Idea Sparklers #1 - Fun Ideas from the Field

I am just starting my presentations of 2012 Summer Reading /Innovative Programming Workshops around the state (and out of state too!). With thirteen library systems scheduled,  I expect to see lots of colleagues and hear amazing ideas.  As I go along, I will post "Idea Sparklers" and share a listing of the fun program/display ideas that librarians from libraries small and large shared together.

Although they aren't going to be fleshed out ideas, they will hopefully spark your creativity and get you thinking of new ways to engage kids at your library!

Our first stop is the Winnefox Library System in Wisconsin. Among the ideas shared:

  • If You Build It, They Will Come – set up a table and let kids create things out of “junk” (recycled materials). Sometimes a theme is provided or a bag of materials for each child who participates to spark their imagination.

  • If You Like Reading Wimpy Kid, Try These – put up a line drawing of the Wimpy Kid near a book cart or shelf and fill it up with “read-alikes”. Kids flock to the shelf and re-stocking the choices is constant

  • 40 Book Reading Challenge – after talking to the school staff, library staff learned that reading forty books helps kids maintain their skills over summer break. So kids who take the challenge get a sheet to record books read with rewards at school in the fall for those who both participate and reach their goal.

  • “No Girls Allowed” Boys Bash – we all know we can get a lot of girls at library Fancy Nancy and princess parties. This party features underwear flinging from Capt Underpants and other boy activities to give the guys a chance to shine.

  • Legos K-3- Put out the Lego sets; read a book to the kids at the beginning and have the kids build a lego based on the theme in the book. Wild success.

  • Stained Glass Windows – Using old transparencies, copy outline onto sheet. Outline in permanent marker (careful) and paint with fabric paint. Very popular with kids. With a donation of shiny paper, the kids also created shiny foil outlines to cut out.

  • Adult Reading Program – used a “Cootie Bug” theme. As adults reported back they would get a paper “Cootie Bug” piece to build their Cootie on paper. Very popular. Led to a brief discussion of other nostalgia toy themes to use with adults like rubber ducks or Lincoln logs.
Read more in the Idea Sparkler series here:  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10  11

Image: '♥ Love Explosion ♥' http://www.flickr.com/photos/77047514@N00/3115855390

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