Librarian-students all had a chance to create/report out a program they developed as a final project. Each considered the goals of the program, format (active, passive), how much time/money it might take and described how it was or would be done. Melendra from KS shared this idea.
- Name of Program: Boredom Busters, courtesy of the “Bryce Don’t Play” blog.
- Program Type: Do It Yourself passive program.
- Program Location: On site in the children’s room of the library.
- Target Age: Elementary aged children who are independent readers.
- Length in Minutes of Program: On average, the activities at the DIY station will take between fifteen and twenty minutes to complete. Each theme will be up for one month. There will be two crafts and one game or activity for each theme.
- Series Event: This program will be changed on a monthly basis. The first six months are planned.
- Scheduling Strategy: The program is a Do It Yourself passive program that will be available at all times the library is open. This will allow children to participate in the program whenever they are in the library rather than needing to make a special trip to the library in order to participate in a program. The DIY station will be located near the children’s desk, so that library staff will always be available to assist or refill supplies.
- Staff time and Budget: I estimate each theme will take approximately two hours to plan. Since many of the materials that will be used in the DIY station are standard children’s library supplies, like glue, glitter, construction paper and tissue paper, I estimate that materials will cost between five and ten dollars per monthly theme.
- Collection connection: Books tied to each theme will be displayed with themed materials. Each month’s theme activity will have a connection to reading, writing, or library skills. Two examples: during the bug theme month, the activity will be creating spider web poetry; for the Fourth of July theme, the game will be easier if children use the flag reference book to help figure out the flag’s origin.
- Estimated Preparation Time: Program planning should take no longer than three hours per theme. This includes time spent finding crafts and games, purchasing materials, making samples, and setting up the station.
This program is a do-it-yourself passive program that will be rotated on a monthly basis. Monthly themes will be tied into holiday, time of year, or library event. DIY projects will be set out on a table along with directions and supplies for completing the project. The DIY station will be located near the children’s desk. Directions for completing the crafts and enough supplies to complete a certain number of projects (between five and ten) will be left on the DIY station. These supplies will be replenished as necessary. This will, hopefully, keep people from walking away with supplies. There will be a note on the DIY station directing children to the children’s desk if they run out of supplies.
Each month there will be two crafts along with a game or activity tied to the theme. Below, I have included a list of monthly themes, crafts, and activities for the first six months. There will be a cart containing theme related books next to the table. Books will be available for checkout or reading within the library. When appropriate, such as for insects and spiders theme, there will be a sign with call number information for finding more books that are together in one area of the collection. Books will be a mix of fiction and nonfiction and will include some easy readers. I have included sample book lists with each month’s theme.
Ways the Program will Engage Children:
The themed DIY station will allow children to engage different creative strengths, since each station’s theme will include an activity related to reading or writing as well as an art project. The reading and writing activities will engage children’s verbal skills and creativity, while the art projects will engage visual and design skills. The writing and reading connections for the themes are important because they draw participants back into the resources the library offers. While the campfire stories writing prompts clearly tie into both reading and writing, even the simple act of suggesting a book to another reader ties the egg hunt to reading.
The DIY station will also provide opportunities for social engagement, if children desire such interaction. Since the station will be available all the time, children who are shy can visit the station when it is empty, while more outgoing children can bring a friend or even make a new friend. The DIY station will change on a regular basis, because of this, it will provide an ongoing program that children can participate is as best fits their needs. Ideally, it will motivate children to visit the library more because, as the “Programming Librarian” blog notes, when a library provides passive programs, patrons “experience something novel each time they return to the library, encouraging them to continue coming back” . DIY programs give children more agency in the programming process. Marge Loch-Wouters highlights, it is the children’s own energy, creativity, and action that drive their participation.
Detailed Plans for First Six Months of Boredom Buster Stations:
1. 1. April = Eggs
a. Glitter eggs
b. Tissue paper eggs
c. Activity/Game: Write a book suggestion on a slip of paper to place in egg and hide the egg. (Children can hide the egg they decorated, or extra eggs will be available at the children's desk.
1. May = Insects
a. Cup bugs (cups, pipe cleaners, markers, googly eyes, glue)
b. Paper spider webs
c. Activity/Game: Spider web poems (Make a large web with tape on a magnetic board. Supply magnetic “bug” words for poetry creation.)
1. June = Travel
a. Map ornaments
b. Make your own map (Could be tied into fantasy or travel books)
c. Activity/Game: Community passports (Passports include pages to partnering city businesses & other community activities. If children go there, they get a stamp or sticker on appropriate page. These would be given out at the children’s desk.)
1. July = Fourth of July/America
a. Flag Pinwheels
b. Pencil Fireworks
c. Activity/Game: Identify the Flag (Using images of state and regional flags, clues, and a book of USA flags on table for reference.)
1. August = Camping
a. No fire campfires
b. Mini-me using sticks, stones, and other natural supplies
c. Activity/Game: “Write your own campfire story” with story prompts.
1. September = School
a. Monster Book Marks
b. School Spirit Mascots: coloring sheets for all the local elementary school mascots
c. Activity/Game: Photos of the schools guessing game