Fun Things to Do (August 2020)

For even more ideas, see our previous posts.

For Kids and Families

Rise & Shine Storytime: Saturday

What is your favorite day of the week, and what do you do with your grownup? Ms. Mary shares the story Saturday by Oge Mora as well as a song for remembering the days of the week. Watch this storytime video about a delightful day.

Science Club Jr.: Shadows and Light

Can you think of a thing that follows us around all day, especially on sunny days? That’s right, a shadow! Explore the science of shadows with young children using a variety of books and easy activities.

Be the Artist: Stick People

Unlike most stick figures, these stick people are too adventurous to stay stuck to the page. Use scavenged sticks and common craft supplies to create a family of stick friends to join you on all your outdoor expeditions.

Read and Play with Math: Spatial Relationships

Math skills are essential for kids to be successful in school and life. Explore spatial relationships with stories and activities that build understanding of how things move and relate to each other in the world around us. Bigger/smaller, above/below, together/apart, near/far, and left/right are just a small part of how children understand objects and space around them.

STEAM Engines: Catapults

Ms. Caitlin and Desi are excited to talk about flinging things! Watch a video to explore the science of catapults, then learn how to make your own from basic craft supplies.

Penguin Snacks

What better way to learn about animals than making your own version? By using fresh ingredients you may already have at home, you can use this activity sheet to create a tasty and unique snack in the shape of a penguin in less than 5 minutes.

Rise & Shine Storytime: The Colors of Us

Join Ms. Mary for a story about all the colors that make us who we are.

You can also find resources and recommendations from our staff.

For All Ages

BOOMbox at Home: Know When to Grow Zine

Getting started with gardening can be intimidating. Depending on the types of plants you’d like to grow, there may be a lot to learn about how to care for your plants. Keep growing instructions and your observations all in one place using these instructions for a simple zine, made with only one sheet of paper.

Make Your Own Ice Cream--with Science!

Cream plus air equals ice cream! This video showing a basic at-home ice cream recipe will give you a treat you can customize this summer.

How to Regrow Green Onions

Did you know you can easily grow herbs from scraps? This activity sheet will show you how to sprout green onions (also known as scallions or chives) using items you already have in your kitchen, so you can have fresh herbs to brighten up your cooking.

Build a Board Game

After spending so much time at home, you may have already played all of the board games you own. Why not mix things up by making a new one? You can design an original board game based on almost any theme, using materials you probably already have. Get started with this activity sheet. We’d love to see the games you create!

Mad Libs

Word games are a fun way to play and create new stories. This is a fun word game that you can play alone or with friends.


How to Visit a College Campus without Leaving Home

The process of researching and visiting prospective colleges has changed to align with social distancing restrictions. Watch a video about how to interact with colleges from home, from Thomas Jaworski of Quest College Consulting. He offers tips on how to get the most out of these experiences. This video recording is from our live online event on July 13, 2020.

For Adults

Book Chat Chapter 8: The Anglophile Edition

On this edition of Book Chat, Becca and Allyson are joined by Cecilia and Amy K. as the group talks about some of their favorite recent reads set in the United Kingdom or featuring prominent British figures (ahem, royals). Watch this video for recommendations of books great for Anglophiles.

Make Your Own Braided T-Shirt Rug

Do you have a stash of old shirts that you no longer wear? Try upcycling them into a beautiful rug. These instructions provide step-by-step guidance for this no-sew project.

Skokie Staff Suggest: RBDigital

Chris gets ready for a vacation and shares a look at one of the great digital resources available with your library card: RBDigital. Watch this video about using RBDigital to read the latest magazines on your device.

Food Science for the Win: Roasting vs Grilling Summer Vegetables

As summer comes to a close, we’re making the most of our vegetable harvest and figuring out which is better: roasting or grilling. Amy H. walks you through grilling and roasting methods for seasonal vegetables in this video.

