Summer Wrap-Up!

It’s hard to believe, but this week is the last week of the Summer Reading Club at my library.  Summer has gone by SO fast!

The end of the Summer Reading Club means the end of both our reading incentive programme, as well as the end of our summer library events/programmes for fun.

I intended to recap some of the programmes throughout the summer, but that didn’t happen, =/ So, I thought I would recap the two best programmes we ran this summer!

The first was our stuffed animal sleepover. I’d been wanting to do one of these for ages, so I was really excited to finally get to run one at the library. For this programme, we had kids bring a stuffed toy to the library. Most of them came dressed in PJs, too. We read a story, played a freeze dance-type game, made a “magic carpet” craft, and then read a final story with the stuffed toys tucked in under a blanket on our story time carpet. After the kids left, we took the animals around the library, and took pictures of them reading, playing, and hanging out.

Photo from: Cudahy Family Library

The joy of this programme was the next morning. None of the participants had any idea what they would see when they arrived at the library…they just thought they were picking up their animals. What they did receive, however, was a printed page of three photos of their stuffed animal, a lollipop, and we made a book for the library with every photo we took. The kids and the parents both LOVED it. They laughed at the pictures, and beamed when they saw pictures of their toys. One little girl in particular, who was only 3 1/2, left her doll overnight for the first time ever, which excited her mother to no end. It was absolutely a joy to see their faces when they picked up their toys.

The other massively successful programme that we ran this summer was our A Day At Hogwarts programme. Okay, this was definitely all me. I knew, like, last fall that I wanted to run a HP programme at the library. And I’m glad we did. Most of our programmes only get about 8-15 participants (we’re a small branch library)…the Hogwarts Day had 58 kids, as well as a few teens and a bunch of parents. We also did a Muggle Quidditch programme immediately afterwards, which had an additional 18 kids. So, a GREAT success for us!

This was such a fun programme. It was a drop-in, with stations that patrons could do as they pleased. We had four stations in total:

The Sorting Hat – a personality quiz (that was obscure enough not to be obvious) and a necktie craft…after kids sorted themselves, they could decorate their house tie (we had ties, crayons, and string laid out for each separate house). I was surprised…most of the kids accepted what they were sorted into, and I saw all four house colours proudly displayed!

Marauder’s Map – patrons could draw their own map on cream paper. We then showed them how to fold the map exactly like the Marauder’s Map is folded, and then we stained the maps in tea, to make them look old and crinkly. We had a hairdryer for drying the maps, and a lot of kids left theirs outside behind our programme room to dry in the sun.

Wands – we collected twigs from around the library, and tied string around the ends to make them look like handles. We laid them out so the kids could pick their own wand (they ranged significantly in texture, size, and shape), and then they could paint the wands. A few kids chose to leave their wands as just the sticks, but most of them painted them…we got some absolutely awesome designs!

Butterbeer – We sold our own Butterbeer (ginger-ale float with butterscotch syrup) for $1.00. The kids were fascinated watching me make these, and I had to explain the recipe to many of the parents. We also got lots of people coming back for seconds!

The programme was great…we would have loved to have more stations, but we were limited in space and, more importantly, staff. However, it was still wonderful. So many kids dressed up in full costume, and I had some great discussions with patrons.

So that was my summer. There was a lot more going on besides these two programmes, but they are definitely what sticks out in my mind. I can’t believe it’s already over…time really does fly!

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