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 July 12-23.


Toddler & PreK: Tape Resist Art

Use tape to create shapes on your canvas. Paint over it, then remove the tape to reveal your masterpiece. Register for the July Toddler & PreK Take-and-Make Kit here.

Your kit contains:

  • one canvas
  • one paint brush
  • one roll of masking tape
  • three containers of paint


You may also need a cup of water to rinse your brush and paper towels to wipe the brush off between colors.



1. Take all of your items out of the box.

2. Remove the plastic from the canvas.

3. Create a shape, letter, or design of your choice with the masking tape on the canvas.

4. Use your brush to apply paint all over the canvas. Don’t worry about covering the masking tape.

5. Let dry.

6. Remove the masking tape from the dried canvas.

7. Enjoy your beautiful masterpiece!

Extension Questions/Discussion

  • Talk to your child about the different shapes they can make with the tape. How many sides should the shape have? How many different shapes can you make?
  • Ask your child if they can make the first letter of their name with the tape.
  • Talk to your child about the different colors of paint. What are they? Can they be mixed to make new colors?


Show us what you created! Send us pictures at



Grades K-2: DIY Bubble Wand

Create your own bubble wand, then mix up some bubble solution for tons of fun. Register for the July Grades K-2 Take-and-Make Kit here.


Making your bubble solution:

  1. Pour 3 cups of water into a large container
  2. Pour the blue dish soap into the container. Slowly stir until the dish soap is mixed.
  3. Pour the corn syrup into the container and mix slowly. The bubble solution can be used immediately, but it will improve if it sits overnight.

Creating your bubble wands:


1. String beads on pipe cleaner.

2. Form pipe cleaner into a shape, and twist around dowel rod.

3. You may need to spread the beads around the pipe cleaner to distribute the weight.

4. Multiple pipe cleaners can be put on the dowel rods, if you desire.

5. Dip pipe cleaner into bubble solution and blow bubbles.


Bubble Snakes:

1. Place the sock over the bottom of the cut water bottle and wrap the rubber band around it. It’s okay if the bottle gets a little crunched.

2. Squeeze food coloring onto the bottom of the sock. You can use multiple colors. The food coloring can stain clothing. 

3. Dip the bottle with the sock into the bubble solution. Blow bubbles through the opening at the top of the bottle.



Show us what you created! Send us pictures at



Grades 3-8: Mini Zen Garden

Take a mindful moment as you design your mini Zen garden and enjoy the calm. Register for the July Grades 3-8 Take-and-Make Kit here.



Show us what you created! Send us pictures at


In addition to our popular Read-Along Picture Books and Beginning Readers, we now offer Chapter Books with a built-in audio player! These are perfect for elementary kids who are gaining confidence and fluency, or any kids who just enjoy hearing a book read aloud.

They are simple to use, have a long-lasting battery, and you can either listen with the built-in speaker or your own headphones. When you pause the recording, the device will hold your place for you.

Find all of our Read-Alongs at the Library, or request one from home using our online catalog.


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

Youth Services Librarian Allison 


You danced, you read some good books, and you celebrated Pride Month with the Barrington Area Library! But there are so many fantastic LGBTQ+ affirming books in our collection, and you want to read them all! Here are some of our most recent favorites you can read during Pride Month, and any time of the year. And if you're looking for some recommendations for all ages, we have a list for that too.


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




 Youth Services Specialists Stefanie  & MaryJo  & Youth Services Librarian Allison 

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Jubilee Day, happens on June 19 every year. Juneteenth celebrates the ending of slavery in the United States. 

On June 19, 1865, the Union troops went to Galveston, Texas, to announce the Emancipation Proclamation, and free the last state with enslaved Black people. 

Juneteenth is now a Federal holiday. Celebrate Black history, excellence, and joy, and learn more about what makes Juneteenth a special holiday, with a book from our booklist. 









    Youth Services Specialists MaryJo  & Stefanie  


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