International Tabletop Games Day Saturday 28 April – and more fun and games!

Saturday 28 April is International Tabletop Games Day. Celebrate with us at Fendalton Library from 2pm to 4pm.  A selection of board games will be laid out with a few being led by staff.  All games can be explained in 2-3 minutes and run for under an hour (most are 15-30 minutes) so that multiple games can be enjoyed. Games include 5 Second Rule, LINKEE, Pictionary, Connect 4, Sequence, Werewolves of Millers Hollow, Two Rooms and a Boom and more!

There is more fun if games are your thing. Come along and try a new board game in the library at Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre! We have:

  • Ticket to Ride
  • Civilisation
  • Agricola
  • Infernal Contraption

These fantastic games are aimed at ages 13 years plus but all are welcome on Tuesday 24 April from 9am to 3pm, and Friday 27 April from 9am to 5pm.

How about Magic: The Gathering? Bring your decks to Shirley Library! Come along to play, swap cards, or hang out (snacks provided). This is on the first Saturday of each month, from 1pm to 4pm (aimed at ages 8 to 18 years).

Papanui PlayStation Playoff!

Papanui Library is now hosting a monthly PlayStation 4 competition.

What?!?!? Sign me up, you say? Well, let me give you the lowdown:
The resident Gamemasters (Michael and Damien) select a game of the month and devise a wicked competition for all budding gamers to test their abilities. The challenge runs for a month and a leader board in the library shows the top 5 competitors!

The top player at the end of the month wins an AMAZING PRIZE (think movies and free!) and bragging rights for the whole month.

Any library member can rock up and join in – just ask a librarian to book the PlayStation and the Gamemasters will set you up (there are a few rules to adhere to). Make sure you show us your score too, no sneaky cheats in the library please…

This month’s game is Wipeout, a futuristic racer game but with guns – who said driving would ever be easy?

So what do you reckon? Are you a master of computer manipulation? Can you drive, drift and shoot at the same time? Can you top the table and topple the reigning champ? Come down and give it a go – we double dare you!

Here’s the current champion Steven Fletcher; he’s the Rocket League master and scored 37 to 2 in last month’s challenge. Woah! Way to go Steve!

Find out more about games and gaming at your library.

Papanui Library

Coincidental chess…

Sometimes life just throws unexpected coincidences at you.

I finally got around to watching the fabulous 2014 New Zealand film The Dark Horse (better late than never right?), featuring Cliff Curtis as Genesis Potini, former chess champion and battler with mental health issues. The film follows his attempt to coach the local kids’ chess club The Eastern Knights, and get them to the national chess championships in Auckland.

No sooner had I watched this movie, then the very next day when working at Linwood Library, a young Māori boy invited me to play a game of chess with him. Having never played, I sat down with him and got a super fast education in what can move where and which piece beats all others.

Unsurprisingly I was beaten in no time flat. Perhaps I might need to nab a one of the many chess books we have for a crash course in how to play, or better yet try learning by doing, at one of the Chess clubs in Canterbury.

However, given the length of time it took me to see a movie about chess, I’m not holding my breath about learning to play anytime soon! Have you tried playing chess?

Cover of Chess and The Art of War Ancient Wisdom to Make You A Better Player Cover of The Batford book of chess from beginner to winner Cover of The chess player's bible Cover of Test your chess

Further information

How Fathers Occupied themselves at the Beach: Picturing Canterbury
How fathers occupied themselves at the beach playing cards, 1953 Kete Christchurch, HWC08-LYT-045. Entry in the Christchurch City Libraries 2008 Photo Hunt. CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 NZ.

These Dads had 15 children amongst themselves. These families went to Corsair Bay regularly in the summer.  One family travelled by bus from Bryndwr to the Christchurch Railway Station to train to Lyttelton and then launch to Corsair Bay.  The other two families walked from Sydenham and Central City respectively to the railway station to train to Lyttelton and then launch to Corsair Bay.

Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch & Canterbury, past and present.   Anyone can join and contribute.

Ngā Tākaro Māori – Māori games

Ki-o-Rahi is the original Māori ball game. If you’re keen to give Ki-o-Rahi a go (or even stand on the side line and cheer) you can make your way down to The Commons Hub on Sunday October 18th for demonstrations and workshops.

Cover of Nga Taonga Takaro Cover of Games and Pastimes of the Maori Cover of Papers to conference

Find tākaro books and CDs in our collection.

Ki-o-Rahi has been revived over the past 50 years throughout Aotearoa. This game, it is said, is based on the legend of Rahitutakahina and the rescue of his wife, Tiarakurapakewa. The game tactics involve courage, stealth and ingenuity.

The game is fast-paced and played on a circular field with concentric circles. It involves two teams (each with a minimum of seven players), a central target and a small round woven ball known as a ‘ki’. Ki-o-Rahi involves running, sidestepping, being evasive with the ki, jump shots and blocking. Not to mention strategic thinking, communication and team work.

It is being taught and enjoyed by men, women and children in France, America and Europe. Māori games are definitely making a comeback. This is a powerful testament to the strength of Māori and the will to surmount the effects of colonisation.

