scales.
- Keep adding tacks, overlapping them as you move up the egg and cover it with tacks.
- You will put a final tack at the very top. You can also glue this tack to help it stay in.
- You can add glue to any tacks that feel loose or like they might fall out. Use a toothpick to push the glue in where it needs to go.
- If desired, you can use colored sharpies, nail polish, and/or rhinestones to further decorate your egg.
Enter your creations in our PPLD Challenges! Your entry could be featured on social media. We’ll select one winner for each challenge, who will win a $25 gift card to Poor Richard’s Books & Gifts. Show off what you’ve made and be inspired by the creativity of others.
Fictional Character for President!
From Tue., Oct. 20 - Tue., Nov. 3, it’s time to vote! All characters entered will be added to an online survey for voting. Click here to vote! Click "Discussion" on the Facebook event then "like" the poster or comment on the post to cast your vote! Encourage your family and friends to join in the voting - the winning character will be featured on our Facebook page.
Rules for participation:
- Please nominate in good faith your favorite fictional character
- Keep nominations and debates about fictional character merits civil and fun!
- PPLD reserves the right to remove inappropriate content, including but not limited to obscene or offensive statements or personal attacks. Learn more about our policies here.
(Pick up your Take and Make for this project at area PPLD libraries starting this Friday, Oct. 2)
- String (fishing line, or unwaxed dental floss)
- Pipe cleaners
- Binder clips
- Several large paper clips
- Recycled container to use for carrier (yogurt container, paper cups, empty boxes, etc.)
- Hole punch or scissors
- Masking tape and/or scotch tape
- Paper and pencil
- Small plastic animal
To make your carrier:
- Brainstorm how you want to make your carrier and what you want to make it out of.
- Punch holes in the sides of the container for the pipe cleaners.
- Thread the pipe cleaner(s) through the holes and twist them into place.
- Add binder clip or paper clip to act as your pulley.
To set up your zip line:
- Run a 4-foot length of string between two objects, such as a chair and a stack of books on the ground.
- Be sure the zip line is at least two feet higher on one end than on the other.
- Use masking tape or scotch tape to attach your string. You want to be able to easily undo one end of the zip line to attach the carrier to it.
Watch this project at: https://youtu.be/yAJUMuPC0Vc?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFeL2073EuA0bc6TD1nM8wUN
Have questions about parenting little ones? PPLD's Family Place Libraries are hosting a five-week fall series on Zoom where caregivers can ask questions of community professionals in the fields of child development, nutrition, speech/language, and more! Participants from El Paso County, CO are entered into weekly gift card drawings as well as a six-month KiwiCo Crate subscription grand prize!
Weekly winners will be awarded a $50 gift card from their choice of store: King Soopers, Walmart, Target, or Barnes & Noble. Each session participants attend counts as one entry into the grand prize drawing. Participants may earn up to five entries. Participant must provide a valid PPLD library card number so El Paso County, CO residency can be confirmed.
- Nutrition: This week's resource professionals are Karen Beers and Erin Mason. Both are registered dietitians with Memorial Hospital and El Paso County WIC, respectively. They are able to talk about and answer questions about Nutrition. We will be giving out 2 gift cards to participants at this session!
- Thu., Oct. 1 from 1 - 2 p.m.
- Click here to register.
- Behavior & Development: This week's resource professionals are Windy Doan, the Behavioral Health Supervisor with CPCD Head Start, and Mekeda Kelley, a Developmental Interventionist with The Resource Exchange. They are able to talk about and answer questions about Child Development and Behavior.
- Thu., Oct. 8 from 1 - 2 p.m.
- Click here to register.
- Early Literacy: This week's resource professionals are Melody Alvarez, the Pikes Peak Library District's Director of Family and Children's Services, along with Milissa Fellers and Alanna Jones, both Children's Librarians with PPLD. They are able to talk about and answer questions about Early Literacy.
- Thu., Oct. 15 from 1 - 2 p.m.
- Click here to register.
- Music & Second Languages: This week's resource professionals are Barbara Mills, a French instructor with Music Lingua, and Gabby Seeger, a Sound Beginnings instructor. They are able to talk about and answer questions about Music and speaking/learning second languages, including American Sign Language.
- Thu., Oct. 22 from 1 - 2 p.m.
- Click here to register.
