Thursday, December 13, 2012

Playing Games at the Library

Special thanks to both Geri Ceci Cupery (E.D. Locke Public Library in McFarland) and Alisha Green (L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire) for guest posts today about old-school game days in the library!   This looks super fun!  International Games Day @ Your Library can provide some great ideas and resources, but you don't have to wait till November to do this low-cost, community-building event!

 Geri says:
The first-ever, five-hour Family Board Game Day at E. D. Locke Public Library in McFarland was held on Saturday, November 10, and deemed a great success.  Despite unusually balmy weather outside, which we feared would adversely affect our turn-out, 53 people dropped in from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to learn and play board games.  Never fewer than 20-30 people were playing in the meeting room throughout the event.  Ages of participants ran the gamut – adults, college and high school students, and parents with children, including several preschoolers.  Most children did come with at least one parent, clearly looking for an activity to do together, and they found exactly that.
Families chose a sunny spot on the floor to play

 We set up our meeting room with 7 tables, 4-6 chairs per table.  Next time, we plan to scare up more actual card tables, as our meeting room tables aren’t quite the right size – but we made them work!  Also, since our next Family Game Board Game Day will likely be in February, we’re tentatively planning to overflow into the large lobby just outside the meeting room.  Part of this event’s allure is the camaraderie of people being able to move from table to table, trying or observing different games.  I myself learned about some great new games I’d never heard of before: “Hey, That’s My Fish,” ideal for grade school children because it was fun, and involved both counting & strategizing; and Crokinole, a beautiful wooden game which I can best describe as tabletop curling in the round, which supposedly dates back to 1867!
All ages participated!

Our unanimous conclusion was that we should do this again, on a semi-regular basis – perhaps every other month – as long as patron interest remains high.  We didn’t serve food, because many of the games were brought & personally owned by our two co-leaders.  Prizes were donated by an area game store, I’M BOARD! and a local company called Out-of-the-Box Games (original creators of “Apples to Apples”).  We also collected food & donations for our community’s food pantry.  It was not an expensive program by any means, and I can confidently say that a good time was had by all.

Alisha Says:  

Approximately 35 game players attended our first family drop-in International Games Day program.  This event was held on Saturday, November 3 at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library.  I come from a family of game players who held regular “Play Days.”  These play days gave me so many great memories of friendly competition, strategizing new ways to win a game or play a game, creating our own games, and definitely a lot of laughter!  My desire was to offer a program that could offer families the same opportunity for such great memories.  

Among the activities available were a wide variety of board and card games, a large easel pad for tic-tac-toe competitions, word searches, connect the dots and more, and “Minute to Win It” challenges.  Families loved the Minute to Win It challenges which included Caddy Stack – stack three golf balls; Floatacious – balance a tower of five empty pop cans on a plastic plate floating in water; Tea Party – flip two tea bags onto the bill of a baseball hat; and my personal favorite, Tilt-a-Cup – incrementally build a wobbly tower of cups and ping pong balls by bouncing a ball off the ground into a growing stack of cups in the hand.  Last, but not least, participants could make their own game board craft including supplies to create a game board, dice, game cards and spinners.   
Minute to Win It Challenges

Library patrons of all ages enjoyed spending the afternoon at the library to play!  I’m so glad we were able to provide this opportunity to families.        


1 comment:

librariane said...

I recognize the game in the second picture! That one is a lot of fun.