Fun Things to Do (July 2020)

For even more ideas, see our previous posts.


Read and Play with Math: Data Analysis

Math skills are essential for kids to be successful in school and life. We collect data to answer questions that might not be obvious right away. Explore data analysis with these activities.

STEAM Engines: Metal Eggs

Explore the nature of optical illusions! Join Ms. Caitlin and Desi for the story of the goose that laid golden eggs, then grab your grown-up as they show you how to turn an ordinary egg silver.

The Little Red Stroller

How can one little red stroller become an important item in a community? When it is freely given to all families, it helps all children enjoy their neighborhood, explore new places, and even celebrate birthday parties! Join Ms. Meleesa for the story.

Read and Play with Math: Sets

Math skills are essential for kids to be successful in school and life. A set is any collection that is grouped in some meaningful way. We classify things by attributes such as size, color, function, or shape. Explore sets with these activities.

Maybe Something Beautiful

Join Ms. Caitlin as she reads Maybe Something Beautiful by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell. It was illustrated by Rafael Lopez, copyright 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Then, create a beautiful card full of butterflies to share with a friend.

Read and Play with Math: Patterns

Math skills are essential for kids to be successful in school and life. Math “makes sense” because its patterns allow us to generalize our understanding from one situation to another. Explore patterns with these activities.

Last Stop on Market Street

Enjoy a reading of Last Stop on Market Street, written by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson, and copyrighted by Penguin Random House in 2015. What about CJ's neighborhood reminds you of Skokie?

Be the Artist: Seed Insect Art

Create your own insect out of natural materials using this activity sheet.

Read and Play with Math: Shapes

Math skills are essential for kids to be successful in school and life. Learning to tell basic shapes apart helps young children focus on a specific attribute of an item. Explore shapes with these activities.

Rise & Shine Storytime: Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes

What color are your shoes today? Get ready to stomp your feet along to "If You're Happy and You Know It" after the book Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes.

STEAM Engines: Side Scooper

Think like an engineer and design your own tools. Join Caitlin and Desi as they try new ideas and techniques to think like a mechanical engineer in this video.

Veena Reads: Math Curse & the Chicago River

Veena reads Math Curse by Jon Scieska and Lane Smith, then she explores some delicious math problems about the Chicago River.

Read and Play with Math: Counting

Math skills are essential for kids to be successful in school and life. We count every day, whether at home, at school, or while out shopping. It may seem simple, but it is actually a sophisticated concept children learn through play and practice. Explore counting with these activities.

Storytime with Ms. Meleesa: Triangle

Enjoy the story Triangle by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen, as well as two songs about friendship.

You can also find resources and recommendations from our staff.


Be the Artist: Taped Trees

This fun and simple art technique will help you make a masterpiece in no time! This activity sheet explains how to use masking tape and negative space to create trees in your art.

Share a Wildlife Observation

Leaves are flourishing, flowers are blooming, and there is no better time to step outside and learn from nature’s library. Document local flora and fauna with these civic science apps to assist in environmental research and collective understanding of local ecosystems.


Bring the fun of tie-dyeing home and show off your uniqueness with colorful clothing and designs using this activity sheet.

Doodle Blobs

Do you ever struggle to think of something to draw or find yourself making the same sorts of things over and over? This activity will help you get out of your creative comfort zone. Jump start your imagination by turning abstract shapes into fun doodles.

Community Art Walk

Summer is a wonderful time to wander! Have you noticed a really fun sculpture in your neighborhood? Or a newly painted mural on the side of a building? There’s so much to see in Skokie, and this art walk activity will help you learn more about the art in the community.

Plant Prints

Bring the outside in with this fun art activity using scavenged plant materials.

BOOMbox at Home: Ghanaian Adinkras

Learn of the history of Adinkra symbols which originated in Ghana. Follow the instructions on this activity sheet to create your own Adinkra to represent your values and adorn textiles in your home.

Summer Reading Bingo

Summer Reading has started! Use this bingo card for reading ideas or inspiration. Once you’ve got bingo, tag @skokielibrary or #SkokieSummerReading to share with us on social media.

