Another scavenger hunt uses the same sort of seek-and-find format albeit without the decoding aspect. I've written on this blog about our summer seek and find, where children look for an image of a book character who is mentioned at the library's entrance. During the academic year, we modify this premise to be a little more engaging. Children are given a sheet of paper with images of five or six children's book characters, each with a line next to it. Those same images are posted somewhere in the children's area of the library, and children are instructed to locate each of them. When a child locates an image, he or she is meant to write down (or dictate to a grown-up) the section in which the image is posted; for example, if Clifford is on a shelf with audiobooks, the child would write "audiobooks" or "CD books" on the sheet. This variation on the scavenger hunt works well for younger groups of children who may not yet have great reading skills--they are able to look for visual clues instead of trying to follow written ones.
|Mix in STEM!|
All three of these scavenger hunts work for larger groups as well as small ones, although when there are lots of kids going on a hunt, I like to divide them into teams and stagger the starting place for each team. I also emphasize that the scavenger hunt is not a race--every participant gets a prize (usually a library pencil or a small piece of candy) for completing the hunt regardless of how quickly they do so. Things don't usually get too crazy during the hunt once kids know they need not rush around the library.
Those are our three go-to activities for acquainting kids with the library when they come for a group visit. What do you do to entertain and inform children who visit your library?