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Leeds Libraries From Home - May Half Term

Welcome to the May Half Term issue of the Leeds Libraries & School Library Service weekly newsletter. We have put together a list of activity ideas and a fantastic reading list to help keep you and your family busy at home over the May half term holiday during lockdown! Remember to stay home as much as possible and stay alert.

Holiday Activities

Under 5's
This Saturday, 23rd May, we will be celebrating Elmer Day 2020 at home this year. To join in the celebrations you can create your very own rainbow patch work elephant using lots of thing you can find around the house or garden. This could include leaves, petals, fabrics, coloured paper, paint or crayons. You can hang your rainbow patchwork Elmer in your front window for other children to discover on as they walk past during daily exercise. Elmer makes the world a much brighter place, spread the positivity of Elmer. We'd love to see and share your creations on our social media channels, tag us in your pictures @leedslibraries #Librariesfromhome

We will also be sharing a special Elmer Storytime on Saturday morning at 9:45am on our Facebook and Twitter and you can find lots of other Elmer activities here.

Children (5-7)
Have a go at some fun book-based bakes, from a Gruffalo cake to Bumblebear biscuits. There are lots of recipes to try out and you can read the story whilst eating your delicious creations.  

The Woodland Trust have put together a list of 10 nature activities for kids which you can do at home in your garden or out whilst enjoying green spaces!

Some of the brilliant Tutti Frutti artists have been commissioned to take over the Tutti social media each Tuesday in May to share with you some activities and games. Next week, Tuesday 26th May, Christella Litras, who created the beautiful sound for Yellow is the Colour of Sunshine, will be doing all things music and fun! You can also look back over the previous artists takeovers for more activities, we particularly love designer Catherine Chapman’s story den! #TuesdayTakeover

Children (7-11) 
Stay inspired with Firstsite’s artist created activity packs, featuring contributions from UK artists including Grayson Perry, Antony Gormley, Sarah Lucas and more. Art is where the home is’ will give you ideas about how to get creative at home. Anyone can have a go – there are no specialist materials required, plus it’s completely FREE to download!

Enter the 'laugh out lobster' story competition and you could see your work published in an e-book, printed in 'The Week Junior' and win a whole stack of books! .


While the Scouts normally love the great outdoors, they’ve pulled together some inspired indoor activity ideas. Keep learning new skills and having fun all in #TheGreatIndoors.

Young People
#REIMAGINE2020 is a new digital creative project from Derby Theatre. If you’re aged between 13 and 25 they want to hear from you! 
Take part by submitting a creative response reimagining a future post Covid-19 for a chance for your work to be shared across Derby Theatre and partners' social media channels. All submissions and creations will also go towards a final, collective digital creation. Your creative response could use performance, art, photography, poetry, song, dance or a short film of up to 2-minutes (you could even use TikTok). Responses can be made alone or with friends within this age range, as long as you follow social distancing guidelines and remain at least two metres apart.

Homeskool Beatbox Adventures with Shlomo is a weekly live streamed interactive show empowering kids and their families to find their true voices and create their own music. We are hosting the live stream every Thursday at 2pm on our Facebook page, for 30 minutes families around the world will learn new vocal skills from SK Shlomo, the critically acclaimed world-champion beatboxer who has previously collaborated with Bjork, Ed Sheeran and Lily Allen, played at Glastonbury and broken world records with his jaw-dropping vocal gymnastics. 


Enjoy a front-row seat to awe-inspiring moments of the larger-than-life Cirque du Soleil shows of KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities, ‘’O’’, and LUZIA.

Holiday Reading List
Please find our holiday reading list attached with titles in eBook and eAudio for under 5's right through to teens. Use your library card to borrow any of these titles from Leeds Libraries BorrowBox. Our holiday reading list is available to be downloaded by multiple people at the same time so no one misses out on these great reads. 


Join the Library - If you are having issues with joining please contact libraryenquiries@leeds.go.uk or 0113 378 5005

Child Friendly Leeds Half Term Competition
Child Friendly Leeds have been running fortnightly competitions to keep young people busy during lockdown. The next competition theme, launched 26 May, is ‘Skills for Life’ and they have joined up with the Sustainable Energy and Air Quality Team to create some ‘climate-friendly’ ideas for young people to try. These include cooking a climate-friendly meal, riding a bike, growing a plant or making a recycling poster for their household! Entries are made on social media by using the hashtag #OurChildFriendlyLeeds. The closing date is Friday 5 June. Visit Child Friendly Leeds social media for more details.

Check out the Child Friendly Leeds live blog which has been created to keep children and families busy, safe and well during lockdown. It includes fun & creative activities, competitions for young people to enter, educational & useful resources during school closures as well as guidance, advice and support for families. Be sure to check back regularly for new content! 

21 May 2020

Rachel Ingle-Teare
Leeds Libraries
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