Our Summer Reading theme might be Fizz, Boom, Read this year, but I went off the map a little and decided our kickoff would be decidedly more book-ish. I settled on Where the Wild Things Are because it’s recognizable to almost everyone, a Caldecott winner, appealing to all ages, and super fabulous! We had a really fun time! Like most of our big events, I tackled the party by setting up stations. While our adult and teen folks set up stations for their age groups based on other themes we’re focusing on this summer, I took over the kids area with a variety of activities.
I broke out the old sentence strips and some yellow paper we’ve had in the supply closet for years. I added in some sparkly sequins, tons of markers, glue sticks, scissors, and a stapler. Here’s my example I had out on the table. I oped out of using sparkles. Because I’m hardcore like that.
Monster Maker Space
I have a lot of weirdo random stuff in my craft closet. Like A LOT. So, I turned a bunch of it out on the table, added glue and markers, and let kids make whatever kind of “monster” they wanted. They were super creative – everything from cups to paper plates became scary and friendly monsters. Here are a few of the creations.
I took a copier box and got one of my fellow librarians to use the box cutter to cut a circle in them (I am clumsy. I do not use box cutters if I can help it.) I grabbed some construction paper and slapped it on. I pulled out our bean bags and set the boxes on the floor. They were a huge hit! I never could have estimated how popular a copy box could be!
Movie and Monster Brownies
We set up the Spike Jones Where The Wild Things Are move in the meeting room. We popped popcorn and set up some punch. I got some brownies from the grocery store (just those pre-packaged kind your mom would never let you eat). Each kid got a brownie, some M&Ms, a package of smarties, and some pretzel sticks to make their own brownie. Hopefully they love them so much they’ll eat them up!
Overall, this was a really fun program! None of the stations needed too much babysitting – I was out in the library with the crowns, the monster toss, and the maker space, and we had another staff member minding the movie and the snacks. It was a great way to kick off summer, and I think our enthusiasm really made our patrons more excited about summer reading!