A Happy Accident

What do you do when there’s a misprint on 50 booklet covers for the Summer Reading Program?

In other words, you create a simple scavenger hunt that works with the summer’s science theme:

We cut out the images of our mad scientist dragon, whipped up a sign/tally sheet. and then sticky tacked the dragons all over our library. My favorite is the clock dragon (he may stay put for the entire month).


Many kids have been completely freaking out about this (in a good way). We’re not really even trying to hide the dragons too hard, but we are moving most of them around on Saturdays.

The best part for the staff? No need to give clues – we can’t even begin to remember where all 50 dragons are. I mean, giving clues can be really fun when it’s a slower time of the year, it helps kids to feel more comfortable approaching us with questions, and it helps kids learn about the library. But during summer? Not so much.

What we do instead is that when they bring up their final tallies, we grab our Official Scientific Clipboard of Science™ and write down their results on a spreadsheet. We explain to the children that we will be taking the average of the numbers reported, and will announce the final number at the end of the month. We also give them a sticker as a thank you for helping, and encourage them to count as many times as they’d like – since the more times the dragons are counted, the more likely we’ll get an accurate final number.

Basically, we’re teaching them about averages in a pretty quick way. Bonus: it doesn’t devolve into a game of Hotter/Colder.

The other really cool thing that’s been happening is that it seems like more parents are reading the instructions aloud to their children (or they read it together). That just triggers all sorts of happies in my heart. Even better? When they work together to find as many clones as possible.

One final and off-kilter note: I was extremely tempted to crumple/unfold one of the dragons and call him “Paper Jam Booker” à la “Paper Jam Dipper” from Gravity Falls. That is all.

But that’s not all!

I thought that it’d be fun to update this post with the sign that I made after the Clone Hunt ended. We tried to find all 50 clones, but we finally gave up and basically challenged the kids.

It took two days for the last dragon to be found. I then adjusted the sign one more time to make it clear that the final answer was 50.

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