The week between Christmas and New Years is a really quiet time at my branch. I know that’s not the case at every library, but in our community, most of the parents are working this week and kids are staying with family or in daycares, or families are taking vacations. We don’t have much in the way of regular programming, but there are a few kids who wander in looking for something to do. Unfortunately, we’re also short-staffed this week, so I’m looking for fun ways to serve my kid patrons and also keep all three of our desks staffed. I’m going to be pulling out all the fun do-it-yourself activities this week:

  • Butcher Paper Art!

So the younger kids are going to love this, but as the tweens and teens see how much fun it is just to go absolutely nuts with the crayons, you’ll have a crowd around those tables. And at the end of the day, be sure to cut out your most creative art to decorate your department!

  • Wii Dance

So, when my part-time employee comes in in the afternoons, we’re pulling out the Wii. I mainly just want someone in the department to make sure that the remotes don’t get flung across the room in excitement, but this one also runs itself. And the kids LOVE it. Put it on contest mode and throw in something from your prize cabinet as a reward and watch out for blood.

  • Charging station/Tablet talk

A lot of my kids will have gotten kindles or iPads or various other technology for holiday gifts.  This one’s super easy: grab a couple of power strips and a table. Voila!  This is really neat because not only does it let your kids charge their devices, it opens the door to talk about fun things like new apps, games, and maybe even your library’s ebook collection!

  • Craft clean-out

I often do crafts with my preschool story time groups. Sometimes I have leftover materials just sitting in cabinets. They’re pretty low-level, but if you put the materials and the examples out, the masterpieces of variation that your older kids will come up with are awe-inspiring.

  • Free Lego Play

I’m not sure I’m brave or well-staffed enough for this one this week. But if you are? May the Force be with you.

For every idea I have, you’ll have 100 more. It’s a quiet week. Pull out some fun for your kids–get creative!


Are you interested in reading more tween-related posts?  The YALSA Blog and the ALSC Blog both offer information of interest to librarians who work with tweens.

Our cross-poster from ALSC today is Ally Watkins (@aswatki1). Ally is a youth services librarian in Mississippi, and has worked with ages birth-18 for the last 5 years.

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