Summer-Fun Activities from The Girl’s Guide to Building a Fort

The Girl’s Guide to Building a Fort shows girls and their grown-ups how to knock down the four walls holding them in and transform each day into a canvas for play and adventure. This illustrated, information-packed guide is for Hands-On Girls, girls who want to fix things, make things, and learn more about the world around them.

These three activities from the book demonstrate three fun and easy ways to make the most of the summer using materials in and around your home! It’s perfect for anyone, big or little, who’s ready to learn new skills, get a little dirty, and reconnect with the whimsical, gutsy girl in each of us.

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Discover Your Gaming Style: Take the Escape from a Video Game Quiz

Escape from a Video Game turns books into action-packed adventures where YOU are the hero. Have students pick their path in this fun, printable quiz to find out what kind of “gamer” they are! This short, just-for-fun activity introduces middle-grade readers to interactive fiction and features three branching endings. Download the guide and embark on a sci-fi adventure now! Then, for more pick-your-path fun, check out Escape from a Video Game by Dustin Brady.

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Poetry Writing Prompts from Solli Raphael, Teen Author of Limelight

Teen poet and activist, Solli Raphael, shares poetry writing prompts to help young people use their voices to speak out for a better tomorrow. Activity is adapted from Raphael’s poetry collection and book of inspirational writing techniques, Limelight.

“Like figurative speech, writing prompts are another way to stimulate ideas and can enhance the writing process for any poet or writer. A writing prompt is an idea or sentence beginning that someone else has written and you have to finish that sentence off. I used writing prompts quite a lot when I was starting out with my poetry. The poems I keep or consider final aren’t the ones with writing prompts, but the prompts are what the ideas began with and they helped to get my creative thinking cap on.”

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Every Day is Earth Day — How to Make a Compost Heap

Don’t just worry about climate change—take action against climate change! There are many simple things you can do today to make a difference. Learn more in Every Day is Earth Day by Harriet Dyer.

Instead of sending your kitchen and garden waste to a landfill, make your own nutritiously rich compost heap using this easy, all-ages guide! Includes top compost tips for all kinds of homes, as well as more information on the impact this small daily change can make in the world.

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Where, Oh Where, Is Barnaby Bear? — Adventure with Barnaby Activity

Take Barnaby along with you… to the park, to the store, for a walk along the shore.

Print out the page on heavy paper. Then color in and cut out Barnaby. Now, he’s ready for you to take him on an adventure. Snap some photos of where he goes just like you might do when you’re on vacation!

BONUS! To receive a FREE Barnaby Bear sticker from author Wendy Rouillard, ask a parent to send a photo of your Barnaby on his adventure. Email: Include a mailing address. You’re also welcome to include a description to pair with your photo.

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Where, Oh Where, Is Barnaby Bear? — Coloring Page

Up high in the sky, a hot air balloon flies by! It’s Barnaby!

Where, oh where, is he heading to now? You get to decide!

Print the page and imagine and color a wonderful destination for Barnaby.

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Wallace the Brave: Wicked Epic Adventures — Activity Pack

Get ready for your own, real-life Wicked Epic Adventures inspired by Will Henry’s series Wallace the Brave! This guide includes everything you need to know to jump into a day of creativity, spying, and discovery.


Unicorn Island — Create a Hideaway for Reading

Just off the coast of Foggy Harbor, you’ll find a secret island where magical creatures have hidden themselves away. Now you can create your own hideaway, perfect for your own reading adventures! Perfect for an enchanting afternoon at home with Unicorn Island, a middle-grade illustrated novel series from Epic Originals.


How to Draw a Holiday Hedgehog, Snowman, and Unicorn — Printable Guides

This drawing with simple shapes activity is the perfect addition a snowy day at home. Lulu Mayo’s How to Draw a Reindeer and Other Cute Creatures takes doodlers step-by-step through the creation of adorable holiday characters. Perfect for any age, the easy-to-follow instructions will ignite curiosity and creativity in every budding artist.

You can personalize these quirky creatures to your heart’s content––doing each drawing with simple shapes makes it easy. Whether you want to draw a snuggly hedgehog, adorable snowman, or twinkling unicorn, being an artist has never been so accessible (and so cute)! See for yourself just how fun these doodles are by downloading three free How to Draw guides here.

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Breaking Cat News – Paper Doll Puppet Guide: Beatrix, Sophie, Baba Mouse, Trevor

Let your middle-graders take center stage and put on their very own paper doll puppet show. Using our free paper doll template, inspired by more cute and lovable Breaking Cat News characters, you can encourage creative expression while also building students’ love of reading. In this delightful comic series, three house cats take on the most relevant and hilarious news happening at home, and now, with this all-new guide, you can create your own paper dolls for Puck, Elvis, and Lupin’s other friends: Beatrix, Sophie, Baba Mouse, and Trevor!

Once students have read Elvis Puffs Out, they can use this free paper doll template to help them put on a puppet show. The instructions are easy to follow and understand, so budding puppeteers can have their cast created in no time. Encourage middle-graders not only to create the paper dolls, but also to write their own scripts for the show. They’ll have fun writing them, and you’ll have fun seeing what they come up with. They can even use the Breaking Cat News books as inspiration! After the dolls are done and the stage is set, sit back and enjoy the show.


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