Amazing Race across the Library

So, apparently I cannot life at all. Between strange things that my child put down the toilet, to “look mummy, I gave myself a hair cut.” I just can’t seem to get it together. Blogging is hard to keep up with and tweeting is hard to keep up with and also I have been watching marathon episodes of Supernatural and I had this big WWII thing…so… I did not in a timely manner write about this other thing I did at the library.

However, I’ll do it now!

I’m going to put this cool program I recently did out there for all of you fantastic librarians, because it worked for me and why not share the joy? The program was called…

Slide1

Two things:

  1. I am not the first pioneer for this program. The initial idea was Pinterested and done with before I even woke up that morning. Apparently it worked well for Chelsie from rockthelibrary because she posted it HERE!
  2. It was a lot of program prep. Like, a lot. So in the end it was a great hit with the tweens here at my library in Houston, but be prepared to:
  • a) Ask for help
  • b) Have some time for set up

My Amazing Library Race was loosely library themed and I had the tweens do some pretty silly things (mostly for my own entertainment) but I’ve never heard tweens laugh so hard or have so much fun trying to order books on a cart.

Without further ado, here is the Amazing Library Race.

The Race Planning

First I wrote all of the challenges out. This helped me to plan and figure out the race in its entirety. It also helped with planning supplies and getting an idea of how much volunteer help I’d need. Next, I made the cards for the tweens so that they’d be ready at each station. Then I went into supplies planning mode.

This program was also low cost since I mostly used resources found in our library.

The actual costs were:

  1. Cookies ($1.59)
  2. Prizes (Kite, fidget spinner, coloring books / markers- everything was x 2, one for each team member- $7.50 each )
  3. Cake for fun at the end ($ 5.00)

The Rules

(I gave these to the participating tweens)

The Amazing Library Race

A Detour is where teams must choose between two tasks

A Road Block is where only one team member completes the task

Team members can only do 2 Road Blocks each.

Rules:

  • Be safe (no running in the library)
  • Be fair
  • Be smart- remember that you are working as a team and competing against other teams if you say your answers too loudly or let the other team know the solutions, then you are letting them get ahead!
  • Librarians cannot help you complete the challenges but if you need help you can use the librarians for information or if you are confused by a challenge.
  • Have fun!!! Even if you are the last team to arrive, there’s something yummy on the other end!!!

The Stations

Here is how the race was set up. It’s a lot but I’ll put it here so that you can copy and paste it if you want to use it. Here it goes:

____________________________________________________________________________________________

1st Route Marker and Route Information- At the Early Reader Books section

Teams will receive:

Road Block (one team member must complete the challenge)

Card will read:

SLOW DOWN! The team member most steady handed should complete this challenge.

Each team must choose a table to sit at. Stack all of the pencils on your table to make a tower. If the tower falls before you are completed, you must start again.

Once the tower is complete, the librarian will give you your next clue.

Only one team member can complete this challenge– remember that each team member can only complete 2 challenges in the entire race.

Clue: there is a giant bear in this library, walk to him for your next challenge.

 

Instructions to the volunteer at this station:

This is a Road Block (only one team member builds the tower but the other can make suggestions).

Teams will need to stack the pencils to make a tower. Once they have done the tower and it is standing. Give them the route information card (this will direct them to the bear).

Please put the pencils, ‘reserved’ table signs, left over papers etc. into the bucket behind the reference desk.

Thanks!!!!

 

2nd Route Marker and Route Information- at the Bear

Teams will receive:

Detour (a choice between two challenges)

Card will read:

Are you good with your hands or good with your mind?

Let the Librarian know your pick.

Hands Challenge card will read:

Hands:

Both team members will make an origami shape using the instructions provided. The Librarian will check your work. Both team members must complete a shape each before the Librarian will give you your next clue. Team members may help each other in this challenge.

Mind Challenge card will read:

Mind:

Teams will be given a quiz. Complete it as a team.

Once the Librarian has checked your answers and all are correct, you will receive your next clue.

