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Pack your holiday gatherings with fun and games (and some reading too)


As we prepare for extended time with family and friends, our focus is generally consumed with meal plans, holiday décor, and travel arrangements. Many of us enjoy spending time with loved ones, yet we face stretches of boredom while waiting on others to complete necessary tasks or just being away from our normal routines. The holidays can be stressful and sometimes overwhelming. Enjoyable activities can be a simple remedy for stress. Take a moment to enjoy fun and easy projects you can use to entertain your guests or take with you on the road. We have several books on hand to help generate ideas that will please all ages.

Keep restless travelers busy with great games from “Kids on Board” (794 Spi) by Robyn Freedman Spizman or consider how you can make your road trip a true adventure with “The Ultimate Book of Scavenger Hunts” (796.1 Tor) by Stacy Tornio.

Some guests may need specially designed activities to meet their personal needs. Kalman Toth’s “Activities Puzzles for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Stroke Patients” (616.83 Tot) is terrific for those struggling with memory loss or who have restricted mobility. “Activities for Adults with Learning Disabilities” (371.9 Son) by Helen Sonnet & Ann Taylor is another fantastic choice to include all guests when planning activities for the holidays.

If your guests love challenges, magic, and trivia, consider ways to encourage enjoyable learning. Start with Moxie LaBouche’s “Your Brain on Facts” (031.02 Lab) to gain a better understanding of your guests through their knowledge of trivia. Solve a mystery with “The Sherlock Holmes Puzzle Collection: The Lost Cases” (793.73 Ded) by Dr. John Watson. Design a trivia game with “The Indiana Book of Trivia” (977.2 Cav) by Fred D. Cavinder or “The Book of Unusual Knowledge” (031.02 Boo). Impress your favorite people with Allan Zola Kronzek’s “Grandpa Magic” (793.8 Kro) or with “Clever Card Tricks” (793.85 Lon) by Bob Longe.

Self-conscious and stressed by social activities? If you are looking for encouragement, for yourself or others, check out this lighthearted graphic novel “A Bathroom Book for People not Pooping or Peeing but Using the Bathroom as an Escape” (GN 818 Per) by Joe Pera and Joe Bennett. This is a funny, warm, and sincere guide to regaining calm and confidence when you’re hiding in the bathroom. On a more serious note, sometimes there is a need to unpack difficult family relations. Margaret Kimball approaches the stress of family life in her non-fiction graphic novel “And Now I Spill the Family Secrets” (GN 921 Kimball M). This is a coming-of-age story about family dysfunction and a reflection on mental health. The story is funny, poignant, and deeply inspiring in its portrayal of what drives a family apart and what keeps them together.

Stop by the Reference Desk on the second floor for assistance with finding these books or others. Take a moment to appreciate our extensive collection of reading materials. If you are interested in acquiring a CDPL library card, searching our catalog in advance, or signing up for our winter reading program, visit our website at or call us at 765-362-2242. CDPL is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.


Toni Ridgway-Woodall is a library assistant in the Reference and Local History department at the Crawfordsville District Public Library.


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