Staff Site

Activities

Here are some fun games, activities and crafts to offer at your library. All fit with this summer’s theme.

The full instructions for each activity provide all the details you need to run them, including space considerations, materials lists, preparation steps, and tips to make activities inclusive for kids with varying abilities. It can be helpful to ask if participants have any accessibility accommodations and to include written and visual instructions to make it easier for families to participate. For more tips, visit the Plan for Accessibility page.

There are also passive programming options with ready-to-print templates, as well as programs that can be adapted for outdoor settings. 

Click here to access activities from previous years in Dropbox 

3D Hand Drawing

Craft

Ages 6-12

15 minutes

3D Hand Drawing

Description

Create a 3-dimensional handprint illusion

Number of participants

For any number of participants

Competencies

  • Artistic expression
  • Development of fine motor skills
  • Eye-hand coordination

Materials

  • Pencil
  • Pen or fine-tipped marker
  • Paper
  • Three markers or highlighters (different colours)
  • Ruler

Implementation

Video instructions are available to outline the steps below

1. Distribute the materials to participants: one pencil or pen, markers or highlighters, paper, and a ruler. Markers and rulers can be shared among participants as needed

2. Using a pencil, participants trace their left or right handprint in the centre of the page in landscape orientation

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3. On the edge of the page, mark 1cm ticks with a pencil all the way up the side. Repeat the process for the other side of the page

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4. Using a pen or fine-tipped marker, connect the lines from one side of the page to the other. As the line begins to move through the hand portion of the page, curve the line upwards slightly and then back down. This will create the 3D illusion. In the space between the fingers, the line should be straight and not curved. View the video instructions to see this in action

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5. Using the first highlighter or marker, trace directly below each of the horizontal lines

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6. Using the second highlighter or marker, trace directly below the first highlight

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7. Using the third highlighter or marker, trace directly below the second highlight

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Accessibility Considerations

  • Offer kids a variety of instruments to colour their image, and encourage them to choose what they feel most comfortable with
  • Allow kids to work in pairs, helping each other to trace and create their handprints

Book Suggestions

Eric by Shaun Tan

Franz's Phantasmagorical Machine by Beth Anderson and Caroline Hamel

My Art, My World by Rita Winkler

Images

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Full Activity PDF

Video Instructions

A Day with Glue Ghost

Craft

Ages 3-5

30-45 minutes

A Day with Glue Ghost

Description

Kids will personalize their own glue ghost and then create their own background on a separate piece of paper for the ghost to be placed in. A pre-designed background will also be available

Participants will have the option of creating a glue-filled ghost or a glue-outlined ghost

Please note that glue ghosts created during the program will not dry by the end of the program and will have to be taken home wet

Number of participants

For any number of participants

Space Considerations

An indoor space where participants can be seated to do an activity

Competencies

  • Artistic expression
  • Creative and imaginative thinking
  • Creative expression
  • Development of fine motor skills
  • Written communication skills

Materials

  • Parchment paper
  • Liquid glue
  • Shallow containers for glue or containers with spouts for easy, controlled pouring
  • Craft sticks
  • Googly eyes (optional)
  • Markers or pencil crayons
  • Scissors (optional)
  • Pre-designed background templates
  • Blank sheets of paper

Preparation

The day before or morning of program

  • Create glue ghost outlines using glue on pieces of parchment paper for participants to fill in (optional)

Day of program

  • Fill tubs of glue with craft sticks or provide bottled glue for participants to share
  • Distribute a piece of parchment paper (with or without glue ghost stencil) to each participant
  • Distribute pre-designed background templates and blank paper

Implementation

Option: Staff can create the glue ghosts in advance, so the kids can personalize their ghosts and then add them to a background they have created themselves. This ensures that supplies are not wasted and the same amount of glue is being used for each person. Participants will also be able to place their ghost immediately in the environment they have created versus waiting for the glue to dry at home.

Glue-filled Ghost

1. Participants may use a glue ghost stencil and fill the ghost in with a thin layer of glue or create their own ghost shape and fill it in with a thin layer of glue.

o   Note: The more glue added, the less see-through it will be and the longer it will take to dry

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2. Add googly eyes to the ghost while glue is wet or wait until ghost is dry to add eyes with a marker

Glue-outlined Ghost

1.   Participants may use a glue stencil or create their own ghost shape

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2. Add face to glue-outline ghost using a marker

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3. Once glue outline is dry, carefully cut ghost out and add it to the background you have created

Glue Ghost Background Environment

1. While glue ghost is drying, create a background environment for your ghost on a separate piece of paper or use the template

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2. When glue ghosts are dry, add them to your background

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Accessibility Considerations

  • Offer participants the choice of a blank sheet of parchment paper or a template
  • Offer kids a variety of instruments to colour their background, and encourage them to choose what they feel most comfortable with
  • Pour liquid glue into
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  • Offer tactile elements and a variety of craft materials for kids to decorate their background

Book Suggestions

The Cow Said BOO! by Lana Button and Alice Carter

Flowers Are Pretty…Weird! by Rosemary Mosco and Jacob Souva

Mii maanda ezhi-gkendmaanh / This Is How I Know by Brittany Luby and Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley

Super Detectives! by Cale Atkinson

Full Activity PDF

A Day with Glue Ghost Background Template (.docx)

Ghosts on Coloured Background Examples (.docx)

Glue Ghost Instructions (.docx)

Images

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Agamograph

Craft

Ages 7-12

20-30 minutes

Agamograph

Description

A picture that changes based on the viewing angle

Number of participants

For any number of participants

Space Considerations

An indoor space where participants can be seated to do a craft

Competencies

  • Artistic expression
  • Creative and imaginative thinking
  • Engineering

Materials

  • Printouts of the agamograph templates
  • Crayons, pencil crayons, or markers
  • Pencils and erasers
  • Scissors
  • Glue sticks

Preparation

  • Prepare the room for a program that uses glue

Implementation

1. Print and distribute the two-page agamograph template to participants

2. Start with the template on the first page (with the word “Glue” at the top of the page)

3. Cut along the dotted line to separate the page in two

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4. Fold each sheet accordion-style along each of the lines: starting from the bottom of one of the sheets, fold up along the lines for the row. Each time you make a fold, flip the page over to make the next fold

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5. When you reach the row that says “Glue,” fold this over the back top, similar to the other rows

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6. Repeat this step for the other half sheet of paper

7. Unfold each of the pages. You should have two half-sheets of paper that look like this:

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8. Apply glue to the rows that say “Glue,” and stick the two half-sheets together. It should look like this:

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9. Set this piece aside 

10. Take page 2 of the template (with the word “Discard” at the top of the page)

11. Cut this page in half along the dotted line and remove the portion that says “Discard.” You now should have two half-pages that look like this:

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12. Flip each sheet over and lay them in landscape position:

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13. Now, draw anything you like on each sheet! You should draw two separate images. Try your best to fill up all of the page with colour – it will make the effect look cooler once it’s all complete

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14. Flip the drawings over again, and cut along the lines on the back. Keep all the strips with numbers together in a pile, and keep a separate pile of all the strips with letters

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15. Set the first, folded template down in front of you and begin to match up the strips with the same letter or number on the first template

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16. Once you’ve confirmed that all the strips are the right way up, glue them into place

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17. You may need to re-fold along the lines to reinforce the folds you previously made, as sometimes pressing down on the glue can flatten the template

18. Now, try looking at your image from different angles. You’ve made an agamograph!

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Accessibility Considerations

  • Read and print the instructions for this activity
  • Offer kids a variety of instruments to colour their image, and encourage them to choose what they feel most comfortable with
  • The drawings kids make can be very simple, though it’s best if the full page is covered with colour
  • Offer easy-grip scissors
  • Assist participants with cutting and gluing as needed
  • Offer a pre-folded template if needed
  • Offer larger glue sticks

Book Suggestions

Flowers are Pretty... Weird! by Rosemary Mosco and Jacob Souva

Franz's Phantasmagorical Machine by Beth Anderson and Caroline Hamel

My Art, My World by Rita Winkler

Nature is an Artist by Jennifer Lavallee and Natalia Colombo

Images

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Full Activity PDF

Agamograph template

Amazing Animals: Trivia

Short Activity

Ages 6-12

15 minutes

Amazing Animals: Trivia

Description

A PowerPoint trivia game with animal-themed questions

Number of participants

For any number of participants

Space Considerations

An indoor space with staff access to a computer, projector, and speakers is preferred. Participants can be seated on the floor or in chairs.

