Riddle: Crossing the River

Kids, do you love a good riddle? If you do, we challenge you to solve our Crossing the River riddle! While we provide our answer below, we’d love to hear your solutions. Email us at ysstaff@eauclaire.lib.wi.us to share your solutions and photos!

Riddle: Crossing the River

You have a dinosaur, a pack of fruit snacks, and a goat.

You must cross the Chippewa River, but you can bring only one at a time.

If you leave the dinosaur with the goat, the dinosaur will eat the goat.

If you leave the goat with the fruit snacks, the goat will eat the fruit snacks.

How do you get all three across the river safely?

Printable color copy here (PDF)

For the riddle’s solution, click here for a video or click here for text.

Try-It Tray: Paper Towns

Are you running low on craft supplies? Worry not! This edition of our Try-It Tray uses only a few household art supplies and your imagination.

Paper Towns

This is an easy, open-ended activity that I think kids might really enjoy, because the idea came from my 11-year-old daughter Maddie!


  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape
  • Pencils or markers

I gave Maddie some colorful paper scraps to help us both get through an afternoon of virtual meetings, and two days later she had an entire paper town! I find it perfectly charming, as do the small animal figures that Maddie uses to play act within her creation. Do you see them in the library? It’s a bit like a homemade dollhouse, isn’t it? Fun!

I love the way she labeled places and objects, which is such a great literacy exercise. I also think it gives her comfort to bring the outside in. She is missing her favorite Eau Claire destinations, and it helps her to hold them near and imagine a positive future.


We’d love to see your paper towns! Email your photos to ysstaff@eauclaire.lib.wi.us and we may feature them on our Community Photo gallery. 

LEGO Challenge: Colors

It’s time for a LEGO Building Challenge! Give the challenge below a go and let us know how it went.

LEGO Color Challenge

Create a design using blocks of only ONE color. No LEGOs? No problem! Use any materials you have to complete the challenge.

For more Lego inspiration, check out the Brick Books series, available at the time of this post on Hoopla, with your EC Library card.

Have your own challenge to throw down? Email us and we may just feature it in future weeks.

As always, we’d love to see your photos! Email photos of your completed challenge to ysstaff@eauclaire.lib.wi.us. Your photo may be featured right here on our Kids website.

Preschool STEM: Build a Fort

ENGINEERING is this week’s focus for Preschool STEM, with a great family fun activity: fort building!

Fort Building: Activity & Conversation Starters

Engineering is all about finding out how things are built and why. Sometimes trial and error is the best way to see what works and what doesn’t!

1. Find materials to build a fort. You could try bed sheets, blankets, furniture, a tarp, or a clothesline.

2. What did you find? Are you going to build a fort inside or outside?!

3. What could be used to secure the different parts of the fort so they stay standing? I can think of clothespins, string, chip clips, rubber bands.

4. What else? Does your fort require a secret password to enter?

Share a picture of your fort creation! Send to ysstaff@eauclaire.lib.wi.us

Click here to download instructions (PDF).

LEGO Challenge: Scavenger Hunt

Are you ready for a LEGO Building Challenge? We sure are!

LEGO Scavenger Hunt

Create ten LEGO objects (cars, animals, buildings), then hide them around your house for a scavenger hunt! No LEGOs? No problem! Use any materials you have to complete the challenge.

As always, we’d love to see your photos! Email photos of your completed challenge to ysstaff@eauclaire.lib.wi.us. Your photo may be featured right here, on our Kids website, soon.

– Julia, Youth Services

Try-It Tray: Cardboard Cats

We have a new Try-It Tray this week! Create your own clowder of Cardboard Cats using just cardboard, yarn, and your creativity. Snap a pic and send it to us – we love to see your imagination at work! Your picture may be featured right here, on our Kids website.

Cardboard Cats

This Try-It Tray activity is sweet and simple. Make it with just some cardboard, yarn, and creativity. Or adapt it to materials you have in your home, like an old paper bag for the kitty and crayons for the clothes. I used fabric torn into strips for the example to the left. Have fun and use what you’ve got!

If you do use cardboard, keep the shape simple and large enough to cut easily with a scissors. I made all straight cuts in the example above. Keep the bottom of the cat flat so that you can make two small, upward cuts along the bottom to form the paws on either side and a tab in the middle that can be folded back into a stand for your cat. The face you draw and the clothes you create will make your cat one of a kind!

Alternative idea: Be a rebel and make a dog!

-Sam, Youth Services



Parent Play & Learn: Play

Parents, do the words, “Do you want to play with me?” secretly make you want to take a nap? Parent Play & Learn is back with a project that is sure to spark playtime joy for you and your children.

Tip 1: Delight in sending and receiving letters to and from your kiddos. Visit the link below for ideas on setting up this space in your home.

Tip 2: This activity is an opportunity to develop essential early literacy skills like print awareness, letter knowledge, vocabulary, and more.

Send us your pics of what pretend play looks like at your house!

-Jerissa, Youth Services

Parent Play & Learn: Art

Art is a creative and engaging process that helps develop important skills. Bring more art into your home by exploring COLLAGE with your family. Be sure to talk about the process, play with the materials, and share your collage-making pics with us by email.

Tip 1: Build your child’s vocabulary and narrative skills by making observations and asking open-ended questions about their work.

Tip 2: Help your child develop a growth mindset and understand that success comes from practice by celebrating their effort.

Need inspiration? You can find 50+ collage art ideas from the Artful Parent here: https://artfulparent.com/collage-art-ideas-kids/

-Jerissa, Youth Services

Preschool STEM: Money Muncher

Parents, Preschool STEM is back this week with a fun math activity! Early math skills can be incorporated into many simple activities. This “Money Muncher” activity includes lots of math skills. Colors, shapes, sizes, counting, sorting, and measuring by identifying what is bigger or smaller…this is all early math! Let us know how it went, and share a pic with your “Muncher” creation. Pictures may be featured on our Kids website!

MATH Money Muncher (PDF)

Try-It Tray: Story Cards

Looking for a fun activity to do with your kids? The Try-it Tray is a great place at the library for kids to try out crafts and games, and we are bringing those ideas online for you to try at home.

We’d love to see your story cards and hear the stories you create, so please comment below, or email us comments and photos at ysstaff@eauclaire.lib.wi.us. Happy making!

Story Cards Instructions (pdf)