Wednesday, April 27, 2011

W is for . . .


Water at the library you ask? Yes, water at the library. The theme of the Summer Reading Program last year was Make a Splash . . . Read and what better way to celebrate than have a Water Carnival. While, this was an event that was specific to that Summer Reading Program, everyone had so much fun I plan to do it again. It is a perfect event for hot summer days!

To set the scene, I held this event outside in a smallish space behind the library (between City Hall and the Library) on cement. This is where I have all of my big Summer Reading Program events. I put up canopies to protect everyone from the sun. I had 5 stations staffed by student volunteers and told parents to dress their children to get wet.

While it seems intimidating to have all of this going on, and I was nervous how it would work, it really worked well. Plus, as library budgets dwindle and there is still an expectation to have fun events at the library, this is a fairly inexpensive way to put on an event that everyone can participate in and enjoy.

Station 1
Water Balloons Toss
This is the typical water balloon toss, where you have partners stand together and toss the ball back and forth. After each successful catch, they step back a step. I was surprised that we didn't have a water balloon fight break out, but I think the kids were having fun trying to not get wet tossing the ball.

Starting several days before the event, I had students filling water balloons. I stored them in a plastic container, which was good because some did pop before they were used.

Station 2
Kool-Aide Popsicle Drawing
Drawing yummy smelling pictures using popsicles made out of kool-aide. They actually work better when they are a little melted so that the color and smell come out on the page.

Making lots and lots of popsicles. Several days before, I mixed kool-aide and froze it in ice cube trays with a popsicle stick. When the cubes are ready, store them in the freezer with like colors, since the colors do merge when they are stored all together.

Station 3
Sponge Toss
Kids toss water laden sponges at goals on the ground. I was fortunate that my library system had a bean bag game that I adapted for the sponges. If I had not had that, I would have put tape on the ground to mark the spots for the kids to throw the sponge.

Get sponges, lay out goals.

Station 4
Spoon Race
Kids race back and forth between a container of water and a cup moving water with a spoon. The goal is to fill water to the line before anyone else. While this was the goal, kids were just as happy running back and forth and eventually there was no race, just kids filling the water up in the cup.

Draw a line on the cup as the water fill line.

Station 5
Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles
Blowing bubbles sounds pretty easy, but part of the fun was making wands out of pipe cleaners. This was supposed to be an easy activity for younger kids, however all ages enjoyed it.

Make Bubble Mix. I mixed water and dish soap until it made a good bubble. Not scientific, I realize, but easy for the volunteer who was in charge of the station to make more in the middle of the event. There are many recipes online that are more exact.

Posted by Anna