- Speech & Development:
One of this week's resource professionals is Brenda Anderson, a Speech-Language Pathologist with The Resource Exchange. She is able to talk about and answer questions about Speech Development. We will also have with us Paula Hergert, a Prevention & Policy Specialist with the Maternal Child Health Program of El Paso CO Health, who can answer questions on Child Development and Behavior.
- Thu., Oct. 29 from 1 - 2 p.m.
- Click here to register.
Submit a recipe to Pikes Peak Library District's A Harvest of Recipes digital cookbook!
Use this link to upload your recipe: https://ppld.librariesshare.com/ppldrecipes/
Some Fun Facts about Grilled Cheese
❖ Though similar recipes were mentioned in ancient Roman texts, the grilled cheese sandwich was technically invented in France in 1910, known as the Croque Monsieur.
❖ However, most experts agree that the first grilled cheese sandwiches were made in the United States in the 1920s when Otto Frederick Rohwedder invented a bread slicer that made distributing white bread easy and affordable.
❖ Shortly before that, processed cheese has been patented by James L. Kraft, whose pasteurizing process ensured that cheese would not spoil, even when transported great distances (the first Kraft plant opened in Illinois in 1914).
❖ During WWII, Navy Cooks prepared open faced grilled cheese sandwiches on Navy ships as instructed by government issued cookbooks. These sandwiches were called “American Cheese Filling Sandwiches.”
❖ In 1949, people finally began to add the second slice of bread to the top of this sandwich to make it more filling, and the sandwich we all know and love was born.
❖ The name “grilled cheese” wasn’t used until the 1960s; before then it was called “toasted cheese” or “melted cheese” sandwiches.
❖ Approximately 3/4 of people who buy sliced cheese make at least one grilled cheese sandwich per month.
❖ National Grilled Cheese Day is celebrated on April 12th!
Recipes:(Please use adult help with slicing or heating!)
Watch these grilled cheese recipes at: https://youtu.be/6_hqpb7EO4k
I. Allison’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Cheese slices (thin)
Optional (onion, apple, kale)
Stone ground mustard
--experiment with your own ingredients—
Butter bread slices on one side, flip slices over and add mustard to insides of bread.
Stack up ingredients between bread slices.
Place in heated frying pan (low to medium heat); cover with lid.
Cook on low to med. heat until bread is toasty and golden on one side; flip over until done. Cheese should be melted.
II. Betty’s Gluten and Dairy Free Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Vegan butter spread
Sliced vegan “cheese”
Butter bread slices on one side, flip slices over and add sliced cheese.
Scoop out avocado and spread (if desired); add mustard to top slice.
Place in heated frying pan (low to medium heat); cover with lid.
Cook on low to med. heat until bread is toasty and golden on one side; flip over until done. Adjust heat as needed. Cheese should be melted.
III. Brady’s Grilled Cheese
Whole wheat bread (or bread of your choice)
Garlic clove (broken open)
Cheese slices (American, grated cheddar, or your choice)
Cover all sides of bread with mayonnaise.
Heat non-stick electric griddle; carefully rub with butter and clove of garlic.
Place one slice of bread on hot pan.
Add cheese; top with other slice of bread.
Cook until bread is toasty and golden on one side; flip over until done.
Cheese should be melted.
IV. Amanda’s Easy Creamy Microwave Tomato Soup in a Mug
7 oz. diced tomatoes
½ tbsp. tomato paste
½ cup broth
1/8 cup light cream
Optional (to taste): sweet yellow onion, basil, pesto, salt and pepper
Add all ingredients together in blender.
Blend until smooth.
Transfer soup into a microwave safe mug.
Microwave for one minute.
Let cool and enjoy!
V. Athena’s Cake in a Mug Recipe
1/4 cup flour
2 tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
A pinch of salt
1/4 cup milk
1 tbs. oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pour the dry ingredients into your mug and mix.
Add the wet ingredients, and then mix until there are no large clumps or dry flour at the bottom of the mug.
Microwave for 90 seconds. (You may need to adjust this 10 seconds in either direction, based on your microwave's power.)
Be careful pulling the hot mug out of the microwave!
At this point, you could add some icing or a scoop of ice cream, or eat your cake plain. Enjoy!
Citations and Resources:
“Kids Vs. Science: Making The Greatest Grilled Cheese;” Mental Floss video; https://youtube.com/watch?v=tAN6vC7-YeA
“How chemistry creates the perfect, gooey grilled cheese sandwich;” PBS News Hour; http://pbs.org/newshour/science/grilled-cheese-chemistry-forever
“What a cheesy sandwich looks like in 15 places around the world;” Insider; http://insider.com/grilled-cheese-around-the-world-2018-10
“History of the Grilled Cheese Sandwich;” Daily Dish Magazine; http://foodiefriendsfridaydailydish.com/national-grilled-cheese-month-hi...
