Sunday, February 10, 2013

Program: Homemade for the Holidays

How is it February and I'm just writing about programs that happened in December? It seems that now I'm doing so much programming and only blogging about it once a week that I've fallen very far behind schedule. Maybe I'll have to re-evaluate my blogging schedule. Anyway, the tween program for December was called "Homemade for the Holidays." I decided to offer two crafts - one that could be given as a gift and one that was more for decorating the home. In hindsight, I probably should have just stuck to one, as we ended up feeling a bit rushed to get through both projects in an hour. But, this was one of my best attended programs, so I'm still happy. Our two craft projects were both things I'd found on Pinterest: a t-shirt scarf, and a 3-D paper snowflake.

The kids (okay, girls) brought their own t-shirts and I walked them step-by-step through the process of cutting and stretching to make a new scarf out of an old, unwanted t-shirt. The directions I followed are here. It's ridiculously simple to do and a lot of fun - the pulling and stretching of the pieces was a good time for all. It comes out looking pretty cool. It only took me about twenty minutes to make when I created an example beforehand, which is part of the reason I thought I should do more than one craft. Slowly but surely I'm learning that just because it only takes me twenty minutes doesn't mean it's going to go as quickly for the kids. Some of the girls had no problems, but there are always kids that struggle or are perfectionists (we had a lot of those this time around). Since I hadn't anticipated such a large group, it was, at times, a bit difficult to keep an eye on everyone and make sure they understood the directions. I roped in a couple of our regular teen volunteers to help out, but there were still a few mistakes. One girl had thought to bring some extra t-shirts, so we lucked out there. I took the girls step by step through the process, explaining and visually demonstrating each step at the front of the room, then walking around to make sure everyone understood. In the end, I think they all thought the craft was very easy and looked cool and many of them were trying to decide what to do with their scraps.

For the home decor craft, I wanted to do these 3-D paper snowflakes. They look amazingly cool and incredibly complicated but are actually really simple and quick to make. However, since the t-shirt craft had taken a bit longer than expected, we were rushing a little to get this one finished. The girls were confused with the instructions at first, though I explained and demonstrated them in the same way I did for the t-shirt project. However, a few girls caught on quickly and helped explain to their tablemates, and I walked around helping, as did my volunteers. They were all very impressed with how easy this was to make and how cool it looked when finished.

In the end, everyone walked away with two projects and new knowledge. They were all happy and excited and I made sure to plug my January program, so hopefully some of them will come back. I did have some adults interested in the program, so we mentioned that to our adult services department. I think easy crafting is very popular right now (I mean, obviously) so I'd definitely like to do more programs like this in the future. Which programs are most popular for the tweens at your library?

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