The push leading into our Summer Reading Program and then the first week of our programming have been insane. The craziest thing is that we have had a 117% increase in daily attendance from the previous year. It’s been awesome, but exhausting. Needless to say, I’ve been coming home and pretty much collapsing each evening. I’m wildly proud of my team for handling this so well, but it hasn’t led to me wanting to write about work on my blog. So I just let myself decompress to the point of feeling motivated again, and that seems to have worked: here I am!
We decided to focus on robots for our overall summer theme. That decision was made months ago when we were trying to think of what we wanted our decor’s big focal piece to be. A giant robot seemed the most doable and impactful. That quickly followed with having robots in the front windows. And then the rest of our robotic theme fell into place quite quickly.
Here’s a collage of our big robot on which both Brittany and I worked. I shopped for random household items at a local hardware store, and Brittany assembled everything into the robot. After a few random things either rolled-up (electrical tape) and/or fell off (one leg), Brittany and I figured out some fixes and then she did some fantastic final touches using metallic pastels.
We really wanted it to have the look that a very industrious child had put the robot together, and I think that we succeeded. I think that I need to point out several things that didn’t translate in my photos. All of the bright squiggly things (like the hair/eyebrows and in the chest panel) are pipe cleaners. Also, the robot’s teeth is made of a piece of glossy paper that has been lightly folded vertically so it looks like teeth. Finally, the “on/off” switch is on the back side of the robot.
Last year, parents seemed to have had the greatest reaction to our paper tree. This year, the kids have had wonderful reactions to our robot. It’s really been great.
Mary made our three front window robots – from left to right their names are Fizz, Boom, and Read (see what we did there?):
We all agreed that they look like an awesome mashup of Wall-E and Yo Gabba Gabba! I should point out (again, this didn’t translate in my photos) that all of the paint that isn’t white is metallic. They are very striking in person.
And there’s nothing wrong with Boom – I wanted to show you the one request that I had with Mary’s robots: that they have a ledger-sized holes in the middle of their chests. Last year I had a giant window game that the kids loved – for about two weeks. After that, the game was old since it didn’t change. This year I wanted a way to change out the games, activities, or whatever, whenever we had time to do so (I’m guessing we’ll switch them every-other week).
Here’s an indoor shot of Fizz and Boom where Boom has his chest piece installed:
I put together some signs to sprinkle throughout the library. I was very much inspired by Big Block Sing Songs:
In our window display I opted to have us extend what we do on top of our picture book bookcases: fill the display with books to be shelved from our return cart. I can’t even tell you how grateful I am that I made this call. Our page was on vacation this past week, and this really helped us keep up with shelving.
I also used these cute robots from Dabbles & Babbles to create our scavenger hunt for the month. I made them bigger and tried my best not to hide them in a sneaky manner – and yet, we still stump some kids (and parents). Next month we’re veering away from a traditional scavenger hunt, and will be a “how many can you find” game. This will keep us from having to give hints (hooray!).
The prize stickers were made from the cute “mad scientist Booker T. Dragon” that Bruce created for our summer programming:
As always, whenever I can, I’ve included printouts for you to use if you’d like. Feel free to use any of the following (click on the image for a larger pdf or jpeg):
Have fun – and I hope that your summer programs are kicking robo-booty too!