Happy “Noon Year” Dance Party!

This is such a fun program to do with kids, who are usually asleep for the midnight New Year festivities. Our “Noon Year” program happens from 11:30am-12:00pm, with the first 15 minutes of the program dedicated to making a craft. The craft is a paper headband with the upcoming year written at the top. The kids cut it out and can decorate with crayons or markers if they choose, and then it’s stapled together with a grownup’s help. We also bring out our bubble maker to use for a few songs, which even the older kids love.

Most of the songs we played weren’t holiday songs, they were just songs that got the kids excited to dance. The song we played at noon was, of course, “Auld Lang Syne”. Here are some of the other songs that we played before noon:

Shake My Sillies Out by Raffi (More Singable Songs) Silly Dance Contest by Jim Gill (The Sneezing Song and Other Contagious Tunes) If You Feel Like Rockin’ by Greg and Steve (Holidays and Special Times) Shakin’ It by Parachute Express (Shakin’ It)

For more ideas on dance parties, check out Green Bean Teen Queen’s post about how her library hosted a Bibliobop Dance party. Don’t you just love that catchy name? And Angie at Fat Girl Reading shares her experience offering Music and Movement, which is a lot of dancing and moving to the beat. Jbrary, the queens of all things music, also shares their ideas on having a Family Dance Party. And LibriErin has posted about her own “Noon Year” Dance Party, where she does amazing things like bubble wrap fireworks.

Has your library ever done an event to celebrate the New Year? Share your ideas with me in the comments.

Celebrating Dinovember

FIMG_2200irstIMG_2202, the back story: Dinovember was created by a mom and dad whose kids were huge dinosaur fans. Each night in November, the parents arranged the dinosaurs throughout their home, with the dinosaurs causing mischief and wreaking havoc in their home. If you’re familiar with Elf on the Shelf, this is almost identical to that. The idea of celebrating Dinovember has become viral, with children in over 45 countries now celebrating it. The parents who created Dinovember have also releas ed a book showcasing their hilarious pictures, called What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night by Refe and Susan Tuma.

After hearing of the adorable ways that families were celebrating Dinovember, our library decided that this would be the perfect passive program to do in November. While our dinosaurs don’t go around causing quite the same amount of mischief, we do have them get into some sticky situations within the library. Our library dinosaur changes locations each week, rather than every night, to make it easier on our staff. We have IMG_2207advertised this through word-of-mouth, social media, and with signage through the Children’s Department. When the children “find” the dinosaur that’s hidden, they come up to our reference desk to tell us what they saw the dinosaur doing. The children earn a dinosaur temporary tattoo for finding the dinosaur.IMG_2203

We also have a craft available for children to do during the month of November. The craft is a dinosaur crown, a pretty simple craft that works for all ages and is easy for staff to replenish as needed. Our display cart contains a wide assortment of dinosaur books, and the first week of November’s storytimes were ALL about dinosaurs. At the end of the month, we’re having Paleo Joe come to the library to do a dinosaur program. He is wildly popular within libraries for putting on dinosaur/fossil programs, and we’re so excited to have him as the ending to a successful month-long passive program.

Have any other libraries celebrated Dinovember? We had a lot of positive responses about it, and the children really enjoyed searching for the dinosaur’s new  location each week. You can  read Hafbouti’s post on her library’s experience promoting Dinovember, as well as an ALSC post about Dinovember.

Light Painting

ALight Painting few months ago we had a light painting program for 3rd-5th graders. This can be done with a light painting app and an iPad. The app we used was the ‘LongExpo Pro’ app made by EyeTap Soft ($0.99). The app settings should be set to “B Shutter” and “Light Trail”, as this will allow the most light in and make the pictures more vibrant. You will also need to adjust the iPad settings to allow the app to access your photos. Once everyone is ready, it’s time to turn off the lights.

We used laser finger lights for the light source, but you can also use a flashlight. Kids were paired into groups of two, so that one could operate the iPad’s camera and the other one could use the laser fingers to create a design. When the child with the light source gives the okay, the Light Painting OKother child pushes the button on the iPad to start the “picture”. Then the child with the light source begins moving the light around, which can be in a pattern or not. After several seconds or more, the child with the light source tells their partner to hit stop. Voila! The light painting has been done. We hosted this program for 45 minutes, with 10 minutes allotted at the end for the kids to share their favorite light painting photos with the whole group. This was a fun and extremely easy program to run, and also very inexpensive if you already have tablets or devices to download the apps to.Light Painting Heart

The laser fingers were a novelty to the kids, and none of them had ever used them before. While the kids enjoyed them, it did slow things down when the rubber bands became disconnected from the lasers. Some kids were able to reattach the lasers to the rubber bands, but others had trouble and needed our help to do so. If you decide to purchase laser finger lights, I would recommend buying the ones with velcro rather than rubber bands. They are more expensive, but they’re worth it in the long run because they stay in place!

