Inspired by our Book of the Summer, Skunk and Badger, we’ve created some special edition backpacks: Book of the Summer Kits! This is our DIY Seek-and-Find Photography Kit. Inside, you’ll find the tools to create your own image inspired by the art in books like I Spy and Find Momo. 



Here’s a few I made around the Library. Can you find Skunk, Badger, and Chicken?


Try creating your own scene and hiding the skunk, badger, and chicken figurines. Send your photo to and we’ll share it here on the Blog!

Find activity ideas, discussion questions, and booklists on our webpage all about Skunk and Badger. You can also earn the Book of the Summer badge in our Summer Reading program!

Youth Services Librarian Allison 

Bring home a fun new project! Sign up from our Library Calendar and pick up a kit at the Youth Services desk or through our Parking Lot Pickup service between June 14-25.


Toddler & PreK: Paper Bag Kites

Decorate a paper bag and watch it soar as a kite. Register for the June Toddler & PreK Take-and-Make Kit here.


1. Decorate your paper bag with crayons and washi tape.

2. Glue 6 streamers to the bottom of your paper bag. You will need to overlap them to fit all 6 on.

3. Tie a piece of twine to the middle of one of the popsicle sticks.

4. Open the paper bag. Put the popsicle stick with the twine on it inside the bag and thread the string through the hole at the bottom of the bag. Your bag has two holes punched in it, but you only need to thread the string through the hole at the bottom of the bag.

5. The string will be your kite string and the popsicle stick will keep it in place in the bag.

6. Fly your kite by holding on to the string and running. If the string is too long for your child, wrap it around their hand. Enjoy flying your kite!


Show us what you created! Send us pictures at



Grades K-2: Make Your Own Kinetic Sand

Mix together the ingredients to make moldable sand that won’t stick to your hands. Register for the June Grades K-2 Take-and-Make Kit here.



Show us what you created! Send us pictures at



Grades 3-8: No-Sew Pillows

Spruce up your space with a DIY pillow — no sewing skills required. Register for the June Grades 3-8 Take-and-Make Kit here.

 Your kit contains:

  • two squares of fleecy fabric
  • one bag of stuffing
  • one ring-shaped paper stencil
  • one piece of chalk
  • one roll of tape (optional)

You will also need one pair of very sharp scissors.


1. Lay out one square of fabric on a table or desk. Place the paper stencil on top of the fabric. Optionally, use the tape to hold the stencil in place.

2. Using the chalk, trace both the outside circle and the inside circle on the fabric. It's okay if your work isn't super neat. 

3. Set the first square aside.

4. Lay out the second square of fabric, put the stencil on top, and trace the same two circles (outside and inside edges) on the fabric.

5. Using your sharp scissors, cut along just the outside (larger) chalk line on both of the fabric pieces. Leave the inside (smaller) chalk circle alone for now.

6. Layer the two fabric circles on top of each other, as exact as you can.

7. Cut slits from the outer edge of the fabric circle to the inside chalk line. Cut through both layers of fabric at once. You're making fringe strips, about 1/2-1 inch wide. Keep your scissors pointing towards the middle of the circle as you cut slits all the way around.

8. Don't separate the two layers! 

9. Take the top and bottom layers of one set of fringe, and tie a double knot, connecting the front and back of the pillow.

10. Continue to tie knots around the circular pillow.

11. Leave a few inches untied, enough space you can put your hand in the pillow.

12. Stuff the pillow with stuffing, as much or as little as you'd like.

13. Finish tying the fringe strips all the way around the pillow.

14. Trim any fringe if it looks too long or uneven.

Show us what you created! Send us pictures at


As the school year comes to an end, don’t let your child’s reading achievements end too!

Help your child advance their reading level this summer.

Come check out our newly designed layout for our Fountas & Pinnell leveled reader books. 

These books have been selected, analyzed and precisely leveled by Fountas and Pinnell.

You can find them shelved behind the Youth Services reference desk; if you're having a hard time locating them, just ask one of our friendly staff members, we will be happy to help!


You may now browse through our collection and explore all of our leveled reader books in a much more convenient fashion. To determine what Fountas & Pinnell reading level a particular book is, check the upper left-hand corner of the book. 




You may also check out our selection online here and place a hold on your desired selection.

If you want to support your child's reading, stir up their imagination, expand their knowledge and challenge them as young readers, we've got something for you! 




