With the pandemic keeping many of us at home this winter, you may be looking for some creative ways to keep the kids (and yourself!) entertained. While there are some great paid activity kits and subscription services out there, many of the local libraries and parks on Cleveland’s west side are offering free take-home activities for all ages. Whether you have toddlers, school-age children, or teens, you can find plenty of engaging crafts and science activities without having to plan or make a trip to the craft store. Check out the list below for some ideas.
Amherst Public Library
Amherst Public Library is offering curbside take home crafts for kids & adults. They also have a Kids Winter Bingo reading activity sheet & an Adult Winter Reading Challenge sheet which can either be picked up at the library or printed from the website.
More info can be found here: https://amherstpubliclibrary.org/
Avon Lake Public Library and DiscoveryWorks
Avon Lake Public Library is offering Curbside Crafters kits, including Family Story Time at Home crafts, teen crafts, and even crafts and kitchen projects for adults. All kits are free and available for curbside pick-up. Some may require you to register online to guarantee availability.
The library is also is home to the DiscoveryWorks, a free, hands-on learning center. While the DiscoveryWorks is currently closed due to the pandemic, they are offering take-home science bags. Choose from Wee Science Starters for ages 3-5, Jr. Tree House Club for ages 6 & 7, or Tree House Club for ages 8-11. Each kit is free and contains materials for hands-on science and art activities.
More info can be found here: https://alpl.org/at-home/
Cuyahoga County Public Library
Many of Cuyahoga County’s libraries on the west side are offering free take-home crafts and activities. Take and Make crafts are available for preschool and school age children at the Brook Park, Berea, and Olmsted Falls offers a story time craft for this age group as well.
For school-age children and teens, the Brooklyn branch is offering Science-2-Go kits, available for curbside pick-up. North Olmsted, Olmsted Falls, and Brooklyn branches are also offering Take and Make crafts for adults.
More info can be found here: https://attend.cuyahogalibrary.org/events
Elyria Public Library System
Elyria’s South Library branch is currently offering a STEAM Challenge take-home kit for children. This month’s kit contains supplies and instructions to make your own slime. Supplies are limited so reservations are recommended.
Quarantine Crafts for Adults are also offered all month long. Stop by the Central branch to pick up your kit, or you can contact a branch near you to reserve one. There is a limit of 2 per household.
More info can be found here: https://elyrialibrary.libcal.com/calendar
Lorain County Metro Parks
Free nature-themed crafts for preschoolers and school-aged children are offered regularly at Miller Nature Preserve. No registration is required but supplies are limited so you may want to call for availability. While not completely free, you can also register online for upcoming activity kits ranging from $1 to $3 at French Creek and Wellington Reservations, including a Dr. Seuss Day take-home kit in March.
Lorain County Metro Parks also periodically offers paid activity kits ranging in price from $5 to $10. Children and teens ages 10 to 14 can learn the skills needed to be a naturalist with the Junior Naturalist Take-Home Box for $5. The Yours to Explore Box is $10 and includes seasonal nature activities, crafts, games, and more, with enough materials for 2 children in each box. Keep an eye on the program calendar for availability.
More info can be found here: https://reservations.metroparks.cc/programs/
Lorain Public Library System
The Lorain Public Library System has branches in Lorain, Avon, Columbia Station, Sheffield Lake, and North Ridgeville. All locations are currently offering a variety of free Grab & Go bags containing crafts and activities for all ages. Contact a branch near you for more information and availability.
More info can be found here: https://www.lorainpubliclibrary.org/events
Rocky River Public Library
Rocky River Public Library is offering a variety of take home-kits, virtual programming, & reading challenges for all ages.
More info can be found here: http://rrpl.evanced.info/signup/calendar
Westlake Porter Public Library
Westlake Porter Public Library is offering quite a few take-home activities for children and teens. They have craft kits for preschoolers, school-age children, tweens, and teens, as well as STEAM and science kits. Kinder Club packets are available for 4 to 6 year olds to work on early literacy concepts.
Teens can register for a Discovery Box containing a book, craft, snack, and some other surprises. There are also crafts for adults available. All kits are free, although some may require you to register online to guarantee availability.
More info can be found here: https://westlakelibrary.org/events