Kids, now more than ever, are
learning newer and better ways to interact in a digital age now that it is
mixed with safer-at-home orders. How
will you keep up with them so you don’t lose that connection that many of you
have worked hard to create over the years?
Keep up with them! Learn how with
these 16 top ways you can connect with your youth, even in such
1) Digital Escape Rooms
While we can’t meet in person at the moment, there are endless possibilities to get together virtually, from virtual Smash Bros. Tournament with Nintendo Switch to chess matches, poetry to duct tape crafts, knitting to digital meditation, even cupcake experiments to body percussion classes, you are bound to find something that suits your interests in our various virtual programs.
3) Find a Project That You Can Do Together via Zoom
4) Participate in First Chapter Fridays
Here is what one library is doing during this time to get teens involved in reading via Zoom.
Checkout previous first chapters that have been used and sign up to have a first chapter sent to your inbox every month.
Here are resources (cost) that you can purchase or replicate to create doodle pages for kids to doodle while they listen to the chapter.
5) Read-A-Loud Books for Older Kids
A great list of 30 read-a-loud books for tweens and teens. You could read a chapter a week over the course of the summer to keep kids coming back for more!
6) Play I
Spy! In Community Windows
7) Compete in a Virtual Poetry Slam
Looking for fun activities to explore the art of poetry and use it to support language learning? Try these simple and fun activities.
Wanting to combine a virtual slam while helping out the community? See how this one community came together to raise money for healthcare workers.
8) Create Stop Motion Animation Movies
Have you ever made a short film of your own? Don’t think you have the skills to teach it to teens? This article offers a great basic overview of what stop motion animation is, the benefits of it, and many options to help kids create their own movie in no time!
9) Host a Virtual Book Tournament
Host your very own Virtual Book Tournament using tips listed here. Erin walks you through how to decide on the book choices, how to set up the brackets, and how to make voting easy. Try a twist by hosting your tournament using a specific theme.
10) Offer “So You Want to Be An Adult” Courses
Meaningful life skills programming for teens is not a new concept, by any means. A few great libraries have also adopted the idea of teaching teens things that don’t quite make the school curriculum. Changing a tire, applying for a job, even cooking a healthy meal, are all topics that can be daunting for a young person who has never had the opportunity to try them out.
11) Provide a Photography Course
Stuck at home? Need something fun and creative to do with the kids? Try one of these photo project ideas for kids and teens who love taking pictures! Photography is a terrific outlet to lessen anxiety, process difficult emotions, and find a bit of joy each and every day.
12) Host a Game Night….Casino Royale, Anyone?
13) Make a Book Trailer
Do you want to tie reading with technology? Need a fun way to engage teens this summer when you can’t meet together? Have teens make their own book trailer based on their favorite book! This will not only get your teens involved but will open the door for so many discussions like the author’s purpose, story elements, what makes a great cliff hanger, etc.
14) Host a Virtual Teen Art Show
15) Career Day @ Your Library – Virtually
Invite local guest speakers, either all on one day or weekly, to talk about what they do, how much education they had to get, what kind of wage range that job typically has, and why they love doing what they do. A few speaking careers could be fireman, police officer, nurse, doctor, mayor, small business owner, hair dresser, etc.
16) Interact With Teens Via Social Media
How do you get (or keep) teens involved in programming right now? This article offers several ideas to try during this challenging time. With social media and the internet more widespread than ever, now is the perfect time to try virtual programming such as joining in the Flip the Switch challenge. What is that? Do your research into what teens are finding fun!
Great Teen Programming Ideas for When Libraries are Operational Again: