The class also felt strongly that spending alot of staff time on preparing and doing programs also equals money so they make a concerted effort to keep the planning reasonable.
This is what they shared:
- Every summer we do a wildlife scavanger hunt. We are lucky to be in nature, so I give each team a list of items to collect to make a collage. It costs nothing for kids to gather various colored and textured rocks, leaves, flowers etc.
- We always have a program that is "If you build it, they will come" we gather paper toweling tubes plastic lids...etc. The kids use their imagination and come up with some fantastic displays. This is a free program. Very little planning, just time to collect, and set up the program. best part, we all have a blast.
- I know I did a program for fall where the kids activity was to use stencils to put colored leaves on a tree on our library window. It turned out lovely and many patrons and the library board loved it. However the library board from then on wanted something on the window all year, well let's just say I wasn't as excited to do it after awhile and the ideas for something new all year stopped flowing.
- Our Smart Cookie program right now, is basically free. Our kids read, when they finish a level, then they get a free cookie from our local grocery store. Of course, we are lucky that our local grocery store donates all these cookies :)
- It is so fun to model to parents how so much learning can be done with so little money. We love using everyday objects to create a lot of fun and to use the imaginations of our kids. Sending home the recipe for homemade play dough, or bubbles, or origami instructions is very fun for all.