Competencies

  • Teamwork
  • Understanding and appreciation of animals

Materials

  • Computer or laptop with access to a projector and speakers
  • Printouts of the answer recording sheets
  • Pencils or pens
  • Printouts of the trivia questions (optional)

Implementation

1.   Divide participants into small teams as appropriate for the size of your group. The trivia game can also be played individually if desired

2.   Distribute one answer recording sheet per team along with a pencil or pen

3.   Begin the PowerPoint presentation

4.   For each question, teams must come to a consensus answer and record it on their answer sheets. Teams should not shout their answers out loud

5.   At the end of the 10 questions, a team member hands in their answer sheet to staff. Alternatively, you can allow teams to self-score, or have them exchange their sheets with another team

6.   Staff continue the presentation to reveal the answers

7.   Score each team’s answers

Accessibility Considerations

  • Multiple choice games are more inclusive as teams can be encouraged to take their best guess among the available options, even if they don’t know the answer
  • All slides to contain large images and minimal text
  • A PDF printout of the questions is available for participants who may have difficulty seeing screens
  • Ensure the animal sounds come through loud enough on the speakers
  • It’s recommended to play this game as a team activity, either in pairs or small groups, which can be more inclusive
  • Staff should read out all the text on the slides

Book Suggestions

Extremely Gross Animals: Stinky, Slimy and Strange Animal Adaptations by Claire Eamer

Set Your Alarm, Sloth!: More Advice for Troubled Animals from Dr. Glider by Jess Keating and Pete Oswald

Whose Bones are Those? by Chihiro Takeuchi

Wow in the Wild: The Amazing World of Animals by Mindy Thomas, Guy Raz, and Jack Teagle

Full Activity PDF

Amazing Animals: Trivia PowerPoint presentation

Trivia Questions PDF

Answer recording sheets

Body Part Mazes

Short Activity

Ages 3-8

15-20 minutes

Body Part Mazes

Description

Participants will complete body part mazes and be encouraged to make their own with template shapes if they wish to.

The activity worksheets can be used for passive programming.

Number of participants

For any number of participants

Space Considerations

An indoor space where participants can be seated to do an activity

Competencies

  • Development of fine motor skills
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Problem solving
  • Spatial relationships
  • Strategic thinking

Materials

  • Blank sheets of paper and body part maze templates
  • Pencils, pencil crayons or markers

Preparation

  • Print Body Part Maze Templates

Implementation

1. Distribute templates and blank sheets of paper to each table or group, including extra copies

2. Distribute the materials to participants

Accessibility Considerations

Body Part Mazes

  • Outline template lines with glue or playdough (where possible)
  • There will be two images per printout
  • More maze handouts are available for kids that want more challenging mazes to complete

Creating Your Own Maze

  • Offer participants the choice of using a blank sheet of paper or the template

Book Suggestions

Arthur Who Wrote Sherlock by Linda Bailey and Isabelle Follath

Franz's Phantasmagorical Machine by Beth Anderson and Caroline Hamel

The Museum of Odd Body Leftovers: A Tour of Your Useless Parts, Flaws, and Other Weird Bits by Rachel Poliquin and Clayton Hanmer

My City Speaks by Darren Lebeuf and Ashley Barron

Full Activity PDF

Body Part Maze Templates

Images

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Bug Bingo

Long Activity

Ages 4-12

15-20 minutes

Bug Bingo

Description

Try your luck in this interactive picture bingo

Number of participants

There are 40 unique bingo cards. If you print these cards more than once for larger groups, participants with duplicate cards will get bingos at the same time

Space Considerations

Indoor space with tables and chairs are ideal, but kids can also play while seated on the floor

Competencies

  • Following directions
  • Social interaction

Materials

  • Bingo cards printed, preferably in colour, on cardstock or regular paper. If desired, you can laminate the cards for extra durability if using them for multiple programs
  • Word list (first page of bingo card file)
  • Small paper scraps (no bigger than each bingo square) or small tokens
  • Container for word cut-outs
  • Prizes (optional)
  • Number templates to identify winning order
  • Scissors (adult use only)
  • Pencils or crayons
  • Microphone, if necessary
  • Whiteboard or computer-display screen

Preparation

  • Print the word list (the first page of the bingo card file), cut the words out and place them in a container
  • Cut paper scraps or purchase tokens for participants to cover the called-out words on their cards
  • If giving prizes, each prize should be fairly equal in value, and there should be plenty of selection and duplicates to ensure that all participants are happy after the program is done

Implementation

1.     Hand out one bingo card to each participant as they enter the program.

2.     Shake the container with the list of words, and pull out one strip at a time.

3.     Each time, call out the letter (B, U, G, S) and the insect name on the slip. The letter indicates which column the participants should look down; the insect name will appear in that column only.

4.     Repeat the call-out to ensure that everyone is able to hear you clearly. For a large space or many participants, use a microphone if necessary.

5.     Participants look at their cards and place a paper scrap or token on top of the insect that has been called out. The called-out insects should remain covered for the full duration of the game.

6.     The first participant to get four in a row horizontally, vertically, or diagonally should shout out BUGS (or BINGO)!

7.     It is optional to offer prizes for this program; the first player to get a bingo could receive the first prize. If using prizes, it is important that all children receive a prize in the program, not just one winner. (See step 10 for the prize-numbering system.)

8.     After the first one-line bingo, a recommended way to play would be to simply continue the game with all participants attempting to get a full card (all 16 words covered), rather than a full line.

9.     The first player to get a full card should shout out BINGO!

10.  This participant could then select a prize or, depending on the number of participants, could be given a printed number 2 and would be the second in line during the prize selection after the first prizewinner, who could be given a printed number 1.

11.  The game continues until every participant gets a full card (i.e. bingo) and receives either a prize or a number in line to select a prize.

12.  If using the prize-numbering system, participants would line up in the order they obtained their full-card bingo to select from a variety of prizes.

13.  It is possible that many participants will get bingo at the same time as the game progresses; generally, a fair way to assign prize-selection order in these cases is to allow younger players to select prizes before older players.

Accessibility Considerations

  • Offer options to cover called-out squares, such as large tokens to place on top of the square, or a writing instrument to draw an X over the square
  • Read out and display (for example, on a whiteboard or computer-display screen) everything that is being called out; you may need multiple staff in the room for this
  • Repeat call-outs
  • For a large space or many participants, use a microphone if necessary
  • One staff member can be assigned to walk around the room and assist as needed
  • If distributing prizes, ensure that all participants receive a prize
  • Use 3D stickers that represent the characters in the card squares

Book Suggestions

Big as a Giant Snail: Discovering the World's Most Gigantic Animals by Jess Keating and David DeGrand

Burt the Beetle Doesn't Bite! by Ashley Spires

Butterflies are Pretty ... Gross! By Rosemary Mosco and Jacob Souva

It Fell From the Sky by Terry Fan and Eric Fan

The Bug Club by Elise Gravel

The Bug Girl (A True Story) by Sophia Spencer, Margaret McNamara, and Kerascoët

The Mystery of the Monarchs: How Kids, Teachers, and Butterfly Fans Helped Fred and Norah Urquhart Track the Great Monarch Migration by Barb Rosenstock and Erika Meza

Full Activity PDF

Bingo cards and word list

Number template for prize distribution

Cloud Craft

Long Activity

Ages 0-6

20-30 minutes

Cloud Craft

Description

Participants will read a cloud-themed story (optional) and then make their own cloud and rainbow

This activity can also be made into a takeaway craft kit

Number of participants

For any number of participants

Space Considerations

An indoor space where participants can be seated to do an activity

Competencies

  • Artistic expression
  • Creative and imaginative thinking
  • Creative expression
  • Development of fine motor skills
  • Spatial relationships

Materials

  • Cardstock
  • Cloud template
  • Cotton balls or white tissue paper
  • Coloured tissue paper, strips of paper, string, yarn or ribbons
  • Googly eyes (optional)
  • Scissors (adult use only)
  • Glue

Preparation

  • Print out cloud template (optional)
  • Pre-cut cloud templates (optional)
  • Pre-cut tissue paper strips, paper strips or string
  • Distribute cardstock or cloud templates to participants

Implementation

1. Draw cloud and cut it out or cut cloud out from template

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2. Glue cotton balls, tissue paper or other materials to cloud to decorate it

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3. Create rainbow using tissue paper strips, paper strips or string

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4. Attach rainbow to the back of the cloud

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Accessibility Considerations

  • Offer kids a variety of instruments to create their cloud, and encourage them to choose what they feel most comfortable with
  • Pre-cut strips of paper, tissue paper, strings or ribbons
  • Offer easy-grip scissors
  • Offer larger glue sticks
  • Pour glue into a shallow container with large craft sticks for kids to share

Book Suggestions

In the Clouds by Elly MacKay

I Sang You Down from the Stars by Tasha Spillett-Sumner and Michaela Goade

Kumo: The Bashful Cloud by Kyo Maclear and Nathalie Dion

Lizzy and the Cloud by The Fan Brothers

Mii maanda ezhi-gkendmaanh / This Is How I Know by Brittany Luby and Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley

The Secret Signs of Nature: How to Uncover Hidden Clues in the Sky, Water, Plants, Animals and Weather by Craig Caudill and Carrie Shryock

Full Activity PDF

Cloud Craft Instructions (.docx)

Cloud Template (.pdf)

Images

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Colouring Pages

Short Activity

Ages 2-8

10 minutes

Colouring Pages

Description

Colour the illustrations by Nahid Kazemi

Space Considerations

An indoor space with tables and chairs where participants can be seated to do a craft

Competencies

  • Creative expression
  • Development of fine motor skills

Materials

  • Colouring pages
  • Crayons, pencil crayons, or markers

Implementation

1.   Distribute the colouring pages and crayons to participants

2.   This activity can be run as a passive program, where you print the images and allow kids to colour them anywhere in the library, at any time of day