“The History of the Grilled Cheese;” The Committed Pig blog;
“The History of the Grilled Cheese Sandwich;”
- Pirate Coloring Sheet Find and print it here: http://www.getcoloringpages.com/coloring/96888
- Crayons or markers
- Glue (liquid glue and a glue stick)
- One piece of thin cardboard cut from cereal box, or one piece of heavy cardstock or poster board
- Sparkly things for treasure:
- Sparkly confetti
- Craft “bling”
- Coins cut or punched from shiny paper or foil— shiny gift bags and tags work great!
- Jewelry or crowns—make from sparkly pipe cleaners, shiny narrow cord or ribbon, shiny paper or craft bling
- Print the pirate coloring sheet
- Color the picture and write Books “RRRR” Me Treasure! near the top of the page
- Glue cardboard or cardstock on the back of the picture for extra support
- Using glue, add sparkly items for treasure
Watch this storytime at: https://youtu.be/qIVYeIzjeT0
Take and Makes for this project will be available starting this Friday, Sept. 18, 2020 at PPLD Libraries and are recommended for kids, ages 5-12.
- Paper or paper plate
- Markers or crayons
- Glue or glue dot or 2-sided tape
- Craft stick
- Use the provided paper or your own supplies to draw a shape to race around on your magnet track. You might choose a vehicle (car, truck, train, boat, etc.), an animal (cow, fish, turtle, dog, etc.), or something entirely different. It should be small enough to go on your paper plate (less than 2 inches).
- Attach a magnet to the back using double-sided tape or a glue dot.
- Use your own markers, crayons, or colored pencils to create a course on your race track.
- Use double-sided tape or a glue to to attach a magnet to the end of your craft stick. Before you glue, you need to make sure that the magnet on the car and the magnet on the stick attract rather than repel each other. If they repel each other, turn the magnet for the stick over before attaching.
- Test your track! Set your shape (vehicle, animal, or other) on your track. Use the magnet on the craft stick under the plate to move and race the car.
Find the tutorial video at https://ppld.librarymarket.com/virtual-kidsmake-magnetic-race-tracks
In Take and Make kit (pick up a kit starting 9/11/20 at any PPLD Library, while supplies last)
- UV beads
- Pipe cleaner
- Paper plate
- Black construction paper
- Template pdf below
- Clock face template (pdf to print below)
- Natural objects from outside: rocks, weeds, flowers, leaves, etc.
- UV beads illustrate some of the harmful effects of the sun and therefore, why we use sunscreen. UV light is one type of light from the sun. We can’t see it, but insects and birds can. While this UV light can help our bodies produce Vitamin D, too much of it can also cause sunburn or skin damage. Take the UV beads in your kit and string them on a pipe cleaner to make a bracelet. Go outside to watch them react to the UV rays – even on a cloudy day. You might also want to experiment with sunscreen, sunglasses, or windows and see what happens!
- You can also use the power of the sun, construction paper, and natural objects to create a work of art. Take your piece of paper and place it in a sunny place. You may need to weight it down. Place natural objects on the paper and leave it all in the sun for several hours. The UV rays of the sun help break down the dye in the paper creating your design. We found that we had to tape down some of the objects so they didn’t blow away. If you use tape, be careful that it doesn’t show.
- Next, you can make a sundial clock. Decorate the plate if you’d like. Cut out and glue the clock face to the back side of the plate. Poke the pencil through the center of the plate and take it outside. You’ll need to place the clock with the “12” facing north to determine the correct time. Watch how your clock tells time during the day.
- Watch these solar projects at: https://youtu.be/fHE8QoUau5U?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFctLfDQxsL5SmuE8zkwQFmu
These activities are based on:
TAKE AND MAKE: Water Balloon Parachute
Can your water balloons survive a big drop? Find out with this experiment.
Pick up your Take and Make kit at PPLD Libraries starting September 4, 2020
- One balloon
- One plastic shopping bag
- One rubber band
- Add water to your balloon, don't fill the balloon, leave lots of room to tie the balloon closed.
- Cut the ends of the handles of the bags. Tie or rubber band them to the knotted end of a water balloon.
- Go outside and drop it from a high place to see if it breaks when it lands.
