Do your kids ever get bored with going to the library? Make summer reading into an adventure this year with these free printable library scavenger hunt bookmarks. Are your kids out of school for the summer, or do you still have a few weeks left? For us, this week is the END of the school year. CRAZY!
I’m actually (mostly) looking forward to summer this year. Fewer scheduled activities…less running around…more time to play and explore together. I’m sure there will be sibling rivalry, a healthy smattering of kids whining, “I’m booooored!”, and surely some times when I will beg for school to start again. But it will be so nice to have the free time to go on adventures in the mornings and have lazy afternoons of playing at home with friends.
As much as I’m looking forward to a laid back summer, though, I’m not the type of mom to just leave things totally free-form. My kids need some structure, and so do I. I’m still figuring out what that’s going to look like, but there is one thing I know will be part of our summertime routine: weekly trips to the library.
I LOVE library trips. I’ve taken my kids to the library almost every week since before my oldest was able to turn the pages of a book on his own. We frequent story time, and we love going to the family events our library hosts from time to time. We vote on reader’s choice awards, and we love participating in our local library’s summer reading program each year.
My kids like the library, too, but they don’t always care about the actual picking of books. They’re more interested in building with blocks in the kids’ area and playing Metamorphabet on the iPads (which, admittedly, is a really fun educational app).
Once we get all the books home (usually most of which I have chosen), they LOVE to snuggle up and read with me, which is great! However, I feel like it’s important for them to be a part of exploring and selecting their own books.
I don’t expect them to spend hours perusing the shelves. I just want them to go beyond picking the first poorly-written, mass-market superhero book they see off the shelf and declaring their book selection done.
Anybody else have this issue?
But I now have a secret weapon to motivate my kids to look beyond their favorite standby stories…a library scavenger hunt challenge.
Read on for all the details!
What we’re learning:
This is a great activity to encourage…
- creative problem-solving
- critical thinking skills
- basic library skills (like how to use a computer to look up a book/author, or how the books are organized in various sections of the library)
Some of the challenges may be better for older kids (6+), but even preschoolers can successfully complete many of the challenges (such as “Find a book with a lion on the cover”).
Ready to play?!
Here’s how it works:
- Print and cut out the library scavenger hunt challenge bookmarks (link below). There are 36 separate challenges…some simple and some that are quite challenging. Take as many or as few as you want with you to the library.
- Turn the cards upside down, fan them out, and let your child choose a challenge card. Each child can have a separate card, or you can all work together as a team.
- Read the challenge on the chosen card and then go search for a book that meets the challenge. For example: If you choose “Find a book with lots of red on the cover”, you could pick the book Corduroy or The Snowy Day.
- Once you find a book, you can put your challenge card IN the book as a bookmark to show that challenge it completed.
Possible ways to use this game:
- Race the clock: Give kids a time limit (like 5 or 10 minutes) and see how many challenge cards they can complete before time runs out.
- Make it part of a reward system: Encourage kids to complete three challenges in order to earn 10 minutes of iPad time at the end of your library trip. (That way you can go check all the books out in peace!)
- Compare and contrast: Have each family member pick a different book for the same challenge. Compare and contrast everyone’s choices and talk about how there are MANY books that would fulfill each of the challenges.
Ready to play?! Click the link below to get your free printable scavenger hunt bookmarks:
I’d love to see pictures of the books your find this summer. Use the hashtag #summerlibraryscavengerhunt and tag me @meg_themanylittlejoys on Instagram.
Let’s make it a great summer of reading!