Kindergarten for a Day! Believe it or not, my teens loved this program this summer. Who knew something so simple would go over so well? It’s a great way to relieve stress without teens even knowing it. It can also be a great way to connect with your children’s librarians for some pointers on doing story time, which books they think would go over well, and some fun craft ideas. The program itself was about 2 hours with the first 20 minutes dedicated to story time and songs and the second was crafting, snacks, and even a requested nap with classical music. The cost? All of the craft materials we already had, so it was just a matter of getting some snack and drinks which ended up being about $20.
At the beginning of the program, teens came in, grabbed a name tag and a carpet square and found a spot on the floor. We began with the “Hello” song followed by “What’s the Weather” where one teen volunteered to use their “powers of observation” to determine if it was raining, snowing, wind, or sun. For our stories, I read to them read three books with a song between each. First up was Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems.
This was a huge hit with my group of teens. The Norwegian dinosaur was by far the favorite.
Next up was Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea.
Once again my teens were very amused by this one. They loved Goat and Unicorn but were very confused as to why Goat was eating pizza with goat cheese on it.
The final book was a last minute switch. I was going to read Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds but instead switched it out for Can You Make a Scary Face? By Jan Thomas.
This was a flop. It was too simple for my teens after reading the first two books.
The songs that we sang in between were Herman the Worm (which many of them already knew and loved!), The Moose Song , and The Princess Pat. Yes, I was once a camp counselor too, haha.
After story time was finished we had stations. At the beginning when everyone picked up a name tag, it had a shape pre drawn on it; a blue square, red triangle, yellow star, or a green diamond. Each shape corresponded with the station they got to go to first. They had about 15 minutes at each station and then would rotate to the next one.
The first station was finger painting. A couple of teens didn’t know what to draw, so I encouraged them to just get messy, put their whole hand in the paint and have fun with it. I do recommend having some baby wipes nearby for easy clean up after!
The next station was “create your own story” where they got to make a new Goldilocks story with three other characters. Of course there was also the snack station; by far the favorite. I kept it simple with lemonade and goldfish crackers. And finally there was the reading corner. I grabbed some stuffed animals and a few comfy cushions and piled them in the corner along with a stack classic picture books for everyone to read.
After stations were over, it was quiet/nap time. I put on some classical music and they had the choice to continue to read or curl up with their carpet squares and take a snooze. All in all, this was a big hit with my teens. Because many of the materials were things we already had for children’s programming, it was also very inexpensive.
We want to hear from you! Have you tried doing a similar program? Let us know in the comments!