Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dig into Nature

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. Michelle from IN shared this idea.

Program Type: Active

Program Location: On-site, outside in summertime, could be used for outreach in a park

Target Age: 2-6 with caregivers, could also be used for K-3 with or without caregivers

Length: 45 minutes

Scheduling: One Time Event, 10 AM; before lunch/naptime… and before the Indiana heat and humidity become unbearable

Staff Time: 30 minutes for prep, to glue scavenger hunt sheets to the outside of the bags

scavenger hunt list with words and pictures (such as this)
bags for scavenger hunt finds (I used gift bags with handles from the dollar store, but anything can be used)
bottled water for thirsty families
read-aloud book

Collection connection: non-fiction plant, animal, weather, hiking books, as well as picture books featuring habitats, plants, animals, and outdoor activities

How It Works:
My library has a huge courtyard as well as a lovely wildflower and grassy area. I figured I could take advantage of the nice outdoor space with an outdoor program for the preschoolers.

We gathered in the small, shady courtyard for a welcome song: “If You’re Happy And You Know It.”

I read Maisy’s Nature Walk by Lucy Cousins.

We sang “Dig The Earth” to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”
                                Dig, dig, dig the earth (digging motion)
                                Plant your seeds in rows (plant seeds)
                                A gentle rain and bright sunshine (rain with fingers, stretch arms overhead for sun)
                                Will help your flowers grow (use hand and fingers as a growing flower)

I passed out the scavenger hunt bags and explained that the families could place items in the bag if they wanted to do so, or they could simply mark the items that they found on their nature walk around the library.

After 20 minutes or so, we reconvened in the courtyard to explore our findings. The hardest item was a squirrel! Only one child found one…and it was on the “Dig Into Reading” t-shirt I was wearing!

I handed out water and we talked about our items. I showed everyone the cart of nature books I had wheeled outside and we were finished.

The kids were really engaged because most of them had never been outside at the library before! I figure the majority of kids like wandering around outside and picking up objects, so I grasped that idea and took off with it. I’m thankful that I can do this kind of nature program on-site without much prep or hassle.

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