Accessibility Considerations

  • Offer kids a variety of instruments to colour their image, and encourage them to choose what they feel most comfortable with

Full activity PDF

Colouring pages – All pages in one file

Colouring page – Cover

Colouring page – Bird

Colouring page – Insect

Colouring page – Frog

Colouring page – Owl

Colouring page – Rock Band

Extremely Gross Animal Creator

Short Activity

Ages 5-10

10-20 minutes

Extremely Gross Animal Creator

Description

Participants create a new animal by incorporating elements determined by three rolls of dice

Number of participants

For any number of participants

Space Considerations

An indoor space where participants can be seated to complete a worksheet

Competencies

  • Creative and imaginative thinking
  • Organization and planning
  • Understanding and appreciation of animals

Materials

  • Dice (can be shared among participants) or printable dice
  • Printouts of the Dice Roll Master Sheet
  • Printouts of the Extremely Gross Animal Creator worksheets
  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Crayons, pencil crayons, or markers
  • Screen (optional)
  • Scissors (staff use only) and tape, if using printable dice

Implementation

1.   Distribute copies of the Dice Roll Master Sheet around the room, or display it on a screen at the front of the room so all participants can see it clearly. It’s not necessary for all participants to have their own copy of this sheet; it can be shared among groups of participants

2.   Distribute dice. It’s not necessary for all participants to have their own dice as participants can share

3.   Distribute one copy of the Extremely Gross Animal Creator worksheet to all participants, along with pencils, erasers, and colouring instruments

4.   Each participant rolls the dice three times and matches their dice roll with the characteristic they must include in their animal. They can record these three characteristics directly on their Extremely Gross Animal Creator worksheet

5.   Participants plan and then draw a new creature in the empty box on their worksheet, incorporating the characteristics determined by their dice rolls. Aside from the characteristics, participants can include any other elements in order to complete their creatures

6.   Participants fill in the rest of their worksheets by answering the prompting questions

Accessibility Considerations

  • Use large dice or the printable dice
  • Instead of using dice, kids can dictate three numbers between 1 and 6 to staff without seeing the Dice Roll Master Sheet, in order to determine the characteristics they must include in their drawing
  • The worksheets contain large font
  • Offer kids a variety of instruments to draw and colour their image, and encourage them to choose what they feel most comfortable with
  • Allow kids to work in pairs or small teams if desired

Book Suggestions

Big as a Giant Snail: Discovering the World's Most Gigantic Animals by Jess Keating and David DeGrand

Extremely Gross Animals: Stinky, Slimy and Strange Animal Adaptations by Claire Eamer

Set Your Alarm, Sloth!: More Advice for Troubled Animals from Dr. Glider by Jess Keating and Pete Oswald

Wow in the Wild: The Amazing World of Animals by Mindy Thomas, Guy Raz, and Jack Teagle

Full Activity PDF

Dice Roll Master Sheet

Extremely Gross Animal Creator Worksheet

Printable Dice Template

Fingerprint Bugs

Short Activity

Ages 0-3

15-20 minutes

Fingerprint Bugs

Description

Participants will create their own fingerprint bugs.

The activity worksheet can be used for passive programming.

Number of participants

For any number of participants

Space Considerations

An indoor space where participants can be seated to do a craft

Competencies

  • Artistic expression
  • Creative and imaginative thinking
  • Development of fine motor skills
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Study of nature

Materials

  • Blank sheets of paper and fingerprint bug templates
  • Light-coloured markers, highlighters, crayons or pencil crayons
  • Fine-tipped markers or pens

Preparation

  • Print one Example Sheet for each table or group
  • Print My Fingerprint Bug Collection Templates

Implementation

1. Distribute templates and blank sheets of paper to each table or group, including extra copies

2. Distribute the materials to participants

Accessibility Considerations

  • Offer kids a variety of instruments to colour their image, and encourage them to choose what they feel most comfortable with
  • Offer kids some tactile craft options to create the bugs, e.g. small Styrofoam balls for the body and chenille stick legs
  • Offer sample worksheet with examples of bugs with simple features that can be added to fingerprints (e.g. antenna, legs, wings, faces)
  • My Fingerprint Collection Template is a Word document, so staff may add more or change the fingerprint images
  • Offer participants the choice of a blank sheet of paper or a template
  • Let participants know they can do as much as they want during the program and take the activity home
  • Create a book display that will inspire and help kids with the activity

Book Suggestions

The Bug Club by Elise Gravel

The Bug Girl (A True Story) by Sophia Spencer, Margaret McNamara and Kerascoët

Burt the Beetle Doesn't Bite! by Ashley Spires

The Mystery of the Monarchs: How Kids, Teachers, and Butterfly Fans Helped Fred and Norah Urquhart Track the Great Monarch Migration by Barb Rosenstock and Erika Meza

Nature is an Artist by Jennifer Lavallee and Natalia Colombo

Full Activity PDF

My Fingerprint Bug Collection Examples (.jpg)

My Fingerprint Bug Collection Template (.docx)

Images

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I Spy Underwater Creatures: Colour and Count

Short Activity

Ages 0-5

5-15 minutes

I Spy Underwater Creatures: Colour and Count

Description

Printable worksheets with undersea items that kids search for, colour, and count

Space Considerations

An indoor space where participants can be seated to complete a worksheet

Competencies

  • Classification skills
  • Following directions

Materials

Implementation

1.   Print out and distribute an easy, medium or hard version of the I Spy Underwater Creatures worksheets, based on the age group of your participants. Very young children can complete a worksheet with caregiver or staff assistance as needed.

2.   Distribute colouring instruments to all participants.

3.   Encourage participants to find and colour each image as per the legend at the bottom of the worksheet. Participants can also count and total the items on the worksheet in the boxes indicated.

4.   You may want to consider printing the worksheets to have them available for kids as a passive activity outside of a scheduled program.

Accessibility Considerations

  • Consider running an alternative activity for kids with no or low vision: I Sort and Count:
    o   Pre-cut a series of shapes on cardstock or purchase foam shapes from a local dollar or craft store.
    o   Hand out the shapes to participants in a zipper storage or paper bag.
    o   Participants can sort and then count each of the shapes with assistance from their parent, caregiver or staff as needed.
  • Three different sheets are provided, so you can allow participants to choose the sheet that is the most suitable challenge for them

Book Suggestions

If You Could Be Anything by Jennifer Britton and Briana Corr Scott

It Fell From the Sky by Terry Fan and Eric Fan

Odd Beasts: Meet Nature's Weirdest Animals by Laura Gehl and Gareth Lucas

Treasure Box by Dave Keane and Rahele Jomepour Bell

Whose Bones are Those? by Chihiro Takeuchi

Images

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Full Activity PDF

I Spy Underwater Creatures: Easy Version

I Spy Underwater Creatures: Medium Version

I Spy Underwater Creatures: Hard Version

Indigenous Games - Animal Muk (Inuit)

Short Activity

Ages 6-8

30-45 minutes

Indigenous Games - Animal Muk (Inuit)

Description

Participants will play a “laughing game” originating from Inuit culture. Animal Muk was both a recreational game and a skill-building activity allowing hunters a chance to enhance their animal-calling skills to increase their success on hunts.

Source: Indigenous Games for Children from Indigenous Communities across Canada  

Originally submitted by Colinda Blondin, Donald Kuptana and Peter Daniels – Government of Northwest Territories.

Number of participants

Five or more

Space Considerations

Open outdoor space preferred, but can also be played indoors

Competencies

  • Body awareness
  • Creative expression
  • Oral communication
  • Social interaction
  • Understanding and appreciation of Indigenous culture

Materials

Optional Materials for Accessibility

  • Whiteboard or flip chart
  • Marker

Preparation

  • List the animals that participants will mimic in the game on a whiteboard or flip chart

Implementation

How to Play

1.   Participants will copy/mimic six sounds or actions common in animals that live in the Northwest Territories

  • Black bear
  • Crow
  • Goose
  • Moose
  • Owl
  • Seal

2.   Participants form a circle with one person standing in the middle. This person may only use animal sounds and/or actions to make someone in the circle smile or laugh.

3.   Eye contact must be maintained between the middle person and the selected person in the circle at all times, and no physical contact is allowed between opponents.

4.   If the person in the circle does any of the following actions listed, they become the person in the middle and must select a new opponent.

