Do- It- Yourself Programming Ideas: Read Beyond the Beaten Path
In the November 2021 BayViews, we offered a Do-It Yourself programming plan with an Ocean theme, to go along with the “Oceans of Possibilities” theme of the 2022 Collaborative Summer Library Program: https://www.cslpreads.org/. This month, we offer a Do-It-Yourself programming plan based on “Read Beyond the Beaten Path,” the theme of the 2022 iRead summer reading program: https://www.ireadprogram.org/. This theme celebrates camping, hiking, and the outdoors. Many of these activities can be offered during passive programming, when you provide simple activities in the library for parent and child to do together.
For this program, offer camping-style refreshments such as s’mores, water in canteens, dried fruit, or granola. Decorate with maps and information on local parks to encourage more outdoor exploration. In fact, if it is possible, consider holding the event outdoors, with a fake campfire made of a light and tissue paper flames where one staff member can tell stories Glowing Campfire Craft for Kids - Buggy and Buddy.
Pet Rock Tic-Tac-Toe: Ahead of the event, paint five rocks one color, and five more a different color. Using chalk, draw tic-tac-toe boards on the patio/sidewalk area, or on posterboard if you are holding the event indoors. Then, kids can play tic-tac-toe, winning two out of three games. Make multiple sets so you can have several players participating at the same time.
Tarp Game: Ahead of the event, make one of these tarp targets: The $5 Tarp Game- The Red Headed Hostess. Basically, cut holes in an old tarp, and use a marker to assign each hole a number of points. Have each person toss three bean bags at the tarp; whoever has the most points wins!
Homemade Frisbee Toss: Make the paper plate frisbees seen here: Paper Plate Frisbees | Fun Family Crafts. Then, allow children to toss them and see who can get the farthest! Pair up kids of the same age when doing the tossing contest.
Water Bottle Bowling: Water Bottle Bowling | Fun Family Crafts. Make a bowling set out of water bottles, and have a bowling contest! See who can knock down the most pins after two attempts. This is a great game for Earth Day, too, due to the emphasis on using recycled materials.
Camping Bingo: Free cards available here: Free Printable Camping Bingo Cards - A Fun Camping Party or Outdoor Activity for the Whole Family! – The Crazy Outdoor Mama
Paper Bag Kites: Not all games have to be competitive. Make these cool paper bag kites and fly them: Paper Bag Kites (Fun Craft For Kids) - Somewhat Simple.
Leaf Rubbings: Gather a variety of nontoxic leaves. Have children use peeled crayons and paper to do leaf rubbings. Even toddlers can do this!
Cardboard Tube Binoculars: Cardboard Tube Binoculars: the perfect spring and summer time kid's craft (craftsbyamanda.com). All you need are two toilet paper rolls, markers, tape, and string for these simple binoculars.
Nature Bracelets: Nature Bracelet Tutorial - Mustard Seeds (typepad.com). Use ribbon, clear packing tape, and items found in nature such as leaves, flowers, seeds, etc.
Water Bottle Wind Spirals: Water Bottle Craft Hanging Wind Spirals Made Outside (dianarambles.com). All you need are water bottles, permanent markers, and scissors.
Woven Paper Placemats: Paper Weaving Craft For Kids - Step By Step Fun Paper Craft (madewithhappy.com). Make these simple placemats using colored paper and scissors.
Tiaras: Make these fairy tiaras out of paper bags, artificial or dried flowers, and raffia: Paper Bag Tiara for a Fairy or Princess - Happy Hooligans.
Penny Peck, San Jose State University iSchool