I've seen lots of kids in the library wearing their American flag t-shirts lately. We've had a run on books about parades and Independence Day, and I've overheard at least one conversation about fireworks. Kids love the Fourth of July--have you noticed? There's something about being out of school, staying up to enjoy the long summer days, and the promise of pools and popsicles.
I try to notice when kids at the library are really into something. And then I work it into my programming. This week: patriotic crafts!
Patriotic Paper Lanterns
The take-home craft at my branch for July is a patriotic paper lantern. It's an easily adaptable craft, and it requires minimal supplies. Our craft packets, which customers can pick up as they check out their materials, include a full sheet of paper (in red, white, or blue), two small sheets of stars (also in red, white, and/or blue), and a sheet of instructions. All of the cutting and pasting happens at home. These crafts have been flying off the shelves. Must be because the demo is so cute! My colleague did a fantastic job of selecting a fun, simple, skills-promoting craft and making it look beyond appealing to everyone passing the library's circulation desk.
Our second crafternoon of the summer is a patriotic spinner. Didn't you love playing with spinners when you were young? You know, the kind with a bird on one side and a birdcage on the other, and when the spinner was spinning the bird was magically in the birdcage? I adapted that classic spinner to fit a patriotic theme for our walk-in craft. Our craft tables will be supplied with the spinner templates printed on cardstock; crayons for coloring them; scissors for cutting them out; glue sticks for pasting the two sides together; hole punches for punching holes; and yarn for creating the spinner handles. The goal for these crafternoons is to provide a craft that will engage and delight all ages of kids, from preschool through early teens. When you consider the relative simplicity of the craft combined with the sheer amount of enjoyment my staff have gotten from playing with my demo spinner, I would guess we have a winner.