  • Smiles
  • Laughs
  • Breaks eye contact

Accessibility Considerations

  • An instruction page like the one above will be provided for library staff to run the game
  • Have a flip chart, whiteboard or similar tool to display a list of the animals being used in the game
  • Encourage participants to use both animals sounds and actions to make the program inclusive for those with hearing or sight disabilities

Game Play Options

  • After explaining the game, make smaller groups to give more players a chance to participate
  • Start the first few rounds using the Northwest Territories animals and then add well-known animals from around the world
  • Consider including animals that have easy-to-guess sounds/actions (farm animals, etc.)
  • Decide on a time limit for each round

Book Suggestions

Benny the Bananasaurus Rex by Sarabeth Holden

Storyteller Skye: Teachings from My Ojibway Grandfather by Lindsay Christina King

We All Play = kimêtawânaw by Julie Flett

Wow in the Wild: The Amazing World of Animals by Mindy Thomas, Guy Raz and Jack Teagle

Full Activity PDF

Indigenous Games - Animal Muk Inuit Game Card (2 pgs - 8.5 x 11) Recommend printing double-sided (.docx)

Images

Animal Muk Game Card

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Kaleidoscope

Craft

Ages 8-12

20-30 minutes

Kaleidoscope

Description

Participants create their own kaleidoscope

Number of Participants

For any number of participants

Space Considerations

An indoor space with tables and chairs where participants can be seated to do a craft

Competencies

  • Artistic expression
  • Creative and imaginative thinking
  • Engineering

Materials

  • Cardstock
  • Aluminum foil
  • Wooden dowel (cut to 6 inches or less) or small pencil
  • Glue
  • Ruler
  • Crayons, pencil crayons, or markers
  • One-hole punch
  • Scissors

Implementation

1. Use your ruler to measure out a 5-by-5-inch square and a 5-by-3-inch rectangle on your sheet of cardstock

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2. Next, draw a circle approximately 3 inches in diameter on your cardstock. The circle should fit on the same sheet as the rectangles

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3. Cut out your shapes

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4. Use your 3-by-5-inch rectangle as a guide to measure out the equivalent shape in aluminum foil, and cut this out

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5. Glue the duller side of the aluminum foil down onto the cardstock rectangle that is the same size. The shinier side of the aluminum foil should be facing up

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6. Fold inward from each edge about 1 inch to form a triangular prism shape, like so:

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7. Use a piece of tape to close the triangular prism at the top

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8. Take your 5-by-5 cardstock square and decorate it with colours

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9. With the colourful side facing out, roll the 5-by-5 square around the triangular prism and secure it in place with tape

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10. Tape your dowel on top of the roll so it sticks out a little bit over one of the edges:

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11. Take your 3-inch cardstock circle and decorate it any way you like. Lots of different colours will make the kaleidoscope effect better.

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12. Using your hole punch, make a hole in the middle of the circle. If you don’t have access to a hole punch, use scissors to poke a hole (adult assistance required). The hole should be about the same size as the diameter of your wooden dowel – don’t make the hole too big!

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13. Slide the coloured side of your circle onto the dowel

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14. Look through the end of the kaleidoscope towards light as you turn the circle. You’ve made a kaleidoscope! If desired, create different coloured circles and try them out on your kaleidoscope

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Accessibility Considerations

  • Offer kids a variety of instruments to colour their image, and encourage them to choose what they feel most comfortable with
  • Offer tactile elements for kids to decorate their kaleidoscopes
  • Read and print the instructions for this activity
  • Offer easy-grip scissors
  • Assist participants with cutting, gluing, and taping as needed
  • Offer pre-cut shapes
  • Offer larger glue sticks

Book Suggestions

Inside In: X-Rays of Nature's Hidden World by Jan Paul Schutten and Arie van 't Riet

My Art, My World by Rita Winkler

Why Does My Shadow Follow Me?: More Science Questions From Real Kids by Kira Vermond and Suharu Ogawa

Full Activity PDF

Images

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Mailing Activity

Short Activity

Ages 6-8

20-30 minutes

Mailing Activity

Description

Participants can colour in and write a postcard, then create their own stamp collection. This activity contains several parts. Completing all parts of this activity is optional.

The activity worksheets can be used for passive programming.

Number of participants

Minimum of one participant

Space Considerations

Set up an indoor or outdoor space with tables and chairs

Competencies

  • Artistic expression
  • Development of fine motor skills
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Letter recognition
  • Written communication skills

Materials

  • Cardstock (preferred) or printer paper
  • Pencils, pencil crayons or crayons
  • Erasers (if possible)

Preparation

  • Print out postcards on cardstock or printer paper
  • Print out stamp collection worksheet
  • Distribute craft supplies and tools

Implementation

Colouring postcard + writing message

  • Explain the sections of the postcard (front, back, writing area, address area and stamp section)
  • Participants colour in Nahid Kazemi’s illustration
  • Kids write their postcard messages and address it somewhere

Creating stamps + choosing a stamp for the postcard

  • Participants can design 1-3 stamps for their stamp collection
  • Choose one to cut out and paste onto their postcard and paste the rest on the bottom half of the page
  • Can create an additional stamp for their collection

Options to elevate program

  • Branches can create mailboxes for kids to drop their postcards into
  • Branches can create their own pen pal program with a partner branch and send the postcards through interoffice mail

Accessibility Considerations

  • Stamps were enlarged to make it easier for kids to design them, therefore the postcards are 8.5 x 11 instead of a half sheet
    o   That way, kids can cut out a stamp and add it right onto the postcard
  • Give participants the flexibility of doing only one part of the activity during the program if they find it overwhelming (e.g. stamp collection or postcard) and they can take the rest home
  • Provide the two postcard templates as options to accommodate writing needs of participants
  • Postcard template is a Word document so staff can change the image
  • Offer easy-grip scissors
  • Assist participants with cutting and gluing as needed
  • Encourage kids to cut the stamps as a rectangle along the edges of the stamp rather than trying to cut out the dips and curved areas
  • Offer larger glue sticks
  • Pour glue into a shallow container with large craft sticks for kids to share

Book Suggestions

Eric by Shaun Tan

My Art, My World by Rita Winkler

Full Activity PDF

Mailing Activity – My Stamp Collection Template (.docx)

Mailing Activity – Postcard Templates (.docx)

Images

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Stamp Collection Worksheet

*The stamps are on scale with the postcards

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Memory Matching Animals

Short Activity

Ages 2-6

5-15 minutes

Memory Matching Animals

Description

Challenge your memory in this matching card activity, which features animals and items in nature identified in English and Ojibway

Number of Participants

Ideal as a game to be played in pairs (caregiver-child, child-child, or staff-child), but it can be played individually or in small groups

Space Considerations

An indoor space where kids can spread out the cards on the floor or on a table

Competencies

  • Classification skills
  • Memory
  • Strategic thinking
  • Understanding and appreciation of animals
  • Understanding and appreciation of Indigenous languages

Materials

  • Printouts of the Memory Matching Animals sheets on cardstock (preferred) or paper
  • Scissors (staff use only)

Implementation

Note: the inspiration for this game comes from the book Storyteller Skye: Teachings from My Ojibway Grandfather by Lindsay Christina King and Carolyn Frank.

1.   Print and cut out each set of the Memory Matching Animal cards. Each set contains 18 cards (9 with items labelled in English and 9 in Ojibway).

2.   If using regular paper, you might need to glue another sheet of paper onto the back of the cards to ensure the images aren’t visible when placed face down.

3.   Distribute one set of cards to each participating pair.

4.   Participants should shuffle the cards and then place all 18 cards face down.

5.   One player starts the game by flipping over one of the 18 cards. Then, they flip over another card to attempt to find the same animal.

a.   If the two cards that have been flipped are the same: the participant collects both of the cards and places them in a pile beside them. Then, the same participant would take another turn by flipping over two more cards.

b.   If the two cards that have been flipped do not match: the participant flips them both back face down, and the second participant can take their turn by flipping over two cards of their choosing.

6.   While the game is being played, both participants can observe and attempt to remember the location of the various cards, in order to help them find a potential match in later rounds.

7.   Once all cards have been matched and collected, the game is over. Cards can be shuffled and the game can be re-played.

8.   The focus on the game should not be on winning and losing, but rather treated as a fun memory challenge while learning new Indigenous words.

Accessibility Considerations

  • Participants can use as many cards as appropriate for their age and level of challenge they desire. For example, rather than using the full set of 18 cards, participants can play a game with 5 pairs (10 cards)
  • The cards can be printed on cardstock paper or can be glued onto a sturdier cardboard backing, making them easier to grip and flip over
  • The cards contain large images and font

Book Suggestions

Still This Love Goes On by Buffy Sainte-Marie and Julie Flett

Storyteller Skye: Teachings from My Ojibway Grandfather by Lindsay Christina King and Carolyn Frank

Mii maanda ezhi-gkendmaanh / This Is How I Know by Brittany Luby and Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley

We All Play = kimêtawânaw by Julie Flett

Images

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Full Activity PDF

Memory Matching Cards

My Art, My World

Long Activity

Ages 3-10

15-45 minutes

My Art, My World

Description

Create a gallery of artwork, inspired by the book My Art, My World by Rita Winkler

Number of Participants

For any number of participants

Space Considerations

An indoor space where kids can be seated to complete a craft

Competencies

  • Artistic expression
  • Creative expression
  • Emotional expression

Materials

  • Printouts of the gallery frames templates
  • Blank paper (cardstock preferred if gluing on tactile items)
  • Coloured paper
  • Tactile items for making frames (e.g. pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, sticks)
  • Crayons, pencil crayons, or markers
  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Glue (or hot glue for tactile items like sticks that may be more difficult to affix to the paper)
  • Scissors (adult use only)

Preparation

  • Collect materials outside (e.g. sticks) if needed before the program
  • Prepare the room for a program that uses glue or paint

Implementation

1.   It is recommended to include the book My Art, My World by Rita Winkler as part of this program (e.g. reading it aloud or having copies on display) for inspiration.

