The Olympics in Rockridge!
With the Olympics filling the airwaves this August, intrepid librarians hatched a plan to engage the neighborhood kids in their own sporting competition. There was an opening ceremony, medals distributed, relays raced, gymnastic jumps, and loads of smiling faces. But don't take my word, read what librarian Erica Siskind had to say about it:
"It was a really great event!
We set up the entire meeting room on a Thursday (in lieu of both Toddler & Preschool story times) to conduct the Kid Olympics. We counted 65 kids total in 3 groups (really 2 groups, then some extras), and I had 5 great teen volunteers (Quinn, Tess, Eliana, Hannah, and Cleo) and Lisa Harter to help set up the room & supervise. Pin-on "athlete" numbers gave us a way to let people into the room in groups of 25 kids.
We gave each child a "score card" and stickers to mark which sports they did (Basketball, Balance Beam, Gymnastics (rhythmic dance ), Long Jump, Obstacle Course, Track - straight running or relay races.) - but the paper stuff turned out to be unnecessary and maybe annoying for some adults.
Our "opening ceremonies" music was Tito Puente – we were playing with the parachute, bouncing beach balls in the center. This is a quietly satisfying, smile-inducing, communal activity!
The relay race with small stuffed animals was great for 3-6 year olds running together, because the older ones showed the littler ones how to do it. They loved running to grab a stuffed animal, and were equally pleased to hand it off to the next runner. (This is a great tip for parents for a birthday party game, btw.)
On the other hand, we had to show (over & over) each group how to do the obstacle course - which was fun, but a little exhausting. Everything was very fun, actually!
As people left the room, they got a paper medal on a ribbon - these were much appreciated by the kids for the moment, but probably went into the recycle bin soon after.
Everyone seemed to have a great time! And for the volunteers and staff, it was SO FUN!!!"