Elementary Age Actvities

Library children's staff will be sharing ideas for fun activities with children ages 5-11 while the library is closed.

5/28/20: Cereal Box Puzzles (Beth)

Turn kids’ artwork into a homemade puzzle.

  • Start with an empty cereal box and cut out one side, also removing the top and bottom flaps so you have a rectangle of cardboard. You may also want to cut the cardboard down to the size of the paper you have available.
  • On the blank side of the cardboard, draw out puzzle piece shapes, bigger for an easier puzzle and smaller for a more difficult one. I did this by making a grid and then adding a puzzle shape to the side of each square, but they can look as much or as little like regular puzzle pieces as you like. Older kids in particular can help with this step.
  • Have kids draw or paint on a piece of paper. Encourage them to use as much of the space as possible; the puzzle will be much trickier if there is a lot of white space left!
  • Glue the picture to the printed side of the cardboard, making sure that it is well attached all the way across, and leave it to dry.
  • Once the glue is dry, cut along the puzzle piece lines on the back until you have all your puzzle pieces done.

5/21/20: DIY Tangrams (Beth)

Click to see all photos for this program.

Make your own tangrams for some creativity and puzzle challenges!  Requires paper, a ruler, and colored pencils.

Use a ruler to measure out a 4 in. x 4 in. square and to divide the square into shapes.

Color in each shape a different color and cut them out.

Draw a second 4 in. x 4 in. square to give kids the challenge of fitting all the shapes back into a square.

Alternatively, see what kinds of pictures they can create using the cut-out shapes. There are lots of tangram puzzles for kids available online if they are looking for more of a challenge!

For a related art project, cut lots of shapes out of construction paper and have the kids glue them onto a separate sheet to incorporate into pictures.

5/14/20: K-5 Yoga (Stoughton Yoga)

Many thanks to Heidi and helper from Stoughton Yoga for this video geared toward ages 5-10!

5/7/20: Math Card Game (Beth)

Looking for a way to make math practice more fun?  Try this math game that can be played with only a deck of cards and a pencil and paper score sheet.

  • First, take out all the face cards (Aces = 1) and shuffle the deck.
  • Place the pile face down then draw one card and place it face up.
  • Player 1 draws a card. 
  • If that card is the same color as the face up card then player 1 adds the two cards together and adds that number to their score.
  • If the card is a different color than the current face up card, player 1 subtracts the bigger of the two numbers from the other, and adds the difference to their score.
  • Player 1 discard the card their drew on top of the face up pile.  This is now the current face up card.
  • Player 2 draws a card and repeats the process.
  • The first player to reach 100 (or whatever total is picked) wins.

Here are some more math games:

Connect Four for multiplication practice (found at Nanny to Mommy)

Muffin Tin Math for motor skills plus math skills

4/30/20: Read-Aloud for ages 5-8 (Amanda)

Amanda read aloud the stories "Ragweed's Farm Dog Handbook" and "The Wolf the Duck and the Mouse" on Facebook Live

4/23/20: Silly Story Game (Beth)

Looking for an activity to support kids’ literacy and creativity? Try writing silly stories!

  • To start, make three stacks of notecards, preferably in three different colors. On the first stack/color write a noun on each card. On the second stack/color write a verb on each card. On the third, write an adjective on each card. These can be anything you want, particularly topics your kids are interested in or that would make a fun or silly story.
  • Turn the stacks upside down and have kids roll a die five times, choosing a card after each roll. If they roll a 1 or 2, they choose from the first pile. If they roll a 3 or 4, they choose from the second pile, and 5 or 6 from the third pile. (If you don’t have any dice handy you can just choose two cards from each pile.)
  • Next, write a short story (usually a few sentences, but they can be as long or short as the kids want to make them) that includes all of the words from the chosen cards. Younger kids may need help reading the cards and writing down their story, but older kids may enjoy this activity independently or cooperatively.
  • When you’re done, choose another set of cards and either add on to the first story or start a new one!

Here are the cards I got; what kind of story could they turn into?

4/16/2020: Science Walks (Beth)

There are lots of ways to make math and science connections while enjoying time outside. Observing the world around you is a big part of science!  Are there any flowers near your home or that you regularly pass on walks?  Ask kids to check on them regularly and help them record how the flowers are growing (sprouting, buds, blooming, etc.).  These observations can be recorded with words or by drawing pictures. If you’re going for a walk, make a math connection by counting different things that you see. If you are counting more than one thing, take a notebook with you and have kids make tally marks for each one they spot. When you get home, talk about what you saw and maybe even make comparisons. These activities can be easily adapted for many different ages.  Here’s an example activity to get you started.

4/9/2020: Free downloadable books (Amanda)

We know everyone is being bombarded with online resources right now, so we wanted to be sure this one got your attention. Andrews McNeel Publishing is offering a free weekly download of a full book. So far they have offered Big Nate and Phoebe & Her Unicorn. Note: you must sign up for the publisher's newsletter (free) in order to receive access to the downloads.

4/1/2020: Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt (Beth)

Hopefully everyone is still able to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather! If you’re looking for activities to keep kids engaged during walks, consider making a scavenger hunt. Before you leave, pick a group of items you expect to encounter in your neighborhood or wherever you are walking, such as a pinecone or a stop sign. Take the list with you and have kids check each item off as they spot them. You can adapt your list to wherever you are walking and make the items easier or harder to find to engage kids of different ages. Here’s a list I made for my neighborhood.