Parachute ideas for all kinds of programs!

Stumped for ideas for using the parachute at storytime?

Think outside the picture books stacks!

Here are some great ideas for incorporating material from other areas of your collection.

Want to make your own clip art?

Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started!

Some easy ways to spice up your site!

Be sure to suggest your favorites in the comments!

Ideas for incorporating factual materials into storytime

There is lots of great nonfiction for kids out there. If I missed your favorite, leave a comment!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Announcing Michigan's KidLib Unconference 2015!

Save the date, friends! The MIKidLib Unconference will take place on Friday, April 24, 2015 in Kalamazoo. Any future/current/retired library type person interested in youth services is invited to join us whether you live in Michigan or are willing to come visit! Last year we had 95 attendees (in February!), and I know there are tons of wonderful libraries on Michigan's West Coast, so I expect to see a great turnout again.

Thank you to the Kalamazoo Public Library for graciously hosting this event. Registration will begin in January but you can mark your calendars be they print or digital now. Our official hashtag is #MIKidLib15 if you're on Twitter.

Also I'm super proud of how the website (my baby!) turned out-- thanks to an awesome Google Sites template-- so please OOH and AAAH.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tween Program: Maze Maker

I'm trying something new this school year with my tween programming. I decided to branch out from book discussions and try a different type of program each month. I'm calling this experiment Tween Tuesdays and it meets from 4-5 pm once a month. The first month we experimented with marbles and mazes in a low-tech basically free program I called Marble Maker. But Maze Maker is probably a more accurate name.

One of my co-workers at another branch brought a maze craft project to one of our children's staff meetings and I loved the idea (which I believe she discovered through Pinterest). So that was the main project of this program. I set out straws, invisible tape, and copy paper boxes and lids and the kids designed their own mazes. I also let them keep one (dollar store) marble. We already had all of this stuff on hand (seriously we have thousands of plastic straws).

Then, out of pure serendipity, I spotted an idea for a pom-pom maze activity in 101 Kids Activities That Are the Bestest, Funnest Ever (seriously great book). The book suggested using sticky notes for the borders, but I didn't think they would stick well to our program room's carpet so I went with masking tape. The kids blew pom-poms through the maze using the same straws, which I obviously immediately had them throw out. This is the maze I put down to start and I intended for the kids to hack it. Instead they played it over and over and then decided to make some true racing lanes out of the tape.

I also printed out some intermediate mazes from KrazyDad.com for them to do while waiting for other kids to finish.

We tend to have lower attendance for our programs during the first few weeks of school and this program was no exception. I had 7 kids register and 5 attended. However, that number would have been typical or my book club and I think we all enjoyed this program more. Two of the kids even asked if we could do it again tomorrow!