For more information on Light painting library programs, check out these blog posts:
Bryce Don’t Play
BLTJones

Lego WeDo Robotics

Last week our library hosted a Lego WeDo Robotics program for 3rd-5th graders, and it was a resounding success. Let me tell you how we did it:

If you’re not familiar with Lego Robotics, you can check out the Lego website for more information. Our teen department has been using these kits for quite some time with 6th-12th graders, and we knew that our tweens would be interested in these programs as well. The children’s department decided to purchase the WeDo kits, which are easier than the Mindstrom kits that Lego also sells. The teens use both, but for the purpose of beginning something new, we wanted something where children of all skills could learn to build in one session. The WeDo kits sell for about $130 per kit, and include various Lego pieces, as well as a motion sensor, a motor, a tilt sensor, a USB hub and several instruction booklets. The WeDo software costs $90 for an individual license, or $300 for a site license. We did not buy the software for the WeDo kits; instead, we used Scratch (a free programming software created by MIT) to program the robots.IMG_2198

We requested advance registration for this program, which is always somewhat dicey in our community. While it helps us to limit how many people show up, we usually have a couple of no-shows no matter the type of reminders we send. It turned out that we had 10 children show up (out of 15), which meant that 2 people were working together with each kit (we own 5 Lego WeD0’s). In retrospect, having 2 children for each kit was a perfect number. This allowed kids to work together and it didn’t feel too crowded, but it may have if everyone had shown up!

IMG_2199We chose to have each group work on the Ball Kicker design first. We wanted to start with something easy and then progress to a more difficult design if there was time. The Ball Kicker took most of our kids about 10 minutes to build, and then about 5-10 minutes to use Scratch. Only about half of our kids said that they had used either WeDo and/or Scratch before, but even the kids with no prior experience caught on quickly. Once they had finished building the Ball Kicker, we gave them the Scratch instructions. If you’re not familiar with Scratch, you can read more about my first Scratch program here.

Once the kids were finished with building the Lego and programming Scratch, I gave them each a ping pong ball to use with their robot. There’s a small sensor attached to the robot, and whenever an object is placed in front of the sensor, the leg will “kick”. The kids loved it! They spent at least 5-10 minutes playing around with their ball kicker robot before disassembling it.IMG_2188

Lion Scratch RevisionThe next design the kids worked on was the Lion Roar. This one was slightly more tricky, and due to time constraints (our program was scheduled for an hour), two of our five groups did not get to finish the Lion. If the Scratch instructions are followed exactly as written from GA Tech, you will program the lion to stand up. We modified the Scratch instructions so that ours would stand up, roar, and then lay back down and meow (see picture). It was a pretty cute modification, if I do say so myself!

Our kids had a blast doing this program and they are already asking when we’re going to offer it again. For more specifics on how to host a Lego WeDo event at your library, read this post from the Robot Test Kitchen. Have you offered a Lego Robotics program at your library? I’d love to hear about it!

Using Instruments in Storytime

It’s been a goal of mine to start using instruments and other manipulatives on a regular basis at my storytimes. For some reason, I’ve always gotten a panicked feeling when thinking about what could go wrong: “What if I don’t have enough instruments for everyone in the group?” “What if a child cries when it’s time to give back the instrument?” “What if a child hits someone else with a rhythm stick?” What if… what if… WHAT IF!?!”.

And then I decided to simply try it out; I would adjust my routine if any of those worries actually happened. It was time to stop letting these instruments gather dust on the shelf, and get them in the hands of children. Here are some of my favorite songs to play while using the following instruments:

Egg Shakers:
Shakin’ Egg Blues – MaryLee (Baby-O!)
I Know a Chicken – Laurie Berkner (The Best of the Laurie Berkner Band)
Shake Your Shakers Slowly – Kathy Reid-Naiman (I Love to Hear the Sounds)
Goin’ to Kentucky – Carole Peterson (Baloney!)
Milkshake Song – Wiggleworms (Songs for Wiggleworms)
I Can Shake My Shaker Egg – Mr. Eric & Mr. Michael (Rockin’ Red)

Make sure to check out Jbrary’s YouTube channel for songs (and examples!) using egg shakers. Lisa from Libraryland shares an awesome post on the how’s and why’s of using shakers in storytime.

Scarves:
Shake Your Scarves – Johnette Downing (The Second Line)
Scarves Up and Down and Around – Johnette Downing (The Second Line)
Scarves On Your Laps – Johnette Downing (The Second Line)
Circus Parade – Johnette Downing (The Second Line)

Check out Jbrary’s YouTube collection of scarf songs for storytimes. Future Librarian Superhero shares ideas for using scarves in storytimes. Library Quine has a great post on how to use scarves in storytime.

Bells:
Shake Those Bells – Lynn Kleiner (Kids Make Music, Babies Make Music Too!)
Oh Children Ring Your Bells – Kathy Reid-Naiman (I Love to Hear the Sounds)
Ring Them on the Floor – Kathy Reid-Naiman (I Love to Hear the Sounds)
Ring Those Bells – Carole Peterson (H.U.M. All Year Long)

Rhythm Sticks:
Tapping on My Sticks – Kathy Reid-Naiman (I Love to Hear the Sounds)
I Have a Little Hammer – Kathy Reid-Naiman (I Love to Hear the Sounds)
Tap Your Sticks – Hap Palmer (Rhythms on Parade)
Stick Dance – Hap Palmer (Rhythms on Parade)

Laptime and Storytime explains how to make your own rhythm sticks if your library doesn’t own any.

Bean Bags:
Bean Bag Shake – Hap Palmer (Rhythms on Parade)
Beanie Bag Dance – Greg and Steve (Kids in Action)
Bean Bag Rock – Georgiana Stewart (Bean Bag Activities & Coordination Skills)
Bean Bag Boogie – Learning Station (Me and My Bean Bag)

Storytime Stuff has a lot of creative ideas for ways to use bean bags in storytime.

Fat Girl Reading has a tons of suggestions on ways to use instruments and interactive movement songs to get your group up and moving. And here’s an awesome handout, called Storytimes that Sizzle, from the Upper Hudson Library System that lists a million song options to try. The ideas are endless! My next goal is to begin using the parachute in storytimes; stay tuned for a post about that!

Police Officer Storytime

 

Officer Buckle and GloriaOnce a year, we are fortunate to have a police officer come to our library and host a storytime. The officer comes dressed in his police uniform and greets the children as they enter the room. His favorite book to read is Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann. It’s a little long for the younger audience that we receive, but it’s a book that he feels comfortable with and enjoys, and for the most part the children can stay still for the entire book. Touch a Truck

Once the officer is finished reading his book, we ask the kids to gather outside so that they can see the officer’s police car. It’s important to plan this storytime for a time of year when you’re likely to get nicer weather. You can never be guaranteed good weather, but it’s best to plan this event during warmer months to allow for children to see the police car outdoors.

Here’s a brief overview of the storytime books & activities that we share with the children. We like to plan for 15 minutes of reading and other activities before we hand the mic over to the officer for his book. The kids would love it if the Officer did the entire storytime, but that can be a lot to ask of someone who’s main job doesn’t deal with entertaining children. The other important thing to mention is that our police force is always upfront in saying that they cannot guarantee a police car will be available for the storytime. If there is a need for the squad car, they would be unable to display it for the storytime finale. We avoid any possible issues by not advertising that a police car will be at the storytimes – though, we’ve never been in the position that the car didn’t show up.

Book: Police Officers on Patrol by Kersten HamiltonOfficer

Song: I’m a Police Officer (tune of: “I’m a Little Teapot”)
I’m a police officer, here is my star (point to chest)
I help people near and far. (point close, and then point far away)
If you have a problem, call on me. (hold hand up to ear imitating a phone)
And I will be there, one, two, three! (count to three on fingers)

Book: The Police Cloud by Christoph Niemann

Make sure to check out So Tomorrow’s post on having a police officer or firefighter storytime. Falling Flannelboards has information on hosting Celebrity Storytime, which can include community helpers and other popular people around town. The Show Me Librarian had the wonderful and unconventional idea to do a Ballet Storytime, complete with a ballerina! She also shared an adorable Soccer Storytime with a guest appearance by soccer players, cleats and all. You can get more ideas for other stories on community helpers on my Pinterest page. Thanks for stopping by!

