Posts tagged ‘craft’

May the Fourth

Happy Star Wars Day! May the Fourth be with you!

I decided to do a Star Wars craft this week for the kids (and the young at heart). I found an adorable and easy Yoda puppet here, and I decided to make a few changes. My final result is below. All you need are some brown paper bags, googly eyes, grey or green colored pencils or crayons, glue, and white and light green construction paper. I drew my templates for the ears by hand and just measured the bag to figure out how big to make the rectangles for the head and robe. This was the perfect craft for all the little Padawans that came in to the library this week!

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Stained Glass Ornaments

My December YA program was very simple. I’ve never been big on craft programs because most of the crafts I like and think the teens like have been done to death (tie dye, jewelry, etc.) or are not very inclusive for the guys in the group. So, when I wanted to do a craft program, I wanted to do something very different. Well, that didn’t necessarily happen since almost every library offers an ornament decorating program (my branch alone offered two–one for adults and my program for teens). However, I decided we should do something new that I’d just learned about.

Alcohol inks are the craft supplies for the crafting impaired. (Yes, I include myself among that number.) It’s virtually impossible to screw it up, but if you manage to do it (I did), you just use the blending solution to wipe away the mess and start all over. There’s virtually no wasted supplies! That definitely appealed to me.

So, I went out and bought 3 packs of various colored alcohol inks and metallic mixers as well as two containers of alcohol inks. I’m not going to lie. This was a fairly expensive program. I think the total for ink and other alcohol ink supplies was about $40 or more at Hobby Lobby (our Michaels didn’t carry alcohol inks and the people at Joann’s didn’t know what I was even talking about when I asked). I ended up saving money by using leftover bulbs from the other ornament decorating program at my branch. So, my total for this program was about $45 with snacks.

If you’re not familiar with alcohol inks, I’d suggest reading up on them at All Thumbs Crafts, Art Without Anxiety, or By Stephanie Lynn. Then practice, practice, practice. There are a bunch of techniques, and each one turns out differently, so you’ll want a few examples and a few tips and tricks to pass along during the program.

Because the inks themselves were so expensive (and I have read that you can make your own from permanent markers or something and that certain rubbing alcohols can be replaced for the blending solution but I didn’t try it because I know my luck at trying to be cheap with things like this and my budget last semester allowed me to use the real stuff), I ordered a box of gloves from the programming department for free to make sure my teens didn’t get the ink on their hands (because it is a big pain to get off, believe me!) and made my own applicators from extra felt scraps left over from making flannels and handles made from cardboard scraps. You can also use felt attached to a stamp base, but I didn’t have those on hand this time.

Then, I warned the kids to wear old clothes, put out some snacks, set up the work stations with q-tips, cotton balls, some applicators, bowls for mixing the metallic additives, a pie plate to work over, lots of newspaper and wax paper, and let the teens get creative. There were some really beautiful pieces made at this program (much better than I made during my experiments), and the teens seemed to really enjoy it.

Music Story Time

This week we did a music theme because what could possibly be more fun than singing and dancing around all morning? I started, as usual, with my opening song: “If You Want to Hear a Story.”

Then, we jumped right into our first book:  Violet’s Music by Angela Johnson

I was surprised that there weren’t many books for this theme that I liked. I used several good books for my dance theme a while ago, so I assumed that music would be even easier to find cute books for! I wasn’t correct in that assumption. Though there are plenty of children’s books about music, very few of them seem like books the kids will really get into. I wasn’t really sure about this one, to be honest, until I read it to my first group. This was one I liked pretty well, but I figured the kids would either like it or hate it. I was right. Some groups just sat there impatiently for me to finish reading so we could sing, and others got into it commenting on how Violet was growing up so quickly or that it was sad that she couldn’t find any friends to play music with her. Overall, I’d say this book is so-so. Given the selection I had, it was one of the better books.

Next, we all stood up so we could sing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.” And sing it we did! One group insisted that we keep going faster and faster; we must have gone through the song ten times. I know I was tired!

Then, I taught them “Apples and Bananas” (Raffi’s version):

I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas.
I like to eat, eat, eat, apples and bananas.
(Repeat with different vowel sounds in “eat,” the first syllable of “apples,” and the second and third syllables of “bananas.”)

I guess I didn’t remember how hilarious this song was when I was a kid because it was a huge hit! Most of them hadn’t heard it before, and they were squealing with laughter during the second verse. They thought it was the silliest thing ever!

After we all calmed down (and Miss Kat caught her breath after ten rounds of “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”), we all sat back down for our flannel this week. I’d like to note that this was not a flannel I made. It was left behind by the youth facilitator before me, so I decided to use it this week since it was “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” I assume she originally found the idea at Recipes for Reading.

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They seemed to like this flannel, but I wish I would have had the time to make other colors for it. Gray is a difficult color for some of my age groups to identify.

Then, we all got settled for our next book:  I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison

This was one of the books I knew the kids would like. It has a nice rhythm (as one might assume, given the title), it’s interactive, and it’s pretty fun to act out.

After we caught the rhythm, it was time to stand up and march for “The Ants Go Marching.”

Once we were all marched out, we sat back down for our next book: The Seals On the Bus by Lenny Hort

The kids liked singing along with this book since everyone obviously already knew the tune, and they thought it was hilarious that the people were trapped on a bus with seals, tigers, snakes, rabbits, sheep, and all sorts of other animals.

For some groups, three books was enough, and I went ahead and did my closing song, “Goodbye Goodbye.” For others, they demanded one more book, and that book was Jazz Baby by Lisa Wheeler

This was another book that I wasn’t sure about. I liked it and thought it was fun, but the kids often have very different opinions than I do. However, this week, we were in agreement. This book has good rhymes and rhythm, highlights different aspects of music, and is pretty sweet at the end.

Our craft this week got all the kids very excited, but I will warn you that it is a lot of prep! I was inspired by Oriental Trading Company’s DIY Paper Guitars. However, I didn’t think my budget would allow for me to spend $20 plus shipping for all the guitars I would need. So, I found a picture online, drew my own template, and cut out 20 guitars out of poster board. Then, because I knew the kids would want to play with them for more than the five seconds it would take for their new poster board guitar to fall apart, I cut strips of cardboard and glued them on the back of the guitar to make it somewhat sturdier. They turned out very cute too.

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