Monday, January 19, 2015

Summer Reading Program 2014:The Summer in Review!

I will always remember the summer of 2014 as "The Summer Without Tammy".  My wonderful colleague/assistant/friend, Tammy Henry, left Bellevue Public Library to take a full-time position in Spokane, Washington.  While I always knew how incredibly blessed I was to have Tammy, the reality of running the summer reading program without her (and without ANYone) really hit me somewhere around the 2nd week of June!

Tammy and I had planned our summer program with the thought that she might be leaving, so we had plans pretty much in place.  But having plans in place, and actually doing the summer program, are two different things!

One of the activities that got put near the bottom of my triage list most days was posting on this blog.  Judging from what I did manage to get posted, it appears as though all we offered was a stuffed animal sleepover, 3 preschool storytimes, 1 Baby & Me Storytime, 1 Papa Bear & Me Storytime,1 Park & Read, and 1 Stories & S'mores.

So, to make up for all those missed updates, here is a broad overview of the library's summer activities, complete with pictures and videos:

Baby & Me Storytime

Mad Scientist University was a one-hour, hands-on science experience for children held at the Bellevue Public Library on June 10, 17, 24 and July 1, 2014.

Registered children entering grades 1-6 had a chance to try out a number of experiments during Mad Scientist University.  Below are pictures from just a few of the exploration stations:

Bubbles and Blobs demonstrated the chemical reaction between vinegar and baking soda, as well as what happens when water and vinegar are added to oil.

Magic Water-Filled Bags demonstrated the difference between a standard ziplock bag and one made with polymers.  Polymers allowed us to puncture the bags with pencils without the bags bursting!

Magnetic Mystery let children use a magnetic wand to find which objects are attracted to a magnet.  In among the dried black beans in the tub were paperclips, a plastic bottle cap, a battery, a tape measure, coins, a popsicle stick, a screwdriver, a glue stick, a metal shower curtain ring, etc.

The Oobleck-making station was definitely popular!  Children could make a non-Newtonian fluid  by mixing water and corn starch.

Balloon Rockets was another popular station!  Children worked to find the best way to get a balloon to rocket the length of a string.  Sometimes it worked...

And sometimes it didn't...

Children had fun coming up with reasons why the balloon did not move as they wanted it to, and possible solutions to the problem.  Science at work!

  LEGOS!        LEGOS!        LEGOS!        LEGOS!        LEGOS!        LEGOS!        LEGOS!

Water Fun Day is an annual event marking the end of storytimes for the Summer Reading Program.  All children who attended any of our Baby and Me or Toddler/Preschool Storytimes were invited to come and enjoy an hour of play time on the library lawn.  We had a variety of activities including a fishing pond, hula hoops, beach balls, sidewalk chalk, crawl through tunnels, a playhouse, bubbles, puzzles, puppets, musical instruments and more!


  1. Awesome to see these great pictures from the summer!!! I'm so glad you survived! :) I sure missed doing all the fun activities with the great kids (and parents) of Bellevue!! I sure miss being at a library with a "traditional" Summer Reading Program!!