Once a year, we are fortunate to have a police officer come to our library and host a storytime. The officer comes dressed in his police uniform and greets the children as they enter the room. His favorite book to read is Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann. It’s a little long for the younger audience that we receive, but it’s a book that he feels comfortable with and enjoys, and for the most part the children can stay still for the entire book. Touch a Truck

Once the officer is finished reading his book, we ask the kids to gather outside so that they can see the officer’s police car. It’s important to plan this storytime for a time of year when you’re likely to get nicer weather. You can never be guaranteed good weather, but it’s best to plan this event during warmer months to allow for children to see the police car outdoors.

Here’s a brief overview of the storytime books & activities that we share with the children. We like to plan for 15 minutes of reading and other activities before we hand the mic over to the officer for his book. The kids would love it if the Officer did the entire storytime, but that can be a lot to ask of someone who’s main job doesn’t deal with entertaining children. The other important thing to mention is that our police force is always upfront in saying that they cannot guarantee a police car will be available for the storytime. If there is a need for the squad car, they would be unable to display it for the storytime finale. We avoid any possible issues by not advertising that a police car will be at the storytimes – though, we’ve never been in the position that the car didn’t show up.

Book: Police Officers on Patrol by Kersten HamiltonOfficer

Song: I’m a Police Officer (tune of: “I’m a Little Teapot”)
I’m a police officer, here is my star (point to chest)
I help people near and far. (point close, and then point far away)
If you have a problem, call on me. (hold hand up to ear imitating a phone)
And I will be there, one, two, three! (count to three on fingers)

Book: The Police Cloud by Christoph Niemann

Make sure to check out So Tomorrow’s post on having a police officer or firefighter storytime. Falling Flannelboards has information on hosting Celebrity Storytime, which can include community helpers and other popular people around town. The Show Me Librarian had the wonderful and unconventional idea to do a Ballet Storytime, complete with a ballerina! She also shared an adorable Soccer Storytime with a guest appearance by soccer players, cleats and all. You can get more ideas for other stories on community helpers on my Pinterest page. Thanks for stopping by!

Stellaluna Storywalk

On Saturday we hosted our first-ever Storywalk! You’ve heard of it, right? Children and their families follow a trail outdoors where book pages are displayed on signs throughout the trail. It’s the perfect way to blend literacy and physical activity, and it’s also a great way to partner with local organizations. Storywalk was created by Anne Ferguson in Vermont in 2007, and many libraries (and other community organizations) have created their own Storywalk too.

To pull this program off successfully, our library partnered with the park district as well as a local children’s museum. The story we chose to tell was Stellaluna by Janell Cannon. Our Storywalk was held at our city’s Riverwalk, a popular walking area downtown next to the river and across the street from our library.  It took place from 10:00am-12:00pm. At the beginning of the program, our staff handed out maps to participants, listing 26 stops throimage (1)ughout the trail. 25 of those stops included enlarged storybook pages along a designated path, and the final stop gave families a chance to get refreshments and play with interactive tinker toys brought by the children’s museum.

It was a chilly day, but the abundance of sunshine made up for the cooler weather. We had over 200 individuals enjoy our Storywalk during the two-hour period that we offered it. The resounding success and interest from our patrons has already encouraged us to look into offering Storywalk all summer-long next year, and possibly offering it at more than one location!

For more ideas, take a look at these successful Storywalks done by other libraries:

The Best Professional Development Books

Professional development books can sometimes be a mixed bag. Some books can be tedious or even feel repetitive, but a few can be extremely informative and helpful. I’ve found a helpful few that I continually revisit to find new ideas and sage advice when I need a fresh perspective on storytimes and other library matters. In no particular order, here are my favorites:

Baby Storytime MagicBaby Storytime Magic by Kathy MacMillan – This book is wonderful for those who do Lapsit programs for babies, whether you are new to this program or you have been doing it for a number of years. My favorite aspect is the “literacy bit” included with each book or activity. When we do programs for babies, we are also modeling the desired behavior to caregivers, and teaching them why it’s important to include certain activities for babies. The “literacy bits” are an accessible and fluid way to describe the importance of what we’re doing.

