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The Gnome Game

One of the things I added to the summer reading program at my library when I started was a weekly contest. The past few years, it has been a simple trivia contest. We draw a couple winners each week and they get to pick a free book. This year, I wanted to try something a little different for at least one week. I decided to hide a gnome named David in the youth department and have kids try to find him. I used a pattern from the 2013 summer reading manual and traced it onto a milk filter.

My question for the readers: Where do you think I should hide him? We have a smaller youth department and I don't want it to be too hard for the little ones. I'm less worried about it being too easy.

Looking for more summer reading 2013 ideas? I'm keeping them all in one big Dig Into Reading post


  1. My library has done a seek and find activity during summer reading for a while. From what I've observed, preschoolers do a better job of finding the hidden image when it is placed at their sight level and near materials they tend to visit or walk past (picture books, Dora DVDs, themed displays, etc.). School-agers are more apt to scour the stacks for their prize, so I've found catering to an "easier" location for preschoolers can actually make it more challenging and fun for the older kids. Have hints ready, though! We always have a few kids (and frustrated caregivers) ask for a hint after being initially stymied.

    I posted about our seek and finds here, if you're interested:

  2. We have been doing this game for years during summer reading and the kids love it! No matter where you hide it, in plain sight, it can be a challenge....just try it with the staff and you'll see. We hide it high (on the clock, on a shelf,on a light), low (on a shelf, garbage can,wall), and in the middle. Just make sure to tell kids they do not have to move anything to find it.

  3. Can you hide him between books with his hat sticking out?

  4. My goal is to always put them in funny places. Can you stick him to the ceiling? Do you have any plants to hide him in?

  5. We have a similar activity but instead we take pictures of our character around town and each week put up a different one and have the kids guess where "Nemo" or "Owl" or (this year) where the Gnome was in the village.

  6. Umm-m....I LOVE the find a character idea. And, I can create one in a variety of mediums....but, I have to know...what is a milk filter? I mean I think I know but....How big are they? Can you buy 'em at the Tractor Store?


  7. A milk filter is somehow involved in the filtering of milk for dairy production. (Some) farm stores sell them. I put together a list here:

    They're pretty big (15 inches diameter, I think) but you can cut them down and run them through a printer for instant flannels! Use colored pencils to fill in black and white images.


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