- Test and retest until your balloon breaks.
- Try it again with another balloon.
See what else you can attach to your parachute and let drop.
Link to tutorial on YouTube: https://youtu.be/vJyL_xqPI0E
- Book template printed on cardstock
- Book cover printed on paper
- Glue Stick
- Blank paper
- Needle & thread
- Jump ring
- Optional: Key chain ring or necklace chord
- Cut out a cardstock book template and the book cover of your choice (see pdf files below).
- Use the glue stick to glue the cover to the book template.
- Crease the flaps around the edges.
- Cut out 4-6 rectangles that you will fold in half to make the book’s pages. You can eyeball this, but they will be approximately 4.75 cm x 3.5 cm.
- Line up the pages and fold in half. This stack of folded pages is called a “signature”. Trim if necessary so that the pages fit in the book.
- Thread a needle with about 6 inches of thread.
- Sew the pages together with a pamphlet stitch. You will be poking 3 holes in the crease of the folded pages: one in the top, one in the middle, and one in the bottom. You can mark these holes with pencil beforehand if you would like to.
- Start by poking the needle in through the middle of the crease (see picture). The needle should go through the back of the pages and come out inside the inner fold. Leave a couple of inches of thread hanging out the back. Hold these 3 inches while you sew and do not let them pull through. You will be tying a knot with them at the end.
- Push the needle up through the top of the pages (inside to outside).
- Go back down near the bottom of the pages (outside to inside).
- Pull the needle one last time through the center hole.
- Use the thread you left hanging out the back and the thread still on the needle to tie a square knot—right over left, then left over right.
- Flip the cover template over, line up the pages of the signature you’ve just sewn, and use a glue stick to glue the leftmost and rightmost pages of the signature to the inside of the template.
- Run your glue stick over all the tabs of the cover template and then press them onto the two glued pages until the folio is fully secured to the cover template on both sides.
- Fold both sides of the spine with your fingers to finish your book!
- Now use the needle to poke a hole through the top of the spine all the way through to the inside. Widen the hole by wiggling the needle.
- Open a jump ring with your fingers by holding it in front of you and pulling one side forward while you push the other back. Do not open by pulling the sides outward or it will not fully close.
- Poke the jump ring through the hole you’ve created. You may have to go back and widen the hole further. At this point, you can attach a key ring to it or string it on a chord to make a necklace. Close the jump ring when you’re done!
- Voila! You have a miniature book charm. If you want it to lay flat, you can place it under a light object/between two objects overnight to make it stay fully closed. You could optionally paint it with mod podge to keep it safe from wear and tear!
Show off what you've made by entering our PPLD Challenge: Banned Books Art.
At Pikes Peak Library District, you can do anything you set your mind to. We, of course, offer books at each of our libraries. But did you know you can also get help with at-home education, do virtual yoga, learn a new language, discover your family tree, stream music, watch movies, and more? PPLD offers so many exciting things, it’s hard to capture them all! Learn more about what all you can access with your library card below.
Thanks to the public’s investment and taxpayer support, Pikes Peak Library District can provide Library resources and services to all cardholders for free. You can learn more about PPLD's budget and expenditures here.
- Stop by a PPLD library to register for a card
- OR: Print a Library Card Application (en español), fill it out, and bring it in
- OR: Apply for a library card online for limited access
- Head to your favorite Library with your photo I.D. and proof of address to activate your full privilege account
Find books, eBooks, audiobooks, music, movies, video games, board games, and more! Click here for instructions on using the catalog.
- Genealogy Toolkit
- Regional History Digital Collections
- Photo Archives
- Colorado Historic Newspaper Collection
- Archives and Manuscripts
- Access Ancestry.com
- English as a Second Language (ESL)
- Career Online High School (COHS)
- GED / HiSET / TASC
- Food Industry Training
- Job Search
- Career Prep
- Resume and Cover Letter Assistance
- Interview Prep
The 2020 school year will look different for all of us, regardless what learning method your family has chosen for your students. Pikes Peak Library District has tools and resources to support you in your education journey this year!
First stop: get your card.
- Either stop by a PPLD facility to sign up, or print out an application ahead of time to bring with you (located here).
- Apply for a card online!
- You must live within the PPLD service area
- You will need proof of your current address and a photo ID
- If you're 15-years-old or younger, you must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Live Homework Help
Live homework help and skills building online with expert tutors in math, science, social studies, and English, plus writing and reading assistance.
