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Keeping Kids Busy This Summer

It’s summer, time for vacations and swimming, picnics and parties. Usually.

Many of us are staying home right now, but that doesn’t mean families can’t have a good time. There are lots of ways to keep kids happy and entertained, even if the call of the playground can’t be answered.

Some of my fondest childhood memories of summer happened at home. Catching fireflies right outside my door, for example. If you need a little inspiration, try these ideas…

Make a mess
Slime is goopy. Slime is squishy. There’s something so satisfying about dipping your hands into it. Kids love getting creative and experimenting with different ingredients. Don’t like the way it came out? Try a different recipe and see how they compare. Play with the color, add sparkles, just have fun with it! Check out recipes in books like “Super Slime.” You can check out this title as a Print Book or as an eBook on Overdrive/Libby

Super Slime

Get cooking
What could be better than eating something you made together? Measure, pour, stir, watch it rise in the oven. Then chow down.

As a bonus, cooking and baking happen to be great for building those math and science skills. When you follow the directions, delicious things happen! You can find lots of recipes in “Cooking Class: 57 Fun Recipes Kids Will Love to Make (and Eat!)” and “Baking Class: 50 Fun Recipes Kids Will Love to Bake!” You can check out “Cooking Class” as a Print Book or as an eBook on Overdrive/Libby. You can also check out “Baking Class” as a Print Book or as an eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

Baking Class

Change the world
Kids may sometimes feel they don’t have much control in a world run by adults, but there are many ways they can make an impact. Learn how to save energy at home, pick out clothing to donate and more. The book, “101 Small Ways to Change the World” has lots of ideas, but kids may also enjoy coming up with their own projects based on what they feel passionate about. You can check out this title as a Print Book or as an eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

101 Small Ways to Change the World

Grow something
If you have a patch of dirt or even just a pot on the windowsill, your kids can make things grow. I remember being fascinated by a little cucumber sprout I planted in a cup. If you have the space for it, you could grow an entire garden together.

Don’t have room? Kids could plan out a dream garden, get creative drawing a garden map or imagining new plants. Find seeds in fruit you eat, plant them in a cup and see what happens! Discover ideas in “Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots : Gardening Together With Children.” You can check out this title as a Print Book or as an eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

Roots Shoots Buckets and Boots

Get crafty
There are so many things to make with items you may already have at home. It’s fun to get out a variety of objects and materials and just let loose. Some kids might prefer projects with specific instructions, and there are plenty of books to help with this, like “Project Kid: 100 Ingenious Crafts for Family Fun.”  You can check out this title as a Print Book or as an eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

Project Kid

Make a rocket ship, an animal, jewelry, a game! When I was young, I had a great time making up board games (and playing them) with my family. You can use dice and pieces from other games you already have. Want video tutorials for more craft ideas? With your library card, you can access Creativebug, where you’ll find all kinds of cool projects for kids and adults.

Listen to an audiobook
You can download or stream a book from home with Overdrive/Libby and Hoopla. Why not snuggle up on the couch and listen together? You might create a memory that your child will cherish for years. There are titles for all ages and interests. It counts toward Summer Reading, too!

Achieve reading goals
Yes, Summer Reading is happening even if you can’t hang out at the library. If you haven’t signed up yet, it’s not too late. Who in your family can read the most? Log those books, comics and everything you read to find out who’s the champion. Or work together toward a shared goal. How many books can you read together?

Need more information?

You can sign up for a free library card here. If you are new to our eResources, check out these tutorial videos on how to get started.  

If you’re looking for more book suggestions, we’re happy to recommend them! Use this Book Recommendation form to send us some information about what you like to read and we’ll curate a list just for you.  

If you have any additional questions, you can contact a librarian through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. You can also call us at 412-622-3114 or email us at 

Sign up for Summer Reading and start logging your books!

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