Looking for free things to do with the kids while they’re home? Your Bucks County Free Library branch has you covered!
In addition to weekly shows with special performers, your local library is full of resources to entertain your kids — for free — while keeping them engaged.
“Whether you work from home, you’re a stay-at-home caregiver, or you’re just looking for free activities to fill in the gaps between vacations and summer camps, the library is a great place to turn,” said Holly Ambrose, Bucks County Free Library’s director of collection management. “We hope parents and caregivers will think of the library when looking for summer activities that are educational, free and fun!”
According to Ambrose, these items and library resources are a great place to start:
Backyard games: Hold a mini-Olympics with your neighbors or spice up your next barbecue with a backyard game. The library offers backyard toys like paddle ball, a washer toss game and a Bocce ball set.
Kits: Visiting a state park? Camping in your own backyard? Bucks County Free Library offers a tabletop telescope kit that’s great for looking at the moon. Or borrow a bird-watching kit, which comes with binoculars and two guides for identifying local birds.
Board games: Stuck inside on a rainy day? Board games can help kids learn and have fun at the same time, and your library card lets you try before you buy! Popular games for kids include Munchkin Deluxe, Kingdomino, Ex Libris and Codenames: Pictures.
Binge Boxes: A Binge Box gives you multiple DVDs in one convenient box. Plan a movie marathon or take a Binge Box on your next trip to save space in your bag. For kids, we recommend the Binge Boxes with Pixar movies, ‘90s kids movies, Disney warrior princess movies, or Nickelodeon movies.
Yoga videos: One of our favorite ways to use a hoopla borrow: free yoga videos for kids. Rather than paying for a yoga class, pull up a read-along video of a children’s yoga book, such as Unicorn Yoga by Kae Marie Denino, Good Morning Yoga by Andy T. Jones, or Zoo Zen by Rachel L. Jacobs. The free hoopla app can be added to your television through Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku or Amazon Fire TV, or you can download the app to your smartphone or tablet. Hoopla provides up to four borrows per month and is available only to Bucks County residents.
ABCmouse: The same fun children’s app available on library iPads is available at home! With ABCmouse, children ages 2-8 can hone their skills in reading, math, science, social studies, art and music. The app offers over 10,000 activities, including STEM and Spanish-language activities. All you need to set up your ABCmouse account is your Bucks County library card and PIN.
Readalong books: When you’re driving, working, or otherwise unable to enjoy storytime together, readalong books let kids follow along as a physical book is read to them. VOX books are one of the most popular readalongs available at the library. Each VOX book contains a speaker inside the front cover that lets kids start, pause or skip through the narration. They offer a built-in headphone jack and can be charged with a standard micro-USB cord.
Special play areas: All Bucks County Free Library branches offer fun activities for kids, but the Langhorne and Yardley-Makefield branches offer special play areas designed to fully immerse kids in fun and learning. Penn’s Little Village at the Langhorne branch gives toddlers and preschoolers the chance to step into a kid-friendly camper, service station, market, library, firehouse or school. Career Corner at the Yardley-Makefield branch features miniature versions of a diner, a pet salon and a construction site, helping children role play various careers.
Bucks County Free Library’s branches are located in Bensalem, Doylestown, Langhorne, Levittown, Perkasie, Quakertown and Yardley. Learn more at buckslib.org, or browse upcoming library programs at calendar.buckslib.org.