Printables and Activities!

On this page you can find resources and instructions for at-home learning and exploring your creativity. These resources have been chosen and created by the Jones Library Kids Room Staff. We love supporting hands-on learning for kids of all ages. Thanks for visiting!

At Home Activity: Support Structures

For this week's At Home Activity we are making SUPPORT STRUCTURES!

We like to drive on bridges and overpasses and think about the engineering that goes into it. The kids are always interested in building structures to see how much weight they can support. A simple but strong support structure is a triangle! You will need:

  • Cardboard, cardstock, or construction paper (each have different weight limits)
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Ruler
  • Pen or pencil
  • Toys or something to support
  • An adult to help you
  1. Cut your cardboard into equal pieces. We started with 5 pieces at 7.5” x 3” each. Fold and tape your pieces of cardboard into equilateral triangles. We measured and marked at 2.5” and 5” to make it easier.
  2. Place 3 triangles on the bottom and two on top with a piece of cardboard in between.
  3. Then, place a second piece of cardboard on top and see how much weight they can bear.
  4. What if you made the structure with different amounts of triangles? What about a tower with five on the bottom, and levels with four, three, and two triangles above?
  5. What if you tried other shapes? Would they work as well?
  6. What other materials and weights do you want to try? Tip: Plastic cups and trays can support a good amount of weight.

If you give this activity a try, we would love to hear about it! Tag us  @joneslibkids or email kids@joneslibrary.org

At Home Activity Support Structures Triangles
At Home Activity Support Structures

Art Prompt: Salt Painting

As part of our ongoing virtual programs, we are offering ART PROMPTS to get you and the kids in your life inspired to create! This weeks project focuses more on process than product, and is called SALT PAINTING! If you give this activity a try, we would love to hear about it! Tag us @joneslibkids or email kids@joneslibrary.org

SUPPLIES NEEDED:

  • White glue in a squeeze bottle
  • A few pieces of cardboard or heavy paper (I found that cardboard worked best for this)
  • Salt in a bowl
  • Pipettes (or small paintbrushes)
  • Liquid watercolors or food coloring

HOW TO:

  • Mix the liquid watercolors or food coloring with some water and put the various colors in some small containers.
  • Set the glue, cardboard, salt, pipettes, and watercolor on the table for your child to easily access. You may want to cover your table with newspaper.
  • Have your child gently squeeze white glue over the cardboard in any design they choose.
  • Sprinkle salt over the glue until the glue is covered.
  • Tap the extra salt off so it can be used again.
  • Using the pipette, carefully drip the watercolors onto the glue. If you don't have a pipette, you can use a small paintbrush.
  • Allow plenty of time for these to dry.
  • Have fun!

If you give this activity a try, we would love to hear about it! Tag us  @joneslibkids or email kids@joneslibrary.org

Salt Painting Supplies
Salt Painting Art Prompt
Salt Painting Finished Design

At Home Activity Balloon Rocket supplies
Balloon Rocket

At Home Activity: Balloon Rocket

For this week's At Home Activity we are making a BALLOON ROCKET!

This week’s activity is very simple to set up but it is a favorite in our household. For a balloon rocket you will need:

  • Balloon
  • String
  • Tape
  • Straw
  • A binder clip
  • Scissors
  • Two chairs or something to tie the string to
  • Needle (optional)
  • An adult to help you
  1. Thread the string through the straw. You can ask an adult to thread a needle which will make it easier.
  2. Tie the string around the chairs. Make sure you pull them apart so the string is stretched.
  3. Blow up a balloon and clip it so the air does not escape.
  4. Tape it to the straw.
  5. Open the clip quickly and see the rocket zoom across the string!
  6. Bonus: ask your adult about force, thrust, pressure, and Newton’s Third Law of Motion.

If you give this activity a try, we would love to hear about it! Tag us  @joneslibkids or email kids@joneslibrary.org


Art Prompt: City Planner

As part of our ongoing virtual programs, we are offering ART PROMPTS to get you and the kids in your life inspired to create! This week is the CITY PLANNER project.

