Screen-Free Activities for Kids : Get the Wiggles Out

If you're trying to stay away from screens for a while, check out these ideas and then turn off the device to have some physical fun.

Sheltering in place (while perhaps working from home with kids out of school/daycare) can lead to a lot of screen time. Don't feel guilty about that; these are difficult times and parents need to do what they need to do. Let us help! We're posting suggestions each day this week for how to get away from the screens for a little while.

Getting those wiggles out is important! It can help with stress, stretch muscles that aren't getting their usual daily activity right now, improve the ability to listen and follow directions, and just be fun.

  • What songs and fingerplays do you remember from library storytime? Here's somewhere to get started:

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How to Learn at Home During School Closure

Learn something new every day! A list of online resources to help newly-minted homeschoolers.

So schools are closed! Possibly for several weeks or months. First things first: Don't panic. You can do this. Kids are made to learn; they learn new things every day just by interacting with their world. You can help them by providing a little structure and access to tools that will encourage their curiosity. (Read this article from KQED to get started.)

Know that you don't have to recreate a school classroom in your kitchen. Start with whatever work your child's school has sent home. It might not take very long to complete worksheets or do assigned reading. What else can you do to keep your family occupied? Well, we know that kids learn when they are interested and having fun. The topic almost doesn't matter. Try one of these free educational sites to find more of what they like.

  • OPL always

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Write a book for Children's Fairyland!

Hello, young writers and artists. Children's Fairyland is looking for books written and drawn by YOU!

Update: Due to COVID-19, Turn the Page has been postponed. We do encourage kids to continue writing!


Dear kids and teens,

Imagine you're at a book festival at Children's Fairyland. As you walk around you see authors and illustrators sitting at tables with their names on them, talking with families and sharing their books. You recognize some names -- there's Lemony Snicket, there's Innosanto Nagara, there's Gennifer Choldenko... but look! YOUR name is on a table! Why? Because you wrote and illustrated a story for children, and you entered it in Fairyland's Children's Book Contest, and you won!Young author posing with copies of her book

If you are younger than 18, now's your chance to create your own book. Children's Fairyland is looking for books written and illustrated by teens and

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Maker March 2020

Families and children are invited to explore, connect and grow during Maker March at your library.

Your Oakland Public Library empowers all people to explore, connect, and grow.

This March our adult programming focuses on Women's History, the Teens celebrate Maker Month and Children's Services highlights our build, make, play programs.

Explore our collection of craft books (745.5) 

Connect with others at these maker programs:

  • Wed March 4 Art Explorers 4pm @ Elmhurst

  • Fri March 6 Lego Mania 3:30pm @ Dimond
  • Wed March 11 Construction Zone 4pm @ Elmhurst
  • Thus

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Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants

Children have a different perspective of time and history. Let's embrace all achievements this Black History Month.

Does your child want to write about Beyoncé, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson or LeBron James for their Black History homework assignment? Are you a bit dismayed about this? If you are, the librarians of OPL want to reassure you not to worry. Many present day Black icons in American Culture are living history!

For example:

The Rock won his first undisputed WWF (not WWE yet) Championship on February 13, 1997, 23 years ago. He won his seventh and final championship on July 21, 2002, just 18 years ago. Beyoncé’s first solo album was released June 24, 2003, almost 17 years ago, and LeBron James was drafted to the Cleveland Cavilers that same year! Relatively speaking, 20 years ago is a long time ago for a kid, so consider allowing them to study those who inspires them.

Of course we understand many parents are not convinced children should be studying current celebrities for Black History month. Appreciating this perspective, allow us to recommend some pioneers in Black History who paved the way for those we enjoy today.



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Black History Read-In and Heritage Fest Events for Children and Families on February 4th at the Main Library

This year, the Main Library is celebrating the achievements of Black Americans with a day-long Black History Month Read-In and Culture Fest for community members of all ages.

January is almost over, which means it's just about time for Black History Month. 

The Main Library is celebrating the achievements of Black Americans with a day-long Black History Month Read-In and Culture Fest for community members of all ages.

At the Oakland Public library, we strive to incorporate the work of people of African descent as part of our programming all year long, but appreciate the opportunity to highlight and celebrate Black history and culture as part of Black History Month.

Black History Month's origins date back to 1926, when Carter G. Woodson founded Negro History Week, a time set aside for studying the achievements and contributions of African-Americans. 

In 1990, the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) established the African-American Read-In to encourage literacy during

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Embodying Peace with Young Children

Using books to embody peace with young children.

"We can very well set a mood of peace out of which a system of peace can be built” - Martin Luther King, Jr., "Dreams of Brighter Tomorrows," Ebony Magazine, March 1965 

As we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, I am inspired to explore how his thoughts on peace can be embodied by young children and the people who love them. With the frantic pace of modern life, it is easy for all of us to feel stretched thin, distracted, and overwhelmed. When we are reacting to the ups and downs of our day without preserving moments to slow down and feel grounded in our bodies it can be more difficult to treat ourselves and others with the patience and kindness needed to make this world a more peaceful place.  

Luckily there are books that introduce even the youngest children to mindfulness practices that will have the whole family breathing and moving in ways that calm the

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Free Reading Apps for Kids

Are you using these FREE apps to access online content?

After the holidays families may have new devices to explore, connect with online resources or create new content. Below are FREE apps you can download to enjoy books, music and movies from our library collection. 

  • Enki -  This collection includes kid's comics, graphic novels, study guides and more kids of all ages. 
  • Hoopla  - Download or stream ebooks, music, audiobooks, movies, comics, and television. You can apply KIDS MODE which only show kid-appropriate content in browse and search results.
  • Libby

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Winter Reads!

Suggested reading material during the winter break.

Winter break is short and sweet; and it is nothing like a cold winter's day that makes you want to curl up in you favorite fuzzy socks, with a good book, while enjoying the seasonal festivities.  The biggest question is, what can you read that is quick and enjoyable?  Using our winter bingo card as a guide, we have some books for you to consider:

Remember that we want to you enjoy the break, it doesn't matter what you do. So if you enjoy

writing poems, 

telling jokes for big belly laughs,

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Winter Bingo 2019

We invite children (recommended ages 0-12) to play Winter Bingo at OPL over the holiday break. Visit your local library to pick up a Winter Bingo card. Complete any 5 activities in a row and win a FREE Book

It's that time of year again!  We invite children (recommended ages 0-12) to play Winter Bingo at OPL over the holiday break.

Visit your local library to pick up a Winter Bingo card, complete any 5 activities in a row and win a FREE Book.

You may return completed Winter Bingo cards to any Oakland Public Library between December 26, 2019 and January 18, 2020 to receive a free book of your choice.

If you would like to get started before your next visit to OPL you can print your own Winter Bingo card using the links below:

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