DO IT YOURSELF PROGRAMMING
The 2017 Summer Reading Themes of “Reading by Design” and “Build a Better World” both promote creativity and hands-on activities for a library program. Even if your library is using a different summer reading theme, the concepts of design and building are two topics that are always popular. Here are some ideas for a hands-on craft, game, and activity program. You can adapt these ideas to your library, depending on the size, meeting rooms available, or outdoor space you can use in the summer.
Icebreaker: Have Legos and Duplo blocks available for free play while attendees are gathering.
Refreshments: Make “Build Your Own” fruit kabobs, run by some adult volunteers. Have children put a variety of sliced fruit on skewers for a snack.
No Sew Sock Dolls: Make these simple but cute sock dolls with rubber bands, yarn, stuffing, and markers.
Foam Stamps: Make these fun and easy foam stamps, with instructions at Make [email protected] Library. No Sew Sock Dolls: Make these simple but cute sock dolls with rubber bands, yarn, stuffing, and markers.
Shoebox City: This is a cooperative craft from the Show Me Librarian. Participants make a building or two to add to your library’s Shoebox City, which makes a great display!
Fruit and Vegetable Prints: Kids can make customized letter-writing paper and greeting cards using fruits and vegetables for printing.
Speed Racers: Make these racing cars out of toilet paper tubes and decorate them. The kids can race them if they like.
Games and Activities:
Giant Jenga: If you have an outdoor space, set up a giant Jenga game with pieces of wood. See how at the Instructables link. Or, you can make a cardboard box version of Jenga, http://tinker-studio.weebly.com/trash-projects.html
Playing Card Pyramids: Check out these instructions for building a house of cards at Bedtime Math.
Duct Tape Pencil Cases: Using these instructions from Make [email protected] Library, have older kids and teens make these pencil cases. For younger children, have teen volunteers make the cases but let the children decorate the cases with colored duct tape.
Shrinky Dink Jewelry: Be sure to have some adult volunteers on hand to help the children take the items out of the oven.
Mini-Marshmallow Blaster Contest: Before the event, make some of these Mini-Marshmallow Blasters out of PVC pipe. Group the players by age, and have them shoot a marshmallow out of the blaster. See who shoots theirs the farthest!
Passive Programming Ideas: Puzzle table – set out jigsaw puzzles for people to do while waiting for the next activity.
Penny Peck, San Jose State University iSchool