Search Results for "teen passive"

Teen Passive: Concentrate on Charms

Every month I host a passive activity in the teen room. Sometimes they are repeat styles of something like Coloring, Book-in-a-Bottle or Book Emoji Storylines where the shredded or emoji explained book will change, but the concept stays the same: identify the title. But in October, something magical happens at the Westerville Public Library…the whole building turns into a school for witches and wizards of all ages and we showcase the magic of the library during the Wizards & Wands Festival.

2018 was the first installment of this festival and the outpouring from the community was enormous! This year with one magical festival under our belt the Wizards & Wands Festival has grown even larger and features all kinds of fun activities around the building leading up to the night of festivities. One of those activities is my October Teen Passive: Concentrate on Charms.

All across the largest wall of my Teen Room are different wand movements for spells from the Harry Potter Universe, each one labeled with it’s name for identification purposes, as we can’t all be Hermione and recognize each swish and flick or the different spells/charms.(Thank you Potterhead superfans and Wizards Unite! game for the wand movements) Anyone wishing to participate can snag an answer sheet from the Teen Desk and wander through the stacks to the bright green wall in the hopes of finding the correct spells and drawing out the wand movements necessary to successfully cast it.


Searching the wall for the correct spells can take a bit of time as I only ask for 9 spells to be identified and there are 30 gracing the wall.


Each person can participate once per day and when their answers are returned to the Teen Desk they are awarded one prize ticket that can be turned in for a raffle style drawing during the Wizards & Wands event. While most of my passive activities are limited to teens only, the W&W Themed passive for October is open to all ages. The Wizards & Wands event will be this Friday (October 25, 2019 5-9pm), but Concentrate on Charms will remain up through the end of the month.

This passive activity has already had over 250 answer sheets returned to the Teen Desk and there are still 8 more days to play (2 more days if you are collecting those prize tickets!)

Teen Passive Program: Coloring

Kids have always been afforded coloring sheets, and then adults realized that “hey this is really relaxing” and the adult coloring book craze began…but somehow teens were, for the most part, left out in the coloring cold. When I inherited my teen department it actually came with a a few coloring books for use in house, but they were not really utilized by our teens.

Our current selection of coloring books in the Teen Room

I could tell there was a want, as many times the books would be looked at, but I think they were tired of the books we had and wanted things that were less intricate to color in. So came my quest for some new fun coloring books!

I started trolling Amazon looking for simple pictures, pop culture references, and random odd things. (This can sometimes be harder than it sounds as when the pictures get simplified they can begin to look very juvenile.) However, once you fall down the rabbit hole you can find an amazing plethora of coloring books such as:

Every other week I do wind up going through the coloring books looking for any inappropriate additions to the books, or as I call “my sweep for Ds and Fs”. Any swear words, social media handles, or genitalia drawn in gets pulled from the books. I also will pull any overly scribbled on pages because when there is a lot of scibblage no one will continue to color on that page. I don’t pull all additions from the book though and sometimes you wind up with some greatness.

Occasionally, I will also have a large coloring sheet printed out and I will tape it to a coffee table that I have in the teen room for some “allowed vandalism”. It stays on the table until it is either colored in, has lost the battle to swear words, penises, and “follow me @s”, or my favorite death, having every square inch covered in Old Town Road lyrics and a rainbow of a million “YEETS”. (Does that make it Yeeted to death? Yoted?)

And sometimes you wind up with some gorgeous, collaborative art.

Kids Passive Program: Book Tournament

A few year’s ago, one of my personal work goals was to start a monthly kids passive program. At the time, our library offered a monthly Imagination Station, a pretend play space for approximately ages 2-6, and a monthly teen passive, for students in grades 6-12. Children in the middle often ended up trying to participate in the activities designed for younger or older kids.

Read about some of my other passive programs at the links below:

One of my favorite passives is our Book Tournament voting bracket. I select 16 titles that have appeal to ages 6-12 (generally our most popularly requested titles), and match them against one another.

