With summer reading ending and school starting, the librarians in my branch take a break on storytimes for the month of August. To fill something of a void, I did an extra (evening program) for the families who felt like they were missing out. Family Campfire!
What We Did:
We heard some stories, sang some songs, and played some games! The games were the highlight, for sure. But we had to start with a little atmosphere! I made cut out some paper rings, made some paper tubes, and grabbed this weird IKEA lamp…
And it became…
The components are deceptively simple (and it looks great even without a light source). I taped paper together to make it extra long and free-handed some flame shapes. I repeated this over and over with paper strips of various lengths and heights in red, orange, and yellow. I taped them together and put them together like nesting dolls. I used paper bags for my “logs” by cutting off the ends, crumpling them up, and rolling three together. I used a black marker to make a wood grain design (wobbly lines and some ovals). I plopped a lamp in the middle (with a really low watt lightbulb) aaaaand… done!
I started with Scare a Bear, but Kathy-Jo Wargin and followed up with Going on a Bear Hunt. It was not a good song for my audience, so I kept it pretty short after starting (grass, mud, forest, cave DONE). They got pretty restless after this so we sang some camp songs- all entirely new to this crowd, which was fun. We sang Baby Shark, Go Bananas, and She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain. I asked for help from the kids with She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain so she ended up riding a motorcycle, playing the drums, and fighting lots of ninjas when she comes. Fun!
What’s a good campfire without a scary story? I had no idea what kind of crowd I’d have, so I went with my personal favorite “scary” story- Creepy Carrots. It was a hit despite one boy telling me beforehand that he’d never actually been scared by a scary story. Whether or not he was scared, I don’t know (I hope not), but he did love the book so… Success!
The games were simple. We made marshmallow shooters and had marshmallow races (like an egg race, only less messy and more immediately edible. For my shooters, we mostly used pom pom balls. They made a huge mess so I didn’t have to worry about a marshmallow rolling under something and attracting pests. I gave everyone a marshmallow for the road and called it a night.
And it went:
Great! I had a small crowd, but they had a great time with the new songs and playing games with their parents. I’ve already blogged about my really successful flannel board that I used for this program, How Coyote Places the Stars. I would say this one calls for a repeat!