Friday, October 31, 2014

Community Art - Maker Space - in YOUR Library

Community Art in the Library

El Dia de los Muertos will be celebrated in our little branch library with an invitation to the community to participate in an art project.  All the supplies will be out to make paper Sugar Skulls.  We hope that our patrons will leave their artwork for the month - but we recognize that sometimes they want to take their masterpiece home.  It's all good.  

My colleague Joe and I made the sugar skulls in the photo and we cut out about 40 plain skulls from paper plates.  We'll let everyone go to town with the markers.  The display area is set up with the title : Mexican Sugar Skulls to honor El Dia de los Muertos  

Over the past few years we have done a number of community art projects.  We've discovered that our families enjoy being part of the art on the walls of their library.  Moms, Dads, grandparents, teens, tweens, little ones - all particpate - we include everyone.  It's not the product - it's the belonging and the process of creating something bigger.  

This past July we asked our community members to color a firefly...they were shy at first and!  So this was day one:

Be a Reading Bug and Light the Night

And here we are at the end of the week.  Colors!

This project was tremendous fun and we kept it on display through September.  Senior citizens loved coloring a firefly or a flower and shared stories of their youth - who knew? Accidental engagement ...or the power of art.  Loved it!  This piece is 30"x 40"

We did another Community Art Project to remember 9/11. 
 I asked the staff to paint sheets of medium weight watercolor paper on both sides.  They did this over two days.  I explained to them what we were working on and everyone wanted to paint.  Honestly, it makes you feel good to know that we are doing something meaningful.  I located a butterfly template on-line and with the help of our teen volunteers - we traced lots of butterflies.  Library patrons were invited to cut out a butterfly of their choice fold the wings up and glue the butterfly wherever they wanted on our foam-core board. 

Many little ones brought their butterflies home and a number of families took photos of their children standing with this piece of art. 

Something like does a heart good.    

One holiday season we decorated our very large tree - a live tree, (not a Christmas tree) inside the library with pre-cut card stock birds.  Our patrons were encouraged to color the birds,  thread a ribbon through them and hang them on the tree.  Take a look:

They did it.

This was another "feel good" project.  And many birds with home with their artists.

When we do these projects I always invite the staff to participate first.  Our circulation staff is great - they will then follow through with the patrons inquiring if they would like to color a bird for our Peace Tree. One of my colleagues likes to take birds, butterflies, flowers, etc; home for her grandchildren to make - we build connections - in and out of the building.  

I'm not sure what the holiday project will be this year but I do know one project we'll do in the new year. 

Inspired by  Eleanor Estes' book, A Hundred Dresses, we shall invite our patrons to make dresses.  Sort of Origami, paper folding dresses with embellishments.

Here's dress #1 ...only 99 more to go!

I think I see a clothesline with those tiny decorative clothespins holding up the dresses. Maybe I should invite libraries across the country to contribute little paper dresses in February.  Hmm, I'm going to think about this.  We could have hundreds of dresses! 

Over the summer we made these beautiful flower vases in one of our kids' programs.  I did not have enough materials to offer it to the entire community but I did offer it to the staff.  Yennesse took her's home to create and totally rocked it. Just look at it!

 Let me say, when you are in the middle of Summer Reading and your staff is working "all out" ... Art Therapy is a nice change of pace.  Providing all the materials in one place where they can work on their own masterpiece and complete it - well, it's priceless!

The biggest reward in all of this is ownership and pride in your very own library.  It's your space patron people - and this, these community art projects,  are but one small part of the maker space movement in libraries across the country.  

We love comments and questions. Talk to us!  Thanks for reading. ~ jane

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Update those spider crafts with S.T.E.A.M.


Please let me introduce you to the
 Very Big and Very Busy Spider!

These gorgeous inspiring spiders were a Pinterest find and we tweaked them; of course!  Besides we had to talk about spider eyes...S.T.E.A.M. people!  Our inquiring kids deserve the truth on spider eyes.  It's cool stuff.

Eight legs and eight eyes for web-spinning spiders.  And you just know that everyone made a web-spinning spider because he was so bouncy with the white silky super strong yarn thread   

Jumping spiders have two eyes - and all the kids knew about jumping spiders!  Some spiders have 4 eyes, some 6 - and some have no eyes. 

*We used pastels a.k.a. colored chalks on 9x12 black construction paper to make the spider's  body.  BTW a 9x12 spider body is huge! 
*I had strips of purple and blue for the kids to fold in order to get the springing legs which we  taped on.  
*All those yellow eyes were secured with glue sticks. 
*I tipped each piece of yarn with tape and made a double knot on the other end
*We made a tiny slit on the top of the spider and pulled his silky thread through from  underneath.  That was sort of like a magic trick.  I kid you not.  These spiders came to life  once the yarn was attached.  

We did a few flannel stories including Black Cat, black cat, what do you see?  Oh my...look what the cat brought home - a jumping spider!  I still love that repeating thread in story time. It's not always a theme at Piper Loves the Library programming...but themes can be outstanding.

 I hope you know that we really love Eric Carle's The Very Busy Spider. 
But we might have to make him a few more eyes!

Holy smoking spider eyes!  There goes Batman!

P.S.(Piper Script): What? Were you expecting Spiderman?!  Check out these spiders...adorable!  Research told me that spider eyes come in equal numbers only.  Like I said's all about the S.T.E.A.M.

We are always grateful to our Flannel Friday Friends for inspiration and support.  Please visit the round-up for fun flannels and tips.  If you'd like to learn about this creative group please click here.  Thanks for visiting Piper Loves the Library.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Classroom Crafts for Halloween

Something Crafty
this way comes

Full tutorial from Alisa Burke - click here  Please see red note below.

