Most Kansans were at home throughout the month of April following Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s stay at home order for nonessential workers and nonessential errands. Despite the stress, worry and disruptions to daily life the global pandemic COVID-19 has caused, for those quarantined at home in good health, there has been a groundswell of learning and perfecting of new skills. Chances are you’ve observed or even participated in the “Coronaissance” or a spring “Quaranclean” activity. These popular hashtags surfaced during the stay-at-home period as people looked for new, fun and creative ways to pass extra free time at home. It’s okay if you didn’t do anything extra by the way. For myself, the stay-at-home order gave me some much-needed spring break breathing room!

Staying busy and positive during stressful times is important to our mental health and general well-being. The future is always uncertain and as the scouts say “Be Prepared.” I couldn’t agree more. Whether or not there is a global pandemic, now is always the right time for positive and educational activities that keep you productive, healthy and happy at home. Here are my top picks of activities including library and online resources for you to keep pursuing that new Coronaissance hobby and Quarqancleaning into the summer months and beyond.

***Library Service Updates: From May 18 the library is offering pick-up service for library materials until we are able to safely re-open. In addition, we are disinfecting and quarantining all borrowed materials upon their return for patron and staff safety. For comprehensive information about the library’s response to COVID-19 please visit our Coronavirus Information page

1.Craft O’Clock: Meet your newest library card perk “Creativebug.”  This is the online craft school dreams are made of. High-quality videos produced by arts and crafts experts are neatly organized into multi-session classes for your learning enjoyment. There are organized supply lists, downloadable pdf instructions and video directions for trendy arts and crafts projects. There’s something for everyone from beginners to advanced DIYers and a plethora of activities for kids ages 5 and up too. Bonus: no advertisements! Sign up for your free login with your library card here. A few of my favorite projects:

2. Let’s BAKE: Baking is not perhaps the best summer activity (warm oven!?) but on a chilly, rainy day or if you’re in desperate need of a fruitful family activity baking cookies, cakes, brownies and bread is a delicious way to pass time at home. You can check out library books for pick up, so peruse our collection of cookbooks to find something new! Also, if you’re interested in exploring the wonders of sourdough I pulled two of my favorite youtube videos for you too.

  • How To Make A Sourdough Bread

3. Social Distance Staycationing: We’ve made it to the middle of May, but with so much uncertainty for summer travel, why not plan a staycation? Our region of North Central Kansas is home to many beautiful and scenic parks and prairie. This may be the perfect year for you to check out a new to you outdoor Kansas spot! Boating, fishing, biking, hiking…

4. Spring into Summer Cleaning: Spring cleaning is a ritual worldwide that’s not only part of the changing season in the Northern Hemisphere, but also part of many spring religious events such as Clean Week during Lent and spring cleaning before Jewish Passover. Perhaps this is the year you find and perfect your spring cleaning rituals.


5.  Summer Reading at the Library: Yes, we’re still doing summer reading at the library, but this year is a *little* different! Go to starting Friday, May 22, 2020 to log the number of books you’ve read. Each week, 20 winners will be drawn across age groups. Prizes are gift certificates to various local spots (The Alley, Rolling Hills Zoo, Ad Astra…) plus a few popular national retailers (Amazon…). Summer Reading runs from May 22 to July 24.