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Winter Reading for All Ages | December 28-February 28

Every day is a snow day at New Canaan Library, and we have a blizzard of books and activities for you to enjoy.

Challenge yourself to spend some time reading every day and track your progress online or in your personal reading log (Print your log at home, or pick it up at the library). Read books, complete activities, and record how many minutes you read to earn virtual badges and prizes. Complete at least 8 badges to earn a special prize. If you have any questions, please email the Children’s Department or Adult Services or contact us by phone at 203-594-5000.

How do I sign up?

Returning Participants

Log in to your existing Beanstack profile and select Winter Reading.

New Participants

Register in Beanstack (individual or family) and personalize your profile. If you are registering a child, the account creator is the parent’s information first, then for each child. Video Tutorial

Track Your Reading Time!

You have 63 days to complete this challenge. If you read for 17 minutes each day, you’ll reach 17 hours by the end of this challenge.

The Badges

Collect them all! Click on the badges below to learn what your challenges will be.

Share Some Warmth

Spread some kindness this winter! Check out the ideas below, or find your own way to spread some joy.

PRESCHOOL: Do something kind for someone in your family. (Help clean up; share your toys; make a card for your grown-up.)

SCHOOL-AGED: Do something kind for someone outside your family. (Donate food to a food bank; help a friend with a project; shovel snow from your neighbor’s walkway.)

TEEN: Pass it on. (Give a gift to someone you see every day; write a card of appreciation to a teacher, or even to the person who gets your drink ready.)

ADULT: Write a letter to a long-lost friend, on your own, or during a drop-by open letter writing hour at the library. We’ll supply the stationery and stamp! Can’t find that friend’s address? Let’s use the database address finder to help you reconnect with that dear friend.

Reach for the Stars

The stars are shining tonight! Take some time to stargaze, or try a star-themed craft to bring the night sky into your home.

PRESCHOOL: Design your own connect-the-dots constellation. Head outside and see how many stars you can spot. (Keep an eye on the Library’s calendar for a take-and-make kit.)

SCHOOL-AGED: Design your own moon phase slider, then go outside and see what phase the moon is in tonight. (Keep an eye on the Library’s calendar for a take-and-make kit.)

TEEN: Try your hand at this CreativeBug constellation embroidery project.

ADULT: Nighttime Star Charting: Find the winter constellations in the night sky that the great explorers used to travel the oceans and terrain of the ancient world. Which constellations are north, south, east and west? A skill for the ages.

Hear a Story

Get cozy and listen to a tale. Read aloud with friends and family, or listen to an audiobook or podcast on your own.

PRESCHOOL: Snuggle up and read a book together! Check out a wordless book and encourage each person in the family to come up with what’s happening throughout the story.

SCHOOL-AGED: Find a book the whole family will enjoy! Ask a librarian for a read-aloud book that you and your grown-ups can enjoy together.

TEEN: Listen to a YA author read you an excerpt from their own book. Sample titles from our YouTube playlist to find your next great read!

ADULT: Listen to an audiobook or podcast. We recommend listening to the Booked Solid podcast by librarians Samantha and Kathleen.

Game Time!

There’s always time for a new game! Can you master one of the game-tastic challenges below?

PRESCHOOL: Check out a board game from the Library and play it with your family, or try this adorable DIY literacy game.

SCHOOL-AGED: Create your own board game and ask a friend or family member to play!

TEEN: Learn how to play a new-to-you game, or join our virtual game night (7 p.m. January 6, register online)!

ADULT: Board games are for everyone– check out one that suits your interest. Invite friends and neighbors to a fun night of competition!

Cozy Down

It’s cold outside! Get cozy–and creative–with one of these hands-on challenges!

PRESCHOOL: Make a Cozy-Materials Collage: Make a picture using only soft materials like cotton balls, fabric, and yarn.

SCHOOL-AGED: Design your own blanket fort. Send us a photo!

TEEN: Get crafty with these CreativeBug knitting and crochet videos, or join us for Stitching Hour Thursdays 4-5:30.

ADULT: Cozy down to a movie via Kanopy (over 30,000 movies) or Hoopla (movies, TV and audiobooks) or cozy up by creating a blanket with yarn or cloth at Stitching Hour Thursdays 4-5:30. Or do both! So much to do at New Canaan Library!

Taste Test

Enjoy a tasty winter treat! Tackle one of the Taste Test challenges below.

PRESCHOOL: Make your own snowman snack! Check out this example for inspiration, then get creative with crackers, fruit slices, and more!

SCHOOL-AGED: Have a taste-test swap. Cook or make something delicious for a friend or family member, and have them cook something tasty for you. OR try a friend or family member’s favorite food, and have them try yours!

TEEN: Prepare a warm winter drink. Try one of these recipes, or put your own spin on a favorite.

ADULT: Learn new techniques and traditions; bring home a cookbook of exotic foods and enjoy the flavors and smells of spices from around the world. Find the perfect cookbook, there’s one just for your adventurous palate!


Whether indoors or out, winter is a great time for exploration! Explore your surroundings in one of these fun ways:

PRESCHOOL: Take a winter nature walk. How many shapes can you find on your walk? How many different textures can you find? Describe what you’ve seen (“bumpy tree bark,” “smooth, triangular icicles,” etc.)!

SCHOOL-AGED: Do a winter-themed science experiment! Try one of these projects, or come to the Library for a book of experiments!

TEEN: Visit a museum in person or tour one virtually. Check out a museum pass.

ADULT: Check out a museum pass and visit the MET, MOMA, Guggenheim, Frick, Stamford Nature Center, and more! (Must be a New Canaan cardholder to check out passes.)

Thank you for joining us

New Canaan Library programs are made possible by generous support from the community.

Contributions to The Annual Fund enable the Library to strengthen the breadth and depth of our exceptional collections, programs and services to our community. We are grateful for your support. Learn about The Annual Fund and make a tax-deductible gift.