Personally I’ve never played Ki-o-Rahi. The closest I’ve come to running fast in a team was as a teenager playing indoor basketball for Avondale College. Māori games we played included:

  • Whai – played with a long loop of flax strip, twisted and pulled to create designs,
  • Ti rakau – the use of flax flower stems that were both thrown and caught,
  • Patu ihu – a game of cards, involving a sore nose for the loser
  • and of course Kaukau Taniwha – rolling over, diving off, scrambling aboard a log that came in and out of a Piha swimming lagoon.

Just thinking about playing games makes me feel like getting out there and being active. I suppose I could play with the cats while I’m gardening after work this afternoon.

Games are part of the Māori psyche. They promote dexterity, problem solving, team work, flexibility, hand and eye coordination. We learn to think quickly and to be strong and swift in our movements. Masterfully woven into the fabric of tākaro Māori are the unique world views and oral traditions of our tupuna.

More about Tākaro Māori

Nature Play Park: Picturing Canterbury

There is a new park in town on Hereford Street – Nature Play Park – Papatākaro Ao Tūroa.  This Department of Conservation has established the garden is a partnership project with Greening the Rubble Trust and it has been supported and sponsored by other businesses and organisations.

As part of FESTA Festival of Transitional Architecture, there was face painting, weta handling and more at the park on Saturday 26 October 2013.

Nature Play ParkWeta handling at Nature Play Park

Photo hunt entryChristchurch Photo Hunt

Do you have your own cool images to share?

Enter the Christchurch Photo Hunt. You could win a tablet or one of three e-readers.

Submit your photos by 5pm 17 November.

Messy can be Fun

The nights are getting shorter now we are past the longest day, but there are many more days ahead of driving home from work in the dark, closing the curtains in the late afternoon, and having your children stuck inside on wet and cold days.

The school holidays are also fast approaching, so maybe now is a good time to plan ways get the kids creating, learning new skills and having fun with crafts and activities.

My boys always seemed to have some kind of obsession on the go, be it paper airplanes, origami, painting or making vast cities made of Lego. We lived overseas in a sixth floor apartment and one of their enduring joys was to make parachutes for their action men, launch them over the stair well and then run down the circular stairs to retrieve them. I always tried to let them just go for it, and not to see the mess. It’s hard, as a parent to quantify what they learn from these activities, but problem solving, improved fine motor skills and just plain fun must be in there somewhere.

I remember when my kids were little, we always seem to have play dough in a plastic container, and I actually enjoyed making a big potful on the stove with them. Here’s a good basic recipe for play dough .

I have fond memories of time spent with my grandparents learning skills such as knitting, crochet and baking as well as getting into my cabinet maker granddad’s shed making endless egg cups on the lathe (with his close supervision), or playing scrabble with my other granddad, whose love of words I credit hugely for my own.

Activities such as these also create lasting memories for your children, and I find now, when we get together for coffee, my 20 something boys fondly talk about the parachutes or paper airplanes and the fun involved.

Winter is a great time to get stuck in, get messy, learn and experiment and there’s a multitude of resources at Christchurch City Libraries.

Are there fun activities you enjoy with your children, or had fun with when they or you were little?

Science fiction newsletter for June

Our June Science fiction newsletter included the following titles:

Cover of Farside by Ben Bova Cover of You by Austin Grossman Cover of Prophet of Bones - by Ted Kosmatka  Cover of The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway Cover of Shadow of Freedom by David Weber Cover of How to build an android: the true story of Philip K. Dick's robotic resurrection by David F. Dufty

Plus: Nebula award winners, an interview with Kim Stanley Robinson from the Sword and Laser book club and some more robotic titles. Subscribe now to get a copy of our bi-monthly email newsletter.

Time to get the kids outside

book coverDo you find your kids hang about inside even when the weather is fabulous?

Let’s get them inspired to play outdoors:

Kid’s say they’re bored of their books? Try searching a reading list for other authors that write stories like their favourites and they can join the Summertime Reading Club where they may win a prize!

Teens can check out The Pulse for what’s new and happening. Garden City SummerTimes is here and the World Buskers Festival is just around the corner so there’s no excuse for not getting out this summer!

I’ve stopped reading, what can I do?

coverIn times of stress I stop reading.  I have the concentration span of a gnat.  Books I have reserved and coveted for a long time are languishing by my bed.  I will return them to be read by someone more deserving.

What I can manage however are magazines – nothing too serious, mind you.  I fill my head with tittle tattle and meaningless fluff that satisfies my desire to read but not think.  The library of course has a huge variety of magazines to satisfy all tastes, including mine, thank goodness.

Another past-time  guaranteed to sooth my unquiet mind and to stop all those jobs being done around the house is crosswords.  When I have the urge to cheat (which of course is not often…)  our library webpages  thankfully have an invaluable  link to various crossword solving resources.

Our games pages and hobbies page list other suggestions for tired brains and for a times when books feel a bit overtaxing.