How to Make a DIY Journal

Jimmy shares a tutorial for making a do-it-yourself journal at home using recycled and upcycled materials.

iNaturalist Community Project

This guide includes information about downloading and accessing the free civic science apps iNaturalist and Seek, as well as resources for exploring botany and bird watching.


Book Chat Chapter 6: YA Edition

Our young adult librarians join this edition of Book Chat to recommend four books great for teens.


Food Science for the Win: Salad Dressing Resource Guide

The kitchen is an ideal lab for experimenting and being curious while embracing your inner scientist. Explore the science of making salad dressing with this resource guide.

Skokie Staff Suggest: Bingo Love

Chris recommends the graphic novel Bingo Love by Tee Franklin, available now on Hoopla.

Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning Basics

If you couldn’t attend our online event about estate planning, a recording of the event is available until August 5. Learn about wills, trusts, powers of attorney, probate, and guardianship with attorney Jacob K. Ehrensaft. Take the first step to create or update your plan.

Skokie Staff Suggest: Explore the Internet Archive

Chris shows one of his favorite sites for enjoying free books, movies, and more in this video.

Cooking Kale Sambol with Mary Anne Mohanraj

Enjoy this recording of our June 11 online event with Mary Anne, author of A Feast of Serendib: Recipes from Sri Lanka. She shared two of her recipes with us: ginger-garlic chicken and kale sambol.

How to Use the Quick Selection Tool in Photoshop

Join staff member Kirk for this brief tutorial on using the quick selection tool in Photoshop.

Skokie Staff Suggest: America to Me

America to Me is an unscripted documentary series following an academic year at Oak Park and River Forest High School. Chris recommends this remarkable nuanced portrait of a complex student body. 

What Is That? Tips for Identifying Images

In this video, Martha demonstrates three fun ways to identify an object or place using a photo as your starting point; how to conduct a reverse image search, how to use crowdsourcing, and ask-an-expert options to solve your curious image queries.

Book Chat Chapter 5: Pets, Bakes, and Feels

Join Becca, Caitlin, Penny, and Allyson as they share some of the books they've been reading and enjoying recently. What's on your reading list?

Resources for Job Seekers

Mike B., reference and career services librarian, shares tips and resources to assist you in your job search in this video.


Black Dance Stories

The dance world was pummeled by COVID-19 and Black dance artists are finding ways to talk about life during this time. The world was further turned upside down after horrible events brought attention, yet again, to the need for the Black Lives Matter movement. Black dance artists have not been quiet since, and are continuing to make work. This weekly series of impromptu discussions and stories is worth our attention.

Tanglewood 2020 Online Festival

The summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood offers a sizable menu of free and paid streaming performances this summer.

Elton John

The Elton John: Classic Concert Series is posting online for the first time videos of six concerts. They are free to watch and are posted one per week as fundraisers in support of the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund to continue HIV prevention and care for the most vulnerable people around the globe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Shows Must Go On

Andrew Lloyd Webber is streaming his musicals for free online in this new series. Shows are live on Thursdays at 1 pm and available for 48 hours, with a new show every week.

Streaming Music Performances from NPR Music

NPR Music is compiling a list of live audio and video streams from around the world, categorized by date and type of music, with links to streaming platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Most are free, often with digital tip jars and opportunities to directly support artists by buying music and merchandise.

Jacob’s Pillow, July 7-August 29

The longest-running dance festival in the United States now comes directly to you…for free. In the Jacob’s Pillow first-ever Virtual Festival, you can watch some of the most beloved performances from the past 10 years, learn from a curated series of PillowTalks with leaders in our field, connect at an online version of the beloved intergenerational movement class Families Dance Together, and dance in a new Master Class Series from The School at Jacob’s Pillow.

Billboard Curates Music

Billboard collects a weekly calendar of music concerts and shows, including some big names, to enjoy from your own home.

Folk Alliance International

This Livestream Concert Calendar links to folk music performances happening every single day.

Reader Streaming Events

The Reader maintains a calendar of streaming performances including, but not exclusively, Chicago-based performances.