Clue: There is a place in the children’s department where printing is done, walk there to get your next challenge.

Instructions to the volunteer at this station:

This is a Detour (choice between 2 tasks)

Teams will get the Detour (yellow) card from the bag. Teams will tell you that they choose hand or mind:

Hand-

The tasks are in the paper bag labeled ‘hand.’ The challenge is to use the instructions and paper provided to build an origami paper plane. Once they have done this, give the teams the route information (this will direct them to the printing station).

Mind-

The tasks are in the paper bag labeled ‘mind’. The challenge will be to complete a library quiz. Teams will bring their quiz back to you to check answers. Slip their pages into the clear plastic sheet provided and it will tell you if the answers are correct. You absolutely can give kids clues if they get the answers wrong.

Once teams are done, please put all papers, etc, in the plastic bucket behind the ref desk.

Thanks!

3rd Route Marker and Route Information- Table near the printing station

Teams will receive:

Detour

Card will read:

Are you good with your eyes or are you good with facial expressions?

Let the Librarian know your pick.

Eyes Challenge card will read:

Somewhere in the library is a golden star. Teams will find the star, and tell the Librarian wearing the bandana the magic number for the next clue.

Facial expressions Challenge card will read:

Facial expressions:

Teams will find the librarian wearing the bandanna, cluck like a chicken and tell them: “I am a Flibberjabber who loves the Cookie Monster.” Teams will await instructions for the next challenge. Once the challenge is completed teams will receive their next clue.

Clue: there is a room that children go to for story-times and other programs in the children’s department. Walk there for your next clue.

Instructions to the volunteer at this station:

This is a Detour (choice between 2 tasks)

Teams will get the Detour (yellow) card from the bag. Teams will tell you that they choose ‘eyes or facial expression.’

Eyes-

Teams will look for a yellow star in the library. The magic number on it is 10. Once they come back and let you know the number, give them a cookie and the next route information card (which will direct them to the activity room).

Facial Expression-

Teams will tell you “I am a Flibberjabber who likes cookies.” You will be standing by a tarp. Have the teams lay on their backs on the tarp. Place a cookie on their head. They’ll need to get a cookie from their forehead to their mouth without touching it with their hands (if it falls off their face then they can pick it up and put it back on their heads).

Once they have done this, give them their route info cards.

Please pick up the tarp and anything else with you and put it in the plastic bucket behind the reference desk.

Thanks!!!!

4th Route Marker and Route Information

Teams will receive:

Detour

Card will read:

Find or Float?

Let the Librarian know your pick.

Find Challenge card will read:

Find:

Teams will go to the Librarian at the reference desk for a call number. If you do not know what a call number is, remember that you can ask the Librarian.

Teams will search for the topic based upon the call number given. Once you know the TOPIC of the call number, you will come back to the same Librarian and say “I am a Jabawockie and I like _____(tell the librarian the subject found under the call number given). Teams will then receive their next clue.

Float Challenge card will read: 

Teams will go to the sink.

Teams will make a small raft using the equipment provided in the box.

Teams must make the raft float to get their next clue.

Clue: Go to the activity room to the row of carts for your next challenge.

Instructions to the volunteer at this station:

This is a Detour (choice between 2 tasks)

Teams will get the Detour (yellow) card from the bag. Teams will tell you that they choose ‘find’ or ‘float.’

Find- teams will be directed to the reference desk librarian for their next challenge (they will also get their route info cards through her too)

Float- Teams will head to the sink where they will try to create a raft out of straws and corks and tape. Once the raft floats, give them their route info card.

Reference Desk staff :

Teams come to you for a call number. Give them one from the bag. They will go in search in the library, and will come back and will tell you: “I am a Jabberwookie and I like clues/ riddles / mysteries.” Give them their next route info marker which will direct them back to the Activity Room.

5th Route Marker and Route Information

Road Block

Card will read:

You’ll need the most organized team member.

Organize the cart in alphabetical order. When you are done a Librarian will check your work and give you the next clue.

Only one team member can complete this challenge– remember that each team member can only complete 2 challenges in the entire race.

Clue: Go to the table with the star on it

Instructions to the volunteer at this station:

This is a Road Block and only one team member can actually do this but the other can give advice.

Team members must order the books on a shelf on the cart.

Once the books are correctly ordered, give them the next route information card.

6th Route Marker and Route Information

Detour

Card will read:

Brains or Beauty?

Let the librarian know your pick.

Beauty Challenge card will read: 

Beauty:

Teams will make one LEGO bracelet. The bracelet must be complete and attached to one of the team member’s arm before the Librarian will give teams the next clue.

Brains Challenge card will read:

Brains:

Teams will pick one book from the table and decipher a quick code.

Teams will give the answer to the Librarian for their next clue.

Clue: Find the librarian in the room with the bandanna for the next challenge.

Instructions to the volunteer at this station:

This is a Detour (choice between 2 tasks)

Teams will get the Detour (yellow) card from the bag. Teams will tell you that they choose beauty or brains.

Beauty- teams will make a Lego bracelet which must be attached to one team members arm. Once completed give them the next route info card

Brains- teams will search the books on the table to solve a riddle- the answer is “Librarians Rule.”

Once they tell you the answer give them the route info card (this will direct them to another person wearing a bandanna)

7th Route Marker and Route Information

 Road Block

Card will read:

The team member with a good aim needs to do this.

This challenge is called Bowling Book.

Knock the book over with the ball. When you are done, the librarian will give you the next clue.

Only one team member can complete this challenge– remember that each team member can only complete 2 challenges in the entire race.

Clue: The next challenge is at a place which is a grassy part of the library but not in it.

Instructions to the volunteer at this station:

Librarian will be wearing a bandana.

This is a Road Block (only one team member bowls but the other can make suggestions).

Team members will choose a book / ball. They’ll stand behind the tape on the floor and try to know the book over with the ball. Once they do this, give them the next route info card that will send them into the garden.

8th Route Marker and Route Information

Road Block

Card will read: 

The Last Team Member.

The chosen team member will bounce the ping-pong ball into the cup.  Once the ball has got into the cup teams will get a riddle from the Librarian. Solve it as a team and give your answer to the librarian then immediately run to the finish line.

Sample riddles:

  • What goes up and down but does not move? – Stairs.
  • Where do you find an ocean with words but no water? – On a map.
  • What has a face and two hands but no arms or legs? A clock
  • I’m full of keys but I can’t open any doors. What am I? – A piano.
  • Which word in the dictionary is spelled incorrectly? – Incorrectly.
  • Which letter of the alphabet has the most water? The C.

Instructions to the volunteer at this station:

This is a Road Block (only one team member shhots but the other can make suggestions).

Team member will use the cups and ping-pong balls. They’ll try to get the ping pong balls into the cup. Once they’ve done it, give them the riddle provided. The answer is “a book.” But they don’t need to have the correct answer to finish- they can say anything and then run to the finish line.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Okay- so I know that was a lot, but as I said, I put it all in here so that you can copy and paste it somewhere if you want it.

How did it go?

Great!  Some things did not work. The tweens did not quite get the concept of looking for the number in the middle of the star at Challenge 3 and they loved doing the cookie to the face challenge so much that they kind of forgot that they were meant to be racing. It was hilarious though.

The program lasted 40 minutes before all teams finished, but because I had refreshments the other end, the first teams in were having a sort of ‘finishers party.’

Everyone was a good sport about racing and actually didn’t cheat. There was one cancellation on the day which meant that I had to put together a team of individuals (a boy and a girl), but they worked great together and actually came in third. The tweens even told me that they wanted my to do another race next month.

So overall, this was a program that takes a lot of prep and a few volunteers to help with on the day. I would probably have befitted from having another person working with me on this, but I did manage to pull the planning off myself.

This was lots of work, but the tweens loved it and that’s why we do what we do right?

Here’s the pics:

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