SUPPLIES NEEDED:

  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Large sheet of white paper
  • Tape
  • Hole punch (optional)

HOW TO:

Cut your construction paper into squares, rectangles, and triangles of various sizes and colors. These can be used for buildings, homes, doors, windows, roads, roofs, whatever your kids can think of. You can use a hole punch to make a few small circles for door knobs. We used a few long skinny rectangles in black for the roads. Place your cut out pieces in a divided tray, such as a child's food tray, if you have one. Place a glue stick, a pair of scissors, and the hole punch nearby. This will make the materials easy to access. Tape a large sheet of paper down and invite your children to create a city using the materials provided. Brainstorm with them about what buildings their city may have: a library, a zoo, a market, etc. Have fun!

If you give this activity a try, we would love to hear about it! Tag us  @joneslibkids or email kids@joneslibrary.org

Art Prompt 2 Supplies
Art prompt 2 City Close Up

At Home Activity Glider Supplies
At Home Activity Glider Wings
At Home Activity Completed Glider

Cardboard Gliders 

For this week's At Home Activity, we are making cardboard gliders!

You will need:

  • A box (cereal, pasta or mac and cheese work great)
  • Scissors
  • A ruler
  • Tape
  • Straw or dowel
  • A counterweight (like coins or play-doh)
  • And an adult to help you!
  1. Cut wings out of your cardboard. We provide the measurements we used in the picture below. You can experiment with different sizes and even shapes! See if folding or not folding the ends up makes a difference.
  2. Cut a small piece of cardboard for the tail of the glider. (Fold up the tail of the glider if you folded up the wings.)
  3. Tape the pieces to your straw or dowel.
  4. Add counterweight to the front of the glider. We used coins but they kept detaching. Play-doh might work better. See what changes when you try different counterweights!
  5. Try to catch the breeze to see if they glide! Tip: Do not throw as hard as you can, but rather experiment with different power and techniques.
  6. We made a second glider out of corrugated cardboard. What difference do you think that makes?

If you give this activity a try, we would love to hear about it! Tag us @joneslibkids or email kids@joneslibrary.org


Art Prompt: Monoprints

As part of our ongoing virtual programs, we are offering ART PROMPTS to get you and your kids inspired to create! This week's project is MONOPRINTS. This is a simple type of printing children can do at home, most likely with materials you already have on hand!

SUPPLIES NEEDED:

  • Cookie sheet or plastic cutting board
  • Brayer, paint roller, or wide paintbrush
  • Washable poster paint
  • Paper (computer paper works well for this)
  • Q-tips (optional)

Note: Printmaking can be messy, so you may want to cover your workspace. I placed newspapers on the floor to lay out the prints to dry.

HOW TO:

  1. Place a cookie sheet, brayer or large paintbrush, cotton swabs, paints, and a stack of paper on the table.
  2. Invite the child to put a small amount of paint onto the cookie sheet. Have them spread the paint around with the brayer or large brush. Your child may choose to draw designs in the paint with the Q-tips.
  3. Have the child place a sheet of paper on the paint, press the paper down with the palm of their hands, and peel the paper back.
  4. Place the print on a cleared space and keep going!

If you give this activity a try, we would love to hear about it! Tag us  @joneslibkids or email kids@joneslibrary.org

Art Prompt Printing_Finished Designs
Art Prompt Printing_rolling paint
Art Prompt Printing_Press

Desk Caddy

As we settle into September, we are excited to bring our At Home Activity series back! With school on our minds, we are starting things off with a creation we hope will help with all the upcoming transitions: a desk caddy! 

To create a desk caddy, Marcin suggests:

  • A shoebox
  • Cardboard tubes
  • Some scrap cardboard pieces
  • Glue or tape
  • Scissors
  • Construction paper or wrapping paper
  • Something to decorate with; crayons, markers, paint, stickers, stamps
  • And an adult to help you!


