Tuesday, March 18, 2014

DIY Program Power

Not everyone knows the many types of programs available to us to use with kids. There are active programs, passive programs and DIY programs. Today we look at some fun ideas for kid-powered programs!

Kits! We are looking into little science type kits to be available in the Library this summer.  We are thinking of having a check-out type system...if a family wants the magnet kit, they bring the "Magnet Kit" card to the desk and we check it out to them to use in the Library and return when they are done.  We hope it works without too much staff time involved.

Crafts! I  put out crafts on top of our low picture book shelving. Crafts are generally a quiet activity. I used to put the crafts on a small cart with wheels. If things got to crazy, the cart could be wheeled away. Everything seemed to be fine. I took the wheels off and put puzzles and coloring sheets on it. The cart sits at the end of shelving unit.

Legos! Our Lego program is essentially DIY. One of our aides is "in charge" which basically means rolling out the Lego cart and setting up a few tables. She started with themes and will still "guide" them. "If you're stuck for ideas, today see if you can make a bridge with the least amount of Legos possible!" but most of them are self-directed. We display their creations in the department for a week (on a high high shelf!) until the next week when she takes them apart and they do it all over again. She just finished this week and had about 55 participants and remarked "It was chaos! It was awesome! It should be screaming and crying and pushing and not sharing, but those kids do an amazing job of working together!" 

Passports! Kids get a passport and moved along several country stations in the library, to see materials, books and crafts.  At each station they got a sticker from that country to put in their passport. Very fun!

Packets! TheCraft of the Month program is very basic and simple craft activity is available to patrons whenever we are open. Basically, we have the craft example behind our desk for patrons to see. We then take a form of ID (library card, state ID) and they get a craft packet which includes markers, scissors and a hole puncher. Patrons then take their craft and materials to our craft room to complete. We get many happy and satisfied participants who complete this DIY program. 

Idea Sources! PinterestLibrarian's Guide to Passive Programming by Emily T. Wichman and DIY Programming and Book Displays: How to Stretch Your Programming without Stretching Your Budget and Staff by Amanda Struckmeyer and Svetha Hetzler

What DIY programs do you do!?!

Graphic courtesy of Pixabay

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