Super Soaker Hero Blast
The Super Soaker Hero Blast had a little bit of everything – real hero firefighters, a lesson on garden villains and heroes, super soaker games, gardens, and books. 35 people enjoyed the Columbia Fire Department’s shiny red truck and equipment demonstration, learning from real life heroes what to do in case of a fire. Firefighters use water to put out dangerous fires; gardeners use water to grow food and flowers for humans and habitat. Then we were introduced to 5 garden villains: fire ants, cucumber beetles, aphids, cabbage looper moths, and squash bugs – and 5 garden heroes: ladybugs, earthworms, butterflies, spiders, and honey bees. Did you know that ladybugs are helpful hunters who eat sap-sucking aphids, or that planting native flowers in urban spaces can really help out our important pollinators?
The children in attendance lined up with giant grins for the Be a Hero Bucket Filling Relay, entering the demarcated Wet Zone to begin our games. The teams tried to spray their super soakers into a bucket a team member was holding. The buckets were poured into one of our brand new rain barrels afterwards, making everyone a hero for helping to water the garden. Then the Ladybugs Eat Aphids Freeze Tag Obstacle Course Fest, the highlight of the splashing for the afternoon, was played in earnest. Library book bins stacked about the Wet Zone, complete with refilling station, provided a space for kids to really get moving and crouch, duck, and leap as they ran about giggling. Two “Ladybugs” with small squirt guns tried to freeze all the Aphids, who high-fived each other to come back to life. After being frozen 3 times, an Aphid became a Ladybug and the chase reversed.
Meanwhile, adults reclined under shadebrellas and answered questions about what they had learned about heroes and their own ways to be backyard heroes. Books on garden heroes were available to peruse, and parents smiled and looked on while their kids ran about and expended some summertime energy. After the party, some families stayed for a real garden tour, complete with fire ants farming aphids (we needed some ladybugs!). Everyone drank juice boxes after all the excitement and left with library pencils in addition to the ultimate reward – stickers! Fun was had by all.