Re-posted from School Library Journal by Heather Booth
July 14, 2016
Puzzles, mystery, a darkened library, a time limit, and the ominous feeling that a ghost just might be looking over your shoulder? Yes, please!
My library is this gorgeous 80+ year old building that’s been expanded thoughtfully so that the original building–a one-room stone space with tall windows, a fireplace, and impressive oak doors–has been preserved as a reading room. It’s not a place teens have much opportunity to enjoy unless they’re quietly studying for finals all alone. It’s quiet. It gets dark. The doors close behind you, and then…..
It becomes an ideal spot to try out a locked room/escape room program.
We hosted this escape room as an after-hours program. Teens entering 6th-10th grade arrived at the library before closing to register and get matched into teams. The meeting room was the designated “holding pen” where we provided board games and snacks while the teams waited their turn to be called into the puzzle room. Each team was given 15 minutes to solve a series of puzzles that would ultimately lead to the key that opened the door. It was a blast, and we’re in the process of planning another similar program for the fall.
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THINGS TO KNOW:
- You can not do this program alone
- You don’t have to come up with all of the puzzles on your own
- You might want an actual camera
- Tweens and teens are just different
- Practice makes perfect
- It’s a heck of a lot of fun!