  1. Cut out a part of the front of your shoebox, for easy access.
  2. Use construction paper or wrapping paper to cover the inside of your caddy for some decoration. Use (or make!) patters and colors you love!
  3. Measure and cut a piece or two of cardboard to use as dividers in your caddy. Tip: Cut a little extra to bend and glue it to your shoebox, like a tab. If you use the same colors, they will blend in!
  4. Add your dividers to your caddy.
  5. Decorate your cardboard tubes. We used tape to cover them. You can also glue construction paper around them.
  6. You can decorate the outside of your caddy as well, but we liked the black color of our box.
  7. Keep your school supplies and art materials organized and easily accessible!
  8. If you give this activity a try, we would love to hear about it! Tag us  @joneslibkidsor email kids@joneslibrary.org
At Home Activity Art Organizer
At Home Desk Caddy
At Home Desk Caddy Divider
At Home Activity Desk Caddy Tubes

Art Challenge: Draw an Owl

Each week during the Summer Reading Program we post an Art Challenge. As part of our virtual program this year, activities earn participants a bonus badge! Each badge is an entry into our Summer Reading grand prize raffle. This week's challenge is to Draw an Owl.
Begin by gathering a heavy sheet of paper, and either a Sharpie or black crayon, as well as paint, pastels, or crayons, scissors, and a glue stick
Step 1: Using the Sharpie or black crayon, draw two large circles for the eyes. 

Step 2: Draw a diamond or V shape between the eyes for a beak. 

Step 3: Make a mask around the eyes and beak. 

Step 4: Add ears at the top of the head. 

Step 5: Make a U for the body. 

Step 6: Add wings and feet. 

Step 7: Add details. 

Step 8: Paint or color in the owl. 

Step 9: Cut the owl out.

 Step 10: Glue the owl to a sheet of black construction paper and add stars to the background. These instructions are just a guideline. Use these steps as a jumping off point and see what your children create! 

If your child draws an owl we would love to see it! Tag us @joneslibkids or email kids@joneslibrary.org.

Art Challenge 6 Owl with Stars
Art Challenge 6 Rainbow Owl
Art Challenge 6 Owl

Flying Creatures!

Create a fantastical flying creature with a few items from around your house or yard.

Gather these materials:

  • Stick
  • Thread
  • Drawing of your creature
  • Scissors

Draw and decorate your creatures. You might want to make a dragon, or a fairy, or a tricorn. Remember you are going to cut them out, so make sure not to make the edges too detailed.

Cut your creatures out and attach them to ~3 feet of string. Attach the other end of the string to a stick.

We had so much fun running around and taking pictures and videos of our flying creatures.

Magical creature books to explore:

Phoebe and Her Unicorn By Dana Simpson

The Unicorn Rescue Society By Adam Gidwitz"

After The Fall By Dan Santat

After The Fall By Dan Santat

Unicorns By Lucille Recht Penner

Herb, The Vegetarian Dragon By Jules Bass

Spot-A-Thon Fairy Tales, By Kasia Dudziuk

At Home Activity 6 Fairy on String
At Home Activity 6 Dragon on String

Art Challenge: Body Tracing

Each week during the Summer Reading Program we will post a weekly Art Challenge. You can earn a badge for each Art Challenge completed. This week's challenge is Body Tracing. Start by cutting a length of paper long enough to fit your child's whole body, or from the torso up. You can use butcher paper, the inside of a brown paper grocery bag, or tape smaller sheets together to make one large sheet. Then tape the piece of paper to the floor. Next have your child lie down on the paper and strike a pose of their choice. Then trace their body. Next have your child draw, paint, or collage the portrait as they like. You can set out a variety of materials like yarn, buttons, glue, paint, markers, etc. Once the portrait is dry, you can cut it out and hang it up! If your child creates a Body Tracing we would love to see it! Tag us @joneslibkids or email kids@joneslibrary.org.

