Children’s Resources

New Children’s Events

Smyth Library Summer Reading Program for Summer Fun

Why Summer Reading?

Studies show that kids who read regularly during the summer break keep up OR move ahead academically. Summer Reading is about having fun and staying bright during the summer vacation.                                       

How does it work?

The Smyth Library Summer Reading Program is a 6 week non-competitive event open to independent readers and read-to-me readers. The reader pledges his/her own goal that challenges their reading levels with a minimum of 15 minutes a day five days each week.  At the end of each week children show their signed pledge cards to desk librarian for weekly sticker and ongoing prize.

We encourage books be from the Smyth Public Library collection or interlibrary loan program.

Complete 5 of 6 weeks, and have five stickers by Wed., August 9th and enjoy free ice cream at Bedford Big Band concert! Complete all six weeks to get the full set of reading prizes.


Program length:        July 6 through August 9

Minimum Reading:     15 minutes/day, any five days a week



Thur. June 29 6pm Flying High Dog Show-for ALL AGES

Weekly Family Activities Sign-ups requested


During Thursday Storytimes

Books, stories, games, crafts, music

10:30am Preschool-K Children

11:15am Elementary Children


Weekly Themes– All Together Now

Week 1 July 6                 ~Respect

Week 2 July 13               ~Caring

Week 3 July 20              ~Friends/Integrity

Week 4 July 27              ~Responsibility

Week 5 Aug 3                 ~Courage/Bravery



Wed. August 9th 6:30pm  Bedford Big Band Concert Suitable for ALL AGES

Lego Club

March 11 @ 11:00 AM1:00 PM

NEW!! Lego Club at Smyth Public Library meeting room starting March 11.

Thereafter, the First Saturday of each month 11am-1pm.

Come create awesome Lego builds together or on your own and have access to rare Legos and mini figurines.  Each month you can keep projects going or start new.  Books and ideas will be available for themes and friendly competitions.  Take a picture at the end and email to to have your creation posted on the website. 

Child must be 5+, pre-registration, and adult supervision required.

CLiF Winter Writing Contest

The Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF) is holding a Winter Writing Contest, and the challenge is to tell a winter story in just two sentences. Open to all children 12 and under who live in Vermont or New Hampshire, the contest is free to enter and prizes will be awarded to the top entries in each age group. Entries are due February 28, 2023. Here’s a link with more details and additional materials:

Book Reviews
Looking for more books but not sure what to read? Click here to find Heidi Deacon’s book reviews to see if any of them spark your interest!

Check out this book trailer for Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall made by Heidi Deacon!

Brainfuse HelpNow Tutoring
Smyth Public Library is pleased to announce the launch of Brainfuse – on demand, anytime, anywhere eLearning. Brainfuse HelpNow™ provides differentiated learning solutions for users of diverse needs and background.  Students communicate with live tutors using an interactive whiteboard to chat, write, draw, copy/paste text or images and graph homework problems. HelpNow™ will be available to all library patrons from any computer with internet connection starting this month. To access HelpNow™, please visit the library’s website catalog at [].   

Live Tutoring: HelpNow offers live tutor access for homework help, skills building and test preparation where after taking a quiz, the user can connect directly to a live tutor from the test center without having to return to the main page. Because HelpNow is personalized, both the student and the tutor can access quiz questions to do an intensive test prep which may include loading lessons on the whiteboard. All live sessions are saved and can be replayed as well as shared with friends and teachers by email.  Using the CloudPack feature, students can store and upload MS Word, Excel, JPG, and other accepted file types directly onto the whiteboard.

Asynchronous Services: The Writing Lab and the 24/7 Center options give users the freedom to receive assistance at any time of the day without connecting with a live tutor.  Users can submit papers through the Writing Lab for a detailed feedback.  24/7 Center is for non-writing assignments such as math or science.  All reviews and comments from our tutors are found and stored in the Message Center which is found on the student homepage.

