Pirateology

Ahoy me mateys!
For our pirateology program I scheduled several fun pirate-themed activities. Registration was more limited than I like to do because I only got 25 kaleidoscope kits. This is also my first time using a kit, but the silver acetate paper seemed expensive to buy so it was more economical to just get the kits with everything.

pirateology

The shelver (codename Luna)  was a great deckhand and agreed to pose for a picture.

We started out the evening with having the kids pick out a pirate hat the adult shelver had assembled earlier. Normally I would have the kids do a craft like that but I was afraid the kaleidoscopes would take too long and I wanted the hats to look kind of fancy just in case the PR lady or the paper came to take pictures. (Nope I never get a heads up if it is happening, no it is never if I take the time to wear makeup or dress up a bit).

Then I had a little flag code puzzle for the kids to work on. I try to have something little at the beginning because I have some families show up early but too many that roll in 10 minutes late. If I started the bulk of the program on time I would end up repeating myself for 30 minutes so I plan a mini activity and wait. Then we went over some pirate vocabulary which was very important because the pirateology program just happened to land on Talk Like A Pirate Day. Grr! Arrr! Avast! Aye, aye!

Before we could work on our kaleidoscopes we needed to find some jewels for them. We had set up a plastic container on each table with a few inches of sand and jewels buried inside. All was fun and games until a centipede appeared! One of the dads took care of the problem, but not before the librarian screamed a little. I really have no clue where the centipede came from as we set up the containers a good 6 hours before the program. To bad it wasn’t during the halloween program!

Finally we set to work on the kaleidoscopes. I really prefer to test out experiments and activities, but I didn’t have a kaleidoscope kit to spare so I just had fingers crossed they would work well enough. Luckily I need not have worried as we spent a bulk of our time decorating and assembling the kaleidoscopes.

With 15 minutes of program time remaining we announced the treasure hunt. I had previously made “riddles” with clues hidden throughout the library. I made the answers to the clues specific places or things in the library instead of looking up answers to questions because a few of my families have kids that are just learning to read. One riddle I found on the internet was along the lines of “A quiet place no one can see, this is where you go to pee.”  But I did try to pick things I thought it would be good for the kids to know about, like the dinosaur books and our display cases. Each kid got a roll of paper with the first clue. I was afraid of a big mess if everyone had the same clues so I had several different starting points that narrowed down so that everyone had the same ending clues, but different beginning clues. The final clue was for kids to return back to their seat where they got a chocolate coin and a certificate for being an honorary pirate. We also happened to have weeded some pirate books earlier in the summer so I put them aside to use as a giveaway at the end of the program.

Overall I think the pirateology program went well and I would do it again next year.

Program Stats:
Attendance: 40 or so as I never really get an accurate count
Activity 1: Flag codes
Activity 2: Pirate vocabulary
Activity 3: Jewel Dig
Activity 4: Pirate kaleidoscopes
Activity 5: Pirate library treasure hunt
Activity 6: Book Plunder

 

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