Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Last of the Spring 2010 Mini-Workshops: Cool, Hip Crafts

 Last Friday, we wrapped up our spring season of mini-workshops with Adaena Tray at Green Tree Public Library.  She is a craft-queen who loves an afternoon spent with a glue stick, swatches of fabric and a pair of scissors and she brings her passion for all things homemade into her library with some pretty great artsy-crafty programs.  She shared a number of her program and craft ideas with a group of us and even had a hands-on portion where we made homemade soap!

Some highlights of the morning.  First, a few things to consider when planning a crafty/artsy program:
  • Create a 'clean out the craft closet' craft program a few times a year to use up the odds and ends left after other programs.  These kind of programs allow children to really dig into their imagination by leaving the project open-ended!  It's a win-win program for everyone!
  • Ask patrons to bring in 1 part of the project.  If you're planning a robot-making workshop, ask each child to bring in a box to serve as their robot body.  This also will create a roomful of diverse robots!
  • Always remember (I'm preaching to the choir on this one!) to include books on the topic.  Whether you're doing a recycled art program, a holiday-themed program or just a glue-this-stuff-together-and-make-something-fun kind of day, bring in the books!
  • Ask staff to bring in all their odds and ends (toilet paper rolls, cans, water bottles, etc!)
  • Some libraries in Allegheny County have had great success with displaying a 'supplies gift tree' at the library where patrons can pick up a leaf with a craft-request on it and donate to the library.  I know I'd love to do that at my local library!  An idea this year one of our brilliant librarians had, was to display a watering can where the drops of water each list a supply the library might need for their summer reading program.  Brilliant!
Now, some crafty ideas:
  • Adaena created a day to celebrate Dr. Seuss with a bunch of fun stations one of which, was the 'Imagination Station' where she put out a bunch of crafty supplies to inspire children to make their own wacky Dr. Suessical Creature!
  • Try a Bento Box Program!  Get some fun and cheap supplies at a Japanese food store (or online!) and invite school-age kids or tweens to come and make a fun lunch Japanese style! 
  • Candy Sushi!  Lots of guides on how to do this online and kids love creating it!
  • Drop-in Crafts where a simple craft table is setup all day at the library and children can come in, create something and head back out into their day!
  • What's easier than Paper-Bag Puppets?  Have a paper-bag puppet workshop
  • Extreme School Supplies (great tween program!) where kids can decorate boring school supplies with wild and fun accessories.  Great idea for a back-to-school program!
  • Spa Day!  Great program to involve moms and grandmamas!  Homemade bath salts, soap and body glitter!  Here's where the hands-on portion of the morning happened:

Adaena generously shared the guides and hos-tos she's already created on the programming page on the ACLA Youth Services wiki.  They're the last few listings under the Grades 3-5 listing.  Fun stuff!

Adaena also shared some tips on organizing the library craft closet.  Not an easy feat!  But with the help of perfectly sized containers from The Container Store, Adeana has packed it in and made it easy to find exactly what she needs (and doesn't need!) Here's 2 snapshots of her skillz:

I tell ya, these mini-workshops/conversations are not to be missed!  Just ask Gina Leone who attended all 4 this year!  We're already planning some fun ones for the fall! 


Kelly said...

I'm drooling over that supply closet!