Visitors of all ages can vote about once a week for their favorite titles. Over a month, our titles are whittled down to our final match-up, which has now twice resulted in Harry Potter vs. Dog Man (but a different outcome each time).

Voting sheets and a voting box are displayed at the youth desk and beside our large bracket poster.

For 2020, our first round match-ups included (winners in bold):

  • Dog Man vs. Magic Tree House
  • Land of Stories vs. Amulet
  • I Survived vs. Wimpy Kid
  • Big Nate vs. Smile
  • Harry Potter vs. Last Kids
  • Bad Guys vs. Captain Underpants (by one vote!)
  • Who Would Win vs. Percy Jackson
  • Wings of Fire vs. Baby Sitter’s Club

Our rounds continued until we were eventually whittled down to the same match-up as 2018: Dog Man vs. Harry Potter. In 2018, Harry Potter won by a landslide. In 2020, however, Dog Man took the trophy by a single-vote victory.

Many patrons came in each week to check on–and sometimes attempt to contest–who had won the previous week. I’m excited to bring this back again next year and to see if we have a different outcome. 

Kids Passive Program: Scavenger Hunts

A few year’s ago, one of my personal work goals was to start a monthly kids passive program. At the time, our library offered a monthly Imagination Station, a pretend play space for approximately ages 2-6, and a monthly teen passive, for students in grades 6-12. Children in the middle often ended up trying to participate in the activities designed for younger or older kids.

Learn about other passive program ideas including:

There is nothing quite as appealing to kids of all ages as a scavenger hunt. These are particularly great passives, as the intended audience of school age children complete them, but younger siblings can too and therefore don’t feel left out.

We have made a ton of scavenger hunts at my library, and a few of my favorites are available to download below. Most scavenger hunts involve a sticker, 1″ button, or bookmark as the prize, typically made by department staff.

Dinovember Scavenger Hunt

I couldn’t help but use Land Before Time characters for the November 2019 Dinovember scavenger hunt.

Mother Bruce Scavenger Hunt

This was made for a Mother Bruce program, but I have used it a few times since. Little ones practice their counting skills by finding all 10 numbered geese.

Pokemon Scavenger Hunt

This scavenger hunt design is adapted from the amazing Ontarian Librarian blog. It makes an appearance in the week before my annual summer Pokemon Party.

Pooh Count the Bees Scavenger Hunt

The Winnie the Pooh Count the Bees scavenger hunt has a different concept behind it–instead of finding six specific pictures, participants count how many bees they could find around the room. I believe I hid around 30, and anyone who gave an answer over 28 received the prize. 

Superhero Scavenger Hunt

My very first Imagination Station was superhero themed, and I created a superhero logo hunt around the youth department.

Where’s Waldo Scavenger Hunt

Definitely a fan favorite at our library, patrons loved this real-life Where’s Waldo game. 

Kids Passive Program: I Spy

A few year’s ago, one of my personal work goals was to start a monthly kids passive program. At the time, our library offered a monthly Imagination Station, a pretend play space for approximately ages 2-6, and a monthly teen passive, for students in grades 6-12. Children in the middle often ended up trying to participate in the activities designed for younger or older kids.

Explore other kids passive programs:

I Spy Passive Program Poster

My very first kids passive involved a passive game of I Spy, playing off of the format of the well-loved book series. Our fantastic marketing department printed a massive I Spy poster I designed in Microsoft Publisher. The print took up the bulk of our passive wall at 84″ long by 36″ tall.

Luckily for you, I like to share. The full poster is available to download as a PDF below:

Each week, I put up a different I Spy Riddle that families used to interact with the wall.

In addition to playing using pre-written riddles, kids had the opportunity to write their own I Spy riddles, which we added to the wall for further interaction.

While I have done many kids passive programs since (look forward to future posts!), this is still one of my favorites. The size of the I Spy print thrilled many young visitors, and even with the hours it took to design the Publisher file, that process was still much less time consuming than cutting out and taping up each item individually (plus, the file can easily be reprinted!).

Program Resources

Access our program resources at the links below!

