Family Fun: Library offers virtual Greek mythology and Mount Olympus

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Jul. 11—You can invite the gods and goddesses of Greek mythology into your home this week. The Spokane County Library District is hosting the Traveling Lantern Theatre Co.'s virtual performance of "Legends and Myths From Mount Olympus."

A lot of the characters in the play, like Icarus, Daedalus and Medusa, will be familiar to children, said librarian Corinne Wilson.

"There are so many popular book series that center around mythology, and this is a great opportunity, if your kid is a fan of retellings of Greek myths, to be able to see the actual myths played out," she said.

Wilson is hopeful the virtual performance will make it more accessible to more people. Where in-person performances are only offered a couple of times, this show will be available for a full week, through 5 p.m. Sunday, to anyone who registers online or calls the library for an access code. No library card is needed.

To pair with the play, Wilson will be hosting a Rick Riordan Mythology Universe trivia night at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Use the Kahoot app or website to join the game, where players will be asked about the "Percy Jackson" books and Riordan's other series, as well as Rick Riordan Presents books, which are written by diverse authors and also draw on folklore or mythology. Registration is required.

For kids who want some hands-on mythology activities, six county libraries have take-home bags filled with crafts and puzzles, Wilson said. The bags are available on a first-come basis at Argonne, Cheney, Deer Park, Moran Prairie, North Spokane and Spokane Valley libraries, no registration or library card required.

In the bags, there are beads, like the ones the kids in the "Percy Jackson" books get, for kids to make their own Camp Half-Blood necklaces, along with Shrinky Dinks and templates to make mythological designs.

There's a volcano in a glass activity to make a lava lamp inspired by the volcano in "The Storm Runner" by J.C. Cervantes, one of the Rick Riordan Presents books. And, there are crosswords, word searches and other activities "that will give you some hints of things that will come up during trivia," Wilson said.

The Greek myths persist because they explain the human experiences that we're still having, Wilson said. That's part of what makes them great fodder for children's stories.

"There are so many aspects of them that are strange and bizarre and attention-getting, but there's also a ton of action," she said. "They make good stories even if the world they were created for is no longer our world."

If Greek mythology isn't your thing, or you just want variety, the library has several other family programs on the calendar, including the following:

Extreme Science With Radical Rick — Students can explore the power of air in "Let's Make Cartesian Divers," an online program that's available through Sunday. They'll learn about forces and motion in "Let's Make Robobugs," available July 19-Aug. 1.

"Rick is great because he works a lot of science into his demonstrations and makes things that kids can make themselves," Wilson said.

Jeff Evans: Amazing Virtual Magic Show — An interactive show at 2 p.m. July 26. Registration is required, and a recording of the show will be available on the library's YouTube channel July 27-Aug. 2.