Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Messy Art Club: Make it stick!

  • Program Goals
    • Encourage creativity and using different art styles/materials
    • Help build gross and fine motor skills
    • 25 attendance
Project: Sticker resist
How it works: The kids are supposed to put stickers on the paper, paint with watercolors, then remove the stickers to leave a shape. It never works quite like I want it to - I think I need better paper and/or stickers.

Supplies
  • liquid watercolors
  • paper (need watercolor paper)
  • stickers (still using the shape stickers from 3 years ago!)
  • paint cups, brushes, tablecloths, aprons, paper towels
Resources
Project: Tape art and stickers
How it works: I collected as many different kinds of tape and stickers as I could.

Supplies
  • Stickers - geometrical shapes, small glittery stickers, and everything I could find in the cupboard
  • Tape - colored masking tape, colored craft tape (or washi tape)
  • Markers, Paper
Evaluation

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Mad Scientists Club: Building Science

This is something from Minecraft, obviously
  • Program Goals: 
    • Engineering!
    • Encourage kids to plan and think ahead
    • Encourage kids to be creative with a limited selection of items
    • 35 kids and adults in attendance
Project/Experiment: Cardboard Engineering
I usually have a separate project and experiment, but this doesn't lend itself well to that. I had a large board up with instructions for the kids
  1. Think: What are you making?
  2. Plan: Draw a plan! Collect supplies!
  3. Measure = 2, Cut = 1
  4. Build!
Don't have what you need? Didn't work? Back to step 1!

I've also tried cardboard squares for building - it didn't work quite right, but I probably didn't get the squares cut correctly.

Supplies (cardboard engineering)
  • Cardboard (every box for the last month and then some!)
  • Duct tape, packing tape, regular tape
  • Scissors, hole punches, staplers
  • Pencils (I still have about 3500 that were donated)
  • Pencils, scratch paper, rulers
  • Markers and stickers
  • Duct tape. Lots and lots of duct tape
  • Cardboard boxes. Many, many cardboard boxes
  • Lots of little pasteboard sticks (donated)
  • Shape stickers, colored masking tape, yarn
  • Scissors, regular tape, staplers
Project/Experiment: Bridges
  • Cardboard/boxes
  • Books on bridges
  • Popsicle sticks (2 sizes)
  • Yarn
  • Tape (regular, duct tape, packing tape)
  • Scissors (big and small)
  • Glue dots
  • Staplers, hole punches
Experiment: Pendulums
I got the idea from Adventures of a Children's Librarian. It didn't work perfectly, mostly because I had trouble getting the balls attached to the ladder (decided the roof was a bad idea) but the kids really liked it.

Supplies
  • Playground balls, sensory balls, ladders, yarn etc. to hang them with
  • Blocks

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Library on the Go: School year 2017/2018

I'm continuing to work on defining this pop-up library/bookmobile program. I've sent some of the easy readers over to schools a few times, but that part of the program has never really taken off. What I've ended up doing is separating remote circulation, or pop-up libraries, from Library on the Go by whether or not adults are in attendance. If adults are there, I bring actual library materials that require cards to check out. If adults are not present, as in the case of classes, then it's a good venue for Library on the Go. I don't bring crafts to the classroom venues.

I've visited a couple classrooms, kindergarten through 2nd grade, and found that these work best when I line the kids up to pick their book, tell them to put it in their cubby or backpack, and make sure each gets a bookmark with the "rules" and schedule. In the spring I set up regular, twice-monthly when I can manage it, visits to OPtions, our local charter/homeschool co-op which is associated with the school district. Ideally, I'd go there on Tuesdays when they're busiest, but that simply doesn't work with my schedule so I've been going on Thursdays. So far the kids have been pretty faithful about returning the books to the library or to me when I come back. I expect some will end up in the school "library" though, and I'm ok with that.

I'm taking Library on the Go to one outreach venue that I would normally take remote circulation to in May. It's going to be a county-wide festival for health and wellness and I'm emphasizing our active programs and circulating kits as well as having a "healthy mind" by reading. I want to promote where Library on the Go will be during the summer, so I hope to have it planned out and on the bookmark instead of just "TBD" notes!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Lego Club

  • Program Goals
    • Encourage creativity, problem-solving, and math skills
    • Encourage collaboration and a friendly space for kids and parents to interact
    • Offer a program that fits a variety of ages, needs, and abilities
    • Attendance: 35
Challenges
  • Build a creation with 25 pieces
  • Build a creation from one color
  • Build a vehicle
  • Build a robot
  • Build a city
  • Build a winter vehicle
  • Build a (Star Wars) space ship
  • Build an animal
  • Build a school
  • Build a chicken
Lego Club is my longest-running after school club. It's a drop-in program - people can come any time between 3:30 and 5:30 and stay as long as they want. There is a display of Lego and related books that can be checked out, as well as flyers for upcoming programs.

I tell kids that it's an "all you can create buffet". They use the plastic bowls to go down the "buffet" and make choices, and then build on the tables. Everyone knows that if it's on the buffet it's fair game, if it's on a table in the rest of the room you have to ask (some of us are still practicing this though)

Legos were provided through donations and supplemented with Pig Money.

During Lego Club I take pictures, admire creations, talk to parents about upcoming programs and whatever is on their minds, settle fights, keep an eye on kids who don't have adult supervision, and sort the Legos. When they are finished building, which can be anywhere from 10 minutes to the full 2 hours, they get their picture taken for the bulletin board and Facebook and put their creation on the "play" table. We don't break them down until they are gone. (I used to put them on display but we had to keep cleaning them up and we ran out of space).

Attendance used to go up to 50 and above, but now tends to hover around the 20 range. It's mostly a fill-in program at this point. If I'm busy or unavailable, it's easy to have my aides or associates run things.