Study Tools: LEAP helps patrons build academic skills through targeted lessons, quizzes, and live, online tutoring. LEAP creates a learning plan based on a skills assessment that is taken at the beginning of the course. Flashbulb is a robust, learning resource where you can find flashcards or create your own. There are many ways this can be used.  Brainfuse students have created sets to use with their friends and teachers have created sets for their students to use.

Collaboration tools: For students who prefer to work independently and form their own online study group, HelpNow offers a set of collaborative tools – MEET and Brainwave. MEET allows students to schedule their own online sessions using the Brainfuse MEET whiteboard which is specifically designed for a group setting.  Brainwave is a recordable whiteboard where students can draw, write on the whiteboard and chat then save and email it to others for feedback.   

Enriching EBooks for Children
Check out 15 inspiring and engaging children’s books for ages 4-9 teaching social and emotional learning in multicultural settings with endangered animals by author and photographer Pradeep Aradhya. These eBooks will surely enrich every child’s emotional intelligence with subjects like tolerance, goal focus, leadership, friendship, listening etc woven into fun stories told with high resolution photographs of endangered animals. Inspire your young bookworms to learn … safely … on an electronic medium.

Backyard Geology
Hermann Samano encourages you and your children to explore your own backyard in his article called “Discover the Fun of Backyard Geology.” Click here to find out how to start your own geology project with your family!

During this time of social distancing and school closures, the library has come up with a list or resources to help your children continue to learn, grow, and succeed. Check out these links and useful programs…

Addressing Oppression: Becoming an Ally 
View this document to better understand ways in which you can become an ally and confront the oppression within our nation’s society. Reading recommendations, words to understand and know, as well as online resources and ways to actively help are provided. 

Book and Hug
Looking for advice or recommendations on books to read based on your interests? Check out Book and Hug, and take their Reader Personality Type Quiz to discover what book is perfect for you! This is a great resources for middle-school aged children. 

TumbleBooks’ databases are easy to use, and feature unlimited access from home! Your patrons can read as many books as they want, when they want, and on any device. There are no check-outs, holds, or bulky downloads. Books are available instantly.

K-6 children’s ebook database
Direct Link:
Username: tumble735
Password: books

Check out the timely TumbleBooks classic Felicity Floo Visits the Zoo!
It’s a delightfully rhyming story about a little girl who goes to the zoo and makes all the animals sick because she’s coughing and wiping her runny nose without washing her hands! 

Tumble Math:
K-6 math ebook database
Direct Link:
Username: tumble2020
Password: A3b5c6

Storyline Online

Many ABDO titles include free weblinks, where readers can learn even more about the subjects that interest them.

Distance Learning Resources

LivBits Let’s Keep Reading
List of authors and illustrators, etc who will be doing regular live readings or interactive sessions

Picture Book Read Alouds
This is made up of authors reading their own work, including a list from the Indianapolis Public Library with over 100 titles, and titles in other languages.

Read, Wonder, and Learn
This is a lot of authors sharing lessons, excerpts, etc from their books.

Authors Everywhere 
A YouTube channel with authors sharing their books and work, will also, hopefully, host panels and other discussions.

Jarrett Lerner’s Activities Page
Lots of print outs/activities that encourage creativity and story creation – I think a fun thing to do would be to pick a certain page and encourage all kids (and adults!) to work on it and then have them tag the library on social media in their finished work.

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems
Mo Willems invites YOU into his studio every day for his LUNCH DOODLE. Learners worldwide can draw, doodle and explore new ways of writing by visiting Mo’s studio virtually once a day for the next few weeks. Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons and join Mo to explore ways of writing and making together.

Health Programming for Summer Reading
The National Network of Libraries of Medicine has partnered with the Collaborative Summer Library Program to bring health programming to for Summer Reading!