I once received an email from the Library Director inquiring ...where do you get all your creative ideas?  This was know PP?  This was pre-Flannel Friday...PFF.  This was in the olden days...of covered wagons!  Well, not quite...maybe just 10 years ago!

When my nephew Dan was really little he asked his mom - were you alive when the world was black and white?  The old photos...all black and white - and a child's brain...and??  Who knows?  But I will say that simple and cute things (like Dan's question) inspire me.  Everything inspires me.  My brain is always scanning colors, creativity, shapes, patterns, nature, crafts, architecture, fabrics, everything ... and processing, then tweaking until the wonder of a black and white world from a little boy inspires something like this!  

                 Art Projects for Kids

Color photos - found in magazines or on the internet added to a black sharpie line drawing.  The hairy spider is my favorite...I like the inclusion of the spider's shadow but I would have to draw a screaming person on top of a building.  Or better yet...maybe a superhero coming to rescue the city?    With a little tiny splash of red!  My brain does not stop.
Check out Art Projects for Kids - go there for inspiration grade level even!

Stone Sugar Skulls!

We love these Mexican Sugar Skulls - perfect for Dia de los Muertos, because you know we love diversity.  We found these with an excellent tutorial on our new favorite artist's blog...yes, Alisa Burke   We've used sharpies and painted on rocks many times and always protect them with a few layers of matte finish mod podge on top. You can purchase rocks at Michael's.

 Note: we do not use sharpies on top of paint - it totally stops the sharpie from working.  (Then you have to soak your sharpies in rubbing alcohol over night to restore their powers)

I love learning...Sugar skulls and Mexico add a layer of learning for classroom or library crafts.

Research-a-spider on the internet for your sharpie line drawing adds computer and arachnology skills!  Really, who doesn't want to be an Arachnologist?  

We'll be making spiders in Prime Time with Piper and Mrs. Breen on Monday night.  We found it on Pinterest, it's only an directions.  But I'm pretty sure Piper and I can take it from here:  

P.S. (Piper Script) Now those monsters up can think monsters and zombies.  We have it on good source that Zombies and Disney's Frozen Elsa and Anna are the favorite Halloween costumes this year.  Here's one more image to inspire your crafty creepy..wickedness...

Wouldn't he be "something" on a paper towel roll?

Visit Story Time Fun  and Art Smart to view creative ideas I've collected.  Leave comments, we'd love to hear about your Halloween crafts.  

Almost forgot about this Laurel Birch inspired cat. Not really Halloween for Halloween!  

Friday, October 24, 2014

Music and More for Preschool Programs

Fall into Flannel!

An abundance of felt, music, dancing and pumpkins!

I am all over the place today.  A snappy chill is in the air and I still want to be at the beach.  Fall is gorgeous yet I am forever dragging my flip-flops - unwilling to accept the season. This morning while waiting for the furnace repair man I was outside cutting late blooming roses for arrangements.  See what I mean? It's possible that Mother Nature and I are both confused!  Just sayin'

The library is not confused at all.  "Fall into a good book" greets you at the door.  Pumpkin Eyes watch over your family in the children's room...

...and we had two flannel board stories kick off Tunes for Tots yesterday.  The first one was an oldie but goody where each child brings a leaf to the flannel board as we sing, (to the tune of London Bridge is falling down)

Autumn leaves are falling down
falling down
falling down
Autumn leaves are falling down
Yellow, Green and Brown.

And you know I have to set that song up with a big ol' Piper goes out for a walk story! Because she does...and she loves to play in the leaves.  She snuffles them, eats them, chases them and runs around in circles until she finds a pumpkin! That's my Piper girl!  

Next I turned the flannel board around to the white board and look what we found! You know this story.  We all know this story.  

 Little Mouse, Little Mouse
Are you in the Pirate House?

(she's supposed to be hiding!)

This little game is so popular and I have way too much fun doing it with the families.  

Piper got us up and dancing next.  Here's our fancy playlist written in magenta sharpie because...well, we can!   Do you see that 2011 CD that says Jane in the photo's a gift from Kari Ann.  I don't know the history of a number of the songs on that CD...but we started with...

1. Put your Finger on Your Nose (located this song, it's by Parachute Express)

2. Shake and Freeze (I'm sorry but I can't find this one anywhere...there are many versions)

3. The Crazy Dance (Go Fish Party Like a Preschooler)

Then we all sat down for a quiet song...  
4. It's Rainy Rainy Day (this one came from Kari Ann's CD and I can't locate it either)

5. Drivin' in my Car (Ralph's World)

Everybody up for:
6. I Know a Chicken (Laurie Berkner)

7. We are the Dinosaurs, (Laurie Berkner)

8. If You're Happy and You Know It (Go Fish Party Like a Preschooler)

9. Wave Goodbye Like a Windmill (The Fun Music Man)

Okay, that was our program.  Piper and I give hugs or we bring the flying monkeys in for monkey kisses.  They are absolutely not flying monkeys, not even at Halloween.  No flying monkeys - ever.  We have really cute monkeys.  We'll get their photo soon!

P.S. (Piper Script): We made pumpkins on Monday night.  Next week we're making spiders!  Be careful "there's a spider on the floor on the floor"...said Raffi!

We did another post about Tunes for Tots here, just click!  We love comments, cookies, smiley faces..but please no flying monkeys!  Thanks.  P&J

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Flannel Friday! