Smart Mammals of the Sea

Dolphins are beloved mammals of the sea. They are also some of the smartest animals that live in the ocean, and researchers have just released a study on dolphins using interesting techniques to capture their prey.

Recently, biologists observed dolphins in the Shark Bay area of Western Australia. These animals used a technique called shelling to catch prey. The dolphin chases a fish or other small animal into a large shell, then they put in their beak and shake it until the fish drops into their open mouth. They observed the behavior in several dolphins, and through social evaluation, determined shelling was learned from other dolphins in the same generation and not mothers.

Being in the South Carolina Low Country, we frequently see dolphins swimming near the beaches and in the marshes. They have a unique way to capture prey, strand feeding. This technique is where a group of dolphins coordinate to rush the bank of a creek, pushing fish onshore then feeding on the flopping fish.

You can learn more about the amazing abilities of dolphins in many of the titles in our Summer Reading collection. Here is a short reading list:

Join Delfina the dolphin as she imagines that she becomes other sea animals: a fish, a sea turtle, a pelican, an octopus, a shark, even a manatee! The incredible morphing illustrations will have children laughing as they learn about the real differences between these ocean animals and their respective classes.

Sharks and dolphins both have torpedo-shaped bodies with fins on their backs. They slice through the water to grab their prey with sharp teeth. But despite their similarities, sharks and dolphins belong to different animal classes: one is a fish and gets oxygen from the water and the other is a mammal and gets oxygen from the air. Marine educator Kevin Kurtz guides early readers to compare and contrast these ocean predators through stunning photographs and simple, nonfiction text.

Enjoy a day in one of the most dynamic habitats on earth: the salt marsh. Fun-to-read, rhyming verse introduces readers to hourly changes in the marsh as the tide comes and goes. Watch the animals that have adapted to this ever-changing environment as they hunt for food or play in the sun, and learn how the marsh grass survives even when it is covered by saltwater twice a day. An activity on adaptations is included in the “For Creative Minds” section.

Where else could you stay dry while visiting aquatic animals from around the world? Only in an aquarium can you visit and learn about all these different local and exotic animals. Aquarium staff care for and teach about these animals, as well as work to conserve and protect threatened and endangered species. Follow this behind-the-scenes photographic journal as it leads you into the wondrous world of aquariums and the animal helpers who work there.

Start reading today! Check out Arbordale’s free ebooks for Summer Reading and learn more about dolphins!

Summer Beach BINGO

It’s time for summer reading, and we have a contest for you!

Read to a friend, create sea creatures out of paper and glue, and visit a local pond to enter to win our Beach Bingo Book Giveaway.

We will choose 24 winners to receive a free book mailed to their home.

How to enter:

First, begin reading Arbordale’s free summer reading ebook collection.

Download the BINGO Diary! Throughout the summer, complete the reading tasks and mark off the BINGO square after recording the book and/or your activity in the attached diary.

When you have finished all the activities, mail your completed diary to Arbordale by September 15th. We will notify winners through email.

Contact with questions about the summer reading program or the contest.

Have fun Reading!

Sea the World from a Different Perspective this Summer

The unofficial start to summer is here! While 2020 has not been smooth sailing, we are happy that we can continue to share quality reading and fun activities with little ones and today we are kicking off Summer Reading Under the Sea.

Splash around through 24 underwater and beachy ebooks through August 31st on We choses a few of our classic favorites along with some of our newer titles and a mix of fiction and nonfiction for readers to enjoy!

Don’t miss out on the fun! Read our blog weekly for crafts, scavenger hunts, and coloring pages to go along with a theme! Join us next week as we explore the darkest depths of the ocean and the strange creatures that live there!

Start reading today!

If you have any questions about our summer reading program email

Science Never Stops: Unique Museum Exhibits to cool off on a Hot Summer Day

It may be summer, but learning doesn’t have to go on hiatus. There are all sorts of fun and educational opportunities for kids on vacation or even in their own hometowns. Here is a list of museum exhibits, most of them only temporary, that could grab your child’s attention and teach them more about the world.

Melting Glaciers
It seems like everywhere these days we’re hearing about melting ice caps and global warming. A new exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York aims to teach page 13visitors about climate change by showing physical melting glaciers. The glacier chunks have been frozen for about 800 years and broke off from an actively melting glacier in Europe. This exhibit will be open at MoMA PS1 in Queens until Sept. 2.

Build Your Own ‘Bot
Have you ever watched R2D2 roll around and beep in the Star Wars movies and wished you could build your own droid? The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, CA has a new exhibit in which kids can create their very own robot. Visitors design, build, and program original robots using the technologies at the exhibit.

America is hooked on cop shows, and at some point, every kid has wanted to be a cop or detective. Now you can at Fort Worth Museum of Science and History in Texas. Their new exhibit CSI: The Experience allows visitors to solve crimes just like the characters on CSI, doing everything from collecting evidence to conducting autopsies. The exhibit is open through Sept. 2.

What About Whales?
The Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine in Portland has an entire exhibit dedicated to a sea creature that will capture the hearts of any child who visits. What About Whales? is an interactive exhibit which educates children about whales by letting them climb in and out of an inflatable life-size humpback whale. Other activities include a whale-watching boat, a Feed a Whale ballgame, and much more.

Treasure Hunting
The Discovery Center Museum in Rockford, IL has an exhibit for any kid who has ever wanted to hunt for treasure, whether as a pirate from the 1600s or a modern-day treasure hunter. The Treasure! exhibit allows visitors to try treasure hunting tools, view artifacts from treasure sites, and learn about the history of and people involved in treasure hunting.

Rain Room
umbrellaFor those of you in the New York area, be sure to check out the Museum of Modern Art’s “Rain Room.” Located in the lot directly adjacent to MoMA, the Rain Room uses digital technology to make it rain except wherever it detects human presence. Visitors can stand in one spot and remain dry while they watch the rain fall all around them. The Rain Room is on exhibit until Jul. 28.

Whether you check out these exhibits or a museum closer to home there is so much to be explored!