Story of a Bad Boy
A fictionalized recollection of adventures/impressions of years spent in Portsmouth!Author Thomas Bailey Aldrich was born in 1836 in Portsmouth just a short distance down Court Street from the home of his grandfather, Thomas D. Bailey. While most of his youth was spent elsewhere, Aldrich returned to Portsmouth to live, from 1849 to 1852, with his grandfather in this house facing Court Street.Thomas Bailey Aldrich married Lilian Woodman in 1865, and they moved to Boston the same year where he later became friends with literary notables as William Dean Howells, Mark Twain, James T. Fields, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and James Russell Lowell. It was shortly after the move to Boston that Aldrich began to record some thoughts on his own childhood. The result was The Story of a Bad Boy, a fictionalized recollection of adventures and impressions of his years spent in Portsmouth at his grandfather’s house.To find Thomas Bailey Aldrich’s Story of a Bad Boy for Kindle, click here!

Need to talk to your White children about racism but don’t know where to start? 
Try Not My Idea: A Book about Whiteness, by Anastasia Higginbotham.
A Free PDF download is available for a limited time at

Also consider Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning. 
An audiobook version is available now through Spotify. Learn more about the content of this powerful novel, and access the audiobook at

ChildLight Education Company
This company stands in solidarity against any and all acts of racism, disrespect and inequitable treatment of people. Talking about racism, traumatic events and violence can be difficult for families, but they have put together some valuable resources that may help in discussing this issue. 

How Teach Your Kids to Fight Hate: An Age-by-Age Guide
Supporting Vulnerable Students in Stressful Times: Tips for Parents
How to Talk to Kids about Race and Racism

Science Resources
So, how about some fun? One of the first skills we practice with students and new naturalists is that of observation. Try slowing down and narrating your walk a bit. You can practice describing things using I notice…, I think…, I wonder… language. For example, “I have no idea what kind of tree this is, but I notice there are tons of little seed pods underneath it. I think they came from this tree. I wonder why animals aren’t eating these, or do you think they are?” This can lead to more: “Actually, I notice little holes in these seeds. I think maybe something is eating these. I wonder…” You get the idea. 

There are plenty of new fun coastal, ocean, and nature learning ideas below, and you can see all of our Your Learning Connection activities online.
Look for your favorite themes and enjoy these resources that support at-home learning, empower children to investigate nature, and help families find respite from today’s challenges. 

At Home Science Experiments

Scavenger Hunt
We may be distanced socially but we can still get out and be engaged with nature. To facilitate this, we have created a scavenger hunt for children and adults to enjoy!If you submit a completed scavenger hunt form (available on our website) you will be entered to win a prize. Share your scavenger hunt photos for a chance to be featured on our social media!

Simply getting outside to spend time in nature is the perfect way to explore everyday science at work! In fact, quarantine is a perfect time to get outside; if you are missing out on the Conservation Club adventures check out the animals Mrs. Lindsey viewed while kayaking in her small beaver pond… 

Boston Children’s Museum 
Daily activities and at-home learning resources are available from the Boston Children’s Museum. Explore the museum from the comfort of your home! Visit our Museums page form more information. 

Strawbery Banke
Take a virtual tour of Strawbery Banke Museum’s gardens and historic landscapes! Use your smartphone or mouse to discover images that illustrate the rich history of this waterfront neighborhood. Listen to the Landscape opens Strawbery Banke Museum. The voices, sights, and sounds from the past will transport you and help you find your place in the unfolding story of an American landscape!

Spending a great deal of time with your family while practicing social distancing? Perhaps that means helping prepare meals and lending a hand around the house with chores. Listen to Lucy Stavers share what children’s chores were like in 1777 and explore her family home and place of business, Pitt Tavern
For other enrichment activities to help keep children learning and having fun, access Strawbery Banke Museum’s Virtual Classroom. The education department will periodically send ideas for activities and are available to answer any history-related questions that may arise!

Free fun at The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire