This year’s theme for National Library Week (April 10-16, 2016) is “Libraries Transform.” And as a fan and frequent user of my local library, I’m all about celebrating. But how do we instill this appreciation for libraries with our kids? The easy answer is, of course, to visit your local library. But how else can we honor these great bastions of literature and recognize all that the library system does for us? Here’s a few ideas for readers of all ages:
1. Library Word Scramble
See how many words/names you can come up with from the letters of the words “National Library Week” (freebies: Larry, Barry, and brat).
2. Trivia Contest
My kids like challenges. My youngest son has managed to turn his birthday parties into a competitive event (in the past few years, we’ve hosted a Cupcake War, a Dessert War, and a Salad Showdown). So I’m going to challenge my kid to come up with quiz questions about libraries to stump the others. Maybe he’ll make up a whole Jeopardy game (he’s been known to do that in the past), or just bask in his superior knowledge.
Make a list of items for your kid to find in the library. Include items easily found (a scanner, a librarian, a cookbook, a stool, a chair, a pencil), some that can only be found inside a book (shark, saber tooth tiger, spinning wheel, a musket; or, for slightly older kids, have them list the title and page number where the item was found; for even older kids, have them cite the source), and some that can only be solved by asking for help or with a little research (the year the cotton gin was invented, a drawing of a flying buttress, the antagonist in Shakespeare’s Othello, list each of the authors of the 39 Clues and the name of one other book written by them, find one historical figure and one artist who lived at the same time, list three books you would reference to design a time-traveling superhero costume, list three services the library provides other than lending books).
4. Photo Shoot
Have your kids take pictures around the library to post on Facebook. Challenge them to frame a shot (with no people’s faces in it) that would draw people to the library.
5. Book Counting
How many books have you read? Have the kids list how many books they’ve read–even the ones you’ve read to them–and put stars next to their favorites. If they have a book journal, great, use that. If not, now’s a great time to start one.
6. Join the #LibrariesTransform Movement
Follow the I Love Libraries Facebook page, and enter this week’s contest, filling in the blank “Because_____#LibrariesTransform,” explaining why your library is important.
7. Ask your Kids for Ideas
Ask them how they think libraries should be celebrated, and share your suggestions (and activities) in the comments below.