Real Life 101: Car Repair

A million years ago when my Aunt was a teen, they used to offer auto shop in high school. Then it shifted to Boces and only kids who were really interested could apply for the class. But, you had to give up all of your specials like art, music, home & careers and specialty science classes. You were told if you didn’t take the classes at Boces your dad would teach you how to take care of your car. My dad definitely taught me useful skills. I can tape, plaster and paint an entire apartment and if hard pressed could rent one of those giant sanders and refinish hardwood floors with help, but he definitely didn’t teach me how to check my oil or change a tire.

A friend taught me how to jump start my first car (a nifty corolla sort of like the one in the pic), check my oil, check my tire pressure and change my windshield wipers. He also taught me never to buy a car the first year they change their electrical systems or the first year of a new make and model because there will always be glitches.

I really wish I had been better prepared to take care of my car when I first started driving, but if my Dad had tried to show me; I’m not sure I would have given him the time of day. Sometimes teens just don’t want to hear things from their parents; so to that end I wanted to share a couple of resources you and your teen can look at to figure out how to take care of their car.

For beginners there is the How to’s….Car Edition playlist from the Dad How Do I? Youtube channel. A man who grew up without a father created all these repair and tool guides for other kids who don’t have someone that can teach them these skills and it’s definitely worth checking out.

Those that are already comfortable with the basics and want to figure out how to do more advanced repairs should definitely check out our Auto Repair Source Database. It has all kinds of information including step by step repairs. Check out our tutorial on how to use the database here.

If you want to be really fancy you can check out ProDemand next time you’re in the library. Prodemand is in libary use only: with it you can use the database that pros use to estimate and figure out jobs.

What other skills do you wish your teen was learning to prepare them for living on their own or going off to college? Let us know in the comments so we can help you help them prepare!

The Great Giveback

Saturday October 19, 2020 will be the third annual Great Give Back. The Great Give Back is a community service initiative created by the Suffolk County Library Directors Association and the Suffolk Cooperative Library System in conjunction with the Nassau County Library System.

The mission of The Great Give Back is to provide a day of opportunities for the patrons of the Public Libraries of New York State to participate in meaningful, service-oriented experiences.

Community service and volunteerism have always been very important to me. When I was in middle school and high school I belonged to many clubs and organizations that had community service and volunteerism as their central tenants and it’s one of the reasons I manage so many of our community service programs here.

I love our annual Great Give Back; it is a wonderful opportunity for the entire family to get involved and enjoy the benefits of community service and volunteerism. This is a great way for us to share with our children how volunteering makes a difference and how good it feels to help other people in our community and to enact change.

I am so excited for this year’s Great Give Back activities. This year for The Great Give Back we are:

Inviting teens to participate on our Instagram for Teentober. Help us promote the library by creating social media posts for our Instagram.

Inviting everyone from our tiniest tots to our wisest retirees to make cards for the residents of the Berkshires Nursing Home. Register to receive a cardmaking kit; after decorating your cards return them to the basket in the Children’s room.

Inviting everyone in our community to join us for a Clean Up our Community event. Meet us at the library for gloves, bags, and masks.

I hope you decide to join us for any or all of these amazing Great Give Back opportunities. We look forward to seeing you there!

Process Art

It may surprise you to know that I do not consider myself artistic. Most of my time spent creating displays for the library bulletin boards or coming up with crafts to do with the teens is actually spent figuring out how to get around my less than mediocre drawing ability and make my vision a reality; and that is why I love process art.

Process art consists of art activities that are more focused on what you did to create the art than what you want the final product to be. Everyone’s project is supposed to be unique and self- directed rather then following a specific set of steps or instruction that’s focused on everyone creating the exact same thing. A lot of the discussion surrounding process art is focused on younger children. Process art is great because it fosters creativity and joy in the process of creating. But process art is great for older kids, teens and adults for the same reasons and because the focus is not on the final project but on the fun of creating can also be very empowering for those that feel like they have no artistic ability whatsoever, like me.

Process art also tends to be a lot less work to set up and usually requires fewer specialized supplies. Check out the tutorials below for some fun process art activities or craft along with me on YouTube; there’s Geometric Art and Monoprinting.