Baby & Toddler Programs (Ages 0-3)

Baby Prom
Baby Storytimes
Play & Learn
Play & Learn At Home (virtual)
Science Baby
Toddler Storytimes


Preschool Programs (Ages 3-5)

Preschool Storytimes
Stuffed Animal Sleepover
Winnie the Pooh Party

Passive Programs
Imagination Station: Mission Control
Imagination Station: Movie Theater

Themed Storytimes
Baby Shark Storytime
Baby Shark Storytime (virtual)
Doc McStuffins Storytime (virtual)
Elephant & Piggie Storytime (virtual)
Mother Bruce Storytime
Paw Patrol Rescue Academy (virtual)
Pete the Cat Storytime (virtual)
Pinkalicious Storytime (virtual)


School Age Programs (Ages 6-11)

BINGO
Book Character BINGO (virtual)
Dog Man BINGO (virtual)
Superhero BINGO (virtual)

Book Programs
Book Talks (virtual)
Graphic Novel Book Club (virtual)
Little People, Big Dreams: Ella Fitzgerald (virtual)
Reader’s Theater

Craft Programs
Make & Take Crafternoon

Kits (pick-up or mail-to-you)
Baby-Sitters Club Membership Kits (virtual)
Camp Half Blood Welcome Kits (virtual)
How to Train Your Dragon Kits (virtual)

Party Programs (celebrate popular books or characters)
Dog Man to the Rescue
Frozen Sing Along & Celebration
Pokémon Party
Pokémon Week (Trivia, Guess that Pokemon, BINGO) (virtual)

Passive Programs
Book Tournament
I Spy
Scavenger Hunts

Tech Programs
Innovation Academy: Coding (virtual)
Innovation Academy: Coding 101
Innovation Academy: Tech Fair
Innovation Academy: Virtual and Augmented Reality (virtual)

Trivia
Disney Trivia (virtual)
Dog Man Trivia (virtual)


Teen Programs (Ages 12-18)

Happy Little Painting (Bob Ross)
Programming Fails: The Best Laid Plans
Steven Universe Color Party
String Art: Programming By a Thread
Teen Advisory Board
Teen Craft Kit: Bubble Tea (virtual)
Teen Volunteer Training

Passive Programs
Teen Passive Program: Coloring
Teen Passive Program: Concentrate on Charms


Summer Reading

Summer Reading Promo Video

Make & Take Crafternoon

A few times a year, I offer a Make & Take Crafternoon program for our patrons. While this is designed for ages 6+ (some crafts with small pieces are included), this is a family event with a variety of crafting opportunities. This is also a great chance for us to clean out old supplies that have been sitting in our cabients.

While this isn’t my best attended event, it is simpler than most, involving a few stations and teen volunteer help.

At this month’s crafternoon, my activities included:

  • Button Makers (2.25″ and 1″)
  • 3Doodlers
  • Perler Beads
  • Random Craft Corner

Visitors could move between any of the stations as they liked over the 1 hour and 15 minute program. Anything they made they got to keep.

Make & Take Buttons

While our button makers are normally quite popular, they didn’t receive much use during this program. One teen volunteer managed both our 1″ and 2.25″ button makers, both from American Button Machines.

These machines have definitely been worth their relatively high cost. We use the machines as a creation station in programs, and we use the buttons we make as incentives to stop by the library during the summer, prizes for passive activities, and giveaways at large events.

I have a ton of templates with cute button images as well as blank templates that allow kids to design their own buttons. I also put out magazines for kids to find their own images in, but these have not been very popular at my last few programs.

3Doodlers

Our 3Doodlers didn’t get too much use at this event. Typically, they are the star of the show. These amazing pens print a warm plastic that can be molded into any shape before it hardens. While it isn’t recommended you draw on your skin, the pen tip and plastic are never hot enough to burn you. They are great for practicing dexterity and patience for elementary school students, and older kids can make some pretty amazing creations.

Perler Beads

Perler Beads were the most popular activity this week! I was surprised to see the interest, but almost every attendee made at least one Perler Bead creation, with many being quite elaborate, and some involving over 200 beads!

