Castro Valley Game Library

Resources for parents & teachers

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Kid Stuff Swap Free Community Event (East Bay)

Dec 2 from 4-5:30 pm
Castro Valley public library
3600 Norbridge Ave, Castro Valley, CA

Bring kids' items to trade or donate
Clothes, shoes, books, games, toys, puzzles & decor
Please invite your friends!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fall Family Fun

What I've been up to:

"Planes" outdoor movie event.
After I demonstrated how to use puppets 
(I guess kids don't play with them enough anymore), 
they decided they might be fun enough to try.
The Disney soundtrack was fun for the puppets to sing to.

I also did puppet making and giant bubbles but unfortunately didn't get pictures.

Moving my collection from one place to another (before)

Pictures of some of the games (after)

Preschool materials I'm selling

My tall 10 month old who now walks and (as of today) gets out of her crib unassisted

Getting a head start on her Jedi training, too.

 Giving dolls haircuts before I sell them at the Senior Center Sale

Krispy Kreme Pirate Day - I really love donuts

My baby garden.  Apparently my soil is still messed up (Not this box.  It's all compost)

International paper dolls my children were using

My son playing dress ups

Quick trip during fall break

Lincoln Logs from Preschool Game Time 
(My 4th grade daughter built them - during her 2 weeks off school)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Montessori resources (Game library pioneer)

Check out my new Yahoo group "Toy & Game Libraries."  I would love to connect with toy libraries from all over and build a high quality conversation.

Heddi Craft has been running a toy library in Santa Cruz, CA, for years.  I think she started the Educational Resource Center and, from what I can tell, she now works with Discovery Learning Center.  There are several good articles on her work, which I did not collect but may post later.  I need to pick her brain!  Some of her thoughts on why a toy library makes sense -

The Discovery Learning Center website has a page on Montessori resources (they recently acquired a collection of Montessori stuff.  Like the stuff I just sold).

Another person who has a lot to offer is Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now.  Among other things, she posts information on creating and acquiring activities (& gives me a lot of encouragement by following my blog).

I sent some info to the local newspaper, and they published it!:

Friday, June 13, 2014

300 Fake Snowballs (Frozen Event)

 Did you ever want to have a snowball fight in June?  We did it!  It was so much fun.

We had two hours of activity time before they showed Frozen on a large, outdoor screen.  I brought hopscotch, a ring toss, tic tac toe, bowling, a seated spinner, a foam puzzle, plastic to draw on, and several table games (pattern pictures, pinball machine, and a crocodile dentist).  The "dressing snowpeople" activity didn't quite work out.  

The snowball activity was a lot less structured than I envisioned.  It was difficult to enforce the rules (Keep the snowballs in the ropes/Don't hit people in the head).  We also started with way too many snowballs.  It turned out to be much more challenging and fun when people had fewer to use.  The forts didn't work out the way I thought they would either.  They didn't stay up well (the wind blew them over or they fell down, even while we were building them).  The kids improvised.  It was fun to see my brother in law, the engineer, building structures that were more sturdy. 

At one point, I asked the children to spread out (they were all in each others' faces).  I said they could have 4 people in a square.  It was also really expensive ($250).  I could have bought 2 buckets (that was all we needed, and I got 10).  I wanted the activity to be really compelling.  I suppose on a larger, marked field we could have gotten a lot more people and used more snowballs.  

I was really happy with the snowballs themselves.  I was concerned that they'd get dirty, but they didn't.  Toddlers and adults alike played happily with them.  Nobody got hurt (although I did put a stop to people using building sticks as bats and swords).  People used snowballs with a parachute activity.  They went far enough without going too far.  And they do have a pleasing squishiness. Someone took my card, because she is always looking for interesting game events, and she told me I should definitely bring the snowballs.

I was surprised we had to recruit kids.  At first nobody seemed interested.  I would have liked to have two - one for smaller kids.  It also might have worked to have some kind of timer & bell, so there would be separate encounters.  I did end up "resetting" once (having the kids put away the snowballs and start again).  I needed to explain the rules to the new people.  

Once the kids ran out of snowballs (because I picked up the ones that went out of bounds), I passed out 3 per person and told them the rules as I passed them out (next time I'll pass them out by the player instead of leaving buckets on the field).