We are very fortunate to have so many Little Free Libraries in our neighborhoods. They are at our schools, churches, parks, stores and restaurants. Now, more than ever, we need more ideas on how we can share books.

Our families and neighbors are all home staying safe and homeschooling. Our students have lessons on tablets. They are also cooking meals together and doing endless art projects. You can find a list of children authors doing online read-alouds and activities on www.weareteachers.com.

Families are breaking up the day with hiking, sewing and playing music, all in the effort of enjoying staying home and being well. It’s a back to basics lifestyle. In the early years of Montessori, we called it “practical life,” by simply helping with dishes and folding linens. Here is a great idea for the kids; build your own Little Free Library! You can purchase kits to build at www.littlefreelibrary.org. The assembly, painting and installation will require many skills. Then you can decide if you want to keep your book box in your yard or donate it to a school or park.

Be creative! Find something you already have in your home to upcycle it into a Little Free Library. I have made one from a dollhouse, a night stand and an old kitchen cupboard. Add copper knobs. Copper will help keep your book box safe, and copper is an element that will not hold germs long on its surface. Look it up! We added science class to the homeschooling day. Now accept this challenge; use the least amount of components to build your book sharing box, or, challenge number two, use the most.

I have a collection of old Real Estate boxes donated to Little Free Library at StoneHill. If you are interested in painting one, email me at rosebuckensdesigns@yahoo.com. This is a community project, and they will be donated to city schools. Books are now being shared in 100,000 of these little book boxes.

What big idea can you think of to share other things? Lately, Little Free Libraries are being turned into pantries to share food and personal care items. Adding school supplies with books is a great idea. What about pet supplies?

Your Little Free Library will have many visitors stopping to take and leave books. There are other ideas to keep everyone safe while sharing books beside the copper knobs. I leave my door open on sunny days. I also clean it daily with a disinfectant. My neighbor Rebecca @townhillhomestead filled my book box with mini hand sanitizers, that she made to share.

When you go back to school you will have many stories to tell; how you built your library and where you decided to place it, what you filled it with. Hopefully you can have a grand opening, and celebrate together in the neighborhood. You can even start your own Book Club this summer. What a great plan! I know I am looking forward to a Big Book Share and Garden Exchange here at StoneHill.

Connecticut Media Group