Study Guides and Practice Tests
This database provides study guides and timed practice exams for all major college entrance exams and standardized tests, plus college planning, scholarship search, and career exploration tools.
These platforms provide high-quality educational content and are fun to explore! Access is free with a valid library card and pin number.
- Academic Search Premiere: Contains full text for more than 2,000 journals, including more than 1,550 peer-reviewed titles. This multi-disciplinary database covers virtually every area of academic study.
- Consumer Health Complete:A comprehensive full-text resource for consumer-oriented health content covering all areas of health and wellness from mainstream medicine to the many perspectives of complementary, holistic and integrated medicine.
- CultureGrams: Includes over 200 reports on countries and cultures and state reports outlining the diversity and history of each U.S. state and the District of Columbia. Designed for upper elementary-aged children
- Gale Virtual Reference Library: Searches our entire collection of Gale eBooks on a variety of subjects, including history, science, government, and more.
- Learn on Demand: Interactive online training for Microsoft Office software. Includes Access, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Windows and Word. New users will need to create an account.
- Lynda.com: Lynda .com offers online video tutorials to help you learn software, creative, and business skills.
- Opposing Viewpoints in Context: Explore current events and controversial issues by researching multiple sides of a topic. This database aids students in writing argumentative essays and developing analytical thinking skills.
- Science Reference Center: Provides easy access to a multitude of full-text, science-oriented content. Designed to meet every student researcher's needs, Science Reference Center contains full text for 732+ science encyclopedias and reference books, 195 periodicals, 519 science videos and other sources.
Librarian-Approved Info on Tons of Topics!
Your source for research assistance, subject guides, and library resources.
- Tough topics like mental health, substance abuse, and sexuality.
- Areas of personal growth like exploring career pathways, college financial aid, and ACT, SAT, and GRE testing.
- Beginning the transitions into driving and vehicle registration, including CO DMV practice tests.
Ready to expand your horizons by learning a new language? Mango Languages features 70 language options, including 21 options for those learning English as a second language. Explore languages from Irish to Punjabi in the comfort of your own home, or download the app to learn on the go! Students can go at their own pace. The courses have been created by expert linguists and native-speaking instructors to ensure that the content is grammatically and conversationally correct, as well as culturally relevant.
Get ready to get a job or go to college! Work your way through modules focused on professionalism, communication, social skills, and goal setting to prepare yourself for the next big step in your life. Folks below age 15 should focus on the “basic” training while older youth might find the “intermediate” training more appropriate. Complete the training and pass an assessment to earn 10 hours of volunteer credit!
The Homeschool Hub
The PPLD Homeschool Hub has a wealth of resources and tools to support your learning at home efforts. You can also sign up for their newsletter here. Click on “Resources” to find information on getting started; Colorado homeschool law, online courses, concurrent enrollment, and enrichment programs; tutoring; extracurricular activities; support organizations; and more.
Featured Homeschool Resources
Whether you are homeschooling full- or part-time, or simply looking for ways to enrich your child’s education, the online resources featured in this issue provide a variety of elucidating and engaging possibilities.
- Learning Heroes
This site provides parents with a picture of their child’s learning needs along with tools to bolster their academic, social, and emotional development. A “Readiness Check” with short questions about reading or math for grades K - 8 will show you where your student stands. You’ll also find learning aids by subject and grade level, ways to identify a child’s character strengths and areas for development, an idea-packed “Anti-Racism Resources Directory,” and more. It’s also accessible in Spanish!
This resource helps with developing “Emotional Smarts,” learning issues, building character, college prep, and more. A “What Your Child Should Have Learned” section outlines key academic and social benchmarks typical for grades K - 8 along with specific subject check-ins aligned with Common Core State Standards. Short “Milestones” videos clarify grade level expectations by demonstrating what success looks like in reading, writing, and math in grades K - 12. Parents can also access learning activities, vocab words, worksheets, and more by grade level. It’s also accessible in Spanish!
- Khan Academy
This site provides free standards-aligned video tutorials and interactive exercises in math, science, and the humanities from kindergarten through the early years of college. The self-paced lessons are organized to build knowledge one concept at a time. Create a free account to track a student’s progress, chart subject mastery, and support their learning needs. Use Khan Academy to tackle new coursework, fill in gaps for subjects already learned, homework help, or as a fun activity. It’s accessible in numerous languages!
Understood is aimed at supporting kids with learning and thinking differences, like dyslexia and ADHD, by offering customized, accessible resources and a compassionate community. The “For Families” section organizes articles and resources into general topics: understanding and navigating learning and thinking differences; school and learning issues; socio-emotional development; community, including blogs and discussion groups; and “Through Your Child’s Eyes,” interactive simulations to help parents better understand their child’s world. It’s also accessible in Spanish!
- Wide Open School
This site offers engaging, high-quality online learning experiences for kids pre-K - 12. Parents can access the content by subject, or plan a full school day by grade level. Other sections are dedicated to virtual field trips, art and music, physical activity, emotional well-being, English-language learners, learning differences, and more.
For Fun AND Learning!
This is the place to go for thousands of free digital materials. First, you'll need to create an account using your library card number and pin. Some services in the eLibrary include OverDrive (eBooks, eAudios, eVideos), Hoopla ( eMusic, eVideos, eComics, eBooks, eAudios), AudioBookCloud (eAudios), Freading (eBooks), Freegal (eMusic), Kanopy (eVideos), and more.
You can find plenty of PPLD resources here! Explore:
- Homework (search by subject to find databases, recommended websites, and more),
- Read (access booklists by grade level, genre, online resources, and more),
- Create (hands-on activities and websites),
- or Parents & Educators (curated information source for adults).
Get homework help, book recommendations, virtual programs, research resources, and more!
eBooks for Kids!
This curated database of children’s eBooks offers over 1000 titles for kids in grades K - 6. Included are animated talking picture books, read-along chapter books, National Geographic videos, non-fiction books, literacy puzzles and games, books in Spanish and French, and graphic novels (a fan favorite!). Younger kids will enjoy listening to the stories while perusing the illustrations, while older or more accomplished readers can choose from the collection of read-along books featuring narration, sentence highlighting, and automatic page-turning. Each book is accompanied by a reading level, Lexile level, and grade information, plus an optional quiz. There are no limited check-out times or wait lists, so every item is always available to everyone.
- Tall, clear glass cylinder vase or container (preferably straight)
- Food coloring
- Measuring cup
- Order of liquids needed for this density "burrito" (but you could do less liquid choices, but make sure to start with a heavy liquid and end with the lightest liquid):
- Corn Syrup (add a couple drops of food coloring)
- Maple Syrup
- Whole Milk
- Dish Soap
- Water (add a couple drops of food coloring)
- Vegetable Oil (add a couple drops of food coloring)
- Rubbing Alcohol (add a couple drops of food coloring)
- Lamp Oil (DO NOT add food coloring to this liquid - it's doesn't mix in.)
- Turkey Baster
- Items to sink or float: ping-pong ball, plastic beads, metal bolt, grape or cherry tomato, etc.
- Determine how many ounces your container holds with room to spare at the top. Round up or down to a number that can easily be divided your number of liquid layers. Measure the exact amount of liquid ingredients into separate containers. (My large container held about 32 oz. leaving room at the top, so I divided 32 by 9, and then rounded the number down to a 1/3 c. of each liquid to make it easy to measure. Have a grown-up help you, especially with the lamp oil.)
- Place the large container on the tray.
- Add the liquids IN ORDER (they go from most dense to least dense).
- Starting with the honey, pour it very slowly so that it doesn't touch the sides of the container.
- Next, very slowly, dribble the corn syrup on top of the honey. Don't let it touch the sides of the container either.
- Again like the first two, slowly dribble the maple syrup into the container on top of the corn syrup.
- Using the turkey baster, add the milk very slowly. Now it helps to pour the liquids slowly down the sides of the container as you add them. You will add the next five liquids in the same manner.
- When all the liquids are in place. Add items and watch them sink or float or get stuck, depending on their weight and the density of the liquid where it stops.
Watch this project at: https://youtu.be/QjEYa6xBVRQ?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFctLfDQxsL5SmuE8zkwQFmu
- 3 chenille stems for each figure
- 1 wooden bead big enough to be the head – 5/8 to 3/4 inch
- 1 or 2 regular-sized colored plastic drinking straws for each figure
- 5 pony beads for each figure
- Small wire cutters
- Permanent markers for the face
- Optional: Yarn, extra chenille stems, felt scraps, or other decorative items
- Take one of the chenille stems and twist it around the other two about 2/3 of the way up; twist about three times, or enough so that they will not unwind. (See #1 picture below)
- Slide 3 pony beads over both of the “legs” up to the twist you made.
