Sunday, January 6, 2013

Program: Adventure Club

Oh, I feel like this program was so long ago - and it was. Our last meeting of Adventure Club was in November (and we have another one coming up this month). I guess only posting about my programming once a week has put me pretty far behind! Anyway, as a reminder, Adventure Club is one of our new bimonthly programs, geared towards ages 7-12, with a new theme every meeting. Our first meeting focused on pirates; November's theme was Space. Here's what we did!

Build your own rocket ship: I've found that some of the most successful bits of my programs have been simply putting out craft and art supplies and encouraging the kids to make something. To fit our space theme, we had them build rocket ships. We provided toilet paper tubes as the body of the ships and then had various colors of paper, glitter glue and paint, and assorted other materials available for use. We also had aluminum foil for a more genuine metallic look.

Constellation keyrings: yes, I admit - these were leftovers from our Rick Riordan program, where they were not terribly popular. We had constellation cards for the kids to cut out and hole punch. They threaded them onto a keychain and voila! Constellations at your hand. They are the perfect size for flashlights and definitely seemed more popular this time around.

Planispheres and star clocks: these are really cool (personally, I think the planisphere is way cooler than the star clock, but that's just me). Both of these are paper crafts you can make and then hold up to the sky and they will tell you different things. By lining the star clock up with the constellations, you can find out what time it is. By selecting the month and day on the planisphere, you can find out what constellations you should be able to see in the sky. The kids thought these were really cool, though some had some trouble putting them together.

Constellation matching game: we had initially planned to do another scavenger hunt like we had done for our first Adventure Club but upon further thought decided to do something a little different. We kept it contained in the program room (the pirate scavenger hunt had been throughout the Children's Library) and did a matching game instead. We created constellations out of star stickers on black construction paper and hung them on one wall, labeled with a letter. Then we gave the kids a sheet with illustrations depicting each of the constellations labeled with numbers (a drawing of Pegasus, for example). The kids had to match the two versions of the constellations. They each received a packet of glow-in-the-dark stars for matching them all correctly. The kids really liked this one.

Straw rockets: what we expected to be the most popular part of the program turned out to be the least popular (or maybe the kids just ran out of time - they got very invested in building their rocket ships). So, straw rockets are exactly what they sound like: rockets made out of paper that fit over a straw so you propel them by blowing through the straw. You can alter the nose of the rocket to see how that changes the path and distance of the rocket's flight. Like I said, we didn't see too many kids making these, but I think they could definitely be popular in a separate program about flight. Maybe I will try them again over the summer, in combination with paper airplanes.

At the end of the program, we did some prize drawings. We had a set of glow-in-the-dark planets, astronaut ice cream, and a book about space. And that was our second meeting of Adventure Club! Everyone had a great time and I think they all learned different things about space, too. Can't wait for our next meeting!

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