Tag Archives: game

Book Review: Mr. Lemoncello’s Great Library Race

15 Jun

31226744.jpgI was so excited to get an ARC of Mr. Lemoncello’s Great Library Race by Chris Grabenstein at BEA a couple weeks ago and bonus – I got it signed! This has become one of my favorite middle grade series for its adventure and library focused scavenger hunts. This most recent title in the series is foucsed around Mr. Lemoncello’s most recent family, fun game – FABULOUS FACT-FINDING FRENZY, but when rumors come out that Mr. Lemoncello stole his very first board game idea from a quiet, little, old lady, the kids join forces to not only win the game, but to clear their favorite game maker’s good name.

I love that as a reader, Chris drops in great titles from literature throughout the text, plus includes a complete list at the end of the book for you to enjoy. The best part for me is the puzzles and scavenger hunt style of the story which I think is very intriguing for kids and a lot of fun to read.

For educators and librarians – you can download your own library scavenger hunt from Chris’s website, he’s more than happy to Skype with classes and library groups and has a host of the great resources on his website.

Twitter Booktalk (140 characters or less): Kyle & his friends play Mr. Lemoncello’s Fact Finding Frenzy game to help clear his good name as they run, ride & fly to find the truth.

Title: Mr. Lemoncello’s Great Library Race
Author: Chris Grabenstein
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 10, 2017
Page Number: 288 pgs.

Simple Middle School Programming

6 May

For some libraries, getting middle schoolers to frequent programs can be very difficult!  In our library we are fortunate to have a solid group of kids that come to regularly scheduled programs for the middle school age group (grades 5 – 8).  During the summer, it’s usually around 40, but even during the busy school year we average about 25 kids who come monthly and others who help with activities on a weekly/monthly basis.  Last night we hosted our end of the school year party (we host it rather early in May to get as many kids to attend as possible).  We had 25 middle schoolers attend, 8 of which were 8th graders and graduating to the high school next year.

We hosted them for just an hour (any more and it can be draining!) and we had such a great time!  The kids got the chance to make shrinky dinks that we then added to a beaded keychain.  We had most of the materials left over from other projects and we found our Shrinky Dink paper from Michael’s.  I usually buy the pack of 10 sheets that are 8″x10″ and I use our paper cutter to cut them into smaller squares or rectangles.  I cut them into 3″x3″ squares and punched a hole in them using a paper hole punch so they could be added to the keychain.  We had a bunch of pony beads and letter beads left over form other projects and the kids had such a great time with the craft.  We also fed them (a lot) of food!  This is always a big hit with middle school students – they’re like locusts, they eat everything!

And then we played Fruit Basket Upset sometimes called Fruit Basket Turnover.  This is a fun circle game where there is one less chair than people playing and the person in the middle calls out a fruit (or a color) and everyone assigned with that fruit must get up and change seats.  I like this game because everyone participates, no one “gets out” and you win by just having a good time.  The best part is when the person in the middle (rather than shouting out a fruit) yells fruit basked upset and everyone has to get up and change seats.

The kids had such a great time and it was really nice to see them relax and just have fun…they didn’t have to be too quiet or work on any projects, they just got to have fun with friends!  This is about as simple and as inexpensive as it gets when it comes to middle school programs – try  it out!

Environmental Jeopardy

8 Apr

HiRes2During April we try to provide a few events focused around Earth Day – this year we’re offering a story time, a recycled jewelry program, a story stroll at the park during the Park & Rec Department Earth Day celebration, and Environmental Jeopardy for the middle schoolers.

We give the kids five categories (Recycling, Food & Health, Environment, ) with answers ranging from 10 – 50 points.  Overall, the board has fifty questions – all about the environment.  Just like on Jeopardy, the kids choose a category and point value and we give them the answer.  Once the answer has been read , the kids raise a bright colored piece of paper if they know the question… answering with, “What is…?”  When the game is over we total the scores and give out small gift cards or prizes.  And our yearly tradition is to provide an extra-special snack – dirt cake!

We play this game each week in the summer with book trivia about popular, classic, and school list books that the middle school kids are familiar with.  Our game board is merely a foam board with library pockets attached sporting each point value.  I’m sure we could make it high-tech using a PowerPoint presentation, but this system works well for us.  And it’s great because questions and answers fit on 3×5″ notecards and they fit perfectly in library pockets.  It’s a fairly inexpensive program – most of your cost is going to be time in coming up with trivia questions and answers.  I think this is a great game to get kids interested and excited about reading and books.

Middle School Holiday Party

19 Dec

21-happy-holidaysIn T-minus 2 hours, we’ll be hosting our middle school group, Junior Friends, holiday party filled with games, a craft, and plenty of snacks.  We have found through trial and (mostly) error that an hour is just enough time for the kids to relax and hang out and not too much time for us to start going crazy!

We have also begun adding crafts to some of the middle school programs as an option for the kids to do.  Because they don’t get a chance to do craft-y things at school very much, I think that many enjoy the little projects we give them.  Plus, we use the crafts as a way to decorate the library.  I found a great (and inexpensive) snowman craft that I thought even middle schoolers might enjoy – Glue Snowman Craft.  I’m hoping that the kids can create their own, individual snowman with their own styles.

We’ve also planned to play a game tonight as well.  After a couple of years, we realized that we need to have at least a loose structure for the evening – otherwise the kids start bothering each other.  Tonight we’re going to play a game that is easy to do as long as you have some chairs and space to put them into a circle.  Fruit Basket Turnover is sometimes called a few other names, but the most important part is that it is simple, requires very few props, and includes absolutely everyone.

And of course we feed the kids cookies, chips, snacks, and drinks!  We have a small little gift bag filled with candy and a small word puzzle/game for them to take home.  This is a great program for the end of the year and gives the kids a break from all their school work and projects that gets piled on them this close to the break.  Hopefully, I’ll survive tonight and the kids will have fun!  And tomorrow – I’m on my way to my parent’s to spend the holidays! 

 

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