We had an adult volunteer manage the iron. Attendees were welcome to copy templates out of beadcraft books, off of internet images, or to make whatever they could imagine.

Random Make & Take Craft Corner

I always like putting out random craft supplies, as this gives kids the freedom to make anything they would like. While the 3Doodlers and button makers often attract attention, many kids will gravitate towards the hodgepodge of materials to make something simple (like a bracelet) or something more elaborate, like a sock puppet with two heads. We recently had a large donation of empty Pringles cans, and those were the star of the random craft materials this time.

Make & Take Crafternoon is a fun program for me–it is simple to put together with what we have on hand, promotes family engagement, and helps clear out our craft closet. A win all around!

Virtual Program: Camp Half Blood Welcome Kits

We’ve been exploring different ways to provide virtual programming to our patrons. Many libraries have been providing make-and-take kits, but, unfortunately, due to our library’s curbside setup and our patron demand, that isn’t an option for us. A few week’s ago, I shared my Baby-Sitters Club Membership Kits, and these Percy Jackson, Camp Half Blood Welcome Kits follow a similar style.

I worked with one of my fantastic coworkers on this kit, so while it shares a similar feel to my Baby-Sitters Club kits, this has some of their flair as well. I also applied some of the lessons I learned in those baby-sitters club kits–less personalization, less letters that need to be folded, and more activities (rather than more passive information sheets).

Why send kits in the mail? Especially kits that focus more on fun than a specific learning concept? Read my thoughts in this post.

Looking for more Mail-To-You Kit Ideas? Check out:

Baby-Sitters Club Membership Kits
Teen Bubble Tea Kits

Camp Half Blood Welcome Kits: Contents

We probably went overboard for these too, but I want to do what we can to give kids those moments of joy right now, so I made do with what I had. At some point I will hit a wall with this because I have been stretching old program leftovers to keep these within budget, and that isn’t always going to be feasible.

Downloads for most items can be found in the downloads section below.

Each child received their own envelope, even if there were multiple kids in the same house registered. This made it more individual–not just that the oldest or youngest got to open the package from the library.

Each kit contained a general welcome kit, in a document envelope, as well as five individual bags from Chiron, Percy, Annabeth, Grover, and Clarisse.

The general welcome kit included:

  • Personalized welcome letter from Camp Half-Blood
  • ID Card
  • Camp Survival Guide
  • Readalike Book Recommendations
  • Swag: Bookmarks, Buttons, Camp Pennant, Trivia Sheet, Who’s Your Godly Parent Quiz, Camp Map

Chiron’s bag included a letter and materials to create your own Greek god pennant flag for your cabin.

Percy’s bag included a letter, your own Riptide pen, and some water fun.

Annabeth’s bag focused on one of the most important camp traditions: your bead necklace.

Grover’s bag included his letter and a prophecy “puzzle” packet to practice stretching your brain in preparation for your quests and prophecies to come.

Clarisse’s bag included your own Capture the Flag kit (with ideas for ways to make this a more individual scavenger hunt game instead of requiring a large group).

Each kit’s Camp Welcome Letter was personalized.

Downloads

Everything should be downloadable from the links below. All files are PDFs, though you can email me or post in the comments if you are interested in the originals for editing. They are all Publisher files, and as usual, I used a lot of different fonts.

Book Review Tuesday

Lots of great books this week! Read the book reviews below, and learn more about my favorite reads:

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Animal Showdown: Round Three by Stephanie Warren Drimmer (nonfiction)
Gr. 3-4. Which animal is most acrobatic? Loudest? Most venomous? Lives the longest? Find out in the newest round of animal matchups.

I like that this series isn’t quite as clear cut as the Who Would Win books. While some of these questions have just one answer–like the loudest animal–the book makes the reader look at the stats and facts to figure that out (or, in the cases of less clear cut matchups, the answer is up to the reader). A great design paired with beautiful photographs and, of course, fascinating information, makes this series a win.

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Goldie Vance: Larceny in La La Land by Hope Larson (graphic novel)
Gr. 4-8. Goldie Vance is back and taking Los Angeles by storm! While her best friends have glamorous lives as movie stars or are off working at fancy internships, Goldie has to figure out her own summer plans. When she stumbles across a grown-up female detective, Goldie knows she is meant to spend the summer solving real mysteries! After a bit of convincing, Goldie manages to land her dream assistant job where she is quickly caught up in a pair of intertwining mysteries involving both sentimental and very lucrative thefts.

Goldie is back! Move aside Nancy Drew–Goldie Vance is the queen of teen detectives. I love the sweet alternate reality that Goldie lives in (that essentially looks a bit like a Hollywood version of the 1960s without racism, the Vietnam War, and all of those real-world issues). Goldie and her friends exude the diversity that is much needed in modern comics but probably wouldn’t have worked out well in real life at the time–Goldie is biracial, gay, curvy, and amazing (she also drag races, though that isn’t featured in this book). Her friends are equally unique and awesome. Plus these comics are just fun–a combination of Sherlock Holmes meets Nancy Drew mystery, a few high stakes action scenes, fun side characters to flesh out the plot, and a great color palate that brings the setting to life. More please!

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Move, Play, Learn: Interactive Storytimes with Music, Movement, and More by Alyssa Jewell (professional development)
Adult. Make your storytimes active through movement, music, and play! Think about how to make all parts of your storytime, not just some elements, an active experience, engaging little ones and caregivers throughout.

I wish I had read this book pre-COVID, but I am still glad to have found it now. Lots of great messages and ideas here (and a great list of children’s musicians!). The theory and research in this book help me put into words what I’ve been trying to do with my storytimes before and after COVID–create an active, engaging experience. The less passive listening, the better.

While I don’t agree with everything–I’m really not a theme person, and those are emphasized heavily in this text–the below paragraph really stuck with me, so much that I wanted to include it here to refer back to. I had a core set of storytime materials that I used pre-COVID, and I didn’t put that much effort into revitalizing those materials. While I still use a bit more repetition than is highlighted in this book, I’ve been taking a much more thorough effort into planning and carefully selecting materials for my virtual storytimes–finding quality materials that I enjoy that highlight new voices, cover an early literacy skill, and fit the appropriate developmental level. I’ve wondered a lot about the time commitment involved with this and how this will fit into my job when I am back on desk with the public many hours a week, and I’ve been coming to the conclusion that storytime content needs to remain a priority. Author Jewell sums this up nicely in her text:

“For me, selecting the best materials for storytime is at the core of what it means to be a good children’s librarian. My job is to showcase the best of what the library’s collection has to offer. This means not only keeping up to date with the newest books and music, but also performing rigorous searches of the collection for each storytime theme, as there are sometimes hidden gems published years ago hiding in the stacks and begging to be brought to life. This is not always easy to do if you, like most librarians and teachers, are strapped for time. Everyone falls into bad habits at some point, such as rushing through material selection, gravitating toward comfortable materials that you or others have used time and time again, or choosing materials that you think are cute but are really not developmentally appropriate for your storytime. If you find yourself falling into any of these behaviors, take a step back and remember: the building blocks of storytime are the materials you select. If you are not putting energy into that process, then your foundation will be shaky.” – page 51

Queen Of The Spelling Bee - (Ellie Ultra) By Gina Bellisario (Hardcover) :  Target

Queen of the Spelling Bee (Ellie Ultra) by Gina Bellisario (first chapter)
Gr. 2-3. Life isn’t always filled with daring rescues for young superhero Ellie Ultra. She has to go to school, and sometimes those school days are filled with spelling bee practice! Ellie is sure that her super talents will make her a spelling bee champion, but when Ellie decides she doesn’t need to practice, things don’t work out as planned. But is there more to this new substitute librarian than meets the eye? Something seems to be off about the plans for the upcoming school-wide spelling bee…will Ellie need to save the day?