  Youth Services Assistant Librarian Venessa 


We’re excited to share our pick for a terrific summer read, for independent readers and family read-alouds: Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake, illustrated by Jon Klassen. You can pick up one of our many copies at the Barrington Area Library, or order a copy to be delivered to one of our four sets of lockers around the Library district. We’ve also got plenty of e-book and e-audio copies on Libby!


Find activity ideas, discussion questions, and booklists on our webpage all about Skunk and Badger. You can also earn the Book of the Summer badge in our Summer Reading program!

Youth Services Librarian Allison 

Photo by Alex Kondratiev on Unsplash


Toddlers and preschoolers love to explore the world. Here are 4 simple science experiments you can do together that will ignite your toddler or preschooler's curiosity.


Sink or Float


  • Container to hold water. A large bowl or plastic bin works nicely.
  • Toys and other household objects such as balls, cups, coins, sponges, and silverware.
  • Pencil and paper.

Start by filling your container with water. Show your child an example of an item that floats, and an item that sinks. Before your child drops an item into the container, ask them if they think the item will sink or float. Record your prediction on your piece of paper, and see if they were right.


Boat Engineering


  • Container to hold water.
  • Tin foil or other household recyclables such as straws, egg cartons, and cardboard.
  • Weights such as coins, washers, Legos, or small wooden blocks.
  • Tape (optional)


Create a boat out of tinfoil or other household items such as straws, egg cartons, or cardboard. If you need inspiration, look at pictures of boats together. A tin foil boat will be the quickest way to make a boat.

Fill your container with water. Place your boat in the container. Add weight to your boat using items such as coins, washers, small blocks, or Legos. See how much weight your boat can hold before it sinks! Once your boat sinks, see if you and your child can build another boat that will hold more weight.


Baking Soda and Vinegar Chemical Reactions


  • Baking soda.
  • Vinegar.
  • Food coloring.
  • Cups.
  • Pan with sides, such as a casserole dish or disposable aluminum pan.
  • Eyedropper or spoon.


There are many ways you can explore with baking soda and vinegar, but this is one of my favorites.

Start by pouring a thin layer of baking soda in your pan. You will want a deep pan with sides to contain the fizz from the baking soda and vinegar.

Pour a small amount of vinegar into your cups. The amount does not need to be precise, but 1/4 cup in each cup should be enough. Add one color of food coloring to each cup of vinegar. Mix to combine.

Fill an eyedropper or spoon with the colored vinegar, and drip it into the pan. Watch the color appear on the baking soda, and it fizz as the baking soda and vinegar combine. Enjoy the fizzing, and see what colors you can make!


Color Mixing with Magic Milk


  • 2% or Whole Milk.
  • Bowl.
  • Dish soap.
  • Cotton swab.
  • Small cup.
  • Food coloring.


Pour some milk into a bowl. The milk should be either 2% or Whole Milk. Add several drops of food coloring to the milk. 

Pour a small amount of dish soap into a small cup. Dip your cotton swab into the cup of dish soap. Touch the cotton swab with the dish soap on it to the milk. Once the dish soap touches the milk, you should see the colors spread out from each other. You can dip the cotton swab in the dish soap again and touch it to a different spot on the milk.


Looking for more experiments to do with your toddler or preschooler? Here are some websites with more ideas.



  Youth Services Librarian Ann 


Even though Mental Health Awareness Month is almost over, here at the Barrington Area Library, we think it's cool to take care of our mental health all year round! Here are some of our favorite titles that focus on mindfulness, emotions, and mental health.


Looking for more recommendations? Fill out our form to get a custom list of reads or a Book Bundle for pickup.



    Youth Services Assistant Librarian Stefanie 

We have a ton of different materials for our littlest customers, including our expanding Early Learning Backpack collection. We have several new Early Learning Backpacks. 


 Dance Dance Dance

This fun kit is designed to get children dancing, wiggling, and shaking with activities and songs. Dancing is an important component of building early literacy skills to get littles ready for Kindergarten. 

 Duck Duck Dance! The Move and Groove Game!

Get up and move with this fun interactive game. This game promotes gross motor, learn sequencing, turn taking, and vocabulary skills. 

The Dance Remixes by Laurie Berkner with dance ribbons and scarves


Dance away with Laurie Berkner's CD The Dance Remixes. Scarves and dance ribbons are provided for extra fun. Dancing is a great way to exercise gross motor activity, while singing is great for practicing phonological awareness.




Settle down and read some books about all kinds of dancing. 

