Kids & Parents

Keeping ‘em Happy 2: Winter Break Edition

From time to time, a parent comes up to the Youth Services Desk with a rather sheepish look on their face.

“My kid asked me to get some book...about underwear…?”

“ problem. Captain Underpants?”

The parent, relieved, follows me to the “P” for "Pilkey" section of J Fiction, explaining along the way that they’re trying to get their kid to read something else, but all they want is Captain Underpants.

“I get it,” I reply. “My kids loved it too.” 

What I don’t usually mention is that they loved it to the point where we had a Captain Underpants party. 

boy flinging underwear Captain Underpants-style

Flinging underwear, in their underwear. With blankets for capes.

Not something I ever expected to experience (or encourage).

But staying home with my kids meant finding fun entertainment while on a tight budget.

Sound familiar? 

As we all know only too well, many of the usual parenting hacks to help break up the day are gone for now.  

Here are a few ideas to help fill your days with a little bit of everything - learning, playing, moving, and of course, reading.

I leave the underwear flinging to your discretion.

Desperate times, desperate measures - no judgment here, ever!

Library card

Want to place holds on physical books, movies, videogames and more - PLUS all of our digital resources? 

Even though we are currently open for carryout service only, each Des Plaines resident can obtain a temporary library card, and pick up the physical card from the carryout desk.

Just fill out this online form.

If your kids would each like their own card, then fill out this form.

Once you have your card number, access and create accounts for our online resources from our eBooks & More and our Kids eBooks & More pages.

Keep 'em playing
Keep em learning

Check out a Remote Learning Support Pack - and get tons of free printables from the Scholastic Teachables Database!

Learn more about our Remote Learning Support Packs here, and click here to place holds on these curated bags!

Did you know that you have access to thousands of free educational materials you can print at home?

The Scholastic Teachables database, accessible to DPPL cardholders, has a ton of subjects for the PreK-8 crowd. There's everything from spot-the-difference pages to mini books to math practice sheets to reading passages and games.

If you don’t have a printer, use the database as a source for ideas. For example, there are a ton of ideas for glyphs (just type “glyph” in the search bar). 

Or, look at a math problems on the screen and work them out on paper.

Keep em moving
  • DANCE PARTY! We could all benefit from a little dopamine bump these days. Music and dancing can help with that. There’s a ton of free, fun, kid-friendly music available right now on Hoopla Digital.
  • There’s no better time to try out yoga for kids - or for yourself! 
  • Your kid might already have a few favorite videos on Many teachers use this free resource, full of fun movement songs, to give students regular brain breaks during the day. It’s fun for the whole family!
Keep up reading
  • Check out all of these online storytimes with favorite authors!
  • For younger children, check out Bookflix or Tumblebooks, both accessible from our Kids eBooks & More page.
  • There’s a huge selection of animated books in our Kanopy Kids collection.
  • For older kids, try Tumble Book Cloud Junior, also accessible from Kids eBooks & More.
  • If you haven’t helped your child log on to the Libby app yet, now’s the time. They can access a huge collection of eBooks and eAudiobooks.
  • You can also find eBooks and audiobooks on Hoopla! The entire set of the super popular Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales series is available there. 
  • And remember, listening to reading is just as productive as reading text and can even help with reading skills like fluency and vocabulary!
Keep em curious

Pique and satisfy your kids' curiosity with educational TV on Kanopy.

Try the Curiosity Quest series! 

Read the Guinness world record ebooks (available on Hoopla Digital) and then find out how you can attempt to be a record holder yourself!

Image of activity idea sheet

Want more great ideas from DPPL and beyond?

Open this clickable idea sheet!

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