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Dozens of things to do for you and your whole family.
ISSUE 446: LET THE GAMES BEGIN

Every four summers (usually), the entire world gathers to watch the most elite athletes on the planet compete in the Summer Olympics. It's exciting, inspiring, and just plain fun to cheer these competitors on as they dash, dive, swim, and play on their quest for the gold. This summer, we'll watch the Olympic Games unfold from July 23th – August 8 in Tokyo, Japan.

The Olympic Games have been around since ancient times. They have gone from a one-day footrace to a worldwide event, broken up into winter and summer extravaganzas that take years to produce. The 2020 games will feature 46 sports, including swimming, track and field, 3x3 basketball, volleyball, fencing, weight lifting, skateboarding, and cycling. Of those, the most-watched event is gymnastics. One of the newest events, skateboarding, gives a street sports twist to these storied games. Whatever your favorite sport, be sure to catch all the action here. Kids can get to know the 2020 mascots and check out the Tokyo 2020 Kids Supporters Project.

With about a week's worth of games left and some of the most popular outdoor events happening now, it's a great time to plan a fun and simple viewing party. Whether you gather friends and neighbors or hang with the kids, these snacks, activities, and décor will turn your living room into a mini Olympic Park.

Start by making this cute Olympic Ring Garland from colorful paper plates. Pick up streamers, partyware, and balloons in colors of the rings: red, yellow, blue, green, and black. Bring in touches of gleaming gold because that's what we're all going for, right? Next, arrange small bouquets of flowers on your table in containers of varying heights – bright blue carnations, red and yellow daisies, and bright green chrysanthemums. If you're feeling ambitious, make this awesome Velodrome Cake to double as a centerpiece and dessert. Finally, use the leftover plates from your garland to serve up some Olympic themed snacks:

 

Separate M&M's candies by color and arrange them in bowls to mimic the Olympic Rings. 

 

Torch Snacks:

  1. Make cones out of gold paper.
  2. Fill them partway with a snack mix, small crackers, or popcorn.
  3. Tuck a handful of Cheetos into the top for "flames."
  4. For a sweet torch, fill cake-style ice cream cones with red, orange, or yellow Jell-o or vanilla pudding if you prefer.
  5. Cut pieces of red, yellow, or orange fruit roll-ups to look like flames, then tuck them into the Jell-o.

Or, for a healthier option, sliced strawberries and mandarin orange sections are a delicious double for firey torch flames.      

 

Team USA fruit salad: Cut sliced watermelon and honeydew melon into star shapes using cookie cutters. Arrange on a platter and sprinkle with blueberries. Top with a dollop of fresh whipped cream or serve with a simple dip:

  • Melon Dip:
  • ½ cup cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp lime juice

Stir ingredients together until smooth. 

 

Power Cups:

  1. Pour a small amount (about ¼ cup) of ranch dressing or put a dollop of hummus into the bottom of a paper or plastic cup.
  2. Slice red and yellow peppers, cucumbers, and carrots into long, thin strips.
  3. Stand a small handful of each veggie into the cups.
  4. Sprinkle black olives around the sides to complete the Olympic colors. 


Last but not least, take time between commercials to have some Olympic fun in your own backyard. 

Hurdles: Set up pool noodle hurdles on the lawn and see who can jump over all of them. Pool noodles (unbent) are also excellent for a Javelin Throw. 

Long Jump:  Have kids jump from one end of the driveway or lawn to another. Mark jumps with sidewalk chalk or a jump rope and try to beat your longest jump.

Shotput:  Tossing a heavy ball…fun. Tossing a water balloon shotput-style, super fun! Fill a bucket with water balloons, watch this video of the top ten shotputters of all time, then practice your own shot-putting technique! 

When the evening is over, pass out "gold medal" treats to all of your competitors. Make them out of store-bought vanilla sandwich cookies and Fruit by the Foot. Open the cookie, loop a ribbon of Fruit by the Foot, and put the ends on one half of the cookie. Then, place the second half of the cookie back on top. Make sure that everyone gets at least two as a sweet reward for a job well done! 

Julie

PICKS OF THE LITTER


Take & Make: 3D Paper Castle

Who doesn't want a 3D paper castle?! Register your kids and Tweens (ages 5-12) for a supply kit from Hastings Branch Library starting on Monday, August 2 (or check the requirements online and find what you need around the house). Then learn how to make your own kingdom (before winter comes). For more details, contact the library at 626-744-7262.

 


 

Make Comics with Canva

Your Tweens (ages 9-12) can make their own digital comic strip with Canva templates. Registration is required. Learn to do it on August 3, from 3:00 PM till 4:00 PM at the Lamanda Park Branch Library.

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the orange cat bookshop
You can find The Good Egg, and other books listed in the orange cat in our custom bookshop. (Psst, our bookshop supports Vroman's.)

Summer Reading Programs

Every year the libraries in our cities host summer reading programs. These are great opportunities to learn and explore with families outside of your immediate neighborhood and school. Here are some of the programs in the Greater Pasadena area:

 

Pasadena Public Library

Altadena Public Library

Monrovia Public Library

LA County Library

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MORE STUFF TO DO


Tiff and Tosh June Crafts

Tiff and Tosh are back on the Pasadena Library's Instagram Live with some unique crafts for June. Check them out on Mondays, August 9 and 23, at 3:00 PM.

 


 

Cool Car Essentials - Sketching Workshop for Ages 10-14

This is pretty awesome, which explains why there's a waitlist for it now. This free industrial design-focused workshop gives your kids in grades 4-8 a taste for ArtCenter's art and design program for kids, ACX Kids. The design fun happens on Saturday, August 7, from 10:00 AM till 1:00 PM.

 


 



Under The Sea YouTube Virtual Storytime

Open to all your kids, join the fun and dress up as any sea creature for this underwater storytime and craft session. Check out the site for craft supplies. Registration is required for the happenings on August 6 at 2:45 PM.

 

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LA COUNTY LIBRARY'S YOUTUBE


Teens: Clothespin Photo Holder

Your teen can learn the creative technique called a photo essay and make their own clothespin photo holder to hold your pictures and tell a story. Supply kits are available at all LA County Library branches but supplies are limited. Please call your local branch before going to pick one up.

 


 

Kids: Shape Fans

Your kids will learn how fans work, the movement of air, and how to make fans in different shapes. Supply kits are available at all LA County Library branches but supplies are limited. Please call your local branch before going to pick one up.

 


 

Tweens: Spider Weaving

Your Tweens will learn about spiders and learn how to weave their own web. Supply kits are available at all LA County Library branches but supplies are limited. Please call your local branch before going to pick one up.

STORY TIME & MORE

NOTE: Story times are subject to change. Please check the sites. Recorded story times are generally available on library YouTube channels.


Teen Inspiration

Check out Altadena Library's Teen Instagram account for BTWN TiTLES, their biweekly posts of book reviews, creativity experiments, and more.
 



Pasadena Public Library regular storytimes:

Social Media Storytime: Preschool on Mondays at 10:30 - 10:50 AM on Facebook Live and Thursday at 3:00 - 3:20 PM on Instagram Live

 

Social Media Storytime: Toddler on Tuesdays at 10:30 - 10:50 AM on Instagram Live

 

Chinese Mandarin Storytime on Wednesdays at 3:00 PM on Instagram Live

 

Social Media Storytime: Hora de Cuento en Español on Wednesdays at 4:00 - 4:20 PM on Facebook Live

 

Social Media Storytime: ASL (American Sign Language) on Friday at 4:00 - 4:20 PM on Instagram Live

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