2.   Offer participants the option to make their own gallery frames using blank paper and tactile items or coloured paper. Participants can create one frame on the page or several. Some options (examples pictured below) include a mosaic frame using cut-out pieces of paper, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, and sticks collected outside.  

3.   Once the frames are in place, participants can draw their pictures. Alternatively, participants can choose to draw first, and then frame their drawing afterwards if the tactile items may interfere with drawing.

4.   Instead of creating their own frames, you can offer one of the pre-made gallery templates to create their drawings. Options are available in portrait or landscape. Some templates include prompts and areas to include text.

5.   The templates can also be used as part of passive programming where they are left out in the library for kids to complete at any time.

Accessibility Considerations

  • Offer kids a variety of instruments to draw and colour their image, and encourage them to choose what they feel most comfortable with.
  • Offer the option for kids to write text instead of drawing in their frames. They can include inspiring words or short poetry, for example.
  • Offer tactile elements for kids to decorate their frames.
  • Offer easy-grip scissors.
  • Assist participants with cutting and gluing as needed.
  • Offer some material that is pre-cut to various frame sizes.

Book Suggestions

If You Could Be Anything by Jennifer Britton and Briana Corr Scott

My Art, My World by Rita Winkler

Nature is an Artist by Jennifer Lavallee and Natalia Colombo

Still This Love Goes On by Buffy Sainte-Marie and Julie Flett

Images

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Full Activity PDF

Gallery frames template

Nature Wind Chime

Craft

Ages 3-5

20-30 minutes

Nature Wind Chime

Description

Participants will make a wind chime using various materials

Staff can customize their own craft kits with whatever materials they have as a take-home activity

Read-aloud Story

Read a nature story to connect to the activity

Number of participants

For any number of participants

Space Considerations

An indoor space where participants can be seated to do an activity

Competencies

  • Artistic expression
  • Creative and imaginative thinking
  • Creative expression
  • Development of fine motor skills
  • Spatial relationships

Materials

  • Paper plate
  • Packing tape or contact paper
  • Fallen pieces of nature, dried material or plastic material resembling pieces of nature
  • String, yarn or ribbon
  • Wooden beads or bells
  • Markers, pencil crayons or crayons (optional)
  • Scissors (adult use only)
  • Hole puncher (optional)

Preparation

  • Pre-cut circles in the plates (optional)
  • Distribute plates to participants
  • Distribute materials

Implementation

1. Collect pieces of nature that have fallen to the ground or dried materials or plastic materials that resemble nature

2. Cut a circle out of the plate

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3. Cover the back of the circle with packing tape or contact paper and press down on the tape to secure it

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4. Cut excess tape around the rim of the plate

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5. Add pieces of nature that have fallen to the ground, dried plants or flowers or plastic nature material. This example includes plastic berries and flowers, real dried lavender and small rocks in the circle of the chime

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6. Add beads or bells to a piece of string, yarn or ribbon by tying knots between beads, and then attach it to the back of the wind chime. Then add a string, yarn or ribbon to the top to hang.

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Accessibility Considerations

  • Offer kids a variety of instruments to colour their plate, and encourage them to choose what they feel most comfortable with
  • Add strings with beads on them at the bottom of the sun catcher to turn the activity into a “wind chime” with sound for kids with visual disabilities
  • Pre-cut and hole punch plates at the top and bottom for the strings
  • Pre-cut strips of packing tape or contact paper
  • Pre-cut contact paper and string, yarn or ribbon
  • Offer easy-grip scissors

Book Suggestions

Expedition Backyard: Exploring Nature from Country to City by Rosemary Mosco and Binglin Hu

Nature is an Artist by Jennifer Lavallee and Natalia Colombo

The Secret Signs of Nature: How to Uncover Hidden Clues in the Sky, Water, Plants, Animals and Weather by Craig Caudill and Carrie Shryock

Percy’s Museum by Sara O’Leary and Carmen Mok

Stand Like a Cedar by Nicola I. Campbell and Carrielynn Victor

Mii maanda ezhi-gkendmaanh / This Is How I Know by Brittany Luby and Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley

Thunder and the Noise Storms by Jeffrey Ansloos, Shezza Ansloos and Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley

Full Activity PDF

Nature Wind Chime Instructions (.docx)

Images

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Origami Butterfly Craft + Installation

Craft

Ages 9-12

30-60 minutes

Origami Butterfly Craft + Installation

Description

Following step-by-step instructions (with images), each participant will learn how to fold an origami butterfly. If time permits, multiple butterflies can be folded. After making several butterflies, participants can create an indoor or outdoor installation

Number of participants

For any number of participants

Space Considerations

An indoor space where participants can be seated to do a craft

Competencies

  • Artistic expression
  • Creative expression
  • Development of fine motor skills
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Following directions

Materials

  • Origami paper (preferred) or printer paper cut to a perfect square
    o   Size of paper: 7.5cm x 7.5cm is preferred
    o   15cm x 15cm quartered will give you 4 squares at 7.5cm x 7.5cm
  • Pencil crayons (optional)

Preparation

  • Place a small stack of origami paper or paper squares on each table for participants
  • We highly recommend that staff leading this program and additional support staff try this origami folding first to learn it before instructing participants
  • Encouraging quick learners in the program to assist their peers is also helpful

Implementation

Origami Instructions

Note: Origami paper is used for the images – one side is coloured and the other side is white

1. Place square with the colour/pattern side up and white side down. Fold in half horizontally and then fold in half vertically

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2. Flip square over and fold diagonally in both directions

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3. Flip square over and push the triangles on the left and right side towards the centre with your pointer fingers. Use your middle fingers and thumbs to flatten the top and bottom triangles together

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4. Position triangle flat on a surface and fold the first layer corner flaps to meet the centre line

Rotate the figure so the triangle point is on the bottom

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5. Fold the figure horizontally in half backwards (it should look like a paper boat). The tip of the back triangle should extend slightly above the top edge of the figure, and the crease down the centre of the back triangle should align with the crease down the centre of the front triangle

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6. Flip over the figure and try to flatten it. As you do, you will notice two small triangles on the sides of the bottom triangle automatically flatten out. Press down on these triangles and then flip figure over

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7. You will notice the tip of the triangle extending past the top edge of the figure. Fold this forward over the top edge and then fold the butterfly in half backwards. The back of the wings should align and touch each other

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8. Pinch the butterfly body with your left pointer finger and thumb, so you are covering the butterfly head and part of the body. Now take your right thumb and pointer finger and place them between the back of the wings

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9. Push the wings forward towards your pinched fingers on your left hand, wrapping the wings around them, and remove your pinched fingers. You can pinch the wings together with your right thumb and pointer finger, then open it up like a book. Congratulations! You have completed your butterfly!

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Additional Options

  • Butterflies can be made in various sizes
  • Participants can decorate one side of their origami paper or paper square before folding it. (Markers not recommended as the ink will bleed onto the other side of the paper)

Origami Butterfly Installation Notes

Indoor

  • Please do not use tape on surfaces that will cause damage or remove paint
  • Consider assigning a bulletin board for your butterfly installation

Outdoor

  • Please do not use tape or glue on nature or disrupt any living space for insects or creatures
  • You can tuck them on flowers, trees or bushes or place them on rocks or tree stumps
  • Consider using a fence for your butterfly installation

Accessibility Considerations

  • Use large square pieces of paper (must be perfect squares)
  • Offer kids a variety of instruments to colour and decorate their paper, and encourage them to choose what they feel most comfortable with
  • Origami Butterfly Instructions file is a Word document and the text size is 16pt. The document can be changed to a larger font if needed.

Book Suggestions

The Bug Club by Elise Gravel

The Bug Girl (A True Story) by Sophia Spencer, Margaret McNamara and Kerascoët

Burt the Beetle Doesn't Bite! by Ashley Spires

A Long Way Home by Jean Little and Gabrielle Grimard

The Mystery of the Monarchs: How Kids, Teachers, and Butterfly Fans Helped Fred and Norah Urquhart Track the Great Monarch Migration by Barb Rosenstock and Erika Meza

Full Activity PDF

Origami Butterfly Instructions (.docx)

Images

Two sizes of origami butterflies:

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Origami butterfly on a flower:

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Origami butterflies on a bulletin board:

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Origami butterflies on a tree:

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Playdough Fossils

Short Activity

Ages 0-5

5-15 minutes

Playdough Fossils

Description

Use small toys to make imprints in playdough to create imitation fossils

Number of Participants

For any number of participants

Space Considerations

An indoor space

Competencies

  • Classification skills
  • Development of fine motor skills
  • Study of nature
  • Understanding and appreciation of animals

Materials

  • Playdough in various colours
  • Small toys and objects (dinosaurs, insects, shells, pinecones, etc.). Ensure objects are large enough to not be a choking hazard for young kids
  • Playdough rollers (optional)

Implementation

In this program, very young participants or staff use toys or objects to create imprints in playdough to mimic fossils. There are a number of ways you can choose to run this activity:

1.   Participant-led:

a)   Distribute playdough to each participant and caregiver. They should squash a piece of playdough flat, or use a roller.

