The best day of the year – Star Wars Reads Day!
Well, at least for me, I get to be a Star Wars fangirl for the first few hours of my morning and just geek out while I let the Empire take over the library. I’ve been doing this since I started full time and I look forward to it every year.
This year, the Old Line Garrison really came through with 15 troopers! And then we had a few Mandalorians in the mix. It was great. They are so good at engaging with the kids and families.
We also used this as a chance to show off our new green screen and wind tunnel, both of which were huge hits (though I just realized I forgot to upload my green screen photos before I left work, guess I will save those for Monday). The kids were supposed to design their own “starfighter” and test it in the wind tunnel – in other words, fold some paper airplanes and see what happens! As you can see from the third picture in this set, many tests were done.
I brought some of my Star Wars collection with me to show off. The kids were fascinated with the Micro-Machines and I had to sit and open all of the playsets to show them what was inside. One kid was trying to finagle my toys away, kept asking if I wanted to get rid of any of them and which one I liked the least LOL.
I’ve done this so many years now, I have a great back catalog of craft ideas, so the set-up isn’t as intensive as other programs that I have to plan from scratch. Still, it makes for a very full, all-hands-on-deck 4 hours on a Saturday. But it is hard to not have fun with these guys wandering the library. The staff was fantastic, especially those trying to help people who came in, not expecting to see scifi characters in their library. Everyone worked together to make sure all the families had fun.
See more pictures from the day’s event here
WOW it has been awhile since I updated this blog! It’s been a busy year and I haven’t had a chance to share all of my success stories.
This is one I definitely want to shout about and encourage you to try at your library or community center or anywhere families need free activities.
Giant Size Candyland!
Like all great library program ideas, I was inspired by Pinterest. One of the other libraries in our system also did the program but they have a backyard and could do it outside, a luxury my branch doesn’t have. BUT it did mean I was able to steal a lot of their props. Plan this program for November or January and find the person in your library system (there is always one!) who goes all out on their holiday decorations and has all the peppermint and gingerbread men decorations. Help them unpack early or encourage them to not put them away after the holidays.
Believe me, that’s how we got most of our supplies!
The most time intensive part? Putting down the “squares” – I pretty much cleaned out our craft supply closet. All I did was use the good SCOTCH packing tape and tape them to the carpet. I was surprised how well they stood up to all the little feet walking on them for a few hours! I think I only had two that had to be replaced, but otherwise the kids tread lightly. But WOW it took awhile to get them all down on the floor – I think at least an hour, maybe two. We went around the meeting room, up the hallway and into the children’s area. Along the way we had lots of decorations and such that referred back to the game.
I printed out a color wheel spinner and just use brass brads and paper plates to create spinners. Then a very wise parent pointed out that we could just hand out the colored cards and have the kids randomly pick a card like they do in the games. BRILLIANT! Either way, everyone had fun.
We did the program on President’s Day because the kids were out of school and we knew families would be looking for something to do. We ran it for about two hours and it was busy the whole time. We had regular Candyland board games out for people to play while they waited for a free spinner/stack of cards or just to hang out. At the end, I used the sticker template provided one of the label companies to create round badges that said “I played Candyland at the Library 2017” so everyone got a sticker. I know some libraries like to hand out candy but with all the allergies and such out there, I didn’t want to do that. Everyone likes stickers.
This project was a lot of fun and while getting supplies together and creating the props took time, the day of the program was mostly just fun and watching everyone have a good time because everyone in the family could play Candyland since it is just about matching colors.
Here we are at the end of the day and we are still smiling!
Up next: our home-made Escape Room!
We had a “Science of Harry Potter” program this afternoon. I wasn’t in charge of it, my co-worker (who is far more hardcore into HP) was the planner. My involvement was today during the set-up and actual event.
The program was 2 hours long, though most people were there right at the start. We’re guessing we had over 150 people attend, maybe even 200. It was mass chaos when we opened the doors to the meeting room at 2pm because EVERYONE came right at 2pm and flooded the meeting room.
I ended up at the “sorting hat” table, which had a very short questionnaire for the kids to fill out and then I tallied the answers and told them what house they were sorted in to. This was so simple, something I know we have all done online many times, but OMG THEY LOVED IT! I guess because they are too young to hang out online and take these quizzes? I sorted entire families – kids dragged their parents over because they wanted to know which house they would be in. It was adorable.
We even had a few kids in Slytherin, which was hilarious. Usually it was little kids because, as we know, toddlers are evil.
Other tables included:
- Herbology lessons — make a anti-nightmare sleep aid from a collection of herbs
- Astronomy — make a star wheel
- Enchanting — levitating tinsel on a balloon (which didn’t work well because the room was too humid and we couldn’t build up enough static)
- Potions — invisible ink with lemon juice
- Divination — tea leaves, palm reading, and tarot cards
- Fantastic beasts — Owl origami
- Hogwarts Library — scavenger hunt starting point, quizzes, and BOOKS!
HUGE HUGE hit, as anything with Harry Potter’s name attached to it usually is.
(I will poke my friend and see if she can post a proper blog about the program since it was her brainchild)
These kinds of family programs with brand names are always insane but so worth it.
Oh, and bonus, I posted the above photo on my tumblr and Library Journal reblogged it! ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!
And now I’m going to pass out because what a day!!!!
Photo credit: @aacpl