Tag: After School Library Programs

Room on the Broom Bingo


I’ve done a series of successful Book vs. Movie programs with grades K-6. Here’s another one to celebrate the spooky season! This one is a little different. The book and the 10-minute film are virtually the same, so there aren’t enough differences to create a game. Instead, I found pictures to do a picture bingo. Read the picture book Room on the Broom aloud, and if you have enough time you can show the short film. (It’s actually really cute!) To make this super-holiday fun, I gave out small cups of candy corn to use as Bingo markers. The kids loved eating them at the end!

Here’s the link of ready to print unique cards: Room on a Broom Bingo Cards

Here’s a Power Point you can use to call out the Bingo words and phrases: Room on the Broom. If you can’t access the Power Point, here’s a pdf: Room on the Broom Game in pdf form.

To play:

  • Give each child a Bingo Card and a crayon.
  • Choose a category and number value in the Power Point presentation to reveal a word, phrase, or character.
  • If they have a matching symbol, color it in.
  • You can offer prizes for the first child who has a Bingo, or a “Blackout” Bingo (where every square is colored). You can also play T’s, U’s or X’s.

For more school age program ideas, check out Jean Little Library. She’s hosting this month’s school age blog hop, Thrive Thursday! For more information about Thrive Thursday, check out the website with a schedule of upcoming hosts, the Pinterest board, and the Facebook Group!

Book vs. Movie: Madeline


I’ve done a series of successful Book vs. Movie programs with grades K-6. Here’s another one to celebrate the 75th anniverary of Madeline! Read the picture book Madeline aloud. That way there is no requirement to watch the film to participate in the program. If a word, phrase, or character comes up that they didn’t hear in the picture book, then it came from the movie.

Here’s the link of 35 ready to print unique cards:Madeline Bingo Cards

Here’s a Power Point you can use to call out the Bingo words and phrases: Madeline Books vs Movies

To play:

  • Give each child a Bingo Card, a red crayon and a green crayon.
  • Choose a category and number value in the Power Point presentation to reveal a word, phrase, or character. Have the children decide if it came from the book or movie.
  • If the word, phrase, or character came from the book color the box red.
  • If the word, phrase, or character came from the book color the box green.
  • You can offer prizes for the first child who has an all red Bingo, an all green Bingo, and a “Blackout” Bingo (where every square is colored). You can also play T’s, U’s or X’s.


Diary of a Wimpy Kid Scavenger Hunt

Wimpy Kid Scavenger Hunt

I’m having so much fun with my Independent Learning Station! The kids have loved the scavenger hunts I’ve been setting up and it appeals to all ages. To celebrate the new Wimpy Kid book, Long Haul out November 4, I was inspired by Bryce Don’t Play and Future Librarian Superhero. I created a scavenger hunt with clues that will spell out an answer. All correct ballots will be placed in a random raffle to win the latest book in the series! Here’s a pdf file to use: Diary of a Wimpy Kid Scavenger Hunt. Here are the instructions:

How to play Wimpy Kid

Library Lend a Friend

Lend a Friend Binder (3)

Inspired by my local preschool and Future Librarian Superhero, I began a flat friends project at my library called Lend a Friend. (I didn’t want to use stuffed animals because of the chance to spread beg bugs, etc.)

I wanted to create a variety of characters based on popularity and age ranges to cover families of preschoolers and elementary school students. I created a “Welcome Letter” describing what to do that can be found here: Lend a Friend. We designed a cute cover and designated a special bookcase for the new independent learning program (our name for passive programming to impress our patrons and board members). Now that I set everything up it will take very little staff time to just add extra journaling pages as the binders fill up.