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b)   Participants can select a toy or object and press it down into the playdough and remove the object to reveal their fossil

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c)   Participants can repeat the process by using a new piece of playdough, or manipulating the same piece of playdough to remove the imprint (rolling and squashing it flat again)

2.   Staff-led:

a)   Create several imprints from objects in playdough before the program, and then line up the objects for participants to see. Participants attempt to match each object with the correct imprint

b)   Alternatively, you can simply show children one imprint at a time (without the objects in view) and have them guess what object made the imprint

3.   Passive programming at the library:

a)   Set up an activity station where kids can play freely with the playdough and objects to create their own imprints. You may need to incorporate signage with simple instructions and rules for the playdough

Accessibility Considerations

  • Offer toys and objects in a variety of sizes
  • Assist participants with rolling or manipulating the playdough as needed
  • Allow participants to work in pairs or small teams as needed to create the fossils

Book Suggestions

The Bug Girl (A True Story) by Sophia Spencer, Margaret McNamara, and Kerascoët

The Fossil Whisperer: How Wendy Sloboda Discovered a Dinosaur by Helaine Becker and Sandra Dumais

Whose Bones Are Those? by Chihiro Takeuchi

Images

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Full Activity PDF

Pop-Up Cards

Craft

Ages 3-10

10-30 minutes

Pop-Up Cards

Description

Create a 3D pop-up card to distribute to a friend or family member

Number of Participants

For any number of participants

Space Considerations

An indoor space where participants can be seated to do a craft

Competencies

  • Artistic expression
  • Creative and imaginative thinking
  • Engineering
  • Understanding shapes

Materials

  • Cardstock or paper
  • Coloured paper (optional)
  • Crayons, pencil crayons, or markers
  • Scissors (adult assistance as needed)
  • Pencils or pens
  • Tape

Implementation

There are a few different styles of pop-up cards that you can create. Participants can also be encouraged to test out and experiment with different folded cards.

1.   Animal pop-up card:

a)   Cut a piece of cardstock in half

b)   Fold the card in half

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c)   Cut a diagonal line a few inches from the folded side and crease it down from both sides, as pictured:

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d)   Open and close the card to watch it pop out

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e)   Use crayons, pencil crayons, or markers and tactile items to decorate the card to your liking. You can even shape the card with scissors, as pictured below:

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2.   Layered pop-up card:

a)     Cut a piece of cardstock in half

b)     Fold the card in half

c)     Create a layer by making two identical parallel cuts from the bottom of the folded side, a few inches from the bottom:

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d)   Test how it pops out by opening and closing the card

e)   Use colouring instruments, colourful paper, and tactile items to create pop-up designs

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3) Flip panel card:

a)   Create a design on a piece of paper and cut it out

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b)   Tape the top of your design to a larger piece of paper and add some elements or drawings under it

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c) Use your imagination to create your very own designs!

Accessibility Considerations

  • Offer easy-grip scissors
  • Assist participants with cutting and gluing as needed
  • Offer pre-cut templates
  • Offer larger glue sticks
  • Offer tactile elements for kids to decorate their cards

Book Suggestions

Eric by Shaun Tan

Flowers are Pretty... Weird! by Rosemary Mosco and Jacob Souva

I Love You More by Emil Sher and Barbara Reid

Still This Love Goes On by Buffy Sainte-Marie and Julie Flett

This is Ruby by Sara O'Leary and Alea Marley

Full Activity PDF

Puzzle and Challenge Printables

Long Activity

Ages 6-12

10-40 minutes

Puzzle and Challenge Printables

Description

A series of challenges, including word searches, a crossword puzzle, a silly story, and tongue twisters

Number of Participants

For any number of participants

Space Considerations

Any type of space where participants can be seated to do a worksheet

Competencies

  • Creative and imaginative thinking
  • Letter recognition
  • Understanding and appreciation of Indigenous languages
  • Written communication skills

Materials

  • Printouts of the puzzle and challenge worksheets
  • Pencils or pens
  • Crayons, pencil crayons, or markers

Implementation

These worksheets can be included as part of a scheduled program or can be used as a passive activity in which you leave the printouts out for kids to complete at any time.

Print the desired number of worksheets:

Instructions: Participants search for and circle the dinosaur names in the jumble of letters. The words may appear horizontally, vertically, diagonally or backwards

Instructions: Participants search for and circle the Ojibway words in the jumble of letters. The words may appear horizontally, vertically, diagonally or backwards

Instructions: Participants read the numbered clues and write the answer in the spot marked by that number in the crossword puzzle. Clues are marked as either across or down

Instructions: This worksheet should be printed double-sided. Participants fill in words based on the prompts on the first side of the sheet. Next, they flip the page over and write their word choices in the corresponding boxes and then read the story. This activity can be done individually or in pairs.

Instructions: Kids try to say these tongue twisters, and the faster they try to say them, the harder it gets! The tongue twisters can be read aloud by one person for another person to try.

Accessibility Considerations

  • The worksheets contain large font
  • We have included a variety of worksheet options so staff and participants can pick whatever is most appealing and/or suitable for them
  • Kids can be encouraged to work in teams if desired; for example, while working on the crossword puzzle, it is not necessary for all participants to write, but everyone can contribute guesses to the clues
  • Consider using the tongue twisters as an alternative for children who may have difficulty with completing pencil-and-paper worksheets; the tongue twisters can be read aloud a single time slowly by one person for another person to try multiple times quickly

Book Suggestions

Big as a Giant Snail: Discovering the World's Most Gigantic Animals by Jess Keating and David DeGrand

Extremely Gross Animals: Stinky, Slimy and Strange Animal Adaptations by Claire Eamer

Set Your Alarm, Sloth!: More Advice for Troubled Animals from Dr. Glider by Jess Keating and Pete Oswald

Storyteller Skye: Teachings from My Ojibway Grandfather by Lindsay Christina King and Carolyn Frank

That's No Dino! Or is it?: What Makes a Dinosaur a Dinosaur by Helaine Becker and Marie-Ève Tremblay

Wow in the Wild: The Amazing World of Animals by Mindy Thomas, Guy Raz, and Jack Teagle

Full Activity PDF

Dinosaur Word Search

Storyteller Skye: Ojibway Word Search

Animal Crossword Puzzle

Silly Story: How Do Dinosaurs Use the Library?

Tongue Twisters

Seashell Creatures

Craft

Ages 6-8

30-60 minutes

Seashell Creatures

Description

Participants will create seashell creatures.

The activity worksheet can be used for passive programming.

Number of participants

For any number of participants

Space Considerations

An indoor space where participants can be seated to do a craft

Competencies

  • Artistic expression
  • Development of fine motor skills
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Study of nature
  • Understanding and appreciation of animals

Materials

  • Blank sheets of paper and scrap paper
  • Paper Seashell Templates
  • Seashell Creature Example Sheets (one for each group/table)
  • Markers, highlighters, crayons or pencil crayons
  • Fine-tipped markers or pens
  • Googly eyes (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Preparation

  • Print one Example Sheet for each table or group
  • Print Paper Seashell Templates
  • Create a book display that will inspire and help kids with the activity

Implementation

1.   Distribute templates, scrap paper and blank sheets of paper to each table or group, including extra copies

2.   Distribute the materials to participants

Using the Paper Seashell Creatures Examples Sheet as the Activity

1.   Print out one or both of the Seashell Creatures Examples Sheets

2.   Decorate the shells

3.   Cut the shells out

4.   Glue the shells together to create the seashell creature

5.   Create any additional details or decorations for your creatures

Using the Paper Seashell Creatures Template

1.   Look at books and the Example Sheets for ideas

2.   Sketch or plan out creatures on scrap paper (optional)

3.   Colour or decorate your template shells

4.   Cut out the shells you want to use from the seashell templates

5.   Glue the cut-out shells together

6.   Create any additional details or decorations for your creatures

Accessibility Considerations

  • Offer kids a variety of instruments to colour their image, and encourage them to choose what they feel most comfortable with
  • Offer kids some tactile craft options to create the seashells, e.g. seashells, googly eyes
  • Offer worksheet with examples of seashell creatures
  • Paper Seashell Templates is a Word document, so staff may add more or change the seashell images. We advise choosing seashell shapes that are easy to cut out
  • Encourage participants to cut around the seashells or to outline them with a thicker line to make them easier to cut out
  • Offer participants the choice of a blank sheet of paper or templates
  • Let participants know they can do as much as they want during the program and take the activity home

Book Suggestions

Extremely Gross Animals: Stinky, Slimy and Strange Animal Adaptations by Claire Eamer

The Magic Shell by Jillian Christmas and Diana G. A. Mungaray

Nature is an Artist by Jennifer Lavallee and Natalia Colombo

Set Your Alarm, Sloth!: More Advice for Troubled Animals from Dr. Glider by Jess Keating and Pete Oswald

Wow in the Wild: The Amazing World of Animals by Mindy Thomas, Guy Raz and Jack Teagle

Full Activity PDF

Paper Seashell Creature Examples (.docx)

Paper Seashell Templates (.docx)

Images

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Sensory Excavation Activity

Long Activity

Ages 0-6

30-60 minutes

Sensory Excavation Activity

Description

Kids will excavate items. There are various options for this activity.