Art Challenge Body Tracing
Art Challenge Body Tracing Paint
Art Challenge finished body tracing portrait

Flying Dragon Takeoff
Flying Dragon

Make a Flying Dragon

  1. Gather Materials. Paper tubes, glue or tape, scissors, markers, paper, wings (we used coffee filters), and two equal length ribbons
  2. Decorate your paper tube Cut a head and tail out of paper. Add details and then glue or tape onto the paper tube. Add wings made from paper or coffee filters. Have fun adding details like horns, spikes or legs!
  3. Get ready to fly  Thread the ribbons through the tube.
  4. Practice flying your dragon rocket Take hold of the strings on one side while your partner takes the strings on the other side. Shoot the dragon back and forth by pulling the strings apart while your partner puts them together.

Check out some ebooks about dragons for inspiration:

The Dream Dragon, Written by Kathryn England and Illustrated by Valeria Issa

Wings of Fire: The Dragonet Prophecy, Written by Tui T. Sutherland

Dragons Beware! The Chronicles of Claudette, Written by Jorge Aguirre and Illustrated by Rafael Rosado

Dragon Gets By, Written and Illustrated by Dav Pilkey

My Father’s Dragon, Written by Ruth Stiles Gannett and Illustrated by Ruth Chrisman Gannet

Zoey and Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows, Written by Asia Citro and Illustrated by Marion Lindsay

The Tea Dragon Society, Written and Illustrated by Katie O’Neill

Red Is a Dragon, Written by Roseanne Thong and Illustrated by Grace Lin


Art Challenge 4 sand sculpture

Art Challenge: Art Out In the Community

Each week during the Summer Reading Program we will post a weekly Art Challenge. You can earn a badge for each Art Challenge completed. This week’s challenge is called  Art Out in the Community. The intention is to create a piece of artwork outside using only natural materials that will be left out in the community. Begin by checking out books, or looking at photos of work by the artist Andy Goldsworthy for inspiration. Then take a walk, and have your kids collect leaves, sticks, rocks, sand, feathers, pine cones, etc, whatever catches their eye. They may collect a variety of materials, or stick to just one type. Then ask them to arrange the materials however they want. They can choose to make something 2 or 3 dimensional. You can encourage them to explore line, symmetry, color, or balance in their piece. Have them add details if they like, and then take photographs. Let them know the work is temporary, but will be left as a gift to the community If your child creates a Surprise Creation we would love to see it! Tag us @joneslibkids or email kids@joneslibrary.org.



Create a Magic Shop


Make a wand Make a wand with a twisty stick or a tightly rolled piece of decorated paper.

Stir up a potion Create a potion using several jars filled with magical ingredients like worm juice, dragon fire and healing berries. If those are too hard to find, just use food coloring and water.

Write a secret scroll Craft a spell or a secret message onto a piece of paper, roll tightly and tie with ribbon.

Set up shop Take turns selling your magical wares and using the items to cast spells, locate treasures and conjure dragons.

Check out some magical ebooks for inspiration:

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

Mighty Meg and the Magical Ring by Sammy Griffin

A Very Brave Witch by Alison McGhee

Door by Lee Ji-Hyeon

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett

The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner

At Home Activity 4 scrolls
At Home Activity 4 Potions

Art Challenge 3 Surprise Supplies
Art Challeng 3 Sculpture People

Art Challenge: Surprise Creation

Each week during the Summer Reading Program we will post a weekly Art Challenge. You can earn a badge for each Art Challenge completed. This week’s challenge is called Surprise Creation. Caregivers, collect a variety of materials from your house and/or outdoors and put them inside a bag. Have your child dump out the contents and tell them that their challenge is to use the materials in any way they can think of to make one or more creations. Have glue, tape, scissors, markers etc. on hand to attach or decorate the materials. Give them time and see what they come up with! If your child creates a Surprise Creation we would love to see it! Tag us @joneslibkids or email kids@joneslibrary.org.


Parachute Adventure

This week, my two pipe cleaner friends from another craft, Carole and Vlad, asked to go on a flying adventure. However, they did not like the idea of a jetpack. They said it was too scary. So, we created a parachute for them to gently float on the breeze.