Boys Dance! (American Ballet Theatre) by John Robert Allman; illustrated by Luciano Lozano 

Hip-Hop Lollipop by Susan Montanari; illustrated by Brian Pinkney 

How Do You Dance? by Thyra Heder 


Dance Dance Dance will help keep your child engaged, learning, and moving. Check out all of Early Learning Kits available at the library. 

  Youth Services Assistant Librarian MaryJo 


Here are 8 books for kids featuring conservation of threatened or endangered animals. Find out more about Endangered Species Day here. 

Want more reading lists delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for our e-newsletters to discover the newest and best books for kids.

Youth Services Librarian Allison 

Looking for an exciting new read? Look no further! Our staff in Youth Services have picked out their favorite books of the year so far.


Looking for more recommendations? Fill out our form to get a custom list of reads or a Book Bundle for pickup.



    Youth Services Assistant Librarian Stefanie 

Bring home a fun new project! Sign up from our Library Calendar and pick up a kit at the Youth Services desk or through our Parking Lot Pickup service between April 12-23.


Toddler & PreK: Flower Pot Painting

Paint a flower pot, plant some seeds, then watch as they grow! Register for the May Toddler & PreK Take-and-Make Kit here.




Show us what you created! Send us pictures at



Grades K-2: Beaded Wind Chime

String colored beads and then enjoy watching your chime blow in the breeze. Register for the May Grades K-2 Take-and-Make Kit here.

Your Kit Contains:

  • 96 beads 24 colors, 4 of each color
  • 6 colorful jumbo craft sticks
  • 1 Tacky glue stick
  • 4 twenty inch pieces of string
  • 1 plastic container with 5 jewelry clasp


1. Glue the craft sticks into two triangles. Place and glue the two triangles on top of each other to form a star.


2. Tie a string around one of the jewelry clasps.


3. Start and end with a large bead on each string. Start stringing smaller beads in desired pattern, (repeat four times).



4. Thread three strands, one through each hole on the star. Put the fourth strand up through the middle and gather all four strand ends together.  The star will sit on the big beads, adjust the strands until it is hanging evenly.


5. Tie all four strands on the circular jewelry clasp.


6. Hang and enjoy!


Show us what you created! Send us pictures at



Grades 3-8: Sharpie Art Coasters

Use permanent markers and rubbing alcohol to create a blended-ink masterpiece where you can set your drink. Register for the May Grades 3-8 Take-and-Make Kit here.

Your kit contains:

  • 2 ceramic tiles
  • 3 Sharpie pens
  • 1 pipette 
  • 1 strip of black felt 
  • 1 container of rubbing alcohol
  • 1 empty cup

1. Color a coaster with the Sharpies. Don’t stress about getting this perfect—the end result will look very different!

2. Place the coaster in a shallow plastic or foil container, resting on the empty plastic cup.

3. Carefully use the pipette to drip a small amount of rubbing alcohol over the coaster. You can gently tip the coaster so the liquid moves and the colors start to bleed and blend.

4. Let dry completely (about 1-2 hours).

5. Cut the felt into small squares, remove the backing, and stick on the underside of your coaster.


Show us what you created! Send us pictures at


No Jedi mind tricks necessary -- these are the books you’re looking for.

The following titles are available at the Barrington Area Library.

Star Wars: The Prequel Trilogy Stories

Various writers; illustrations by Brian Rood

Your little Star Wars historian can read great stories by Elizabeth Schaefer, Ivan Cohen, Rebecca L. Schmidt, and others, brought to life by long-time franchise illustrator Brian Rood. From a tense podrace to a deadly duel with the villainous Count Dooku, experience the prequel trilogy in this kid-friendly format.


The Clone Wars: Ahsoka in Action!

Written by Jon Richards

Anakin’s padawan, Ahsoka Tano, springs into action against the deadly droids of the Trade Federation. Meet other great Clone Wars-era characters in this Level 1 beginning reader.


Star Wars: Jedi Academy

Written and illustrated by Jeffrey Brown

Star Wars and Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans alike will enjoy this silly retelling of the Star Wars saga… with a twist! Follow Jedi trainee Roan’s wacky misadventures through school -- lightsaber duels, baking soda volcano disasters, and awkward slow dances await.

First in a series.


I Am a Princess

Written by Courtney B. Carbone

Illustrated by Heather Martinez

Fans of Little Golden Books will adore this picture book retelling of the Original Trilogy from the perspective of Leia Organa, Princess of Alderaan. Follow Leia’s journey from the Tantive IV to her adventures aboard the Millennium Falcon.



