When Schools & the Library Are Closed

Looking for things to do at home with the kids? Here are some reading and activity suggestions from our Children's Librarians.

Sat Mar 14: Loose Parts challenge. Find 3 unrelated items in your home, like forks, pillowcases, and rubber bands. Everyone gets 10 minutes to combine those 3 things into something useful. Present and explain your invention to your family.

Sun Mar 15: Cozy Sundays. Did you know Kanopy Kids includes great family-friendly TV shows like Sesame Street and Arthur? Grab a blanket, pick an episode, and get cozy.

Mon Mar 16: Family Book Club. Read the next 20 pages of your novel today. Don't forget to have someone recap what you read last time. If you’re just getting started, check out an eBook from our Overdrive collection. We recommend The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate.

Tue Mar 17: Leprechaun trap. It’s St Patrick’s Day! Gather up boxes, string, sticks, and containers, and see if you can build a leprechaun trap. What will you use as bait?

Wed Mar 18: Dance Party. Use Hoopla to stream or download an album. Have a family dance challenge. Who can invent the best new dance move? Bonus point if you can give it a funny name.

Thu Mar 19: DIY Storytime. Challenge your kiddo to host a storytime for the family (or for their toys). Find items around the house to use for instruments and props. Looking for real storytime songs? We love Jbrary’s Youtube channel (see Related link below)

Fri Mar 20: Movie Night. Did you know you can stream movies from Hoopla? Pick a film, put on PJs, and enjoy!

Sat Mar 21: Loose Parts challenge. Find 3 unrelated items in your home, like Tupperware lids, paperclips, and mittens. Everyone gets 10 minutes to combine those 3 things into something useful. Present and explain your invention to your family.

Sun Mar 22: Cozy Sundays. Did you know Kanopy Kids includes great family-friendly TV shows like Franklin and Little Bear? Grab a blanket, pick an episode, and get cozy.

Mon Mar 23: Family Book Club. Read the next 20 pages of your novel today. Don't forget to have someone recap what you read last time. If you’re just getting started, check out an eBook from our Overdrive collection. We recommend anything by Beverly Cleary.

Tue Mar 24: Ramp Racers. Collect any toys with wheels. Make a ramp from a piece of cardboard on the stairs. Guess which toy will be the fastest down the ramp. Test your hypothesis.

Wed Mar 25: Dance Party. Use Hoopla to stream or download an album. Have a family dance challenge. Who can do the most convincing robot dance?

Thu Mar 26: DIY Storytime. Challenge your kiddo to host a storytime for the family (or for their toys). Find items around the house to use for instruments and props. Need some new picturebook choices? Try our Overdrive collection!

Fri Mar 27: Movie Night. Did you know you can stream movies from Hoopla? Pick a film, put on PJs, and enjoy!

Sat Mar 28: Loose Parts challenge. Find 3 unrelated items in your home, like toothpicks, yarn, and toilet paper rolls. Everyone gets 10 minutes to combine those 3 things into something useful. Present and explain your invention to your family.

Sun Mar 29: Cozy Sundays. Did you know Kanopy Kids includes great family-friendly TV shows like Max & Ruby and Babar? Grab a blanket, pick an episode, and get cozy.

Mon Mar 30: Family Book Club. Read the next 20 pages of your novel today. Don't forget to have someone recap what you read last time. If you’re just getting started, check out an eBook from our Overdrive collection. We recommend Charlotte’s Web, by E. B. White.

Tue Mar 31: Have you ever played Squares? Draw a 5x5 grid of dots on a sheet of paper. Find a partner and get 2 coloured pens. You each take turns connecting 2 dots. If your turn closes the last side of a square, you get to colour it in with your colour to claim it. Once all the dots are connected, the player with the most squares wins. Make the game harder by starting with a bigger grid.

Wed Apr 1: Dance Party. Use Hoopla to stream or download an album. Have a family dance challenge. Who has the best slow motion moves? Who can dance the fastest?

Thu Apr 2: DIY Storytime. Challenge your kiddo to host a storytime for the family (or for their toys). Find items around the house to use for instruments and props. Try adding a digital book from Tumble Book Library this week.

Fri Apr 3: Movie Night. Did you know you can stream movies from Hoopla? Pick a film, put on PJs, and enjoy!

