Libraries may be closed due to COVID-19, but many librarians are coming up with creative ideas to keep people entertained and promote literacy. One of those creative ideas is free virtual escape rooms. With a variety of themes, some may be fun to do on your own, others as activities with the kids.
Sydney Krawiec, Youth Services Librarian at Peters Township Public Library in McMurray, PA created this Hogwarts Virtual Escape Room. She shared this tutorial on how to create your own virtual escape room, which seemed to spark the creativity of many other librarians.
Some amazing librarians all over the country have been busy creating virtual escape rooms with a variety of themes.
- Alice in Wonderland Digital Escape Room – Created by Erin Honeycutt, Children’s Librarian at Moultrie-Colquitt County Library System in Moultrie, Georgia
- Cinderella’s Escape – Created by Stefanie Reed, Youth Services Supervisor at Henika District Library in Wayland, Michigan
- Dog Man Digital Escape Room – Created by a humble School Library Media Coordinator
- Escape from Star Killer Base! (Star Wars) – Created by Richmond Hill Public Library
- Escape the Fairy Tale: Part 1 – Created by Marissa Lieberman, Children’s Librarian at the East Orange Public Library, New Jersey
- Golden Girls Escape Room – Created by Tomeka.
- Hogwarts Virtual Escape Room – Created by Sydney Krawiec, Youth Services Librarian at Peters Township Public Library in McMurray, Pennsylvania
- Marvel’s Avengers: Escape from the Hydra Base! – Created by Richmond Hill Public Library
- North Carolina Escape Room – Created by Shannon Grimes, Outreach Storyteller and Youth Service Assistant at the Davie County Public Library in Mocksville, North Carolina
- Pete the Cat and the Birthday Party Mystery – Created by the Abington Free Library in Abington, Pennsylvania
- Pikachu’s Rescue – Created by High River Library
- Sherlock Holmes Digital Escape Room – Created by Sherlock the Musical
- Space Explorer Training- Digital Escape Room – Created by Morgan Lockard, Adult/Teen Services Librarian at Campbell County Community Library
- Spy Apprentice Adventure – Created by Lauren Rura and Felicia Brock, Adult Service Librarians at Washington-Centerville Public Library in Centerville, Ohio
- The Minotaur’s Labyrinth Escape Room – Created by Karen Liu (Salt Lake County), Teen Librarian at The County Library’s Riverton Branch
Special thanks to the Humboldt County Library in Winnemucca, Nevada for gathering info on many of these escape rooms. Follow them on Facebook for their storytimes and weekly Facebook Live Science Time on Fridays.
Reading, playing, and doing art projects are always great ways to entertain children and keep them physically active and learning. It’s a good idea to limit screen time. But, in this time of social distancing, technology can play an important role in allowing kids to see and connect with the world outside of their homes. Many online resources are popping up to create those opportunities.
Here are five to get you started:
And if kids have questions about the coronavirus, Live Science has created an ultimate kids’ guide to the new coronavirus that has lots of information and is appropriate for school-aged kids.
- Remember to bring along drinks, especially water. Try to get children to drink water every 20 minutes, when they are outside in hot weather.
- Pay attention to surfaces that can be hot against children’s skin, such as metal slides and other playground equipment in the sun.
- Safety around water is particularly important. A child can drown in just a few inches of water. Whenever you are near water you must never leave a child alone – if the phone rings, take them with you or let it ring! Always stay within arm’s reach when the children are in or near water.
- Young babies should be kept out of direct sunlight. Keep the baby in the shade or under a tree, umbrella or stroller canopy.
- Dress babies in lightweight clothing and use brimmed hats.
- Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside, even if it appears overcast (cloudy).
- Try to keep children out of the sun in the middle of the day when the sun is strongest.
- Learn what poison ivy looks like and keep children out of it. A good rule to teach the children is “leaves of three, let it be.”
- Use insect repellent spray to keep away mosquitos and ticks. Ask your host parents before applying.
- Check for ticks when you bring children in from playing outside, especially if you’ve been in tall grass or the woods.
Photo: Scott97006 (Flickr)
Stationed on a walkway or porch, these homemade lanterns will extend a ghostly greeting and good-bye to all your holiday visitors.
- Clean plastic gallon milk jugs
- Black permanent marker
- Craft knife
- String of 50 clear low-wattage holiday lights
- Draw ghost eyes and mouths on the jugs. Tip: Leave the caps on while you do this, so the jugs don’t dent.
- Use the craft knife to cut a half-dollar-size hole in the back of each jug (a parent’s job).
- Arrange the ghosts near each other and string the lights between them, stuffing several bulbs into each of the jugs.
Make some caramel apples with your kids to get into the carnival vibe and enjoy some yummy treats.
All you need are apples, cubes of caramel, and milk!
- Remove the stem from each apple and press a craft stick into the top.
- Butter a baking sheet
- Place caramels and milk into a microwave bowl and microwave for 2 minutes.
- Roll each apple with caramel sauce and place on sheet to set.
PS – You can use treats like nuts, cookies, etc. to add some extra flavor! (Always check for allergies before serving)
Table your constant stream of morning reminders with this clever place mat, which allows kids to take responsibility for their own must-dos.
- Decorative paper
- Glue stick
- 18- by 12-inch sheet of poster board
- Clear Con-Tact paper (or have it laminated at a copy shop)
- Nontoxic dry-erase marker
- Adhesive-backed Velcro dot
- Cut three 6- by 12-inch rectangles from decorative paper. Use a glue stick to affix them side by side onto the poster board.
- Write a “Do at Home” checklist on the left rectangle and a “Take to School” checklist on the right one (leave a few blank spaces at the bottom of each list for write-in reminders).
- Have the place mat laminated at a copy shop or cover it with clear Con-Tact paper. Your child can use a nontoxic dry-erase marker to check off items or write additional reminders. Affix an adhesive-backed Velcro dot to keep the marker in a handy spot on the mat.
How to Say Goodbye
The English word “goodbye” is derived from the pharse “God be with you.” Parting words in other languages are similar. In Spanish, it’s adios (ah-dee-ohs), in French adieu (ah-dyur). Both words literally mean “to God”.
There are other ways to “goodbye”, however. English children shout “Cheerio” when parting and in Switzerland. Germany and Italy they say ciao (chow) which is the informal way of saying “goodbye” in Italian.
A wave of the hand accompanies most goodbyes, at least in the West. In Japan, people bow when they part, and Hindus press their hands together and say “Namaste”, just as they do when greeting one another.
In some households, in India, it’s considered a bad omen to say “goodbye”. Instead people say, “go and come back”. If you are the one leaving , you announce, “I’m going and I will be back.”
How many languages can you teach your host kids to say “goodbye”. Amaze your host parents at by having the kids say goodbye from around the world at the dinner table.