We used old pediatric Tylenol droppers but if you let the salt dry you can just paint the watercolors on with a paintbrush.

Looking for more great process art ideas? Check out these books from Live-brary. I know they’re pre-school focused but I have had just as much fun (if not more fun) creating projects with these techniques as my daughter and have gotten some great ideas for things to do with the teens as well.

Do you have any favorite process art projects you want to share? Tell us in the comments!

Seed Library

Ask any teen that volunteered in last summer’s Community Gardeners program and they will tell you that I am not a gardener. I do not know what anything is called; I do not know how to weed; I do not know when things are ready to pick. Most questions were answered with either, “Hang on, let me text Ms. Joni and ask her” or “Let’s look that up!” I learned a lot doing Community Gardeners with the teens last year and was looking forward to this years program. I was also excited about trying to grow something with my daughter this year with everything I learned last year. I was a little worried since last year we tried to grow Purple Cone Flowers and we never got past the tiny green sprout.😢

This year Ms. Joni gave me seeds from our seed library to try with my daughter. She gave us some green peas, chinese greens and zinnias. We planted the peas Mother’s Day weekend.

My daughter is so excited to see her peas growing! We planted them in hanging containers and we are hoping that when they get big enough they will drape over the sides instead of having to be trained up something. (Ms. Joni says they will!)

Do you want to participate in our seed library? Check out this display the next time you’re in the library. It is immediately to the right of the front door when you first walk in. You can get seeds and in the fall you can even turn in seeds for next year.

What are you growing in your garden this year? Did you get any seeds from our seed libraries? Let us know in the comments!

International Snacks: Australia

For my second foray into the A to Z World Foods database I decided that I wanted to make a cookie. I didn’t care where the cookie was from or what kind of cookie it was; it just needed to be a cookie. After running a basic search for cookies in the database using the magnifying glass in the upper right hand corner I finally came across Anzac Biscuits. I had definitely heard of those somewhere before; maybe in a book?

According to the database Anzac Biscuits are a coconut oatmeal cookie that is affiliated with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps(ANZAC). They originated shortly after World War II and were frequently used for raising funds for military veterans. The term Anzac Biscuit is protected in Australia and for a cookie to be called an Anzac Biscuit it must follow the recipe exactly.

The cookies were pretty tasty and everyone in my family really liked them. You have no idea how rare that is. They definitely taste the best on the day they were made but ours didn’t make it past the second day so I’m not sure how long they actually last.

To bake along with me, check out my video on the library’s YouTube channel and to learn more about how to use the A to Z World Food database check out this tutorial on our website.

ANZAC Biscuits recipe from A to Z World Food Database. If you don’t want to purchase golden syrup you can substitute corn syrup or make your own with this tutorial from lifehacker.

Have you made anything from the A to Z World Food Database? Are there any family recipes you want to recommend for International Snacks? Let me know in the comments!

Imagine Your Story Summer @ LML Kick Off

Starting today you can start logging books, activities and more for this year’s Summer @ LML. If you haven’t registered yet, you can sign up anytime over the summer here. Can’t do the club online? Than call 631-957-7755 or email us at to request a paper log. Each club; Birth-Pre-k;Kindergarten-5th Grade; 6th- 12th Grade and Adult has a fun Bingo Sheet you can complete for prizes or raffle tickets for a chance to win amazing prizes. Check out our FAQ!

Although this summer looks a little different than what we all had planned we still wanted to get your Summer @ LML started off right. Scroll down for craft tutorials with Ms. Lisa, Ms. Rose, Ms. Justine and Ms. Charlotte and a fun Cinderella story time with Ms. Cheryl. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube for fun tutorials and story times all summer long and make sure to check off those Watch a Virtual Tutorial program boxes on your bingo sheets.

Ms. Lisa’s Fairy House Tutorial

Ms. Rose’s Magic Story Beans

Ms. Cheryl’s Cinderella Story Time

Ms. Justine’s Fairy Garden Tutorial

Ms. Charlotte’s Homemade Wizard Wand

And be sure to check out some awesome summer fun with the Page Turners. There’s comedy story theater shows, crafts, recipes, author interviews, guest performers, contests, games, and much more! Email us at for your invitation into their imagination!

Let’s Get Moving!

Yoga for Kids by Ms. Rose

As a mother of an pre-schooler that needs A LOT of physical activity, yoga is my go to on those stay indoor type of days. I have learned that if my daughter doesn’t get enough movement during the day then it will take her hours longer to fall asleep at night and you can kiss that nap goodbye no matter how tired she is and how much she’s yawning. There were certain parts of April (all of it) where it felt like it rained EVERY SINGLE DAY and when summer finally gets here there will be days where it is just too hot to play outside.

Fortunately for me, my daughter’s amazing pre-school teachers have instilled a love of yoga in my daughter. Check out some of our favorite yoga videos from YouTube and Hoopla.

Cosmic Kids Yoga on YouTube. There are an infinite number of yoga stories based on favorite books, movies and more for every age. The videos range in length from 5 minute Super Yoga’s (no story; more like a video game) to hour long Saturday morning specials that include multiple stories and meditations. My daughter’s favorites are all the Super Yogas, Ruby Broom and Pokemon.

Storyland Yoga on Hoopla. There are two episodes about 20-25 minutes long. This is very similar to Cosmic Kids in that a lot of the focus is the story. The stories have a conservation theme and skew a little bit younger. My daughter says that the Save the Whale episode is a lot better then the Condor Trek.

Gaiam: Yoga for Kids Dino-Mite Adventure and Outer Space Blast Off on Hoopla. Each set consists of four episodes that average 15 minutes. These felt more like a traditional yoga class and skew a little older; there isn’t a real story to all of them. The theme just provides a framework. My daughter always requests Dino-Mite Yoga.

Zoo Zen A Yoga Story for Kids on Hoopla. The first 10 minutes of this movie is the story from the book Zoo Zen; the last 10 minutes of the movie is Lyla’s zoo flow yoga routine. My daughter always does the yoga poses during the story but when it’s time to do the flow routine gets bored, but sometimes I need a more traditional yoga routine to keep myself happy.

Backyard Games with Ms. Cheryl

With the weather getting warm, it’s time for my family and I to get moving outdoors. Some fun outdoor games that we like to play include bowling, croquet, potato sack races, and bocce ball.

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If you want to make your own bowling game, all you need is a yoga mat, 3 pool noodles, (2 pool noodles will be used for the bumpers, and 1 pool noodle will be used for the back of the bowling game), a scissor, toothpicks, 10 empty soda bottles filled halfway with beans or sand – make sure the caps are on the soda bottles, and a beach ball. Cut the pool noodles to fit the mat and use toothpicks to attach the pool noodles together. Then arrange the bowling pins on the yoga mat and have fun bowling!

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Croquet is fun game to play with your family. All you have to do is hit the ball through the hoops using a wooden mallet. If you don’t have a croquet at home try making one with this video by babble.

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Another fun activity for your family are potato sack races. All you need for this laugh out loud activity are some potato sacks or old pillow cases. Each person gets inside the potato sack/pillow case and holds it up with their hands. The first person to hop their way back to the finish line wins.

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Finally, try a game of bocce Ball! All you need are a few balls that are the same size and a smaller ball. Each player takes turns trying to get their ball closest to the little ball while knocking out their opponents ball. The player who gets their ball closest to the little ball wins!

Working out with Ms. Charlotte

Working out will keep you in good physical shape and improve your mood. I start off my day with a weight training class, a HIIT, Barre, or other type of class to stay happy and healthy. There are so many different types of physical activity that you can incorporate into your daily life. Walking, yoga, running, and dancing are just a few. It may seem hard to find ways to work out at home, but there are plenty of online resources to help keep you active.

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Here are some video links to get you started or for you to keep up with your routine:

100 Mile Club:

For 26 days, track your progress and aim for 1 mile per day.

PhysEd TV

New content every week for elementary, middle school, and high school students.

H.Y.P.E at Home!

Hip Hop Public Health has put together a collection of free, fun, instructional videos for hip-hop dance. Click on the resources page and then filter by age and videos.

