Not-so-Secret Spy Mission for Kids: Explore Your Community!
Are your kids up for this super secret spy mission around Grand Rapids?
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to create your own summer adventure at the Grand Rapids Public Library!
GRPL is bringing all the mystery this year with their Super Secret Summer Reading Challenge. Uncover hidden mascots, locate hands-on STEAM activities at local branches and discover new worlds as you read your way through summer 2021.
5 Things That Have Kids Curious about Summer Reading
GRPL’s summer reading challenge has a variety of interesting activities for kids and families, including in-person and virtual options. Ready to sign up for the fun? Sneak your way to your local branch to sign up, or register online here.
Community activities include outdoor storytimes and spy moves yoga for kids, and comics and crime tours for teens. Add in Spanish storytime, and special events from Blandford Nature Center and Division Avenue Arts Collective and you’ve got a whole season of activities to celebrate summer reading.
GRPL has put together the following programs and events to inspire and entertain you all summer long. Here’s how you can join the fun.
1. Your Summer Reading Mission is a GAME
The 2021 Summer Reading Challenge is purely a game for kids.
Choose your personality type – adventurer, puzzler, creator or bookworm – and then complete the challenges on your game board to collect your prize!
That’s right – this summer, you don’t have to read 30 books or for 30 minutes a day to complete the program. (Though these are great things to do anyway!)
My daughter’s game board challenged her to invent a disguise. She took it one step further by creating a whole character and backstory. (This is Veronica Stilton. She and her little dog Chumpy live in their own little world full of mystery and intrigue.)
2. Uncover Secret Mascots on a Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt
My kids and I are super interested in this one. Already on our walk home from the library (about four blocks) we found three secret mascots hiding in the community!
The DAAC (Division Avenue Arts Collective) is teaming up with GRPL to bring us a city-wide scavenger hunt. Kids are encouraged to look closely at the world around them and to notice the things that make our community beautiful.
Explorers will learn about line and shape and value and space in simple ways that will open their eyes to the art all around them. It’s a great way to spend time on a breezy summer day or evening. (You notice different things a night!)
And as you explore, be sure to watch for beloved mascots from GRPL’s past summer reading programs. They’ll be hiding out around your neighborhood – maybe on a little library, maybe in a business window.
3. Attend Outdoor Storytimes Everywhere!
GRPL is bringing outdoor storytimes back, full throttle. Watch for special guests, ice cream, and lots of chances to move.
Outdoor Storytime – MLK and Lincoln Parks. Traditional storytime with books, singing, rhymes and movement. Agest 0 – 5.
Storytime in the Park with Storytime GR – MLK, Lincoln and Garfield Parks. Stories, free books & ice cream, special guests and tons of fun.
Storytime on the Lawn – Happening at West Leonard, Seymour and Yankee Clipper Branches. Great for ages 18 mos – 5 years. (Limited to the first 20 participants.)
4. Grab STEAM kits for Activities at Home
Library branches are stocking up on STEAM kits for kids every week. Look for the display at your branch.
My kids have completed a few of these kits, including a blackout poetry kit and a rainbow craft project.
5. Win the Cosplay Costume Contest & Celebrate Your Favorite Comics
Comics fans need to mark their calendars for June 19. The Yankee Clipper Branch is hosting a Comic Geek Out where you can share your love of all things comics.
Find activities, free books, a comics workshop and an author talk. And the uber-fans can enter to win prizes in a cosplay contest, voted on by professional cosplayers!
There are so many more things happening at GRPL this summer, including many virtual events. You can see all of their Summer Reading Program events here.