Sunday, August 2, 2015

Summer Reading Collaborative Art

This year, I revamped my Summer Library Program from the bottom up. I did away with plastic prizes (woo hoo!!) and now give out a free book, a fines coupon, and the opportunity to put a bookplate in your favorite library book. 

I changed from a reading log with only blank lines in it to a reading log with a three-pronged approach to the summer: read, do stuff, and visit the library.

I'll talk about the other parts soon, but today I want to focus on the "do stuff" portion. Each reading log has a two page spread of boxes with activities to do over the summer (36 in total). Some of these are library related (check out an audiobook, attend a program, etc), some are summer fun (play outside, go for a walk, make playdough) and some are superhero activities (help mom or dad with something, clean up a mess you made, do a good deed). 

Here's a jpg. (I hope this format works...)

Every time a child completes the activity, they cross off that box. Cross of three boxes and get a window for our superhero skyline!

What's that, you say? 

I'm so glad you asked!!

As part of our summer reading decoration, I put these buildings in the large windows in the corner of our children's room. I also bought some superhero decals and positioned them around the buildings for maximum "superhero skyline" effect. 

Here they are when I first put them up:
The buildings on June 21st, right when the program began.
The windows on the left are the sample ones I put up to see if this idea would work. 
The kids started reading and crossing off activities right away. I was surprised at how much they liked it, always asking "do I get a window today?" when they brought their logs in. 

Here are the windows a few weeks in:
July 10th. Windows begin to populate the skyline. 
One of the cool things about the windows is that we encourage the kids to decorate the windows as they please. I have some that are still blank, some that have names in them, and some that have elaborate drawings of kids or dogs or superheroes... we let them do as they please and the results have been amazing. 

Here's the skyline today, three weeks from the end of the summer program. 

July 30th
I spent a lot of unnecessary time and energy fretting about whether this idea would work, but so far it's been fun for everyone. It also serves as a conversation starter when someone wants to know how they can get a window for the buildings. Automatic summer program sign up! 

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