Visits to the local library are a great way to keep the spirit of learning alive for your kids during their summer break.
For most kids, the novelty of being able to pick out new books is enough of a treat to keep them excited about a weekly library trip. If the luster starts to wear off, though, a library scavenger hunt can be a great way to spice up your next visit!
In addition to adding some variety to your visit, a scavenger hunt can expose your family to different parts of the library they may not be familiar with. Kids will also learn to use clues to find answers.
For young kids that may need assistance, a scavenger hunt is a great opportunity to work through the game together.
If you have more than one child, you can encourage your kids to see who can complete the hunt the fastest, or give them a specified period of time to see who can find the most items on the list. Consider assigning point values to different items on the list to reward efforts to find items that may be a little further from your family’s normal library comfort zone.
Either way – take the opportunity to talk about the challenges ahead of time, how to find things, clues to look for, and what some of the descriptions mean.
Possible items to include on your scavenger hunt could include:
- Information desk
- Music CD
- Audio Book
- Comic book/graphic novel
- Book in another language
- Kids’ magazine
- Picture book
- Chapter book
- Fiction book
- Non-fiction book
- Study room or private reading space
- Introduce yourself to a librarian, ask his/her favorite book
In a subsequent visit, you can do a hunt for books with certain words or features in their titles, for example:
- A girl’s name / boy’s name
- An animal
- A month
- A color
- A feeling
- A number
- Alliteration – two words that begin with the same sound
- Repitition – two words repeated
Before you get started, remind your kids about basic library conduct. The thrill of the hunt may tempt them to get a little loud or excited, so talk about how libraries are for quiet voices or whispers, and walking, not running.
Bring the Fun Home
Of course, you don’t have to check all of these books out, but certainly if your child is intrigued by one you may consider letting them bring it home to explore.
Involve your children in determining when the books are due back to the library and keeping track of the library books.
It’s never too early to help kids learn responsibility for valuable items!
Other learning activities: