Playing Stealthy Games at the Library

When we set up our summer reading program we like to create games that lead kids to different parts of the collection.  It's our sneaky way of connecting kids and books together. Kids who might never take a recommended book from our hand are wild about this "stealth" style of recommendation.

One all-time favorite game is the Mystery Bag Game where we bag up recommended books and let kids choose one blindly, check it out and tell us how they liked it.  It allows us to highlight fiction and non-fiction and it works great.

Another easy game is a jar filled with little slips with Dewey numbers on them. We ask the kids to pull out a number, find a book in that number, check it out and tell us how they like it when they return.  We choose numbers with large amounts of books (so 599s; 796.3s; 811s; 921s; 560s; 620s etc) so kids have a wide choice to find something they like.  We also change the numbers periodically as those areas empty out to give other areas of the non-fiction a chance.  We always hear from parents and kids that they have discovered new subject areas.

We also sometimes will set up a kids lit or fairy tale trivia game for kids. We'll come up with easy, medium or challenging questions to accommodate different age groups - we want all kids to be successful. We have three different questions per week and change the questions weekly. Kids adore it.

We also have an Early Literacy Area and Story Action Pod area that we encourage kids to play at and tell us when they are done.  While I've been on my summer library program workshop tours in Wisconsin and Kansas I heard from alot of the librarian staff on other games they use successfully - scavenger hunts; a "Spin the Wheel" to do different fun activities; searching the room for a hidden literary character; and more. Those ideas are contained in my Idea Sparklers posts, one of which can be found here!

What stealth games do you use in your library to lead kids to books and more reading?

Image: 'Three Wise Ninjas'  http://www.flickr.com/photos/34887679@N00/5570900386

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