You will need:

  • A Plastic Bag
  • Scissors
  • String
  • A paper, plastic, or styrofoam cup
  • Hole punch (optional)
  • Small toys, bouncy balls, marbles, or coins
  • Stopwatch (optiona)
  1. Cut your plastic bag into a square
  2. Cut four pieces of string. Try to make them the same length. Making them similar length to the side of your plastic bag might help with balance.
  3. Use a hole punch to punch 4 holes in your cup. You can also use your scissors but be very careful (or ask someone older to help.) The holes should be equal distance from each other.
  4. Tie an end of each string through a hole in the cup.
  5. Tie the other end of the string to each corner of the bag but do not crisscross.
  6. Put toys in the cup. What kind of adventure are they experiencing?
  7. Drop your parachute from a high place, preferably outside so the breeze might make it easier for the parachute to float down gently. If you want, you can use a stopwatch to time the descent.
  8. You can follow the link below to see Vlad and Carole’s adventure. It was short but they said it was extremely thrilling and would not have wanted it longer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHR5O-7X0yo


At Home 3 bag cutting
At Home 3 Parachute

Art Challenge: Fantastical Animals

Each week during the Summer Reading Program we will post a weekly Art Challenge. You can earn a badge for each Art Challenge completed. This week’s challenge is to draw a Fantastical Animal of your own invention. If you like, you can name your animal and add a description to tell us all about it. If you draw a Fantastical Animal we would love to see it! Tag us @joneslibkids or email kids@joneslibrary.org.

Art Week 2 finished creature

Art Challenge: Fairy Houses

Each week during the Summer Reading Program we will post a weekly Art Challenge. You can earn a badge for each Art Challenge completed. This week's challenge is to make a Fairy House using materials from nature such as rocks, leaves, flowers, acorns, etc. If you make a Fairy House we would love to see it! Tag us @joneslibkids or email kids@joneslibrary.org.
Fairy House 1
Fairy House 2

Wind power vehicles
Elsa and Tractor
Paper Sail detail

Going on a (Green) Journey

In this activity, we will create wind-powered vehicles for the heroes in our stories going on a journey. In our example, Elsa had a hard time with food deliveries so she jumped in a tractor to ride down to get her own food (tractor tires proved extremely effective in the snow and ice).
 
  1. Select a vehicle for your hero: Lego cars or boats, matchbox cars, any toys with wheels or anything that floats!
  2. Create a sail out of paper. Think about the size of your vehicle and cut a sail to size. A giant sail might seem great, but it might not work on a small vehicle. Experiment!
  3. You can decorate your designs and also use different shapes, colors, or materials like pipe cleaners and feathers.
  4. Attach a straw or dowel (we used bamboo straws to minimize environmental impact) to the vehicle. Then, punch a hole to the sail and slide it onto the mast. Depending on whether you used one or two masts, the placement on the sail will differ.
  5. Use a fan, hair dryer, or your breath to send your heroes on their journey!

Check out some great ebooks about going on adventurous journeys for inspiration:
Are We There Yet by Nina Laden
Nimesh the Adventurer by Ranjit Singh
Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee
Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Slit Books

Slit Books are great because all you need is a single sheet of paper and a pair of scissors! You can make your book out of good quality paper, such as watercolor paper, or simply use printer paper.
 
  1. Take a sheet of paper and fold it in half the long way. Take care to line up the edges as closely as possible.
  2. Open up the paper and fold it in half the other way, so that now you have four squares on your page.
  3. Fold the short ends into the middle crease and then open them out flat. Your page has now been divided into eight equal size sections.
  4. Fold the sheet in half width-ways, and carefully cut a slit from the crease to where the four folds meet in the middle.
  5. Open the page out flat.
  6. Refold the page in half lengthways. With the slit at the top, hold the left and right ends firmly. Move your hands toward each other until the slit pops open.
  7. Keep going until you’ve created an X shape.
  8. Gently ease the pages around to form a book shape.
You’re all done! Write or draw in your books as you like.

