Kids’ Club – Ooey Gooey Science

Catch a rainbow

Red, Yellow, and Blue food colouring placed in milk. Add dish soap and the colours mix together!

Kids’ Club was a program that I used to run at Windsor Public Library. It was too much fun for the kids and required little pre-planning on my part (….sometimes planned the day before). It followed the same format: read a chapter from a book, followed by an activity.

You don’t have to advertise what the activity is either. Sometimes it’s hard to plan 4 months in advance – especially when you pin some great ideas on Pinterest. It’s great that you only have to advertise it as “kids’ Club” rather than individual programs.

For the Summer Reading Club programs, I choose Gooney Bird Greene as the chapter book that we read. In other years, I’ve done Wayside Stories. Both stories are great because each chapter is sort of an individual story. So, if kids miss a day, they’re not missing the entire story.

For some great science experiments, check out Kitchen Science Lab for Kids by Liz Lee Heinecke ISBN: 9781592539253

Today, we did Ooey Gooey Science. It’s a program that my colleague ran before and the kids just were wide eyed.

I did four experiments with them. It took about an hour to read + do the experiments.

Erupting Playdough

Elephant Toothpaste

– I used regular drugstore Hydrogen Peroxide – you’ll have to put at least a 1 1/2 cup to get the results

Catch a Rainbow

Balloon Blowup

How it Went 

The kids were amazed at some of the experiments. I had two little boys who kept saying, “…but how? How?”

I made enough Playdough to give them some to take home in a little baggy. I also gave them a take-away sheet of all the experiments that we did that day.

catch a rainbow

Red, Yellow, and Blue food colouring placed in milk. Add dish soap and the colours mix together!

elephant toothpaste

Mix in hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, and food colouring into the bottle. Mix in warm water and yeast. Pour it in to the bottle, and watch it explode!

Play Date With a Book

Summer Reading Club PLAY

Hooray! Summer Reading Club is finally here. I love, love, love the theme for this year. PLAY!

In February, I did the famous “Blind Date With A Book” for the adults, and the kids did feel left out. So, this summer, I decided to run the program “Play Date With a Book” and it went off with a hit!

How to Play

1. Each bag has 1 book hidden inside with descriptors on the outside

2. Kids choose a bag that they’d like to read.

3. Inside, I tucked in a survey and when they returned the survey to the desk, they got an extra ballot for the weekly prize.

Materials Needed

As you know, I’m a HUGE fan of low budget programming. Even though my current library has a healthy children’s programming budget, I still try to find fun projects that we can run on a low budget.

– Paper bags (40 bags for $1.25 at Dollar Tree)

– Markers

– Stickers (optional)

– Books

– Mailing labels (240 labels for $1.25 at Dollar Tree)

Bottom line, this program is cheap to run at your library!

How did it go?

I checked the books out onto my program card so I could track the stats. The circulation staff was instructed to override the checkout. If you’re running with SirsiDynix Symphony, this is easy to do. Otherwise, you can count them when you’re done.

We had them labeled them into three categories:

1. Preschool-Grade 2

2. Grades 3-4

3. Grades 5+

We made about 80 bags, and they all flew off the shelve. Later today, we’ll be making another batch of 80.

I highly recommend this program, it’s CHEAP and it will boost your circulation.

Much thanks to my Library Assistant Lori who took the time to write some of the cutest messages on the bags!


Play Date With a Book

Low budget display for Summer Reading Club

Play Date With a Book

Low budget display for Summer Reading Club


I put in this survey to get some feedback.

Developing Programs With Picture Books

Coming up with programming ideas sometimes can be a challenge – especially when you’re on a time crunch. Children’s librarians will often ask me how and where I come up with my ideas. I try to develop programs that have a literacy component as well as a craft or activity. Remember, you want to INCREASE circulation with every program. A child should always bring home a book when they attend your program. Make that your goal. Here’s one of my tricks.

  1. Go to your picture book section of your library. Pull out four or five children’s books and read them.
  2. Identify some of the themes in the book. Who are the characters? Are they animals? People?
  3. Identify the moral of the story.
  4. Then begin developing your program with what you have. (You can search on Pinterest for activities)

Here’s an example:

Book Cover of Extra Yarn

How to create programs through literacy and picture books

I picked out the book Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett & John Klassan. Extra Yarn is about a story about a young girl named Annabelle. Annabelle finds a box of yarn and decides to bring colour into her world. She knits herself a colourful sweater. She had extra yarn so she knit one for her dog too. When she finishes that, she has extra yarn. In fact, she has extra yarn to knit her entire town a sweater. Yet, the box of yarn still has yet to be emptied.


  • Sharing
  • Recycling
  • Community (Bringing people together)
  • Bullying/kindness
  • Connections
  • Change – adding colour
  • Creativity
  • Community Transformations

Moral of the Story

  • Kindness and generosity cannot be bought
  • It’s okay to be different
  • Above all else, be kind
  • With a little creativity and a steady hand, you can brighten the entire world

Program Ideas

  • All Ages: Have the children make a card for someone. It can be to a friend that they hurt or bullied, or it could be a card to someone that has hurt them
  • All Ages: Make a community “quilt” out of paper. Have the kids draw a picture on a square of something that makes them unique. Display the quilt in the library afterwards
  • Older Children: Ask them to write a letter to the mayor or councillor in their town/city. Ask them to write about one thing that they are going to do for the community.

Those are just some of many that can come from one picture book. Give it a try!


Kids Contest at Your Library

Sadly, my contract for my current position is up on November 30th. :-*( So, I decided to have one last activity for the kids! Here’s a simple way to get kids involved with the library.  Hold a contest and have them guess how many books are in the library. You may have to consult your digital media librarian for the answer. I’ve had this up for a few hours, and the kids are going wild over it.

Library Contest: How many books are in the library?

Library Contest: How many books are in the library?