I’m good at learning songs from Jbrary and repeating them in storytimes. I’ve been complimented more than once on my skills reading aloud and holding an audience’s attention while I do. I have an artistic streak and I’ve made a lot of really cute prop stories.
But arts and crafts? This is my jam. This is the set of projects and ideas and results that I’m most proud of, and the most eager to share.
Like most library programmers, I frequently read books and blogs and I talk to many other professionals, and a lot of my work is informed by those sources. One of the reasons I’m hesitant to share my work on this blog is that I haven’t kept track of these sources, and I know that a community of librarian readers expects to see a fellow professional using accurate citations. So, if you see projects here that are yours, or that you know the origin of, please share that with me so that I can credit you properly!
The first art project I’m sharing is my own invention. This is a finger painting project that I did at a drop-in storytime with an Animals theme (books: “Are You a Horse?” / “A Sick Day For Amos McGee” / “Hooray for Hat!”).
Lions, before and after
Prep work: 3 minutes per child
Special supplies: none
I created animal stencils by printing out images of the animals I wanted and cutting them out, then tracing those animals onto construction paper. That’s it. Kids paint, paint dries, and at home later, caregivers cut out the animal I traced to reveal a colorful, Eric-Carle-style piece of art! I like this project because it flexes to fit any theme; you could trace butterflies, people, flowers, letters (the child’s initial, if you have a registered storytime), or even basic shapes.
Reasons I love it: Easy. Flexible. Cheap. Moderate prep work level. Good WOW factor. Process-oriented, but it has a cool product too!