Past Suggestions

  • Family Book Club. Pick a novel to read aloud as a family, read 20 pages today. We suggest anything by Roald Dahl.
  • Laser beam maze. Grab a roll of tape and some string, stretch pieces between walls in a hallway to make a laser maze. Time yourself navigating the maze. Don’t get zapped!
  • Recycling bin challenge. Raid your recycling bin for containers and boxes. Pick 5 items and combine them into a new invention. Try to convince other members of your family why they need your new creation.
  • Family Book Club. Read the next 20 pages of your novel today. Don't forget to have someone recap what you read last time. Continue to do this a few times per week.
  • Play a memory game. Gather items from around the house and place on a table. Have everyone look at the items for one minute, then cover with a towel. See how many items you can remember.
  • Snacking Fun! Look at the items in your pantry and fridge. Think of a simple snack that you can all make together. Get creative! Talk about food practices and healthy snacks and just plain fun snacks! example: Ants on a log (Celery, Cream cheese, Raisins). Enjoy the snack!
  • Camping Day! Have an indoor camping day. Build a 'tent' with blankets and then play a boardgame in the tent.
  • National Wear Red Day (first Friday in February). Find something red to wear. Red reminds us of hearts and love and Valentines Day. Make a card for someone you love for Valentine's Day which will be the following week on Fri Feb 14.
  • Family Book Club. Read the next 20 pages of your novel today. Don't forget to have someone recap what you read last time. If you’re just getting started, grab a great read-aloud novel and gather together to share the story a few times a week. We recommend the Magical Animal Adoption Agency series.
  • Learn a new language. Try our fantastic language learning tool, Transparent Language Online. Pick a language to try as a family. See how many words you can learn in one day.
  • Indoor Igloo. Use ice cubes to build an igloo inside on a tray or plate. Can you build a structure before the ice melts?
  • Card Party. Play a classic card game: Crazy Eights, Go Fish, and War are great ones to start with.
  • Valentines Day! Write a poem for someone in your home. “Roses are red, violets, are blue…” Will your poem be silly or sweet?
  • Family Book Club. Read the next 20 pages of your novel today. Don't forget to have someone recap what you read last time.  If you’re just getting started, grab a great read-aloud novel and gather together to share the story a few times a week. We recommend The Hollow Under the Tree by Cary Fagan. (See booklist below)
  • ABC Scavenger hunt. Write out the alphabet down the side of a piece of paper. Find one object in your home for each letter. Bonus points for double letter objects, like Cotton Candy for ‘C’.
  • Create a board game. Grab some paper and crayons, and create a board game. Make up the rules and write them down. Invite some family of friends to play.
  • Dance Party! Stream a CD from Hoopla, and have a family dance party. Have a dance off to see who has the most creative moves.
  • Hide and Seek! Nothing beats this classic game. Too easy? Try it in the dark.
  • Family Book Club. Read the next 20 pages of your novel today. Don't forget to have someone recap what you read last time. If you’re just getting started, grab a great read-aloud novel and gather together to share the story a few times a week. We recommend The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. (See booklist below)
  • Pull out some old socks and draw faces on them to make sock puppets—then put on a show!
  • Prepare an indoor picnic lunch—make your favourite sandwiches, bake some cupcakes—and best of all, no ants!
  • Reminisce about your favourite family vacation and draw pictures of everything you did to make a book.
  •  Check out some great books and read-alongs on our TumbleBook Library online resource.
  •  Family Book Club. Read the next 20 pages of your novel today. Don't forget to have someone recap what you read last time. If you’re just getting started, grab a great read-aloud novel and gather together to share the story a few times a week. We recommend Elephant Secret by Eric Walters. (See booklist below)
  • Paint the snow! Bring in a small container of snow and pat it down flat. Use paint brushes and paints (we suggest using water colour paints) to explore how the colours mix together. Create a unique piece of art before the snow melts!
  • Playing with poetry! Make an acrostic poem by writing your name vertically, then use each letter as the first letter of a new word that shares kind things about yourself. For example Karen: Kind, Artsy, Reader, Energetic & Nice. Bonus, make one for family and friends!
  • Family Book Club. Read the next 20 pages of your novel today. Don't forget to have someone recap what you read last time. If you’re just getting started, grab a great read-aloud novel and gather together to share the story a few times a week. We recommend A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying by Kelley Armstrong. (See booklist below)
  • Create your own memory game. Cut heavy paper into cards. Draw pairs of symbols on your cards. Mix them up, flip them over, grab a partner, and take turns trying to find pairs. The best part? You get to pick pictures you like – baseball, unicorns, spaghetti, anything!
  • Fort challenge. Using bedsheets, chairs, and pillows, see if you can build a reading fort. Curl up inside and read a book.
  • Signs of Spring. Springtime is just around the corner. Go outside with a camera or a pad of paper, and see if you can find 5 signs of spring: chirping birds, budding trees, sprouting bulbs. Take a picture or write down each sign.
  • Friday the 13th is considered an ‘unlucky’ day. Make yourself a good luck charm – paint a rock your favourite colour, and use permanent markers to add a positive message.

Explore our recommended reads for When Schools & the Library Are Closed

Kanopy Kids - stream movies using your library card

Explore TumbleBooks online books for kids

Jbrary’s Youtube channel

APPLY for your library card online now