Our Summer Reading Program officially ended on August 2nd this year. However, the majority of participants came back over the next two weeks to pick up their grand prize (a book). We wanted to help transition these kids out of Summer Reading with an easy stealth program.
What is stealth programming? Check out Marge, Sara, or Amy for more details and some wonderful ideas.
The premise of our game was simple. Pick a stick, find the gnome, check out a book in the section, and put a dot on our door gnome.
To break it down just a little bit more....
Pick a Popsicle stick from the gnome jar. Each stick describes a gnome's hat and beard.
Find the gnome on a book shelf. We repeated the gnomes in picture, early reader, and chapter book. This way we could guide the kid to whatever was appropriate. We also had nonfiction gnomes that we designated with a dot on the stick. We would usually let kids look on their own for a few minutes before giving them hints.
The kid would bring back their stick, tell us where they found the gnome, and show us the book they found. Then, we would give them a sticker dot to put on the big door gnome. The dot was great as a reward without actually giving things out, plus it helps us keep track of our participants.
Over in the early literacy center, we "hid" six gnomes and asked for little ones to find them all and visit the desk. They were also given a dot to put on the door gnome.
The program was a smashing success. We filled up 4 gnomes in 4 weeks! We had over 400 participants! The best part? It took me about an hour of planning to run a month long program that kids loved.