- With the permanent marker, draw a face on the bead; then slide the bead down over the middle two stems.(See #2 picture)
- Cut off some of the excess stem above the bead, but leave enough to coil it into a bun. Use a little glue to glue the bun flat to the “head.” (Alternate method: Cut several strands of yarn for hair and twist the excess stem over it to hold it in place.)
- With the scissors, snip eight sections of colored straw about 1 ¼ inches long.
- Slide two of the sections over the “arms.” Twist the part of the stem that is sticking out to form mitten-type hands with thumbs. Tuck the excess stem back into the straw. (See #3 and #4 pictures)
- Slide a section of the straw over each “leg;” add a pony bead, and then the other section of straw. Form the part of the stem that is sticking out into a big foot so your figure can stand up. Tuck the excess stem back into the straw.
- If you want, you can decorate your figure with extra chenille stems, felt, yarn, or whatever you happen to have. You can make warriors, princesses, superheroes, knights – anything you want! (See #5 picture)
Watch this project at: https://youtu.be/UnGxbypCuBw?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFctLfDQxsL5SmuE8zkwQFmu
Explore the world of making this October with All Pikes Peak Makes! Due to COVID-19, this event is going virtual for 2020!
A maker is someone who creates - to be innovative, to solve problems, to bring something beautiful into the world, or simply to have fun. They have an idea and they bring it to life. Making can encompass just about anything, from high tech to low tech to no tech, from art to fabrication to artistic fabrication, from needles to table saws to software.
Celebrate making with us!
- Try a new maker project by browsing and following along with our makerspace and studio resource guides and YouTube videos:
- Virtual Maker Events
These events are in partnership with Cool Science.
- Clean container, big enough to hold your solution
- Distilled water (tap water will work but distilled water is best)
- Dishwashing liquid like Dawn
- White sugar
For Bubble cube:
- 7 pipe cleaners, cut in half
- 12 plastic straws, each one cut to fit a pipe cleaner half, with about ¼-½” of pipe cleaner left exposed at each end
- For the bubble blower, you’ll need a plastic pipette. Just snip ½” off the bulb end of the
pipette. This is the end you’ll dip into the bubble solution.
- Start with a clean container that will hold as much solution as you plan to make.
- Add distilled water (tap water can be substituted, but the minerals in it will affect the bubbles), in 1 cup increments.
- For each cup of distilled water, add 2 Tbsp of dishwashing liquid (original Dawn works really well).
- For each cup of distilled water, add 1 Tbsp of glycerin (grocery story grade, or pharmaceutical grade).
- For each cup of distilled water, add 1 tsp of white sugar.
- Gently stir the ingredients in the container, being careful not to make it frothy and bubbly.
- Cover the container and place it in the refrigerator overnight.
Meanwhile... make a bubble cube and a bubble blower for your Bubble Magic …
- Twist 3 of the pipe cleaner halves together at one end to make a triangular, pyramid-shaped component. Use 12 of the pipe cleaner halves to make a total of 4 of these three-legged pieces.
- Slide a piece of straw onto each pipe cleaner leg, leaving ¼-½”” sticking out of the open end.
- To build the cube, twist each pipe cleaner end on one component to the ends on another component. Continue connecting the legs until the cube is complete. Try to make the shape as even as possible.
- Use the last two pieces of pipe cleaner for handles by twisting each piece onto the cube at opposite corners. Curve the “handle” ends to make a shape that you can easily hold onto.
Now to make Bubble Magic …
- Get the cold bubble solution from the refrigerator, and carefully stir the mixture. Avoid making froth and bubbles. Whenever that forms on the top, take a minute to skim it off with a spoon so that you’ll get better bubbles with your cube.
- Dip your cube into the solution, letting it sit there for a few seconds, and lift it out by holding on to the two handles. Gently shake the cube so that the soap film can even itself out and excess solution can drip back into your container.
- Gently shake the cube again so that you can see a new shape, with a “square” bubble in the center. Be sure the “square” is horizontal so that you can see the square when you look down into the cube from above it.
- Set the cube gently on a flat surface to keep the bubble film stable while you prepare a bubble with your pipette bubble blower, or ask a friend to blow a bubble with the pipette.
- Blow a pipette bubble and gently drop it right into the center of the square. And ...
TA-DAH! The round bubble you dropped into the cube “magically” turned into a bulging cube … a square bubble. Now that’s Bubble Magic!