Are You Scared, Darth Vader?

Written and illustrated by Adam Rex

Witches? Ha! Ghosts? Don’t make me laugh. Darth Vader isn’t scared of anything!



Trapped in the Death Star!

Written by Michael Siglain

Art by Pilot Studio

Oh, no! Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie are trapped in the Galactic Empire’s terrifying superweapon, the Death Star! Can they use their bravery -- and wits -- to escape?

Level 2.


The Mighty Chewbacca in the Forest of Fear!

Written by Tom Angleberger

Illustrated by Andie Tong

What started as a simple cat-sitting job has turned into a real headache for everyone’s favorite fuzzball! Join Chewbacca as he fights off strange monsters, uncovers hidden treasure, and rescues his best pal Han Solo.


Guardians of the Whills

By Greg Rucka

When the Empire destroys the Jedi Temple on Jedha, best friends Baze and Chirrut must band together to save their people. This book for upper elementary readers serves as a prequel to Star Wars: Rogue One.



The Galaxy Needs You

Written by Caitlin Kennedy

Illustrated by Eda Kaban

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from -- you have it in you to be a hero! Follow Rey as she gears up to save the galaxy from the First Order in this companion to the Sequel Trilogy.



BB-8 on the Run

Written by Drew Daywalt

Illustrated by Matt Myers

Poor BB-8! He’s been separated from his best buddy, hotshot pilot Poe, and now he’s stuck on Jakku! Will our little droid find his way home?


Adventures in Wild Space, Book 1: The Snare

By Cavan Scott

First in a series. After Milo and Lina’s parents are abducted by the Empire, the kids set out on an epic adventure to rescue them. Explore the farthest edges of the galaxy in this amazing series!

Tip: Want personalized reading suggestions? Fill out this form and you’ll receive a customized list direct to your inbox!

  Youth Services Librarian Chris 


Want to make a tasty snack? Looking to hone your cooking skills? Trying to earn a Michelin star for your world-famous kitchen? Grab one of these cookbooks off the shelf and find some inspiration.

The following cookbooks, and others, are available at the Barrington Area Library.



MasterChef Junior Cookbook: Bold Recipes and Essential Techniques to Inspire Young Cooks

Inspired by the hit cooking competition, the MasterChef Junior Cookbook features exciting, ambitious -- but approachable recipes. This cookbook doesn’t just inspire, it teaches: kids will gain essential skills for everyday use, as well as become more confident and comfortable as they move from dish to dish. Covers a wide variety of dishes, from salads to marshmallow cupcakes.



The Cookbook for Kids: Great Recipes for Kids Who Love to Cook

Lisa Atwood

Featuring over 60 kid-friendly recipes, The Cookbook for Kids certainly lives up to its name. Young chefs can prepare their own lunches, serve themselves a delicious breakfast, craft some snacks for a lazy afternoon, or (of course) whip up a tasty dessert. Recipes are arranged in an approachable format and include tips and tricks to help the cook develop good habits.



The Vegetarian Cookbook

Easy and inviting for vegetarians and omnivores alike, The Vegetarian Cookbook introduces kids to delicious plant-based recipes. Learn how to make meatless treats like avocado toast, veggie quesadillas, falafel, sweet potato lasagna… just make sure to finish it off with a delicious key lime pie or beet brownie!



The Multicultural Cookbook for Students

Lois Sinaiko Webb and Lindsay Grace Roten

Kids can broaden their culinary -- and cultural -- boundaries with this wonderful cookbook. Take a trip around the world, discovering recipes from Tunisia, Madagascar, Indonesia, Vietnam, New Zealand, and many, many other countries and cultures. In addition to the recipe(s), kids will learn about the culture and food philosophies of each represented country. Recipes vary in difficulty, from easy to advanced.



The Gross Cookbook: Awesome Recipes for (Deceptively) Disgusting Treats Kids Can Make

Susanna Tee

Sure, these recipes don’t look or sound appetizing, but that’s half the fun! Your family’s mouths will water when you serve them some chewy cockroaches, wasp crackers, and chewy caterpillars. Or, if they’re feeling picky, whip up some deep fried rattlesnake or human brain! These hilarious, nauseating -- and delicious -- dishes will entertain cook and patron alike.


Tip: Want personalized reading suggestions? Fill out this form and you’ll receive a customized list direct to your inbox!

  Youth Services Librarian Chris