SummerQuest programs are interest-based, experiential, and fun! Look for ways to host programs that encourage kids and teens to build upon current interests and develop new ones. This isn’t school! Summer is a time when kids can explore their curiosities, just because they want to. The Best Practices section has lots of examples of programs that other Pennsylvania libraries are already doing. Modify those programs to suit your community or create your own. Then look at the infographic below and consider how you can help children and teens build “Competencies” and “Character Qualities” through your programming.
Beyond the Chalkboard
Remember that afterschool/out-of-school websites will have many ideas that translate easily into libraries. This website is the brainchild of a group staff from the Boston Children’s Museum.
The Bubbler @ Madison Public Library
Whether offering the basics of animation, screen printing, music, clothing design, writing, dance, and painting (to name a few), the Bubbler’s hands-on pop-up workshops introduces participants to a variety of local experts who share their talents and physical resources.
Teen Programs from YALSA
YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) provides numerous program ideas and tools in section IV of Professional Tools. This link includes information on environments, activism, engagement, access, diversity, equity, as well as teen growth and development.
Teen Programs in a Box
Part of the Teen Library Toolkit (TLT), a networked blog with School Library Journal. Find programs in the following categories: Book Based Programs, Craft Programs, Food Based Programs, Interactive Programs, and Nontraditional Programs.
Baker, R. Lynn. Creating Literacy-Based Programs for Children: Lesson Plans and Printable Resources for K–5. ALA Editions, 2017. Available through your District Library Center
This book provides a wealth of ideas for literacy-based programming for public libraries.
Jacobson, Linda. “Strategize: Great Ideas for Library Writing Programs.” School Library Journal, May 2016
This article gives concrete suggestion for writing programs. Note: the May 2016 issue of School Library Journal focused on writing. You can access other articles via POWER Library.
Try searching writing, reading or poetry to find some program ideas.
Guide to Supporting English Language Learners in OST and Extended Learning Time
Helpful ideas for library staff planning programs that include English Language Learners.
Passive Program Power
Links to passive program ideas from a presentation in Minnesota. Ideas range from a craft cart to scavenger hunts to check-out clubs.
Are you a fan of Pinterest? This board has ideas from across the country.
ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) Blog
This is the link to the general blog. However, there are many posts with drop-in programming ideas here (Or you can search for passive program in the blog search box.)
Folder games for Preschoolers
Folder games for Kindergarten & Grade 1
Folder games for Grade 2 & 3
STEM/STEAM programs can be daunting because librarians sometimes feel like they should have all the answers. That isn’t the case. Everyone gets a chance to learn through these programs.
All Things STEAM
Librarian Amy Koester shares simple STEAM programs on her blog. There are ideas for preschool and elementary aged children.
The Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL) provides interactive STEM exhibits, programming, and training to public libraries nationwide through its Science‐Technology Activities and Resources Library Network (STAR Net). You may want to sign up for their blog and get the monthly newsletter.
STEM Sprouts: Science, Technology, Engineering & Math Teaching Guide
The STEM Sprouts Teaching Kit is the product of a collaboration between National Grid, Boston Children’s Museum, and WGBH. The goal of this curriculum is to assist preschool educators in focusing and refining the naturally inquisitive behaviors of three to five-year-olds on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Strengthening Communities Through Libraries
Librarian Toolkit for Developing STEAM Learning Opportunities during Out-Of-School Time
Tinker Kit: Educators’ Guide
This guide has activities for Preschoolers, but the concepts, tool suggestions and other information would be useful for ideas to use with a wider audience.
Use the PARTY method
Provide an introduction, Assign manageable tasks, Reinforcement, Try again, You did it!
This camp can take place in a library or can be used as a take away program since much of it is virtual. Please note it was created in 2015 so some links may be broken.
This free online summer learning destination is full of fun, interactive STEM and literacy building topics boosted by maker experiments to keep kids and their adults learning throughout the summer.
Discovery Education through the Connect the Dots program provides three different Camp themes with activities and resources for school aged children and tweens.