SHARE the school holidays with SHARE Oxford

We’ve put together a list of things you could do to make the Summer school holidays loads of fun – all using things borrowed from our Library (*parental supervision required!).
We’ve got over 550 items in our Library – but here are just 11 ideas:

  1. Make your own movie theatre at home

We’ve got a projector you can use for your own at home movie experience. If it’s a nice evening you could even set it up outside with a movie under the stars.

  • Projector: £8-10
  • Projector Screen (or you can use a blank wall!): £6-8

2. Have a crafternoon

Borrow a sewing machine, or perhaps spend an afternoon making cool badges or painting a masterpiece. We’ve got you covered

  • Sewing machine: £5-15
  • Badge Maker: £10
  • Small Easel: £3

3. Have a board games night

We’ve got over 25 different board games – try a classic like Cluedo, or a game you’ve never tried before!

  • Board games range from £2-5

4. Dance the night away at your own dance party

Pick a playlist, put on some lights and have your own at home dance party

  • Disco lights: £3 -7
  • Glitter disco ball: £5
  • Speakers: £7-25

5. Go on a river adventure

There are lots of lovely waterways around Oxford, and getting out on a boat is a great way to experience them!

  • Inflatable boat: £5
  • Kayak: £20

6. Practice some circus skills

If you get good enough, perhaps you can run away to the circus instead of returning to school in September?

  • Poi: £3
  • Unicycle: £15

7. Whip up a storm in the kitchen

Want to try something new in the kitchen? Our ice-cream maker can whip up all kinds of tasty ice-cream flavours – delicious on some homemade pancakes or crepes! And if you want to go all out: how about some homemade jam?

  • Ice cream maker: £5
  • Pancake/Crepe maker: £10
  • Big pot (for jam making): £5

8. Have a camping adventure

Whether you pitch your campsite in your backyard or further afield, camping adventures make for great summer holidays memories. We’ve got lots of different camping gear.

  • Tents (various sizes): £8-14
  • Air mattress: £5-10 (or our budget camping rolls: £1-2)
  • Sleeping bag: £3
  • Camping stove: £5-8
  • Folding stools or chairs: £3-5

9. Learn a musical instrument
Wanted to learn a new instrument, but not sure if it’s for you? Why not borrow an instrument and see how you like it? We’re sure you could master a ukulele song in a week!

  • Ukulele: £5
  • Electric Keyboard: £7-15
  • Electric Guitar: £15
  • Accordion: £12

10. Host a fancy afternoon tea

Fancy sandwiches, delicate cakes and a spot of carpet boules is a wonderful way to spend a Summer afternoon. We’ve got you covered for everything you need to bring a touch of glam to your afternoon tea.

  • Cake Stand: £3
  • Carpet Boules: £2
  • Chocolate Fountain: £5
  • Bunting: £3

11. Say goodbye to the school paperwork

Want to get rid of all that pesky school work for good, or perhaps some old household bills? You could shred it, and perhaps then turn it into some eco-friendly fuel bricks!

  • Paper shredder: £5-10
  • Eco Briquette maker: £4

Prices listed are for a typical 1-week loan collected from our Library. Delivery extra.

We have a new membership scheme: £5/month, but you get this in available credit to spend in the library. Check out our membership page for full details.

Visit shareoxford.org to reserve.

ShareFest 2019: What we learnt

Maurice, Alex and Heather attended the first gathering for established tool libraries and libraries of things in the UK – ShareFest 2019. We had a great day meeting people from every corner of the UK and sharing our ideas and experiences about how we work in our communities to bring people together to promote sharing, reduce waste, and save money.  

Getting a tour of the Crystal Palace Library of Things
Photo: Alex Mates

Here’s our three takeaways from the day:

  1. There’s no right or wrong way to run a Library of Things – we all have different business models, locations, software, promotions, staffing arrangements – but we are all joined by a common passion for promoting a sharing economy and reducing waste in our communities.

  2. The people who work in Libraries of Things are passionate, interesting and come from many different backgrounds – there was a real diversity of skills and backgrounds but a united passion and enthusiasm. And after a name game – we all demonstrated our impressive memory and learnt each others’ names without name tags!

  3. We have great optimism for what the movement of Library of Things could grow into – we are just the start – the first 11 libraries that could soon be just some of hundreds!

The other libraries are both just like us, and so different as well and we look forward to working with the other eleven libraries from:

A huge thank you to the London Library of Things for hosting, to B&Q for sponsoring the event (and bringing all the libraries a £100 voucher to spend – we look forward to thinking about what we’ll use this for!), to Eden Project Communities for being our Network partner and facilitating the day for us, and to Neal from Belfast Tool Library for capturing some great photos of the day.

We look forward to keeping in touch, developing the next steps together, and growing our movement!

10 things to do this Autumn in and around Oxford

As the leaves change colour, the mornings get a little crisper, and the days a little shorter – we’ve put together a list of 10 things to do to make the most of the season:

  1. Go apple picking – why not borrow our extendable apple picker (£5/week) to help? It means you’ll get the nicest and juiciest apples right at the top of the trees. As for where to find the apples? Check out the Oxford Wild Food Map.
  2. Make some pumpkin soup – October is filled with pumpkins, but don’t just carve your pumpkins – eat them! Good Food Oxford is running a Pumpkin Festival from 26 October to 3 November. Visit their website to get some great recipes and find an event near you.
Autumn is a great time for tasty pumpkins!
  1. Plant some bulbs to enjoy next Spring – gardening teaches such patience, but imagine how lovely it will be when your bulbs emerge after the cold winter. RHS has some handy advice about planting bulbs and pop past the Library to borrow a garden fork or hoe (£3/week each) 
  2. Make some warm spiced cider or juice– nothing signals the start of the cooler months than warm spiced drinks. Simmer some up and get the house smelling like Autumn. You could borrow our big pot (£5/week) if you’ve invited friends around to enjoy as well!
  3. Watch fireworks for a good cause – while the sky will be ablaze with fireworks for Guy Fawkes on 5 November, get in early on Saturday 3 November for Oxford’s 51st Annual Charity Fireworks display and support their many charities.
Fireworks fill the skies in early November
  1. Bake a pie – have some spare apples, or some pumpkin, or how about some tasty berries? Autumn is perfect pie weather so spend an afternoon in the kitchen becoming a master pie baker. BBC Food has you covered for some recipes, and we’ve got the baking beads (£1.50/week) for blind baking (Never heard of them, or don’t know how to use them? You’ve got an afternoon of learning ahead!) 
  2. Learn something new at a museum – a great place to spend a rainy day! There are plenty of great museums in Oxford, or if you want to do some at home discovery you could borrow a telescope (£15/week) to see the stars, or a microscope (£12/week) to get a closer look.
  3. Visit the Arboretum – and marvel at the coloured leaves. You could get a double dose of Autumn and go on 12 October for the Arboretum Autumn Fair.
  4. Fix up broken items – dust off those things that have seen better days and see what you can do to get it functional again! There is plenty of advice on google, or bring it to the experts at the next Share Oxford Repair Café on 3 November.
Visit a Repair Cafe to give a new life to broken items – it’s better than throwing them away!
  1. Watch an educational documentary – there are some screenings like ‘Waste! The Story of Food Waste’ at Tap Social on 8 October, or if you’re more of a Netflix at home person – you could check out “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret” or the stunning “Blue Planet II”


So get on out and make the most of Autumn – winter will be here before you know it bringing with it the madness of the festive season!