the distrAction jar

The distrAction jar is a take on boredom jars popularized by SAHMs on Pinterest. I undertook this a project after conversations with my co-worker, Kendra. We have a cool space for preschool children and a nice teen room at our library, but not a lot to tempt the middle grades or "tweens." In an effort to find a way to redirect tweens getting creative while fighting boredom in the library, I created this jar which contains a whole slew of activities, ranging from educational to silly.

The jar was premiered at a monthly passive programming station called "Help Yourself," but more on that later. During one month, the jar sat out and library patrons were encouraged to select a few slips and complete as many as looked interesting to them. Since then, it has lived on one of our public service desks, waiting to be pulled out for the rambunctious and under-supervised.

There are about 70 activities in all. I got ideas from the blogosphere, our old Summer Reading game boards, education.com, and the Washington State Early Learning and Developmental Guidelines. Most of the activities are self directed and contained, requiring nothing more than paper and pencil, but there are a few with supplemental items that can be picked up at our desk.  I only used readily available supplies - no special ordering or additional cost.

During the month the jar sat out, 26 kids ranging in age from 7 to 15 completed 51 activities, and those are just the ones who filled out raffle tickets. More may have participated without filling out a ticket. I was particularly happy with those numbers as the jar was a passive program with no real promotion and premiered in December, which can be a slow time of year for us. Lots else to do in the lives of families.

Here's the list of all 71 tasks, some of which are specific to our library and location. I also have a Word doc of the tasks in their ticket form that I'd be happy to share with interested parties. Just comment below!

1 comment:

  1. Love this! I am part-time librarian at a small branch library where I frequently hear "I'm Boooooooored!" Hopefully will implement this soon.