Recommendation: For younger children, a caregiver must do the activity with them due to possible choking hazards

Read-aloud Story

Read a story related to excavation or related to the materials that are being excavated to connect to the activity (nature, dinosaurs if using plastic dinosaurs, etc)

Number of participants

For any number of participants

Space Considerations

An indoor space where participants can be seated to do an activity

Competencies

  • Development of fine motor skills
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Following directions
  • Problem solving
  • Spatial relationships

Materials

Excavation Material Options

  • Fallen pieces of nature (e.g. flowers, leaves, twigs, small stones or pebbles)
  • Dried flower petals, plastic flowers or plant clippings
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Pompoms
  • Buttons
  • Wooden beads
  • Small pieces of string
  • Small toys (e.g. plastic animals)
  • Small seashells or rocks
  • Lego pieces
  • Bells or other small objects that make noise

Excavation materials and tools

  • Water for ice cube tray
  • Ice cube tray
  • Salt
  • Dishes or containers
  • Medium containers or tubs for sand
  • Sand
  • Small shovels or spoons
  • A large bin for newspaper balls
  • Newspaper balls
  • Plastic Easter eggs or gacha balls

Gacha ball

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Preparation

Ice Cube Excavation

  • One day or more before the program, put various items in ice cube trays and freeze them

o   Recommendations

- Use items that would be easy to excavate

- The same items can be used for all of the ice cubes or you can vary the items

- Size of item should match the ice cube mold – even if item sticks out of the cube, it is better than it being so small that it takes a long time to excavate

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Sandbox Excavation

  • Put various items inside tub(s) filled with sand

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Newspaper Bin Excavation

  • Put various items inside small containers like plastic Easter eggs, gacha containers or just wrapped inside newspaper

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  • Create newspaper balls for a newspaper bin

Implementation

Ice Cube Excavation

1.   Distribute an ice cube to each participant on a dish or in a container

2.   Participants can rub their hands together and then pick up the ice cube and try to melt it with their body heat

3.   They can use a bit of salt (optional)

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Sand Box Excavation

1.   Distribute a sandbox with hidden items and a spoon or shovel to each participant OR have participants line up in front of one or several containers with each child excavating an item

2.   Participants can use their hands, a spoon or a shovel to dig up an object

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Newspaper Bin Excavation

1.   Have participants line up in front of one or several bins of newspaper balls and take turns trying to find an item

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Accessibility Considerations

  • Provide tools to assist participants in excavating items
    o   Sand tool options – small shovels, spoons
    o   Ice cubes tool options – salt
    o   Add bells or other objects that make noise into the containers of sand or crumpled newspaper balls so that kids will hear the noises as they look for items

Book Suggestions

Expedition Backyard: Exploring Nature from Country to City by Rosemary Mosco and Binglin Hu

The Fossil Whisperer: How Wendy Sloboda Discovered a Dinosaur by Helaine Becker and Sandra Dumais

Mii maanda ezhi-gkendmaanh / This Is How I Know by Brittany Luby and Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley

The Deepest Dig by Mark David Smith and Lily Snowden-Fine

Full Activity PDF

Sensory Activity Instructions (.docx)

Images

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Storytelling Basket

Long Activity

Ages 6-12

15-45 minutes

Storytelling Basket

Description

Draw words at random from a basket and incorporate them into oral storytelling

Number of Participants

For any number of participants

Space Considerations

An indoor or outdoor space where all participants are able to hear the storyteller

Competencies

  • Creative and imaginative thinking
  • Emotional expression
  • Oral communication skills
  • Organization and planning

Materials

  • Basket (preferred) or any small container
  • Paper
  • Pens or pencils

Preparation

  • Cut paper into smaller pieces for distribution

Implementation

The following activity has been adapted from the book Storyteller Skye: Teachings From My Ojibway Grandfather:

1.   Distribute several strips of paper to participants

2.   On each piece of paper, participants can write a word or phrase. The words can be anything that might inspire a story, such as “bear,” “sun,” and “canoe.” Similarly, phrases can be things like “walking in the woods” or “finding a bird’s nest” – anything that might stimulate a story

3.   Collect the strips of paper, fold them in half and place them in the storytelling basket

4.   Participants who wish to volunteer to tell a story would begin by drawing a strip from the basket and then reading the word or phrase aloud. If desired, staff can volunteer to be the first storyteller to serve as an example

5.   Participants would use the word or phrase to inspire any story that comes to them. If desired, participants can select multiple strips from the basket and attempt to come up with a story that incorporates all of the words they draw

6.   If the storyteller needs assistance, staff or other participants can guide them with questions. For example:

a.   What does your character see or hear around them?

b.   Who else is there?

c.    What does the place look like?

d.   Where is your character going next?

Accessibility Considerations

  • Some participants may prefer to listen. Don’t make storytelling mandatory. Allow participants to volunteer to tell a story.
  • Staff or another participant can read the words or phrases pulled from the basket if needed. Similarly, participants can dictate to staff or other participants words they want to write on their slips of paper.
  • Be prepared to ask prompting questions to assist storytellers who may get stuck.
  • Allow participants to work in pairs or small teams to tell a story together. They can take turns and support each other as they tell the story.
  • Allow participants to jot down written notes to assist them before they begin dictating their stories.
  • Encourage participants to tell stories of any length that they are comfortable with.
  • Offer microphones as needed so all participants can hear the stories.

Book Suggestions

Mii maanda ezhi-gkendmaanh / This Is How I Know by Brittany Luby and Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley

Sky Wolf's Call: The Gift of Indigenous Knowledge by Eldon Yellowhorn and Kathy Lowinger

Storyteller Skye: Teachings from My Ojibway Grandfather by Lindsay Christina King and Carolyn Frank

When I Listen to Silence by Jean Pendziwol and Carmen Mok

Full Activity PDF

Super Potato!

Short Activity

Ages 3-8

15-20 minutes

Super Potato!

Description

With the help of a caregiver (optional), kids will create their own Super Potato and then fill out a profile and story for it.

The activity worksheets can be used for passive programming.

Number of participants

For any number of participants

Space Considerations

An indoor space where participants can be seated to do an activity

Competencies

  • Artistic expression
  • Creative and imaginative thinking
  • Creative expression
  • Development of fine motor skills
  • Written communication skills

Materials

  • Super Potato Activity Templates
  • Markers, pencil crayons or crayons
  • Pens or pencils

Preparation

  • Print Super Potato Activity Templates for each table or group

Implementation

1. Distribute templates to each table or group, including extra copies

2. Distribute the materials to participants

Accessibility Considerations

  • Worksheet font sizes are 16pt and 18pt
  • Offer participants the choice of a blank or pre-filled template
  • Super Potato Activity Template is a Word document, so staff can customize the worksheet
  • Offer kids a variety of instruments to colour their image, and encourage them to choose what they feel most comfortable with
  • Create a display of books that will inspire and help kids with the activity

Book Suggestions

The Cow Said BOO! by Lana Button and Alice Carter

Sloth Sleuth by Cyndi Marko

Super Potato and the Soaring Terror of the Pterosaur by Artur Laperla

Full Activity PDF

Super Potato Activity Templates (.docx)

Images

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Tape Pictures

Craft

Ages 0-6

10-20 minutes

Tape Pictures

Description

Use tape to create a vivid piece of artwork

Number of Participants

For any number of participants

Space Considerations

An indoor space where participants can be seated to do a craft

Competencies

  • Artistic expression
  • Creative and imaginative thinking
  • Development of fine motor skills

Materials

  • Masking tape or painter’s tape
  • Cardstock
  • Crayons, pencil crayons, or markers
  • Scissors (optional; adult use only)

Implementation

1. Distribute tape, cardstock, and colouring instruments to participants

2. Participants apply tape to their pieces of cardstock in any manner. They can choose to attempt to form an image (e.g. trees) with the tape or apply it in a random pattern

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3. Participants can rip the tape or staff can assist by cutting pieces of tape with scissors. If desired, strips of tape can be pre-cut before the program

4. Once the tape is on the paper, participants use colouring instruments to colour the cardstock in any manner of their choosing

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5. Once the page is covered with colouring, participants can slowly remove the tape to reveal their artwork

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Accessibility Considerations

  • Offer kids a variety of instruments to colour their image, and encourage them to choose what they feel most comfortable with
  • Assist participants to cut or rip tape as needed
  • Assist participants to affix or remove tape as needed
  • Offer tactile elements for kids to decorate their crafts

Book Suggestions

I Love You More by Emil Sher and Barbara Reid

If You Could Be Anything by Jennifer Britton and Briana Corr Scott

My Art, My World by Rita Winkler

This is Ruby by Sara O'Leary and Alea Marley

Images

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Full Activity PDF

Textured Dinosaur

Craft

Ages 6-8

45-60 minutes

Textured Dinosaur

Description

Cut out a picture of a dinosaur and use bookshelves, walls, nature and more as textures for the animal’s body. Take a walk and see what kind of textured animals you can create. You can even make your own! If you have access to a smartphone or camera, you can take photos of your creation!

