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Super Awesome Fun Time returns outdoors

By and large, the librarians stuck to the classics like 'The Wheels on the Bus', 'Sticky Sticky Bubblegum' and 'Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.'

By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter

“The more we get together, together, together, the more we get together, the happier we’ll be.”

It’s a Raffi classic and a Dover Town Library Super Awesome Fun Time staple, but when the kids sang it on the lawn outside the library Friday morning, the jingle took on a whole different meaning. Because while certainly warranted to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks, last year, there just weren’t many opportunities to get together, together - and many kids found themselves isolated and decidedly unhappy about it.

But while the DTL shut down their in-person programs last year and had to deliver Super Awesome Fun Time via Zoom, this year, the awesome fun is being delivered outdoors, which does require a bit of adaptation from the librarians running it.

For example, while in the community room (where the event was held, pre-COVID) librarians would use sensory toys like uncooked rice and toy trucks to simulate a construction site; with the event being held outside, different toys like hula hoops and squishy balls were brought out for the kids to play with. But that provided its own issues.

“We might have lost a ball or two in the woods,” Liam O’Keefe explained, “but other than that we’re good.”   

One of the changes moving outdoors brought about was the addition of outdoor toys like hula hoops and the parachute.

Another issue has been the weather, as the event has been rained out a few times since its outdoor move. But since the weather was perfect last Friday, a solid number of people showed up to sing, dance and hear stories read to them.

Outside of the outdoor toys, one of the things that will be different about this year’s Super Awesome Fun Times will be the addition of new individuals leading it. Since, according to Library Assistant Liz Fogarty, “it’s a pretty set sort of structure," individually, the librarians hosting Super Awesome Fun Time "choose the stories we want to read and choose the music. We try to change it up so it’s not the same thing exactly, and I think each person does it a little differently” - which means some new songs and stories might be coming.

The outdoor setting allows for social distancing and is expected to last until late October.

For their stories on Friday, Liz Fogarty stuck with a classic that the kids would know, “Barnyard Dance” by Sandra Boynton, while O’Keefe wanted to use one of the larger books so more people could see it and found Audrey Wood's “King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub” which stuck out to him because “it’s so weird and unsettling looking, I figured it would be fun.”

While everyone seems sure in one way or another that the program will continue, until at least late October, the library doesn’t expect keeping it outside to be an issue. So until the fall at least, outside of the DTL, kids will be getting together for Super Awesome Fun Time - and happier they'll be.

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