Lend a Friend Binder (4)


Lend a Friend Binder (1)

Here are printable pdf files. Print in color, cut out, laminate, add a Velcro tab, and put in a binder:



AnnieJack and Annie (from the Magic Tree House series)

Elephant PiggieElephant and Piggie

Pete the CatPete the Cat

Hungry CaterpillarHungry Caterpillar

Geronimo StiltonGeronimo Stilton

GregGreg Heffley (from Diary of a Wimpy Kid)

Buddy Elf Jovie ElfElfs (Buddy and Jovie) For the holidays, I want to have our own Elf on the Shelf!

Judy Moody StinkJudy and Stink Moody

Curious GeorgeCurious George

Mercy WatsonMercy Watson


Lego StormtrooperLego Stormtrooper

Max Wild ThingsMax Wild Things

Paddington Bear


Paddington Bear

Here are a few examples that made me laugh:

Lend a friend Example


Lend a Friend Example 4

Lend a Friend Examples (3)

Lend a Friend Examples (1)

Lend a friend Family

Lend a friend movies

Which characters would you add?

Slime Making: Fizz Boom Read!

Slime Making: Fizz Boom Read!


wpid-slime-oozy.jpg.jpegWe got really messy this week in our Weird Science program. We made three different slime recipes and played around with each one to see which was the gooiest (yes, I just made up that word!). Using household ingredients and a little bit of prep work, you too can have an awesome STEM party! I had three tables setup with four stations at each table with all the ingredients needed, as well as instructions, bowls, and spoons. I made measuring cups for each ingredient or else this wouldn’t have worked with the amount of kids/ages in the program. The children still needed to measure correctly, so I don’t think it really mattered that I didn’t provide teaspoons or tablespoons. I included instructions for each, and a science sheet that you can photocopy for everyone. It was a great success and I would do it again! (I just needed to wipe down the tables a few extra times during cleanup.)

Slime experiments


Slime RecipesFinished slimes

I passed around the three different recipes to show the children what the slime would look like and feel like.
Slime supplies

Another Great Book Review!

After School Clubs for Kids

Do you have summer reading burnout! Here’s a great gift to yourself…

Shaia, Lisa M. After-School Clubs for Kids. Chicago, American Library Association, 2014. 192p. index. $45.00pa. ISBN 13: 978-0-8389-1202-7.

Authored by the children’s librarian at the Oliver Wolcott Library in Litchfield, Connecticut and former school librarian, this volume includes contributions by five children’s and youth services librarians from across the United States—Cheryl Cox, Elizabeth Esposito, Kerry Lemont, Melissa Messner, and Amelia Yunker.  Organized into 12 chapters, the authors offer ideas for after-school clubs for children in areas of math, fairy tales, science, humor, art, mysteries, out at sea, adventures, school, chillers, boys only, and girls only.  These afterschool programs will entice children to attend and become active, while integrating reading and literature into the events.  Each chapter includes four-week club plans for grades K-2, 3-4, and 5-6.  Each week includes a reading component of five minutes, an activity, and sometimes music.  The plans also include ideas for publicity, suggested books to display, and clear directions for each step of the meeting.  The single index includes activities, book titles, authors, songs, and subjects.  This is a valuable book for any librarian working with children in grades K-6, whether in a public library or school media center.  Teachers of these grades will also benefit from ideas on how to integrate lessons on these topics into their classrooms.—Sara Marcus, American Reference Books Annual 2015

If you need another reason, check out Booklist’s review here (steak knives sold separately!).

Fizz Boom Read: Egg Drop with School Agers

Fizz Boom Read: Egg Drop with School Agers

Egg drop supplies

This was a nice, easy program to run for this year’s summer reading program. I asked my coworkers to save some materials:

  • cereal boxes
  • paper towel rolls
  • granola boxes
  • disposable coffee trays

I also supplied:

  • straws
  • paper clips
  • Popsicle sticks
  • scissors
  • tape
  • bubble wrap sheets
  • cotton balls
  • 2 dozen eggs

Egg drop group

I found a funny picture book conveniently titled Egg Drop by Mini Grey that I read to everyone at the beginning of the program. I then asked the children to get into teams. I instructed each team that they were allowed to use:

  1. one cardboard piece
  2. one piece of bubble wrap (I didn’t want them to use too much!)
  3. any other materials

Each team had to construct something that the egg would fit into (I wouldn’t allow the eggs to brought out until the very end of the program). Luckily it was a gorgeous day outside and I’m blessed to have an amazing library property. So I took all the kids outside and lined them up. Each team had a chance to secure their egg, then give me their team name and egg name. We counted down from 5 and I dropped the egg from about 10′. The local newspaper came and printed some awesome photos!

