Second Saturdays - I started the 2nd Saturdays program several years ago to "make up" for not doing a craft during my Storytimes. It started out mainly as a themed craft project for families with preschool children, but now I incorporate all sorts of programs. Santa visits on the 2nd Saturday of December, I have a costumed book character in May for Children's Book Week, the 2nd Saturday in February coincides with our town's Frosty Fest so we do Frosty Crafts, the 2nd Saturday in October coincides with our community's Fermentation Fest so I do a food related program. In March, I did a "Dance Party" type program that I called "Get Moving in March with Music."
Character Storytimes - quarterly storytimes featuring Curious George, Clifford etc in partnership with our local PBS station affiliate. This isn't a full blown event, but more like a celebrity encounter for kids and families. For this I do share 1 or 2 books about the character, sing a song and have a brief Q & A with our guest and then have a chance for photos and high fives with our special guests. We also have other displays and coloring activities for families to explore.
Garden Party - A local community garden came to have a garden party featuring squash. Our guest spoke (briefly) about the history of the farm that the community garden is located on and the nutritional value of squash. We had a show and tell of the different varieties and the kids loved learning the different names and comparing the weight and shapes of squash. Afterwards each kid was able to pick out a squash to decorate with tempura paint. While they painted it provided time to share recipes and cooking tips with the parents. Families were encouraged to store their winter squashes and enjoy them as part of dinner in the future!
Body Fun - Brain Awareness week is the first week in March (http://www.dana.org/BAW/) We have a college NeuroScience class partnered with us to develop an activity. It has varied from year to year, but it's great to have another group of teachers share with the kids. They develop different stations and give kids and families a chance to color, check reflexes, learn about names of sections of the brain and more. This year they had a college student who had shaved his head recently and they drew on his scalp the parts of the brain and talked about what things they are responsible, it was very memorable for the kids.
Holiday Snow Globes - The K class was going to the senior center to perform their program so they added the library to their stops. I read them a couple Christmas stories and then they made snowglobes. I used clear plastic cups, CD's, cotton balls, little miniature ornaments and glitter. We glued the ornaments to the CD covering the hole, pulled apart the cotton balls for snow and glued down and then sprinkled the glitter in the "snow". Then the cup is glued to the surface of the CD. When you shook it the glitter floated around. The kids loved them and even some parents commented when I saw them that they were really cute. You do need to have a few adults to help with the glue.
Music & Movement - It seems like anything we promote as involving dancing or exercise has a big turnout.
Open Play/Craft Time - Having toys or crafts out for patrons to drop in and play with has been a huge draw.
Sharing Family/Child Resources - We have a "Toddler Fair" every year where we invite any community organization that provides services to babies and toddlers to come and set up a booth. We get a lot of groups, from Infant/Toddler Services to the local moms' clubs who come to share resources. There is always a large turn out of families wanting to learn what the community has to offer. We set up play areas to keep the kids entertained while the adults pick up brochures and meet new contacts.
Stop by here to read more ideas from Part 1 and 2.
Graphic courtesy of Pixabay