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

Discover & explore for grade schoolers: Salsa

Discover & Explore: Salsa with music notes and la clave

By Children’s Librarian José Cruz Let’s explore Salsa! Salsa music is primarily a Caribbean rhythm that is enjoyed throughout Latin America. The word salsa also means sauce in English. Seems fitting if you consider the different elements involved in Salsa. The term was first coined by Cuban and Puerto Ricans in New York in the … Read more

Discover & explore for grade schoolers: New tech ebooks, activities & more

New tech learning for kids and tweens

By Middle School Services Librarian Beronica Puhr With a new year comes new tech learning! Find new ebooks, articles, a podcast, and activities all about technology below. Check out these titles Folding Tech: Using Origami and Nature to Revolutionize Technology by Karen Latchana Kenney (grades 8-12): This book shows how the intricate details of origami … Read more

Discover & explore for grade schoolers: Tabletop roleplaying games

Tabletop roleplaying game

By Children’s Librarian Hal Patnott Have you ever wished you could explore the worlds of your favorite characters? Do you dream of running off on a grand adventure with your friends by your side? If you answered yes to either of those questions, then you might want to try tabletop roleplaying at your next game … Read more

New! Live virtual chess tutoring & more

Wooden chess board with two players

With the explosion of interest in chess fueled by Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit last fall, library resource BrainFuse HelpNow has responded by offering live chess tutoring with expert coaches. Expert chess tutors are available Monday through Thursday from 3 to 9 pm CT. Tutors have certifiable qualifications such as high Elo ratings (2000+), chess coaching … Read more

Discover & explore for grade schoolers: Virtual, at-home art activities

How to draw a cardinal

By Children’s Librarian Genevieve Grove While we live very close to one of the most well-known art museums in the world, you don’t need to leave Oak Park, or even your desk, to experience art! Here are a couple of fun resources to explore and use to make your own art, too. Try these activities … Read more

Discover & explore for grade schoolers: Exploring your neighborhood

Mr. José in his neighborhood

Feeling stuck in your own neighborhood? Let’s visit Mr. Jose as he walks us around his Chicago neighborhood, Belmont Cragin, and shows us some of his favorite places. If you were making a video tour of your neighborhood, what are your favorite parts that you would show off? What other places would you like to visit by … Read more

Discover & explore for grade schoolers: Using technology responsibly

Two kids with cell phone

By Middle School Services Librarian Beronica Puhr This winter, be safe with what you send over your digital device and where your devices end up after their lifespan ends. Check out these digital titles available on Hoopla E-Waste in Guiyu, China by Shannon Berg (grades 3-6): Understanding what “e-waste” means and how Guiyu, China was … Read more

Discover & explore for grade schoolers: Gender identity

Transgender spelled out on cubes

By Children’s Librarian Hal Patnott It’s Transgender Awareness Week, an annual event dedicated to educating our communities about the lives of transgender people. Transgender Awareness Week is celebrated every year during the week leading up to Transgender Day of Remembrance (November 20), a day set aside to recognize each life lost during the year to … Read more

Discover & explore for grade schoolers: Math

Mr. Luis and Honor

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Math. Did you just shudder? Or grin? Most people have a strong reaction to math, one way or the other.  When I was growing up, one of my absolute must see shows was Square One TV on PBS. I was definitely a book person over a math person, but I … Read more

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