Ellie is a cute, spunky young superhero. I prefer Mia Mayhem’s everyday adventures to this series, but, reading level wise, this would be a good step up from the Mia Mayhem books. I’m not sure if these books have to be read in order (no series number on the spine), but I definitely felt a bit confused by many of the references to what felt like previous books. This felt a little disjointed at times with a heavy focus on the fast-paced action, but I see the kid appeal, and I appreciate any diverse young superhero.

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Rick by Alex Gino
Gr. 4-5. Rick has always gone along with his best friend, Jeff. Even when his best friend is mean–best friends stick together, right? Now, Rick is in middle school. He learns that maybe things don’t all have to be one way, especially when a new friend leads him to a meeting of the school’s rainbow spectrum club. The kids in this club seem to be so sure of who they are (or they are comfortable in being not so sure). Rick longs to be just as understood–but can he figure out who he is while still keeping his life as it has always been?

This was fun and so sweet! I loved the call backs to George–even though its been a while since I read that title, hearing Melissa introduce the talent show with a few loud “salutations!” was lovely. Rick was a particularly great perspective to explore. While George was a bit stronger of a book for me, I like that Rick was–and still is–questioning who he is. That questioning is normal and such a part of growing up that isn’t focused on quite as often as the kids who “know” something about themselves. Rick’s relationship with his grandfather was particularly strong and nuanced. Looking forward to more books!

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School for Extraterrestrial Girls #1: Girl on Fire by Jeremy Whitley
Gr. 5-8. Tara Smith longs to be extraordinary–but, when she said that, she dreamed of becoming an astronaut, not spontaneously combusting in math class. She wanted to travel to space–not find out she is really an alien. She wanted her parents to be a little less routine-oriented–not really be kidnappers that tore her away from her home and hid Tara’s true identity from her for years.

But, things don’t always work out the way you expect. Such as when you discover all of these extraordinary things about yourself, while also finding out that you still have to go to high school (but now a high school for alien teenage girls). New friendships, drama, and confusion seem to follow Tara wherever she goes as she tries to figure out where she fits in among the big, wide universe.

A new series by the author of Princeless! This wasn’t quite as amazing as Princeless, but I am definitely looking forward to the sequel. Tara’s emotional ups and downs felt very real, and I’m excited to see more of the world created in this series, including the multitude of alien species (more cat people please!). I’m also ready for the strength of a united Tara, Summer, and Misako–their new school isn’t going to know what hit them.

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There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon
Gr. 7+. Ashish was recently dumped by his (now ex-) girlfriend. Ever since the breakup, nothing is working–he can’t seem to flirt anymore, he never feels happy, and basketball just feels routine. Even though he can’t ever imagine it working, he agrees to let his parent’s set him up with a new girl, hoping that a little bit of a flirting and a few dates (without the pressure of making those things happen himself) might help him find his groove again.

Sweetie doesn’t think too much about romance–she is too busy beating everyone on the track, hanging out with her friends, and singing in the shower. When Sweetie finds out that Ashish’s parents want to set the two of them up, she is mildly interested–until Sweetie’s mom denies the match because Sweetie’s traditional Indian mom thinks Sweetie is too fat for an attractive, rich boy like Ashish.

Sweetie is furious. She doesn’t care so much about dating Ashish, as she hates how her parent’s insecurities about Sweetie’s weight make them control her actions. She tracks down Ashish and proposes a deal–that they date, in secret, behind their parent’s backs. He gets his mojo back, and Sweetie proves that fat girls are datable. Ashish agrees. Obviously, love follows.

I love all of Sandhya Menon’s sweet romance novels, and I’m glad I saved this one for last (of what she has currently published). It was fun to see familiar characters again, but Ashish and Sweetie just have a great dynamic. Contrary to their names, Ashish was the one who was a little too sweet for me at times, especially toward the end of the book, but Sweetie’s self-confidence and determination make this book shine. At so many moments, Sweetie could have crumbled–but she never does, no matter who is trying to hold her back, because of her faith in herself. So much fun to read.

:)