Fighting Summer Slide – Bag of Tricks

Ah, summer… it is a busy time for libraries! Between the Summer Reading Program and the extra kids utilizing the library, keeping things manageable and running smoothly can be a challenge. I wanted to highlight a few websites that might help keep the younger folks busy when they aren’t making Martian slime, spilling their juice boxes, or whatever else you have designed for your summer reading program.

Fighting summer slide can be fun!

Storyline Online –

Developed by The Screen Actors Guild Foundation, Storyline Online features accomplished actors and actresses reading some of their favorite children’s books. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more. Each story comes with a free Activity Guide and can be viewed on YouTube or SchoolTube. Watching Betty White read Harry the Dirty Dog can be fun for kids and adults! While the words do appear Closed Caption style, if you have the book in your collection, having the kids read-along is a great way to help children learning to read.

NeoK12 –

NeoK12 has a lot of videos for kids in grades kindergarten through 12th grade. The best part is that each of these videos has already been viewed and verified by teachers. There are lots of science videos, lessons, and games on many topics in physical science, the human body, life science, earth and space, and geography. There are also videos about topics in social studies, history, math, and English. In order to have access to all of the resources on NeoK12, you have to purchase a subscription, but there are quite a few free ones.

Loyal Books –

Loyal Books is a free service that provides audiobook and ebook downloads. Before changing its name to Loyal Books, the company was called Books Should Be Free. Because Loyal Books only has audiobooks that are in the public domain, their selection is limited. For kids, think Junior Classics, like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Anne of Green Gables, and The Swiss Family Robinson. Audiobooks on Loyal Books are voiced by volunteers, so some are better than others, but of the ones I listened to most were good.

Check these out and let me know what other websites you have for kids in your Bag of Tricks. As we talked about in other parts of this Bag of Tricks series, having resources at your fingertips and a basic familiarity with up-and-coming technology can come in very handy for better serving patrons and can also give you a bit more confidence. While I suggest that you create your own Bag of Tricks, I have an example Bag of Trick to get you started at

Kieran Hixon