Greetings from the 7th level of Summer Reading Hell. I’ll be your librarian until I can no longer keep the screaming, steaming, roaring semi-illegal summer camps at bay.
Now that I’m done with the kvetching that keeps me so young and vibrant, let me talk to you about my most recent program. All of the Youth Wing librarians were expected to provide a “wild card” program for school aged kiddos, and I chose the one that came with a pre-assembled kit of supplies (I lose a lot of my I HAVE TO BE THE BEST LIBRARIAN EVER-motivation during the summer. I blame the humidity and how bad it makes my hair look).
The catapult kit came with popsicle sticks, rubber bands, the sturdiest cupcake wrappers I have ever seen, teeeeeeeeny pom-poms, and instructions (mostly taken from this post by Amy of The Show Me Librarian blog).
Here’s the program flier I made! No camps, please, OK?
Really, the only thing I added to this program was the targets. I mean, what good is a catapult if there’s nothing diabolical to seek out and destroy? I quickly whipped up some solid villains:
Yeah. This would be the Joker, Justin “Beever” as the youths call him, Voldemort, and the Green Goblin.
I glued their faces to some cardstock, attached them to the popsicle sticks, and then mounted them on some playdough.
First, I helped the kids assemble the catapults. I was glad that the program size was small. They all needed lots of help with the rubber banding part. I have to admit it was tricky, even for me.
I provided a pre-made catapult. Even though I don’t usually include a model project, I think it was helpful in this case. I would take it apart and reassemble it to show the kiddos the different stages of building it:
Hey, before the program started, I glued the cupcake wrappers to the popsicle sticks so the kids wouldn’t have to wait for the glue to dry. The kit provided velcro dots, but those weren’t really sticking well enough.
While we made them, I talked about how catapults worked because of levers, which are a kind of simple machine. I said that it would be really hard to throw a heavy rock at your enemies with your bare hands, but a lever would help you do lots of the heavy-lifting.
I taped this info all over the table and the program room.
I have to say, they weren’t really into the actual building of the catapult (I think wrapping the rubber bands around the sticks was a bit frustrating), but they were SUPER pumped about firing pom-poms at the villians. We quickly learned that the tiny pom-poms didn’t work that great, so we switched to some bigger ones.
We weren’t really able to knock down any of the targets, at first, but with some practice and the addition of some heavier ammunition (dice, stamps, and tiny rubber bus toys), our aim got better.
The first villain to bite it is was the Green Goblin:
We talked about how the pom-poms went further because they were lighter, but were less likely to knock over the target. The dice and stamps made more of an impact because they were heavier, but didn’t go as far.
This little girl was shy and quiet at first, but by the end, she was screaming, “DESTROY THEM!”
By the end of the program, all of the villains met their doom. At one point, the girl above knocked down Justin “Beever” by catapulting the Green Goblin at him, which is pretty clever, really.
I tried several times to explain to them that the name was Bieber, not Beever, but they all firmly told me that I was wrong.
Be sure to check out Amy’s post for more info, including a link to assembly directions.
~Love and Libraries, Ingrid
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