Mother Goose on the Loose by Betsy Diamant-Cohen – This wonderful book contains complete scripts to plan your Lapsit programs. Everything is ready-to-use and extremely time-friendly for librarians. This book includes a CD of all the rhymes in the book, so you can hear exactly how that rhyme is supposed to flow. This is an invaluable resource you’ll want to have in your librThe Black Belt Librarianaries.

The Black Belt Librarian: Real World Safety and Security by Warren Graham – This book is a must-read for all library staff, no matter which department you are in. It covers safety in the library, particularly how to handle disgruntled patrons effectively and confidently. In this day and age, everyone should be well-equipped to deal with library safety issues.

Children’s Services: Partnerships for Success by Betsy Diamant-Cohen – This book is great because it gives real-world examples of partnerships between libraries and community organizations. Some of my favorites included inviting the police to read at your library (which we do, along with them bringing their Partnerships for Successpolice car or firetruck), and the outreach that the Carroll County Library did to increase awareness of library services to immigrant families. Each section takes time to discuss the partnership, including logistical information such as applicable costs, the time involved, and possible roadblocks/solutions. This book is well-worth your time.

The Early Literacy Kit: A Handbook and Tip Cards by Betsy Diamant-Cohen – This another book, similar to Baby Storytime Magic, that gives you practical early literacy tips that you can share with parents during storytime. This book makes it even easier to share these tips by creating removable cards that you can take with you to read from, rather than memorizing the tip that’s relevant.

What are your favorite professional development books?

Best Read-Alouds for Babies

It can be challenging to find books for babies that work well in Lapsit. These books need to promote interaction between the child and the caregiver, contain eye-catching & simplistic illustrations, focus on concrete themes that babies can relate to, and most of all, be short. Here are some books that have worked well for me in Lapsit:

Freight Train by Donald Crews – I love the choice of simple colors in this classic book. Plus, a transportation theme is a cinch to do for babies.Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox – This is a cute rhyming book that moms love, and kids do too. The book has plenty of repetition that is great for little ones. We have multiple copies of this title so that each child & caregiver can read a copy together while I read the master copy up front.

The Baby Goes Beep by Rebecca O’Connell – This is another cute title that works well for a transportation theme. I encourage the adults to help make the noises that each page mentions.

Time for Bed by Mem Fox – This book makes me feel sleepy just reading it! This would work perfectly for a bedtime theme or for an animal theme, as every page spread shows a baby animal with its mother as it gets ready to say goodnight.

From Head to Toe by Eric Carle – A great active book that will have the babies and grownups up & moving! Encourage the adults and babies to do each activity that the animals do in the book.

In My FlowerIn My Flower by Sara Gillingham – Any title in this series is a great choice! I love that every title in this series has a familiar refrain; the animal , and it ends with that animal with their family. Each book has a felt animal attached to the center of the book, with an opening for you to place your finger in. This is sure to capture the attention of babies.

Peekaboo Morning by Rachel Isadora – This cheerful story shares the tale of an African-American child who spies different objects in his everyday life, such as his mommy and puppy. This author/illustator has also written several engaging books for older children that use traditional folk tales, like Princess and the Pea or Cinderella, and retells the story using African landscapes and other cultural elements.

This is the Farmer by Nancy Tafuri – Seriously, anything by this author is a gold mine for Lapsit. With just a few words on every page, you’ll retain the interest of the babies and likely make it through an entire story before the little ones wiggle away! I always ask adults to make the animal noises that correspond to each page.

Peek-A-Moo by Marie Torres Cimarusti – Like with any pop-up book, the element of surprise in this title is sure to excite even thePeek-a-Moo littlest audience members. Each spread begins with “Guess who? Peek-a-…..” and after lifting the flap, the animal is revealed along with the corresponding noise it makes. This can be made even more interactive by asking the grownup to cover the baby’s eyes until the flap is lifted. Although this book is only available as a picture book, you can try “Peek-a-Zoo” Nina Laden by for a similar title in the sturdy board book format.

Yummy Yucky by Leslie Patricelli – The books by these authors are a fun perspective on opposites. This one can be good for a mealtime theme. I ask adults to make faces for each type of food, a happy face for yummy foods and a grossed-out face for the  yucky foods.

Big Fat Hen by Keith Baker – A colorful rendetion of the popular rhyme “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe”. Each page has an item which you can choose to count with the audience. Promoting math and traditional nursery rhymes? A win-win.

