4 easy ways to make interactive kids library games

It’s no longer enough to have a great selection of reading material in a well maintained library. Even though the local community might really enjoy your space, when it comes to the local children, we’re competing with iPads, TV’s, Play Centres and more. It’s important to realise that it takes work to keep your younger audience engaged.

However bringing life through interactive activities does not need to break the bank and in most cases you can implement fun activities within your library by simply using the resources at hand. With that in mind we’ve collated our top four interactive library games that you can run on a shoestring budget.

Before we get to the goods, it’s important that we remind you that your efforts in creating these activities are pointless if you fail to promote and communicate them.

Remember the basics for promoting your activities, events and programs;

  1. Announce your activities on your social media pages.
  2. Place activity announcement signs in the windows, throughout the library and within the bathrooms.
  3. Send an email or sms to your library members.
  4. Put a promotional message on any automated emails you send out, such as overdue resource reminders.
  5. Promote through like-minded organisations who would be willing to help promote your activities.
  6. Put it on your newsletter.
  7. Place fliers around the library.
  8. Reach out to any additional connections you have within your local area.

We're trying to maximise awareness to ensure audience participation. 

  1. A Scavenger Hunt  

There are so many different ways to create and run a library scavenger hunt. First, we suggest reviewing the demographical information for the target customer type. I.e. Who would you like to target with this game? There is no reason why you could not implement several scavenger hunts for several age groups. We’ve highlighted a few that may work for your library below. Remember, with such an easy to implement library game, you really can introduce some creativity into the mix by introducing library specific items into the hunt.


1. The Younger Years.


Source : Layers of Learning


1. The Middle Years.



Source - Scholastic



1. The Older Years.



Source - Layers of Learning

 2. Where's Waldo?

What an easy game to implement throughout the children's areas of your library. First, you’ll need to locate a digital image of all of the ‘Where’s Waldo’ or "Where's Wally" characters, which we conveniently found available on this adorable online Waldo Wiki - Click Here.

We would suggest printing, cutting and laminating 10-15 of each character and placing/hiding these around the library in fun spots. Ensure you have some harder to find characters around for the slightly older children, with a good amount in easy-to-locate locations as well.


wheres waldo.jpgSource: Nerd Craft Librarian


3. Bingo

As this is more of a reading game, you should work to target library bingo to the older children. We've seen many great execusions of the idea but love the demonstration below from The Learning Curve where older children are invited to play library bingo by reading five books to form a straight line on the board. Don't forget to have appropiate prizes or even certificates for participants. 

bingo.pngSource: The Learning Curve


4. Jenga

Well this looks both fun to make and fun to play. The most important thing to remember when making your Giant Jenga is to create the installation using materials that will be safe for kids. The below is a fantastic representation of just that. 



Source: Off the fly-brarian jenga2.jpgSource: Off the fly-brarian 

 Any other ideas! Please let us know with some comments below :)

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