This seems to be the most popular meme for children's librarians right now!
I thought I would give you a sneak peak into some of what goes into preparing for our Summer Reading Program. What you see below is a streamlined version of multiple months of planning. Many great ideas were found and tossed as being too difficult or just not doable with time, money and other constraints. Below you will find the finalized itinerary for the next 2 months.
Heroes of the Wild
I am bringing in an Austin, Texas based Zoofari! They will bring with them 6 baby animals for the kids to learn about. It doesn't really fit with the theme, but after holding the baby monkey at TLA, I had to have them out! At the close of this program we will make playdough out of corn starch and conditioner. I tried it out and its pretty fun and easy. A bit messy though. Two Ingredient PlayDough
Ronald is pretty darn entertaining. Last year we had him do a magic show and the kids loved it. Once again it doesn't really fit the theme, but it's free programming. After Ronald we will introduce salt art to the kids and let them makes their own pictures. Salt Art
Face Your Fears
Every hero is scared of something, but they face it, right? I have an archeological service out of Austin coming with several varieties of spider! I know I have a few adventurous souls who will be brave enough to hold a spider. I just hope the rest of the room doesn't have a heart attack! The activity this day will be handprint spiders on paper plates with yarn webbing over the top. Spider Hand Prints and Yarn Webs
This one is pretty simple, but hopefully will have a big impact. I have asked various community helpers to come out and help. The county will be bringing their SWAT truck, deputy cars and hopefully a mounted patrol. I will have the Fire Department bringing a truck, a local police cruiser and the EMS will be bringing an ambulance. In additon to these I have the Department of Health and Human services set up a table and Texas Children's Health Plan will be providing popcorn and other goodies for everyone! I'm excited to have the kids make thank you cards for all these departments that are helping us out! At the end of this we will make paper plate hats. I plan to print out various logos and the kids can decide what kind of community hero hat they would like.
Hero Training/Hero Games
This day will be a variety of activities. The kids will get to make capes out of table cloths, Pin the Star on Captain America's Shield, Choose Your Power Super Drops, Creating Your Own Shield, Play Super Hero Bingo and participate in other fun activities. I won't have a craft after this program because they will already make items and have many hands on activities to do.
We have this amazing performer in the Houston area. Julian Franklin always puts on a mesmerizing show. Kids and adults alike are just entralled when Julian enters the room. He keep everyone in stitches until the very end.This day ends in a pizza party and prize giveaway so we don't have a craft on this day either.
We end our summer reading program at 6 weeks every summer. Sometimes we have a float in the annual Watermelon Festival Parade as another incentive to finish the program, but not always. When Summer Reading ends we then go into a Backpack Giveaway. We buy some pretty awesome backpacks and stuff them full of school supplies. We then use the same guidelines for summer reading and the kids can earn raffle tickets to put in the backpack of their choice. It's a great incentive to keep kids reading all the way up until school starts. It also helps out the parents of the area too!
In addition to the summer reading program, I also host a Lego Club and multiple family movie nights throughout the summer.
What do you do for Summer Reading? Do you have any unique ways to keep the kids reading all summer long?
Some of my summer reading decor!