I Kissed the BabyI Kissed the Baby by Mary Murphy – A cute story that naturally lends itself to interaction between the caregiver and child, with an activity that they can do on each page. “I tickled the baby. Did you tickle the baby?”, etc. The illustrations are mostly black & white, which is an added bonus if you have very little babies in attendance, as they will find the high-contrast illustrations especially appealing.

Where is Baby’s Belly Button? By Karen Katz – Another amazing author that is worth her weight in gold. This is a perfect choice for a theme about body parts. This book contains lift the flaps which have parents and babies looking for each of baby’s body parts.

Bathing by Liesbet Slegers – Choose from any of these author’s books, and you’re sure to find a Lapsit gem. This particular book is a great choice for a Bathtime theme, and it contains simple sentences about the ways in which a child gets ready for bath. The childlike illustrations are inviting and fun.

This Little Chick by John Lawrence – You can never have too many barnyard tales! This story focuses on a little chick who goes around the farm and visits several different animals. One page reads, “this little chick from over the way/ went to skip with the lambs one day, and what do you think they heard him say?”. Encourage caregivers and babies to mimic the animal noises as you read. Pair this with “When Cows Get Up in the Morning” by Hugh Hanley for a storytime filled with animal sounds.

What are some of your favorite stories to read in Lapsit? Let me know if I’ve missed anything!

Junior Detectives

This program was for children in grades K-2, and our Junior Detectives had a crime to solve. As the children came in to the room, we played several brain teasers to get our detective juices flowing. I had a table of books on display in the corner of our room. While the kids were busy trying to solve the brain teasers, I had three different co-workers enter the room at different times. Each of them carried a tote bag and casually went over to the display table to view the books. Only one of them took a book from the table, leaving behind two folded notes.photo 1

Once the group had finished solving a few brain teasers (and once all three suspects had exited the room), I went over to the display table and announced that a book had been stolen! I asked whether the children had seen anyone come into the room, and they answered that they had (thankfully no one knew right away who had taken the book). Together we compiled a list of what we could remember of each suspect: what were they wearing, what they looked like, etc. I turned the board around to reveal a picture of each of the three people who had been in the room, along with a brief description of them. The suspects were:

  • Candy Johnson, a chef with a loop fingerprint.
  • Sarah Stego, a paleontologist with a loop fingerprint.
  • Jessica Bolt, a track coach with a whorl fingerprint.

photo 2After creating the suspect list, I shared the first note I had found with them. It was an encrypted note printed from Martha Stewart (a template for a save-the-date, if you can believe it!). There was also a fingerprint on the back of this note. This then naturally led to each of the stations that I had set up in the program room.

Decoding Station: Kids used a magnifying glass covered in red film (found at the dollar store and cut to fit inside the magnifying glass) to decode the message. The message read, “I am holding this book hostage. You must pay me one thousand dollars by midnight or I will destroy this book!”. After they had decoded the note, they went to the Fingerprint station.

Fingerprint Station: At this station, I had each of them practice taking their own fingerprint. I showed them the three different types of fingerprint patterns that people can have, and then I asked them if they knew which fingerprint was on the back of the note. Everyone determined that it was a loop, which meant Jessica Bolt could be crossed off the list of possible suspects.

Code-Breaking Station: I now shared the second piece of paper that the suspect had dropped. It was a printed catalog record for a book in our library titled “Bizarre Dinosaurs”. On the back of that paper, there was a handwritten note which read “6-9-14-4 20-8-9-19 2-15-15-11! 19.19.” I showed the kids a popular code which links each letter of the alphabet to a different number. A=1, B=2, C=3, etc. Once they had the hang of that, they broke the code and discovered that the hidden message read: “Find this book! S.S.”photo 3

With this clue, the kids came running back to the suspect board to see if they could solve the mystery. The book was about dinosaurs, and one of the suspects was a paleontologist. The initials were also S.S., which pointed to one suspect: Sarah Stego. The kids had solved the crime!

After they solved the mystery, I told them how proud I was that they had figured it out, and that they were now bonafide spies. I had one station remaining for them to visit.

Disguise & ID Station: As true detectives, they got to make an identification card, with their secret agent name and their fingerprint. They also got to choose a disguise; either a moustache or a pair of lips that they glued on to a popsicle stick.

This program was so much fun for everyone involved, and the kids couldn’t stop talking about it. If you’re looking for more ideas on spy programs at the library, check out this post by Future Librarian Superhero on an entire spy week, Spy Science by LibriErin, Spy School by Bryce Don’t Play, and Spy Night by the Neighborhood Librarian.