As soon as your kids get their own library card, you’re ready to head to the local library on a regular basis to build those early literacy skills. But what can you do each week on your day at the library? Here are 27 library activities for kids that will give you different ways of engaging them at the library.
27 Library Activities for Kids
Check out these 27 library activities for kids that will make your regular trip to public libraries in your area a little more fun, a lot more educational, and even more captivating for your learners – young and old alike.
1. Library Scavenger Hunt
Young children love fun activities, so why not show them that the local library is a welcoming space by having a library scavenger hunt. Need some scavenger hunt ideas? Try things like a rainbow color hunt, finding every letter of the alphabet, or a fun photo scavenger hunt around the library.
Most indoor scavenger hunts will work even at the library. If you want to use the scavenger hunt to learn about the library, you can create your own unique hunt that will get them looking at all the different sections of the library.
2. Teach About the Dewey Decimal System
Older children need to learn about the Dewey Decimal System. So the next time you’re at the library with your older kids, ask a librarian to give a quick run-down of this categorization system.
3. Independent Research
The library is a great place for your student to complete some independent research about a topic that interests them or is related to their school work. With library services and online resources, your student will find the research task much easier at the library than at home.
Plus, librarians are a wealth of knowledge for tracking down the best resources.
4. Make Book Wish Lists
Help your kids grow into book-loving readers by continually talking about books, finding recommendations, and making book wish lists. Sometimes libraries will have a display section around a certain topic or new books.
Check those out as your child makes his own book wish list.
5. Summer Reading Challenge
Summer reading doesn’t have to be a chore! In fact, to encourage summer reading, download a free summer reading challenge kit and check out these summer reading book lists for every level.
6. Join a Book Club
Book clubs are fun ways to meet new friends and practice social skills all while discussing your latest read! Your kids can grow in their literary analysis skills and learn how to give and take in a small group of peers.
See if your library has an age-appropriate book club for your kids.
7. Read a Newspaper
The local public library is a convenient place to find and read a newspaper. Download a few current events printables and encourage your kids to use a newspaper instead of the internet to learn about the news.
8. Read a Magazine
Did you know that your library is a great place to find dozens of niche and interesting magazines? What are your kids’ hobbies or interests? Maybe instead of subscribing to a magazine yourself, you could just read them at the library.
9. Read Aloud a Story
Find a great book then use these read aloud activities with your kids to engage them and talk about the story. From book-inspired art, to reading journals, to recipes and “imagine if” discussions, there are lots of fun ideas that you can use to extend the learning of a read aloud.
10. Listen to an Audio Book
Even reluctant readers can be brought into a life of loving books if you let them listen to an audio book. It really isn’t cheating to allow your kids to listen to audiobooks! They can still be engaged in the story, enjoy the character development, and discuss the plot line and main themes, even if they simply listened to the book rather than read a hard copy.
11. Work on Homework
Many libraries offer free homework help, so if your child could use a hand with some of his studies, check your local library to see if they offer this service! Even if they don’t need the help, the library is of course a wonderfully quiet and calm place to find a desk or silent corner and be able to focus on your studies.
12. Library Treasure Hunt
Library treasure hunts are one of those activity ideas that will excite all ages of kids! A library treasure hunt requires kids to hunt down certain resources in the library to be able to answer the questions in the hunt.
Make sure to include questions that will take your kids to all the parts of the library so they discover biographies, fiction, nonfiction books, picture books, and more.
13. Write a Book Review
Encourage your kids to write a book review of their favorite books. Reading others’ book reviews is the best way to find new books to read.
14. Sign Up for Themed Events
Check your local library’s events calendar to see if they have any social activities scheduled with a book-inspired theme. Kids of all ages can get into these themed events at the library to celebrate a favorite author or fun books.
15. Interview a Librarian
The library staff might be tickled if you ask to interview your local librarian. Create a list of questions ahead of time and schedule a short interview. Your child may then decide to use the information from the interview to create a short biography or article about the librarian.
16. Reading Bingo
Younger kids will love playing reading bingo at the library. It’s a great way to incentivize reading! All you need is a simple BINGO printable, and once your kids have completed enough reading challenges to complete five in row, they win.
You can reward them with anything that you know they’ll love. The challenges can be anything from “draw a picture of what you read” to “read for 20 minutes” to “read a book to your sibling.”
17. Color Bookmarks
What can make a good story even better? Having a cute bookmark to use while reading it! Download some of these printable bookmarks and help make reading time at the library even sweeter.
18. Library Word Search
A fun way to learn more about the library is to use a library word search. You can find an online generator to create your own or print one of the dozens you’ll find online for free.
19. Play I Spy with Book Titles
A unique way to get your kids exploring in the library is to play I spy with book titles. You could keep the game within one section of the library. So, if you’re in the children’s area, look for a book title and then start giving your kids clues. Maybe it’s “I spy a book about dinosaurs with a yellow spine.” See how many clues it takes until your kids can find the book!
20. Play Games
Another fun activity at the library is just to play some simple games. Here are some ideas:
- alphabet hunt
- scavenger hunt
- I Spy
Some libraries have computers for kids where you can also play online educational games.
21. Reserve a Room for Studying
Older kids will appreciate being able to reserve a room for studying. This is especially helpful for high school students who might be preparing for the ACT or SAT and want a quiet place to take a practice test.
22. Teach the Parts of a Book
Kids can learn the parts of a book at the library. Grab a selection of various chapter books, picture books, reference books, and more to teach your kids the different parts.
23. Learn How to Take Care of Books
A library is a great place to learn how to take care of books. Just being at a library where the books are organized, orderly, clean, and respected is a great learning experience for young readers.
When they see how the librarians handle the books, they will begin to learn how to take care of books as well.
24. Shared Reading Discussion
Children of all ages love to share a reading discussion about the great stories they enjoy. Joining a library story time with other kids their age is a fun way to do this. Older kids may enjoy working on a reading journal to work out their thoughts before sharing.
25. Watch Films Based on Books
Family members can enjoy time together when you watch films based on books. Of course, the book is usually better than the movie, so read the book first! You can then have a great discussion with your kids about the differences between the book and the film.
26. Practice ABC Order
One of the key skills learned and practiced in elementary school is being able to put things in ABC or alphabetical order. As you explore the library, you can show your kids how the books are organized alphabetically by author then by title.
27. Library Story Time
One of the most anticipated parts of library visits for very young children is library story time! It’s one of those educational activities with friends and great picture books that never gets old.
Tips for Library Trips
Want the top tips for taking your kids to the library? Here they are.
Go Early to Avoid Crowds
Make sure you check your locations hours before you trek out. And of course, make a library book day a regular part of your schedule. Get to know the staff and ask about free programs that your library offers.
Make a Booklist
Help all your children get their own library card if you can. This way, you will be able to keep track on the online library dashboard which books are checked out, on hold, or which ones are on the wishlist. Help each child to make and maintain a booklist – ones they have completed and ones they hope to read.
Place Book Holds
You can search for new books during your regular library visit. Or, make it easier on yourself and order books from your list ahead of time. Then, you’ll just have to pick up your book holds during your library trip and can spend the rest of the time there enjoying the story time or doing one of the other activities mentioned in this post.
You can help grow a love of reading in your kids when you make visiting the library a priority. Kids will learn to value books and reading just by a simple library trip! And these library activities for kids will help them stay engaged and excited.
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