Length of Program
60 – 90 minutes.
Use local team spirit and teen’s interest in sports to attract them to library programs. Teens are attracted to extreme sports or unusual activities. Invite local athletes and coaches to talk about their sports or ask staff at a local sporting goods store to show equipment and clothing needed for specific sports. As part of the program, teens can create sports related crafts.
Invite a local coach or sports stars, such as tennis, football, basketball, or soccer players, to talk to the teens about their training, the games, and their teams. Ask if they can provide trading cards or photographs and sign autographs. Ahead of time, find pictures of pennants and mascots from various sports teams to use as models for the teens to make their own pennants or window signs for their favorite team. Order sports related items, such as kick bags and themed pencils from Smilemakers to use as program incentives. Decorate the bulletin board with sports equipment and pennants cut with Ellison or other die cuts. Put book titles on the baseballs, basketballs, footballs, and such.
Purchase the "Exercise Your Mind" poster set from Upstart. The posters feature sports stars reading books.
Invite a presenter to talk about an exciting sport or activity, such as sky diving, surfing, hang-gliding, racecar driving, or mountain climbing. Alternatively, invite a local martial arts school to bring their teen students to the library for a demonstration and to teach some simple skills. The library might even sponsor a 3 on 3-basketball tournament at a local recreation center or gym.
Books to Display
- Going for the Gold: Apolo Anton Ohno by Thomas Lang.
- How Angel Peterson Got His Name and Other Outrageous Tales About Extreme Sports by Gary Paulsen.
- Play Like a Girl: A Celebration of Women in Sports by Sue Macy.
- Uncommon Champions: Fifteen Athletes Who Battled Back by Marty Kaminutesky.
Books to Booktalk
- Catch Shorty by Maureen Holohan.
- Honus and Me: a Baseball Card Adventure by Dan Gutman.
- Hoops by Walter Dean Myers.
- Hoop Girlz by Lucy Jane Bledsoe.
Team Window Sign
- Poster board cut to 8" x 8" square
- Paints, markers, crayons, pencils
- Suction cups (preferably without hooks)
- Hole punch
- Lamination film
Let each teen cut the poster board to size and punch a hole 1/4" from one corner. Color the team mascot onto the poster board and add a team message. Make up a library team or let the kids use their school's mascot. If the library has a laminator, library staff can laminate the finished product, or let the teens cover it with self-laminating film. Push a plain suction cup through the hole and the window sign is ready for hanging.
Suction cups without hooks are available from many craft supply sources. The knob of the suction cup should fit through a quarter inch diameter hole since that is the common size for a hole punch. If you cannot locate suction cups with one-quarter inch diameter knobs, purchase suction cups with hooks.
Work with the parks and recreation department, school district, or sporting supply store to set up a portable climbing wall at the library. Skilled staff from these organizations could then show teens how to climb. There are generally different levels of difficulty.
Trading Card Swap
Host a sports trading card swap. Ahead of time, let teens know that they can bring cards to swap. Invite a collector to talk to the teens about collection cards and then let the swapping begin. If you can afford them, or can get a donation, it would be nice to have some extra cards for those who are new to collecting.
Copy and distribute the Sports Cross Crossword puzzle. It will test each teen’s knowledge of Texas college, semi-professional, and professional teams and sports figures and paraphernalia in general.
- 2. King in Lubbock
- 4. Lance's sport
- 5. By any name, it's still running
- 7. Court game
- 8. America's team
- 11. Austin's frozen mammals (two words)
- 14. Beaumont's lady golf legend
- 15. Cowboy games
- 18. Uses a board
- 19. Yells at the players
- 21. High flying Houstonians
- 23. Paddington and Pooh, in Waco
- 24. El Paso's underground residents
- 26. Beach game?
- 27. Tiger's woods? (2 words)
- 28. National Sport of Texas
- 29. Midland's geologists
- 1. Off road vehicle, for kids (2 words)
- 3. Houston bird brains
- 5. Mythical creature in Odessa
- 6. Unbranded calves
- 9. Fly high for fun
- 10. Valley birds
- 12. Big and bright, in Texas
- 13. Texas cattle
- 16. Devils, in El Paso
- 17. Hockey's "ball"
- 20. Ice or field
- 22. Black cats
- 23. As American as...
- 25. Panhandle Snakes
Art Car Exhibit
Host an art car exhibit if there are any art cars in your area. Ask around your community as these very personalized cars are becoming increasingly popular. Invite three or four art car owners to visit and talk about their cars. Some libraries have even sponsored programs to decorate a library art car!
- Soccer Pong
- Stop the ball from going out of the circle.
- Baseball Online
- Play ball against the computer.
Serve ballpark food such as popcorn, peanuts, hot dogs, and cotton candy. Check with local businesses and invite them to participate by donating food and setting up their food cart at the library during the program.
- SG (Surfing Girl).
- Sports Illustrated for Kids.