Schools have closed, public facilities have shut down, and for the first time in our history, Canada has closed its shared border with the United States. Covid-19 has been sweeping the globe and to do our part to plank the curve, we have been asked to practice social distancing. It has definitely been a challenging and uncertain time for many. With trying to navigate online learning or working from home virtually, it has been a learning curve to say the least. During this time though, there has been a huge response from the bookish community. Authors, publishers, libraries, bookstores, and many others, have been working together to bring free activities and resources remotely. Here are some of those very things you can access right from your own home:
1) Virtual Read-Alouds
Libraries may be closed, but librarians are still bringing story time to their patrons via live streams. Authors have also been hosting live stream read-alouds as well. To know who is hosting and when live streams will be taking place, Common Sense Media has compiled a list of some here. This list also includes other free online activities, so make sure to check those out as well. To see specifically if your local library or favourite author is hosting a live stream, the best way to check is via their social media accounts. You can also check my Twitter Feed, as I have been retweeting any online read-alouds I come across.
2) Design Your Own Ideal Bookshelf
Jane Mount, artist and creator of Ideal Bookshelf, has created the most wonderful activity for book lovers! With the template she has provided here, draw the spines of your favourite books to create your very own Ideal Bookshelf, just like Jane! Post your finished creation on Instagram and tag @idealbookshelf with the hashtag #MyIdealBookshelf. This is a fun activity not just for kids, but for ALL ages, so yes you too, adults!
3) Use Your Library’s Online Resources
Even though public and school libraries are currently closed, you can still access their online resources, such as e-books, audiobooks, and databases. To access these online, you will most likely need your library card. Don’t have one? Given the current global situation, some public libraries are offering e-library cards, so inquire with your local library. For school libraries, contact your librarian, school or school board, as most online resources will require logins for access.
4) Make a Social Distancing TBR Pile
I know I am not alone when I say I have a bookshelf filled with many books that have yet to be read. Let’s just say that I have a problem with buying books and saying I’ll read them later. There is no time like quarantine-time to bunker down and get through that to-be-read list!
5) Book Bingo
I bow down to all the librarians who have already gone ahead and done this. I’m a little late to the game, but what an excellent idea! Just like in regular bingo, you are working to complete a row of activities, horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. You can access the bingo card I created here.
Everything right now seems so uncertain and we are all just trying to live day to day. It’s the little things that get us through though, so I’m especially thankful for the efforts of others to pull together all this online content. They call it social distancing, but really it’s physical distancing, as the social part is something we need to make sure we continue to do here online. Start by trying one of these bookish activities above! Let me know in the comments what you end up doing. Also, if you come across something that could be added to this list, share below!
Stay safe, friends!