The activity worksheet can be used for passive programming.

Number of participants

For any number of participants

Space Considerations

An indoor space where participants can be seated to do a craft

Competencies

  • Artistic expression
  • Creative and imaginative thinking
  • Creative expression
  • Development of fine motor skills
  • Eye-hand coordination

Materials

  • Dinosaurs in Nature Templates
  • Card stock
  • Scissors (adults should assist)
  • White paper
  • Crayons or pencil crayons
  • Smartphone or camera (optional)
  • A book truck with two shelves full of children’s books to use as a backdrop (optional)

Preparation

  • Print and distribute the Dinosaurs in Nature Templates

Implementation

1.   Provide each participant with a white piece of paper to decorate for their first texture background

2.   Distribute dinosaur templates to participants, who will cut the dinosaur out without cutting the surrounding paper

3.   Participant will hold the animal cutout over their decorated sheet of paper to see their first textured animal

4.   Then, they walk around finding other textures for their animal

5.   If they have a smartphone or camera they can take a photo of it, like in the examples below (optional)

6.   Participants are encouraged to create textured dinosaurs using

  • their decorated sheet of paper
  • favourite book shelf
  • a wall, carpet or floor
  • something in nature
  • their own clothes

Accessibility Considerations

  • Offer participants a variety of instruments to colour their image, and encourage them to choose what they feel most comfortable with
  • Offer a variety of crafting materials for participants to use to create a textured background
  • Offer participants the choice of a blank sheet of paper or a template
  • Offer participants pre-cut templates and have them focus on decorating their textured sheet
  • Dinosaur templates have varying difficulties
  • Offer easy-grip scissors
  • Let participants know they can do as much as they want during the program and take the activity home
  • Create a book display that will inspire and help kids with the activity

Book Suggestions

The Fossil Whisperer: How Wendy Sloboda Discovered a Dinosaur by Helaine Becker and Sandra Dumais

That's No Dino! Or is it?: What Makes a Dinosaur a Dinosaur by Helaine Becker and Marie-Ève Tremblay

Why Does My Shadow Follow Me?: More Science Questions from Real Kids by Kira Vermond and Suharu Ogawa

Full Activity PDF

Textured Dinosaur Examples (.docx)

Textured Dinosaur Templates (.pdf)

Images

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Time Capsule

Long Activity

Ages 6-8

20-30 minutes

Time Capsule

Description

Create a simple time capsule by including a variety of questionnaires and small objects of significance

Number of Participants

For any number of participants

Space Considerations

An indoor space where participants can be seated to complete worksheets and a craft

Competencies

  • Organization and planning
  • Written communication skills

Materials

  • Printouts of the time capsule questionnaires
  • Several recent newspapers
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Small boxes (like shoeboxes), jars, or small containers (like a large, empty yogurt tub); one for each participant. Alternatively, you can ask participants to bring their own small container in advance of the program
  • Coloured paper
  • Tactile items for decorating time capsule
  • Glue
  • Crayons, pencil crayons, or markers

Preparation

  • Collect recent newspapers before the program

Implementation

1.   It is recommended to read the book Time Capsule by Lauren Redniss to begin this program to give participants context on what a time capsule can contain.

2.   Distribute a container to each participant. Alternatively, before the program, you can advertise that participants should bring their own containers to the program.

3.   It’s ideal if the time capsule container is made to be opaque (if it isn’t already). For example, in the case of a glass jar, participants can affix a piece of paper around the jar.

4.   Encourage participants to decorate the outside of their time capsule in any way they see fit. Somewhere on the container, participants should include an opening date for their capsule: for example, “Do not open until January 1, 2030.” Participants can select any future day of their choosing. They should also include the words “Time Capsule” somewhere on their container.

5.   For items to include in the time capsule, participants can include a variety of items, such as:

a)   Time Capsule Questionnaire: Answer questions about the current time

b)   All About Me: Answer questions about yourself, including some of your current favourite things

c)    Self-portraits: Draw the current you and future versions of yourself

d)   Newspaper clippings: Sift through some recent newspapers and clip out articles that have some meaning to you

6.   Encourage participants to take their time capsule home with them. Before sealing it shut, they may wish to include some personal items that they find around their house (for example, a small toy) or items they collect outside that may have some meaning (for example, a pinecone from a tree near their house). Once they have all the items in their capsules, they can tape it shut and store it anywhere they choose.

Accessibility Considerations

  • Templates contain large font and lots of space for writing
  • Offer easy-grip scissors to participants as needed
  • Assist participants with cutting and gluing as needed
  • Offer tactile elements for kids to decorate their time capsules
  • Offer kids a variety of instruments to colour their image, and encourage them to choose what they feel most comfortable with

Book Suggestions

Time Capsule by Lauren Redniss

The Treasure Box by Dave Keane and Rahele Jomepour Bell

Images

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Full Activity PDF

Time Capsule Questionnaire

All About Me

Self-Portraits

Treasure Chest

Craft

Ages 0-3

5-15 minutes

Treasure Chest

Description

A simple treasure chest craft for young kids

Number of Participants

For any number of participants

Space Considerations

An indoor space where participants can be seated to do a craft

Competencies

  • Artistic expression
  • Development of fine motor skills

Materials

  • Printouts of the treasure chest template
  • Printouts of treasure items
  • Tactile decorative items
  • Crayons, pencil crayons, or markers
  • Scissors (adult use only)

Preparation

  • Print out the treasure chest template double-sided, selecting the option to flip on the short edge
  • Cut out the treasure chests and treasure items before the program, or allow caregivers to cut them out for their child

Implementation

1.   Distribute one treasure chest template to each participant

2.   Participants should fold the chest inward on the dotted line to close the chest

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3. Colour and decorate the treasure chest, adding tactile elements as desired under the flap of the treasure chest

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Accessibility Considerations

  • Provide a variety of instruments for participants to colour their images and encourage them to choose what they feel most comfortable with
  • Offer tactile elements for kids to decorate their crafts
  • Provide pre-cut templates
  • Offer assistance with folding as needed
  • Offer larger glue sticks
  • Pour glue into a shallow container with large craft sticks for kids to share

Book Suggestions

This is Ruby by Sara O'Leary and Alea Marley

Treasure Box by Dave Keane and Rahele Jomepour Bell

Images

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Full Activity PDF

Treasure Chest template

Treasure Chest items

Witness Blanket: Reflection Wall

Short Activity

Ages 9-12

10-30 minutes

Witness Blanket: Reflection Wall

Description

After viewing the Witness Blanket online, participants can share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences by decorating a paper tile to add to a Reflection Wall

Number of Participants

For any number of participants

Space Considerations

An indoor space where participants can be seated to design their shapes

Competencies

  • Artistic expression
  • Emotional expression

Materials

  • Printouts of the Reflection Wall Shapes on various coloured paper
  • Access to computers or tablets to view the Witness Blanket online
  • Tape
  • A wall, display board, or window (for displaying the completed tiles)

Preparation

  • Staff should familiarize themselves with the Witness Blanket website in order to help participants navigate the site
  • Print and cut out copies of the Reflection Wall Shapes

Implementation

This activity comes directly from the Witness Blanket teacher’s guide.

1.   Using a computer or tablet, give participants the opportunity to explore the Witness Blanket online. Alternatively, staff can use a computer and projector to explore various elements of the Witness Blanket as participants watch and listen

2.   Kids select a Reflection Wall paper tile

3.   Kids share their thoughts, feelings, and emotions by decorating a paper tile with artwork, poetry, writing, and doodles

4.   Once complete, participants add tape to the back of their tiles and add to the wall, display board, or window. Staff can assist with this step as needed, in order to help shape the geometric pattern

5.   The shapes create a dramatic, geometric pattern and become a unique “Witness Blanket” of reflections

Accessibility Considerations

  • Participants are encouraged to decorate their tiles in a way that is both meaningful and suitable for them
  • Give participants the option to dictate their thoughts for another participant to decorate
  • While viewing the Witness Blanket online, offer participants an accessible computer space with a mouse and a larger screen. If using a tablet, instruct participants on adjusting the zoom of the screen
  • The stories in the Witness Blanket address themes of racism and cruelty. A “safe space” is available from the menu items on the website for participants who need to take a break or leave the website
  • Offer kids a variety of instruments to colour their image, and encourage them to choose what they feel most comfortable with
  • Assist participants with affixing their tiles as needed
  • Offer pre-cut Reflection Wall templates
  • Offer tactile elements for kids to decorate their crafts

Book Suggestions

Little Wolf by Teoni Spathelfer and Natassia Davies

Nuttah & Kitchi: National Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration! by Sandra Samatte and Julian Grafenauer

Sky Wolf's Call: The Gift of Indigenous Knowledge by Eldon Yellowhorn and Kathy Lowinger

Storyteller Skye: Teachings from My Ojibway Grandfather by Lindsay Christina King and Carolyn Frank

Full Activity PDF

Reflection Wall Shapes