We’ll Link to That: Spring 2016

Every quarter we write a column for YAACING, a youth services newsletter published by the Young Adult and Children’s Services (YAACS) arm of the British Columbia Library Association. This quarter we’re sharing some of our favourite passive programs for the springtime. Make sure to read the entire Spring issue! If you’d like to catch up on our past columns you can find them here:

Also known as passive programs, these programs do not require a library staff person to supervise. They have no definitive start and end time besides when you put it out and take it down.  Though most are geared towards school-age kids, younger ones can often participate with the help of an adult. Here are some of our favourite ideas!

  1. Spring Bunny Scavenger Hunt
    The cutest bunnies on the internet if you ask us. Hide these book character bunnies around your library and have kids find them and either write their names or draw their costumes. All files included – just print and go!
  2. Who Hatches? Spring Scavenger Hunt
    Lisa at Thrive After Three is the queen of scavenger hunts. Her latest one features fish, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals all hiding within their eggs. Send your patrons on an egg hunt!
  3. Story Action Pods
    Bryce Don’t Play has shared a variety of different ways to get kids writing. Her Story Action pods present kids with a writing prompt and the tools of the trade (paper! pencils! crayons!).  We especially love the robot themed pod based on Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman.
  4. Post Office in the Library
    Rebecca at Sturdy for Common Things set up an adorable post office station where kids can fill out postcards to send to another library branch, give to a friend, or respond to the question of the month. We love how she incorporated local history too.
  5. Table Top Time
    Sometimes it’s the simplest of ideas that provide the aha! moment. Hafuboti shared this super easy drop-in activity that kids of any age can participate in.  Cover tables with butcher paper and leave out drawing supplies. We recommend having a nice display of drawing and sketching books nearby for an added collection bonus.
  6. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    This awesome program is basically an obstacle course crossed with a character party. Kids are encouraged to travel between stations and test their ninja skills like agility and composure all the while channeling the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! It’s easy on supplies but big on fun and Erin even shares extension activities if you want to build on the TMNT theme.
  7. StoryWalks
    These were started in Vermont and and refer to reproduced images from a picture book which have been displayed in an outdoor or indoor space for families to explore. Rebecca at Sturdy for Common Things put together an incredible Halloween themed indoor storywalk, complete with activities which is well worth checking out. These can be a bit of work up front but are pure magic!
  8. Library Lend a Friend
    Especially fun around spring break or the summer holidays lend out popular characters (laminated of course!) and have your young readers report back about what they got up to with their new friend.
  9. Weekly Showdown
    While there are lots of great ideas in this post we love how simple yet engaging Angie’s Weekly Showdown is. Post  a provocative question like trains vs. planes in a highly visible spot and let your patrons decide!
  10. 9 Weeks of Pop-Up Programming
    This is a treasure chest of independent program ideas- try one or try them all! Amy had teen volunteers run the pop-up sessions, each one featured a maker activity suitable for preschoolers to middle schoolers.

Do you have a favourite passive program that we missed? Let us know in the comments!

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