Live Captions and Translations in Google Slides and PowerPoint 365

Adding live captions or translations to Google Slides or PowerPoint 365 can help engage a larger audience. Watch this video on how to add captions and translations.

Skokie Staff Suggests: Library of Congress Online Tour of Digital Collections

The Library of Congress is the nation's treasure chest, with varied, well-written, and ready-to-enjoy digital experiences. Watch a video tour of the Library of Congress Digital Archives.

Tarot and the Creative Arts

With powerful archetypes and imagery, the tarot offers a visual way to understand one’s life journey. Watch a video of artist and tarot reader Rebecca Schoenecker sharing her art, her drawn decks, and stories that highlight how tarot, life, and creativity coalesce. This recording is from a live online event that took place July 29, 2020.

Food Science for the Win: Grilled vs Roasted Vegetables Resource Guide

The kitchen is an ideal lab for experimenting and investigating while embracing your inner scientist. Explore the science of grilling and roasting vegetables to determine your preference using tips and techniques for perfectly prepared vegetables.

How to Make a Slideshow Using iMovie

Follow this tutorial with Kirk as he shows us how to turn a collection of photos into a perfect slideshow using the free iMovie app on an Apple device or computer.

Meditation at Home Summer 2020

Chelsea Dolinar-Hikawa, who leads monthly guided meditation sessions for the library, leads this guided meditation while library events take place online to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

Book Chat Chapter 7: Warm Up and Cool Down with Summer Reads

Becca and Allyson share some of their favorite reads perfect for summer.

How to Make Salad Dressing, According to Science

Amy H. walks you through making the ideal simple salad dressing. To participate, you’ll need an acid and an oil. See the salad dressing resource guide for more.


Billboard Collection of Livestreams

Billboard offers a weekly update of livestreams, some free, some requiring tickets.

Ongoing Listings of Classical Concerts Streaming Online

Classic FM provides a frequently updated list of all the major classical concerts and events being streamed online as a result of the impact of coronavirus measures continuing around the world.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

The company offers access to free performance broadcasts from its repertory every Thursday. They also offer dance and fitness classes, original short films, conversation series, and more.

The series continues August 27 with artistic director Robert Battle’s No Longer Silent, created in 2007 as part of a concert of choreography that brought to life long-forgotten scores by composers whose work the Nazis had banned. The ensemble piece is set to the percussive “Ogelala” by Erwin Schulhoff, who died in a concentration camp in 1942.

Midsummer’s Music from Door County

Midsummer’s Music, founded by Jim and Jean Berkenstock, has been bringing chamber music to Door County Wisconsin audiences for more than three decades. This year, they are streaming free performances Wednesdays through Sundays until September 13.

James Taylor Will Host a Free Stream of the Best of Tanglewood on Parade

The Best of Tanglewood on Parade is a video stream of highlights from past concerts. It features the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, and Tanglewood Music Center orchestras, as well as the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and Boston Symphony Children's Choir, in selections led by conductors Andris Nelsons, Keith Lockhart, John Williams, James Burton, and Seiji Ozawa. The free program is available online on Tuesday, August 18 at 8 pm at, and can be viewed through Tuesday, August 25.

Dance for Life: United As One

This year’s celebration August 10-15 features works archived from Dance for Life performances during the past 29 years, and a world premiere finale.

Operatic Voices

Through August 26, the Lyric Opera’s Ryan Opera Center presents“Lawrence Brownlee and Friends: The Next Chapter,” a free virtual concert celebrating Black artists performing their favorite repertoire, including arias and spirituals. In addition to host Brownlee, the performers are soprano Whitney Morrison, mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges, baritone Will Liverman, and three current Ryan ensemble members: tenors Martin Luther Clark and Lunga Eric Hallam and baritone Leroy Davis.

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.

Streaming Ballet Performances from Pointe Magazine

Pointe Magazine compiles upcoming streaming events and digital ballet performances.