Workout from Home: Options for People with Disability and Chronic Health Conditions

The National Center on Health, Physical Activity, and Disability has curated a playlist of exercise from home videos for kids and adults. It has 32 options for all abilities.

Mindful Remote Learning

Yoga Foster offers Yoga videos in English and Spanish along with journaling activities!

PowerUp Fitness at Home

PowerUp Fitness at Home offers workout videos that can be done in small spaces and don’t require any equipment.


If you’re in need of a more quiet option, try downloading a fitness e-book from Hoopla using your library card. Hoopla offers e-books with how-to tutorials on all different types of physical activities for all different levels!

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International Snacks: Torrijas from Spain

Another program that I really miss running is the International Snacks program that I have with the teens once a newsletter. I love picking a country; finding a store that carries items from that country and compiling different food facts from our A to Z World Food Database; snacking with the kids and finding out which snacks are their favorites and which they hate. I’m constantly being surprised by what they’re willing to taste and which things they actually like and which they hate.

Now that we’ve been home for awhile I found myself experimenting with the other part of the A to Z World Database; the recipes. The database includes tons of recipes from every country I can think of; and some from countries I’ve never even heard of.

For my first recipe from the database I picked Spain; where my family is from. I love my family but they are terrible at sharing recipes. I decided to try to make torrijas which is the Spanish version of french toast because I had a leftover loaf of bread. It’s one of those recipes that no one in my family can give me measurements for and as a baker I like concrete measurements for ingredients.

While my torrijas did not come out beautiful; they did in fact taste just like my Tia Mari’s. She is the best cook in my family; hands down. You should try this recipe. To cook along with me, check out my video on the library’s YouTube channel

The A to Z World Food Database is turning out to be a great way to explore food from around the world, practice cooking skills together as a family and teach our daughter about different foods and not to “yuck someone else’s yum.” To learn more about how to use the database check out this tutorial on our website.

The recipe for torrijas from A to Z World Foods with a little advice from my mom.

Great Audiobook Options

Anyone that knows me can tell you that I love audiobooks! On any given week I have at least three audiobooks checked out from Overdrive on the Libby app; one that I’m currently listening to and two back up options for when I finish. I listen to audiobooks on my very long commute; while I’m cleaning, cooking or folding laundry; and when I go for walks. I have even been known to take an extra walk just so I can get a little bit more of a really great audiobook in.

However, now that my commute is from my bedroom to my kitchen table and I’m home alone all day with my lovely three year old, there isn’t as much time to listen to audiobooks. She just isn’t interested in Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin or The Athena Protocol by Shamim Serif; and trying to finish a book in three weeks was getting a bit overwhelming. There is a new holds function that lets you push holds back if you aren’t ready for them, which is awesome, but not quite enough when going from 2 hours of listening a day to 30 minutes a day. That is why I’m so excited about two other audio book programs right now.

My first recommendation is our library’s Hoopla program.

Hoopla is a service that the Lindenhurst Memorial Library provides that includes audio books, ebooks, music, movies and television. You still have a 21 day check out but there are no holds. Everything is available immediately so if you don’t manage to finish your audiobook in 21 days you can immediately renew it for another 21 days. Want to give Hoopla a try? Check out our Niche Academy tutorial on Hoopla.

My second recommendation is Sync Audiobooks for Teens. This program is put together by Audiofile magazine every year. This years program began on April 30th and for 13 weeks they will make two different Teen audiobooks available to download each week. Books are paired by theme, style or topic and the listeners get to keep the titles forever so if you’re teen is still swamped with schoolwork, they can download the titles each week and wait until the school year is over to listen to them. Each pair of titles is only available for a week and the titles change overnight on Thursdays. Instructions for downloading the titles can be found here and you can check out this years titles below.

Scavenger Hunt

One of my favorite library programs is The Family Scavenger Hunt at Fireman’s Park. Traditionally, we would all meet at the park where families collect items that correspond with different clues. I love to see what families collect! Because it is such a versatile family activity; you can really do it anywhere. It could even be adapted for indoors on a rainy day. Since we are not able to be together during these unprecedented times, I thought I would share some of my favorite scavenger hunt clues with you so you can have the scavenger hunt in your own backyard.

Looking for more nature activities to adapt for the backyard?