Step 1

Slit Book step 1 fold the paper in half

Step 2

Slit book step 2 fold the paper in half in the other direction

Step 3

slit book step 3 fold the paper to make 8 equal size sections

Step 4

slit book step 4 cut a slit in the middle of the folded paper

Step 5

Slit book step 5 move your hands toward each other until the slit pops open

Step 6

Slit book step 6 create an x shape

Step 7

Slit book step 7 gentle ease the pages around to form a book shape

Step 8

slit book step 8 You have an 8-page book

Dream Bike Challenge

Your bike could be magic, it could defy the laws of physics, have the most high tech accessories, or be your favorite color! Draw the awesome features of your dream bike using the medium of your choosing..... Or write about it! This could be a few sentences, a poem, a list of all the things you could hope for in a bike, or even a story about where your magic bike could take you! We love this example of a neon green bike with a speed booster and a crate attached for snacks and books! If you need a little help drawing a bike (they are tricky!), check out this how-to. Or if you would rather just color one in, click the "Print It!" button below for a coloring sheet!

Print It!

Flower Pounding



An easy way to create a botanical print on fabric or paper!

You will need:

  • Light color fabric or heavy weight paper, such as watercolor paper
  • Fresh flowers
  • A hammer
  • A cutting board, or hard surface to pound on
  • Paper towels or masking tape
How to do Flower Pounding:

  1. Find some colorful plants. Various flowers and leaves will work. You will have to experiment to see which ones work best!
  2. Lay your fabric or paper on your cutting board or a hard surface you don't mind hitting with the hammer.
  3. Lay the plants down on your fabric or paper and cover them with a paper towel. Alternatively, you could tape the flowers down with masking tape. If you use tape, it is best to cover the entire flower with the tape.
  4. Gently tap the flowers with your hammer to release their color.
  5. Lift the paper towel (or remove the masking tape) and peel off the smooshed flowers from your work.
  6. Allow your piece to dry.
  7. The print will eventually fade or change a bit, and we would not recommend washing the fabric.
That's it! You can turn your fabric into a tea towel, bag, sachet, or whatever you can think of! Prints made on paper can become bookmarks, cards, or framed pieces!

Bio-Poem: For Poetry Month or Any Month



During this time of intense isolation, children need the opportunity to express themselves and connect with others. Print out this Bio-Poem template (PDF) for your child and help them fill it out if needed. Writing this poem may give them the opportunity to express themselves, as well as practice their spelling and writing skills. If your child is inclined, they can decorate their Bio-Poem and mail it to a friend (and include a blank one for the recipient to fill out themselves)! We could all use a little more connection right now.
Print It!

Illustrate a New Picture Book



Local author Corinne Demas writes:
"Remember Me? is a brand-new picture book that hasn’t been illustrated or published yet. I wanted to share it with you right now (PDF), because it’s the story of kids who are living through this hard time, just like us."

Learn more about this activity on Corinne's website.
Print It!

Blackout Poems



Pull a page from an old book, magazine, or newspaper. Skim the page and notice the words or phrases that catch your attention. Lightly circle the words or phrases that you're considering. Cross out any words you decide not to use. Then, boldly circle all the words or phrases you will use in your poem. Now, using paint, a sharpie, pencil, or whatever you choose, cover all the words that are NOT part of your poem. You can add illustrations or designs if you like! You may want to write out your final poem to display next to your Blackout Poem. This is a really fun way to write creative poetry, even if you are not generally a fan of writing!

Poetry Seeds



This activity works well for all ages, including young kids. They can choose words at random, and you can create a poem together! Type or write out a page of words — things you like, random words, a mix of verbs and nouns, etc. Then, cut out the words and divide them up between a few envelopes (or containers of any kind). Feel free to decorate the container (you’ll be able to use them over and over)! When you are ready to create a poem, choose one of the “poetry seed” packets and see what "seeds" are inside. Arrange the words in different combinations and see what stands out to you. You can add in written words of your own, or try and use only words from your envelope. Once you have your words in place, glue or tape them down. Decorate or illustrate your poem with paint, crayons, or any other art supplies you may have around!