The Benefits of Pancake Science (and Online Programming)
When the COVID closures began, I must admit I was a bit skeptical about participating in online programming. How would people interact? Would my children lose interest in the middle of a session? Wouldn’t it be awkward? But even with all these questions, I decided to take the plunge and register my children.
For the first session, they tried out a drawing challenge program. After entering the Zoom meeting, the children were greeted by Jonah, the friendly programmer. For the next 45 minutes, Jonah asked for suggestions for drawing challenges, shared drawing tips, and got the participants to share their drawings with the class. It was instructional, fun and interactive. The next program we tried was a Lego challenge, where Heather gave prompts to the children to build things like boats, something that starts with the first letter of their name, or something in one colour.
For days after this program it was an obstacle course to walk through the house as my children’s Lego creations stretched across the floor and over any surface they could find. Next, they participated in Pancake Science, and learned the science of how ingredients react together to create fluffy, yummy goodness. Robin, the instructor, sent a follow up email with recipes for pancakes and caramel syrup for us to make at home.
After testing out these sessions, I immediately registered my children in some of the upcoming programs — Recycled 3D Structures, Kazam Magic Workshop, The Reptile Show — the list goes on. I then tried to put into words for my coworkers why I was such a super fan of the work they were doing, and it boiled down to a few key things:
- Anticipation. After weeks of social distancing and the monotony of staying at home, my children were excited for the days when there was a library program.
- Interaction with new people. Sad to say, but my family was getting sick of hearing my voice. The programmers at the library and all the other children in the program offered much needed interaction and conversation with someone outside of our family.
- Inspiration. After each program, my children continued to actively and independently engage with the topics, and it cut down significantly on video game and TV screen time.
So, if you have some skepticism about whether the library’s free online programming will suit you, give it a shot because my family found it quite delightful. And remember — all the library programs your child participates in count toward their Level Up! summer learning minutes.