Egg Drop 1 Egg Drop 2

Frozen Scavenger Hunt

Frozen Scavenger Hunt

After all the amazing passive  programs I’ve read about by Bryce Don’t Play and many others, I took a plunge at the beginning of the summer. I removed the children’s game computers and added a passive programming station, or Independent Learning Station. My opening Independent Learning Station activity was stolen from Catch the Possibilities called I Spy with My Jedi Eye. It was extremely successful! The kids loved racing around the library looking for the hidden Star Wars characters. This added program was a huge hit and I decided to add passive programming to my monthly repertoire!

I Spy with My Jedi Eye

So, I made a Frozen one. I used the Frozen lyrics cards from Sisters Suitcase Blog and tweaked it a bit to solve a secret sentence. I printed instructions to show the children how to play:

Frozen how to play
Then, I used the clue words to make a secret sentence (I wish Olaf was here!).

Frozen Scav Hunt CluesEach missing lyric word has a clue that is hidden in the library.

Frozen Clues to Hide in library


Here are the files you can use: Frozen Scavenger Hunt. And by the way…I haven’t heard a single complaint about the children’s game computer in a month!

What’s your favorite school age passive program?

Tower Building with the School Age

Tower Building with the School Age

Tower Building (2)

For one of my Fizz Boom Read programs, I did a tower building activity. I read The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein. Then I setup two stations with supplies. It was really cheap and lots of fun! The only thing I needed for myself was a tape measure.

Tower Building (4)

Station One: spaghetti, marshmallows, and wax paper (not pictured: I learned this after the fact! The marshmallows melt to everything, so I would recommend placing wax paper on the floor to save you from mopping!)

Tower Building (3)

Station Two: straws, paper clips, scissors

Give the kids plenty of time to experiment with building. I had them form teams and go to town. Look at some of their creations!

Tower Building b Tower Building c Tower Building a Tower Building f Tower Building (15) Tower Building d Tower Building e Tower Building (10)

Smell-a-Rama Bingo


Smellers bingo


Smell a Rama Bingo (13)

I created a Bingo game to go with the summer reading theme, Fizz, Boom Read! This interactive Smell-a-Rama Bingo is easy and on the cheap side. I used a lot of ingredients I already had in the house and around the library, and asked co-workers to bring in some stuff I didn’t have at home.

What You Need:

  • Styrofoam cups (The Styrofoam holds the smells in a lot better.)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Rubber bands
  • A pin
  • Bingo Cards: Smeller’s Bingo
  • Crayons
  • PowerPoint Game: Smeller’s Bingo

What You Do:

Prepare each cup for a unique scent. Rub the fruit/herbs/etc. around inside the cup. Rip pieces of aluminum foil to cover the lid and secure with a rubber band. Prick a few holes in the foil so the smell can be unleashed.

Smell Bingo Cup (1) Smell Bingo Cup (3) Smell Bingo Cup (2)

How to Play:

Hand out Bingo Cards and crayons.

Pass out one cup at a time and let the kids smell the cup. Have them color a square of that scent if it’s on their bingo card.

Give out clothespins for each bingo a child gets so they can hold their nose.

Smell MasterFor more school age ideas, check out Bryce Don’t Play. She’s hosting this month’s school age blog hop, Thrive Thursday. To check out past roundups, click here. For more information check out the schedulePinterest board, and Facebook Group.


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