Over the last few weeks, I’ve been inspired by the creativity and positive spirit of our community. One of my favorite examples of this is a house in my neighborhood that hangs a daily riddle, written in marker on white paper, on their front door. My family is always eager to see what the new riddle will be and to test our collective wits.
In this spirit, I encourage you to try these brainteasers from Riddles at Home by Lisa Regan, part of the Riddle Me This! series, available on Hoopla at the time of this post (pages 7, 12).
Try this! Make your own riddle
1. Choose an answer
For example, choose an animal, a famous book character, or an object from your house.
2. Write down a few clues that describe your answer
Can you think of creative ways to describe it? What does it look, feel, smell, taste, sound like?
Add a second part to some of your sentences that starts with “but not.” For example, I am tall, but not large.
3. Share your riddle!
Can you stump your friends or family members?
4. Ready to take it up a notch?
Check out these wordplay tips from Reading Rockets!
Looking for more puzzles, brainteasers, and riddles? Take a peek at these activities from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
Have you ever heard of an edible book festival? The library has hosted a few. You make a cake inspired by a favorite book. A few photos from past library festivals are shown here.
Well, I’m no baker, but I do like crafts. I decided to take a common household recyclable—the toilet paper roll—and see if I could turn that into a representation of a favorite book. First I made a hobbit house to celebrate the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which my daughter and I are reading aloud right now. See the round door?
Then I made another. And another. Then my daughter made a few. So, what we really have here is The Shire!
Now it’s your turn to use your imagination! Bake a cake. Turn a toilet paper roll into Pete the Cat. Or Jack and Annie’s treehouse. Are you having trouble imagining how to do that? No worries. Just give your child a toilet paper roll and whatever materials you can find, from extra buttons to sticks in the yard. Kids can do amazing things, and they really like trying!
For the month of May, Jim Gill—an award-winning children’s musician—is collecting wishes from children around the country which he will share while performing his song “May There Always Be Sunshine” on his YouTube channel.
To participate in this special opportunity, start by talking with your child about their favorite things. What people, places, activities, and objects do they love? What makes those things special? Then, invite them to select their favorite thing to complete the sentence “May there always be….” Have your child write (or help them write) their sentence on a piece of paper, and encourage them to draw a picture about it.
View the explanation of the activity on Jim Gill’s YouTube channel.
Find the complete instructions under the News section of Jim Gill’s website.
Early Literacy Connection
Serve-and-return or back-and-forth conversations with children are brain-building activities. While you talk to them, they are exercising their listening and comprehension skills, and when they talk to you, they are building their capacity for expressive vocabulary. Early writing strengthens fine-motor skills, letter knowledge, and helps children understand that print on a page is associated with spoken language.
We’d love to see your wishes! Email your photos to Youth Services and we may feature them on our Community Photo gallery.
Scavenger Hunt @ Home: Book, Movie, and TV Characters
Hello, library families! Are you searching for fun family activities to do at home, especially as the weather turns cooler and rainier this week? Try this fun indoor scavenger hunt! I’ve included prompts for talking, playing, and writing for various ages, just as I do in the Play and Learn at the library in order to bring a bit of the library home to you. Have fun! We’d love to see a picture of you and your character treasures, so be sure to email us with how your scavenger hunt @ home went.
For this scavenger hunt, I searched all over my house for objects relating to 1) book characters and, 2) movie and television characters. Maybe you could try that, too? Or go on an “I Spy” scavenger hunt with the pictures below.
Scavenger Hunt 1: Book Characters
• How many objects relating to book characters did you find at your home? Make a list!
• Tell the story about where a favorite object came from
• Which book character is your favorite?
• Do you see the gold ring? Do you know who it belongs to?
Scavenger Hunt 2: Movie and Television Characters
• How many objects relating to movie/television characters did you find at your home? Make a list!
• Use the objects and your imagination to act out a new scene or write a piece of fanfiction.
• Which movie or television character is your favorite?
• That is a very special dolphin in the picture! Do you know her name?
MATH is this week’s feature for our Preschool STEM virtual series. Children learn best through play and preschool math can be as easy as building a toy train. Try out this “math lesson” with your little ones!
Build & Measure Block Center: Activity & Conversation Starters
- Ruler or tape measure
- Building materials, such as Legos, Duplos, toy blocks, or even cereal boxes or empty pop cans!
1. Can you name the numerals on the rulers?
2. Build a tower with your building materials. How high is it?
4. Build a long train by laying items end to end. Measure how long it is. How many pieces did you use?
Share a picture of your towers! Email us at email@example.com or share via Facebook.
This Try-It Tray is an easy, adaptable, fun game that’s perfect for kids of any age. Use those random knickknacks, tiny toys, or art supplies to create a new game! Play it to pass the time or keep score to select a victor, it’s completely up to you.
1. Put 10 to 20 objects in the middle of a table.
Objects might include small toys or items from a kitchen, desk, or purse.
2. All players but one close their eyes.
3. The player with eyes open selects one object and hides it under the table.
We’d love to see your game! What objects did you use? Did you add other rules? Email your stories and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and we may feature them on our Community Photo gallery.
As we’re sheltering at home, some activities may start to get old. But, using our imaginations and LEGOs to create structures, creatures, and inventions is not one of them. With that in mind, it’s time for another LEGO challenge!
How to play:
1. Create two identical piles of bricks.
2. Sit back to back with your partner.
3. Choose one partner to go first. This person will build a creation and describe it as they go. The other partner will try to build along.
4. Can you make an identical creation without looking?
No LEGOs? No problem! Use any materials you have. This challenge is perfect for making a silly drawing with paper and pencil.
Have your own challenge to throw down? Email us and we may just feature it in future weeks.
Making masks is a creative, process-based art activity that is joyful for adults and children of all ages. As you talk with your child about the process (make observations and ask open-ended questions) and play with them using your completed masks, you are strengthening your relationship and helping them develop creative thinking and language skills that will serve them well into their future.
Simply pull together any supplies you might have to spare around the house, like cardboard, junk mail, glue or tape, coloring or drawing utensils, etc. to make your masks.
For inspiration, check out these simple, yet incredible masks from:
We’d love to see your masks! Email your photos to email@example.com and we may feature them on our Community Photo gallery.
Volcanos: Activity & Conversation Starters
2. Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda.
3. Do you want your volcano to erupt with more foam? Add 1 teaspoon of dish soap.
4. Do you want colored lava? Add a small squirt of washable paint.
6. Pour in vinegar and watch the reaction. What do you observe (see, hear, smell)?
7. Optional: Build a volcano with Legos or Duplos!
You’re watching a chemical reaction! When an acid (the vinegar) and a base (the baking soda) mix they form a gas called carbon dioxide.
Share a picture of your volcano experiment! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or share via Facebook.