5 Fun Things to Do With Your Kids at the Library

Family fun at the library includes more than just storytime. Try these creative games and activities!

Try new and interesting family activities at your favorite community hub.

Storytimes and checking out books and other materials are the two most common ways families use their public libraries and the image that pops into most people’s heads. Both are important and worthwhile; however, maybe it’s about time to start considering more unusual, fun activities designed for your older, elementary-age kids or even the whole family in ways that highlight the library’s services while letting you learn a thing or two in the process. Here are five fun, low-to-no-cost programs for you and your family.

Plant a Garden

Gardens are a great tool for delicious healthy meals, family bonding, and as a living science lab. Your local library has books for planning and maintaining them. If you can eat what you grow, cookbooks are also available. Many libraries also connect with local organizations to provide seeds and plants for free. Some even have designated spaces you can rent in the summer if you lack the square footage at your home. Nothing tastes quite as good as the food you grow yourself.

Play Library Bingo

We are all guilty of getting stuck in a reading rut. A great way to shake things up and learn more about your local library’s offerings is to play book or library bingo. A friendly wager on who gets the first bingo or completes the card can add spice to the game. There are plenty of options online, including these two from the websites The Many Little Joys and Mama Teaches.


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Pick-a-Place Adventure

Are you planning a vacation? Maybe a movie or TV show has you adding to your dream trip list? Perhaps a dig into family genealogy has revealed that your ancestors came from someplace unexpected. These are just some of the reasons to have a pick-a-place adventure to develop a deeper connection to the place and the people who live there. You can explore from multiple angles, including:

  • Fun attractions
  • Typical diet and local specialties
  • Weather
  • Major events in history
  • Types of transportation used and best practices
  • Maps of the city
  • Popular culture in the region

Travel always expands your perspective, even if only in your imagination.

Birthday Buddies

Once a year, everyone gets a day that should be 100 percent about them: your birthday. Still, we share our day with many other people, both living and dead. What cool people share your day? Google it and find out about three other people who share your big day, then do deeper research into their lives at the library. For example, you could pick one you’re a fan of, one you’ve never heard of, and one with some controversy around them. Whatever ideas you come up with, it’s nice to know that someone born on your day has done something outstanding.


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Interview Your Local Librarian

You see them every time you visit, but how well do you know your favorite librarian? Why not get to know them by asking a question or two? Contact them and request an interview. Then, help your kid(s) figure out some questions to ask. A few possible ones include:

  • Why did you decide to become a librarian?
  • How long did it take you to become one?
  • What is the most fun part of your job?
  • What is your favorite book now? What about when you were a kid?
  • How do you know what book to recommend when someone asks?

If your librarian is game, you can record the interview and send it to friends and family.

Yes, please come to the library for books and other materials. Your library staff loves seeing you. But a library isn’t just a warehouse for materials. It’s a place to learn something new or stretch your imagination. These are a few suggestions for interacting with this institution in unique ways that make learning fun and give your kids memories they will treasure.



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