Kids (and adults) love the Lemony Snicket books A Series of Unfortunate Events, and the new TV series starring Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf is getting even more people hooked. The musical murder mystery The Composer is Dead full of that distinctive Snicket wit and black comedy, and it also introduces kids to the instruments in an orchestra:
The composer is dead? Who killed him? The clever Inspector interviews and interrogates each section of the orchestra. What were the violins doing? Where were the woodwinds? And why does the brass section sound particularly brassy tonight?
Christchurch thespian Michael Bayly narrates the tale, and David Kay conducts the orchestra.
Music featured includes John Williams’ Suite from Harry Potter, Ravel’s Bolero and Ginastera’s Malambo, and a brand new work Schismata by Christchurch composer Hamish Oliver.
The school holidays are fast approaching and I have to keep my children entertained for two weeks, oh please help me!! I have actually come up with a plan, so I thought I would share it in case you need help too.
KidsFest – thank goodness someone thought of the parents! I will book children into lots of fun activities and sweet talk their Grandparents into taking them.
Send them outside to play in the freezing cold so I will have heaps of washing to do because it is so muddy (You should see them after football – the mud club).
Put them in front of screens. I know it sounds bad, but hear me out on this one. No playing pointless games with some random character wandering around eating pizza (I think that is what my children were playing). I will set them up with educational activities from the library eResources for kids, they may even enjoy it too!
Give them something to read or listen to – but with a difference. eBook or eAudiobook, or even eMagazine. My kids have just discovered eAudiobooks and love them. It is brilliant – they are so quiet, especially in the back of the car where they would usually fight. OverDrive and Borrowbox have a great selection and it was super easy to download to an iPod shuffe.
Library and Learning Centre holiday programmes and activities
Our libraries and learning centres offer a variety of accessible, safe and affordable activities for children during their school holidays. Programmes and activities are aimed at children between the ages of five and 15 years:
Activities include spinning tops, Minecraft, paper doll making, hacky sacks, storytimes for kids and grandparents, and board games.
Fun Palaces at Central Library Peterborough
Celebrate art, science and creativity at this year’s Fun Palaces festival! All activities are fun, free and suitable for all ages. Central Library Peterborough will be a Fun Palace from 10am to 2pm on the weekend of Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 October (it’s the middle weekend of the school holidays).
School holidays start on Monday 18 April – or after school on Friday 15 April. Our libraries and learning centres will be busy with animal-themed programmes and activities as well as origami, scavenger hunts, and games.
The movie is going to be played in the auditorium on Wednesday 27 April at 7pm. (gold coin entry)
If – like us – you are bit obsessed with that sugary delight of Pip & Pop at the Christchurch Art Gallery, Sweet Dreams (are made of these) is for you. Your kids will help create a colourful mosaic using stickers created by Tanya Schultz, the artist who made it. This event is on 10, 17 April, 8 May, and 5 June. (free, but book in)
If it’s a nice autumn day, explore the Kids Discovery Trail at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. (free)
Friday 25 March is Good Friday (note: not Easter Friday, I’m a stickler about that one). In New Zealand both the Friday (Good Friday) and the Monday of Easter are statutory public holidays, so libraries will be closed. But Saturday and Sunday aren’t public hols – libraries will be open their normal hours, except Linwood Library at Eastgate which will be closed on Easter Sunday.
Friday 25 March
Saturday 26 March
Open normal hours
Sunday 27 March
Open normal hours (except Linwood Library at Eastgate – closed)
6 February is Waitangi Day, a public holiday which commemorates the signing in 1840 of the Treaty of Waitangi between Māori and representatives of the British Crown. All Christchurch City Libraries branches will be closed on Saturday 6 February. Some libraries will be open on Monday 8 February.
Saturday 6 February – closed
Sunday 7 February – open normal hours
Monday 8 February – Waitangi Day observed. Fendalton, Te Hāpua: Halswell, Shirley, South, and library phone service open from 10am to 4pm.
Christmas can be a stressful time of year and whether you’re heading away on holiday next week, or staying in town if you’ve got children you’ll be looking for ways to keep them happy and entertained over the school break.
Christchurch City Libraries has heaps of resources and recommendations to help out frazzled parents and caregivers this festive season.
Have kids, will travel
Going on a trip out of town? Long road trips (or air travel) can be a strain as boredom easily sets in. Get organised ahead of time with a range of activities and reading material to keep everyone occupied.
Kids audiobooks might be a slightly more palatable option. Listen as a family to favourites like Harry Potter, or download digital formats onto individual devices (with headphones). There’s something for every age group and taste.
Books. Anything that’s likely entertain. Check out our Holiday reading guide for some ideas. But also consider the following –
In a rush and choosing’s just too time consuming? Pick up a Stories To Go Bag. Each one has age-appropriate fiction and non-fiction books, a DVD, a music or story CD, and a toy or puzzle and come in a sturdy bag that’s ready to travel.
For Kids in Christchurch
There are a bunch of activities, places to go, and things to see for families staying in town over the holidays. As well as the music, books, and DVDs mentioned above you might like –
Our Summertime Reading Club for kids 0-16 years, which starts today. Keep a tally of the minutes spent reading over the summer and go in the draw for prizes.
Summertime Stories in libraries begin in early January, with sessions for both babies and older children.