Our Great Escape

I’ve heard about Escape Rooms in the past, but I’d never considered putting one together for kids until I read this post over at The Lego Librarian. I was intrigued with the idea, and so, following that blog’s lead, I plunged right in.

Escape rooms are physical adventure games in which players solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints, and strategy to complete the objectives at hand. (Wikipedia)

I had a lot of fun putting the game together and inventing the character of Serena Black, a grumpy librarian who locks noisy kids in the library basement. But the true test would be the kids. Would they like it? The answer: Yes, they did! (Whew!)

Mainly, I wanted it to be a fun event. Looking back, I now realize that it was educational, too. Good observational skills are a must. To keep things orderly, I emphasized that they couldn’t simply ransack the room looking for keys. They had to use their eyes and their minds. I told them that almost all of the puzzles and clues were right there in front of them. My mantra for that day became: Solve a puzzle, find a key.

The main goal of our Escape Room was to solve five puzzles in 30 minutes or less in order to acquire a key that would open a locked box. Three of the locked boxes contained pieces of the final puzzle. Once the final puzzle was solved, they acquired the last key which opened a locked box full of Halloween candy. At that point they had, in effect, escaped from the basement of the library.

Our Escape Room

The end goal = Unlock the box full of – Candy!!

Ms Serena Black’s desk, including a locked box and one of the puzzles – a picture of Serena on which I’d written a clue in invisible ink.

The clock was actually the “key” which would open one of the boxes.

Yet another locked box containing a riddle to solve.

A bookshelf containing two locked boxes and a hidden key.

Biohazard tape -because it’s fun and mysterious.

Another bookshelf in which the key to the candy box is hidden!

Final puzzle – a (fake) call number

Sign language puzzle, spelling out the word – pumpkin


Escape Room in the Library for Grades 3 thru 6

Toole County Library has a visiting librarian this Saturday and this Saturday only. Her name is Serena Black and she has been a librarian for…Well, forever, it seems!

Serena Black

Fun facts about Serena!

She loves:
1. Literature
2. Dark basements
3. Black cats
4. Strong coffee
5. Quiet. She really loves quiet. So, be QUIET! Her ears are extremely sensitive, so sensitive that she can hear a feather drop to the ground.

Serena’s favorite books are:
1. To Kill a Mockingbird
2. Sense and Sensibility
3. Frankenstein

There are some things Serena does NOT like:
1. Cute bunnies
2. Sweet peas
3. Fuzzy slippers
4. Loud children. Loud children are worse than falling feathers! So, no LOUD children, or else!!

Public Service Announcement (dire warning): Serena Black has been known to lock loud children in a room and throw away the key, especially children who like to drop feathers on the floor (so annoying!).

Special Announcement for Children in grades 3rd thru 6th: If you think you have what it takes to match wits with a cranky old librarian, show up at Toole County Library on Saturday, October 28th, at 10 a.m. You will be provided with a few dire warnings and a single feather which you can drop on the floor…if you dare!! Doing so will result in your being locked in our basement escape room from which you will have 30 minutes to escape. If you do escape, the result will be SWEET (as in candy)!!