The universe above our heads: At-home activities & books for grade schoolers

Telescope looking at the night sky

By Children’s Librarian Genevieve Grove The physical sciences study the non-living systems of our world, and astronomy expands that investigation into the universe! Galaxies, stars, planets—we want to know about their physics, their movement, their atmospheres. Just like Galileo Galilei, who turned his telescope towards the stars and recorded what he saw, you too can … Read more

Become a chess champ: A virtual tutorial & more at-home activities for kids

Become a chess champ

Chess challenges young minds to think critically. It teaches sacrifice and strategy, and exercises the ability to think ahead. And it’s fun! Whether kids are new to chess or have been playing for some time, your public library has resources for all experience levels—including a virtual chess tutorial, an ongoing virtual workshop series, live tutoring, … Read more

Butterflies! At-home activities & more for grade schoolers (part 2)

Butterfly painting on window

By Middle School Services Librarian Beronica Puhr Here in Oak Park, the Village of Oak Park has proclaimed 2021 as the Year of the Butterfly, and we are learning so much about monarch butterflies and their need for milkweed plants to thrive. Did you know that the extinction of monarch butterflies ties into climate change? … Read more

All about origami: How-to videos, books & more for grade schoolers

Butterfly origami

Library assistant Margaret can always be found doing origami and helping kids learn! Origami helps kids practice visual and spatial skills, concentration, and math, and is a great fidget activity for experienced creators. It’s also a lot of fun! Watch this video Can you make a butterfly following her tutorial? It’s the perfect way to … Read more

Supported gardening: What’s happening in the Community Sensory Garden & activities for kids

Miss Eileen planting in the Accessible Community Garden

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Did you know that 70% of disabled adults do not engage in community activities? This statistic, from a 2005 paper, gave me pause the first time I heard it at a conference. I see it with my disabled brother and his friends, but it’s hard to see it widely confirmed. … Read more

Butterflies! At-home activities for grade schoolers (part 1)

Monarch butterfly on milkweed

By Middle School Services Librarian Beronica Puhr The Village of Oak Park has proclaimed 2021 as the Year of the Butterfly, and we’re doing our part to ensure everyone knows all they can to protect the monarch butterfly! Want to help? Find facts, fun activities and resources, books to check out, and programs to attend … Read more

New! Let’s have fun with music: A virtual tutorial for grade schoolers

Let's have fun with music!

By Eileen Saam, Children’s Services Library Assistant Nearly everyone appreciates music, whether it is listening to a favorite playlist, singing a song in the bathtub, tapping to the beat of the music playing on the car radio, or playing an instrument. It would be difficult to find someone who does not enjoy music! And kids … Read more

Transgender Day of Visibility: Books for early learners & grade schoolers

Book covers

By Children’s Librarian Hal Patnott March 31 is Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV). Founded in 2009 by Rachel Crandall, Transgender Day of Visibility celebrates the resilience and accomplishments of transgender and nonbinary people. Back in November, we shared books and resources about gender identity. This time, in honor of TDoV, let’s explore some books written … Read more

At-home fun with meteorology for grade schoolers

A rainbow in the sky and lightning at sunset

By Children’s Librarian Genevieve Grove Whether we are signing “What’s the Weather” in kindergarten or wondering what we should wear each day, meteorology is on our minds! Meteorology studies the atmosphere to learn more about weather processes and systems, and to use that information to forecast what’s coming. Observable weather events are called “meteorological phenomena” … Read more

Discover & explore for grade schoolers: Engineer some fun this winter!

Colorful gears

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Engineering sounds like a big and overwhelming topic, especially for caregivers that aren’t as familiar or comfortable with science. But in fact, even babies and toddlers explore engineering!  Engineering activities include: Building (with blocks, legos, and more) Construction Cause and effect Math Paper airplanes Not too overwhelming, right? Check out … Read more

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