“Jurassic Trivia” was a dropin program for 8-12 year olds. Since I had no idea how many kids would attend, I decided to do my research so I could do an initial “talk” about dinosaurs. I know that kids LOVE dinosaurs and I hardly knew anything about them. I knew that no matter how much I could read about dinosaurs I’d probably have kids attend the program whose knowledge would far surpass that of mine. As a result, I decided to make my talk interactive and ask questions to find out what the kids knew and then added in information from what I had learned.
During the talk, I also made sure to refer to books – some of them gross – such as Jurassic Poop and others funny – dinosaur jokes – and even a how to draw dinosaurs book. Then I talked a bit about some dinosaur fiction. I tried to keep this part of my program short. The kids really appreciated some of the jokes.
Also, I know that many kids – myself included – are interested in science – especially when it has a sort of a “gross” element. I had learned that dinosaur eggs were much like reptile eggs – soft shelled. When I was in grade 6 I had done a classroom experiment where we made eggs soft by soaking them in vinegar for 24 hours. As I understand it, the vinegar removes the calcium from the egg shell making the shell soft. This is the way a dinosaur egg would feel to the touch. I passed the soft eggs around during my program – along with some hand cleaner too – gotta be careful about touching raw eggs! The kids were totally fascinated and wanted to know how I did that so that they could try it at home.
Next came the noisy part. I had blown up several balloons and had put dinosaurs in them. The kids got to hatch their dinosaur eggs – or rather pop the balloons – to figure out what team they would be on and then they were assigned to tables/stations and every so often they would switch.
Some of the activities I had were:
– a dinosaur board game
– a couple of crafts – making 3D dinosaurs – there was a triceratops and a pteradactyl (now known as a pteranodon)
– a fossil rubbing activity
– a fossil digging activity
– dinosaur etymology for kids
– a dinosaur trivia quiz
– string layed out along the floor for kids to measure themselves against 3 different dinosaurs –> the kids LOVED this activity!!!
I advertised the program through the library programs newsletter and on the library’s blog as well. Also, I mentioned it to kids that had come into the library too. I had a great group of kids attend and some parents attended as well. For the most part they were helpful and I was SO appreciative of this. I had 23 kids attend the first time and 26 attend the second time I ran the program.
There is so much preparation involved, but it was a ton of fun and well worth it. I learned so much running this program and if you have any questions or want more information on the program let me know! Thanks KL for your help and to everyone else for advice and support as I was so stressed out about this one!!!
Now I am getting ready for my first adult program and an outreach event for September!