*You can also use your bubble cube as a wand. Submerse it in the solution, lift it out carefully, and holding the handles, “pull” it through the air. Watch for a trail of connected spherical shapes!
Watch this project at : https://youtu.be/iY_0gSND-40?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFctLfDQxsL5SmuE8zkwQFmu
- A piece of 8 ½ X 11 white cardstock
- Watercolor paints
- School glue
- Small bottle of black acrylic craft paint
- Small paintbrush
- Cup of water for rinsing your paintbrush
- Print the half butterfly image provided (see below) onto your cardstock. Fold the cardstock exactly in half and then unfold to make a crease in the middle. (Alternate method: Draw a butterfly picture onto half of your cardstock with a pencil putting the exact middle of the butterfly on the crease.)
- Make black glue by adding black acrylic craft paint to a small bottle of plain school glue until a dark, black color is achieved. Mix well.
- Using the tip of the glue nozzle, trace a fine line of glue onto all of the printed lines of the butterfly picture. Don’t use too much glue! Put the glue on only the half of the picture with the copied lines. Leave the other half blank.
- Fold the paper in half again while the glue is wet and press together gently. Then open up the cardstock. The pattern you traced will now be duplicated on the other half of the cardstock.
- Let the glue dry. You can speed up the process by using a blow dryer on low heat to gently dry the glue.
- When the glue is completely dry, use your watercolors to color in all of the white sections. You can decide which colors to use!
Oops! My butterfly isn’t exactly the same on both sides. That’s okay! Real butterflies’ wings aren’t exactly the same on both sides, either! Just like with people’s faces, one side is slightly different than the other.
Watch this project at: https://youtu.be/Gimm3roL-3Q
- Clean, clear jar with lid
- Thin glow stick
- Table covering or tray
- Glitter (optional)
- With a grown-up's help, cut the tip off the glow stick.
- Place the open end of the glow stick in the jar and shake it back and forth so that it splatters. Turn the jar as you splatter.
- Add a small pinch of glitter, sprinkling onto the sides of the jar where the splatters are.
- Cover with lid and take into a very dark room.
Fireflies are not flies but beetles and do exist in Colorado! They hang out by permanent water sources like ponds, lakes, and streams.
Watch this project at: https://youtu.be/LRNWJVQRFYw
You have a voice! Today, all United States citizens can make their voices heard by voting in elections starting at age 18. But in the early years, only white men had suffrage – that means the right to vote. 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment of the Constitution, which guaranteed the vote to women as well. Many people worked hard to help secure suffrage rights. To learn more, check out these books for kids. Just click on the pdf link below:
- Embroidery or regular thread
- Piece of cotton fabric or item made of cotton
- Sewing needle
- Sharpie or other dark marker
- Using a sharpie, mark dots on your fabric which will guide you as you sew your design.
- Thread your needle by pushing thread through the eye of the needle. Make a knot at the end of your piece of thread.
- Start on the wrong side of your fabric or on the inside of your item, and push the needle up through the fabric through your starting dot. Bring all the thread through, slowly, making sure the thread doesn't tangle.
- Go to the next dot in your design and push the needle down through that dot, bringing all the thread through again.
- Continue until your first design is complete. Finish your design by weaving your needle through the thread on the wrong side of the fabric several times, making a couple loops so the thread will be secure. Cut the thread.
- Re-thread for the next design or continue if you have enough thread on your needle.
- Enjoy your original design!
Watch this project at: https://youtu.be/5tX-0F2bAsA
- Baking soda (1/3 c.)
- Small bowl
- Golf ball or other small ball that sinks and doesn't float
- Paper towels
- Warm water (1 cup)
- Plastic wrap
- Food coloring
- Put a golf ball in a small bowl. Cover both the ball and bowl with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap hangs out over the edge. Push the plastic wrap down around the ball.
- Mix a third cup baking soda into one cup of warm water and add food coloring. Mix well.
- Pour the mixture into the small bowl and over and around the golf ball. Make sure you cover the ball with the baking soda/water mixture. You may need to spoon in some of the baking soda that sits at the bottom of the bowl of warm water.
- Place the bowl in a flat place in the freezer. Freeze for at least 4 hrs.
- When frozen solid, place the bowl in warm water so the ice comes loose. Place on a tray and lift the volcano out of the bowl. Pry out the golf ball with a spoon and carefully remove the plastic wrap.
- Spoon on some vinegar and watch the icy volcano. This project is fun to do outside.
- Refreeze your volcano for another day, if there's anything left.