Engaging programs to keep kids coming back to the library
The Geronimo Stilton series circulates like crazy with my independent readers. To celebrate the series, I ran a four-week program and gave the children a taste of each spinoff series. I don’t normally do food in my programs but the kids were begging for a treat, so I had a cheese tasting (cheese balls, cheese-its, and cheese curls):
The first week we focused on the one and only Geronimo series. I read a couple of chapters and then we got to our activity. We discussed the Geronimo series in great detail (font, blend of pictures and text, humor). Some kids had never read the series, so they got some recommendations on which ones to read first. Then I handed out our cheese tasting treats and we voted on which was the best. I think they all won first place. Haha.
We also learned about the parts of the newspaper, since Geronimo is a reporter. I used old copies kicking around the library for our project. We had a Newspaper Bingo Search. The kids worked in pairs/teams to be the first ones to get a blackout bingo (where each square is filled). They ripped and glued the pieces of the paper out to fill in the bingo squares. I had extra notebooks to use as prizes (Geronimo’s reporter notebook).
The following week we talked about the Thea series and I read the first few chapters of her first story. She gets a special wax sealed envelope and I had to let the kids explore with this! We did an invisible ink session. And I sealed each secret message with a colored hot glue stick seal.
The supplies are pretty basic: any acidic juice (lemon, apple, orange), cotton swabs, small cups for a little bit of juice.
I was in charge of the hot glue and had the kids line up when they were ready for it. They just needed to take their secret message (or drawing, which was more popular) home and decode with a crayon:
A lot of the kids are reading the Kingdom Fantasy series right now. So I read an excerpt, we talked about it, and then we did a craft that I purchased from Oriental Trading. They colored and built and enjoyed this calming activity for one dollar each:
I read the beginning of Cavemice and we did a fossil activity. I’ve done this before with great success. Kids get to be messy and explore. I mixed the dough ahead of time and measured each cup with the dry ingredients, and had an additional small cup for water. The children mixed their own dough, so I divided the mix into 24.
The four-week program was fun for everyone. My circulation went up for this series, and I had kids asking what our next series program was going to be!
What’s your favorite?
For more school age programming, check out Thrive Thursday: the school age programming blog hop. It posts the first Thursday of the month and this month’s host is Marge over at Tiny Tips for Library Fun.