By Jan Pease
This week brings our summer programs to an end. I can’t believe it! In some ways, June 5th, our start date, seems like ages ago. But the summer has gone so fast, that at times June 5th seems like yesterday.
On Wednesdays we offered a program for students in grades K-5. We called it “Wonderful Wednesdays.” We collaborated with Meeker County Extension Service so on four Wednesdays we had “Fun with 4H.”. Two young, energetic folks who work with 4H came and had two hours of fun with our young people. The kids learned a lot and had a really good time. The extension workers presented four of these short day camps on Wednesdays in June and July. On those Wednesdays that the Extension workers didn’t come, I filled in for them.
Since our summer theme is “Reading by Design,” and Michael Hall visited the library in June, we used his books, “My Heart is a Zoo” and “It’s an Orange Aardvark” to explore using various shapes to make pictures. It was interesting to create pictures using hearts, squares, rectangles and other shapes.
We also learned about Zen Doodling, in which small sections of a picture are filled in with different patterns and colors.
Our next “unit” involved unfolding geometric shapes to make a “net,” and I’m happy to say I finally get it. Back in the day, I missed every single question on standardized tests that involved unfolding any kind of shape. (I’ve always known I have absolutely no spatial sense.) Anyway, we built shapes out of paper and then used translucent plastic magnetic shapes to make amazing buildings and structures.
For the last two weeks we talked about what shapes are the strongest and built shapes out of card catalog cards that would hold up a small toy locomotive. In case you’re curious, triangles seemed to hold the most weight. We also used straws and connectors to construct large things like a wall with a tower taller than I can reach, a “thing” made up of curves fastened together, and a rocket that was several feet high.
We also loved to play bingo. I learned that bingo is great for developing concentration and number recognition. It’s also a lot of fun.
It’s challenging for me to face a group of elementary students, since I concentrate more on children through age five. But I’ve completely enjoyed this summer of “Wonderful Wednesdays.”
The final library program for young children will be Second Saturday Story Time, Saturday, August 12, at 10:00. Beginner Book Club will meet at its usual time, Thursday, August 17, at 3:00. Our book will be “The Adventures of Nanny Piggins,” by R.A. Splatt. Brick Heads will continue on Thursday nights at 6:30.
Readers can turn in reading game sheets through August 31. It’s been a splendid summer, and we’re ready for a fantastic fall.