Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Busy Like You Can't Believe

We are definitely in the full swing of our summer reading program. We have many kids registering every day, and the click-click-click of our prize wheel is once again a familiar sound on the children's floor. Although we've had bad evening weather for the previous two nights, our teen and family movies had respectable numbers, and we've had many requests for our movie schedules, which is good. We had many children for our Reading Quest program. So I thought we were just rolling along until today.

Brain Games at 2 pm-just fine.

I cleaned up and checked my email. I was waiting on a package of bottles for our sand art bottle craft. Well, the package must have been delivered to another address, because I couldn't find it anywhere.

Uh-oh. Bottles are kind of important when you are doing a SAND ART BOTTLE CRAFT.

What to do?

Luckily, cooler heads prevailed, and my supervisor came to my rescue.

(So did Walmart.)

I started my Write Away program at 4 pm and silently hoped that my supervisor would have success finding *any* sort of bottle at the store.

Write Away ended, and I gratefully received a numerous supply of bottles.

(Thank you, Dawn!!!)

Sand art bottle craft- 7 pm.

A group of teen girls showed up-none knew each other.

I poured out the sand into bowls, passed out sticks (to pat down the sand), passed out bottles, and explained what they needed to do.

The girls started to work. In silence.

I was the only one available for children's reference, so I was darting back and forth between younger patrons, their parents, and checking on the teens.

Today has reminded me of several truths:

1) It's better to stop and think of an alternative solution than to immediately panic.

2) Children can easily amuse themselves with the simplest things.

One of our Brain Games activities (planned by one of our reference assistants) was to build a tower of Dixie Cups. Whoever built the highest one won.

The kids thought this was the best game ever. (They also had a great time playing and stacking the dominoes during our free play time.)

3) Most children easily fall into conversation with each other without prompting.

None of the children who attended today's Brain Games knew each other. Within minutes, they were laughing and playing together. None of the teen girls who attended the sand art bottle craft knew each other. After a short period of silence, they began asking questions of each other (age, school). At the end of the program, they were looking forward to seeing each other at upcoming programs.

This was without me forcing them to do a normal circle activity-go around the room, say your name, and tell something about yourself. Honestly, that is boring and superficial most of the time, since most people are thinking about what they want to say rather than focusing on the other people in the circle. It's more natural to provide an activity that relaxes the initial lack of conversation, and see things build from there.

What a day! A very busy day, but a great day. We received many compliments, which is so gratifying to hear!

No comments: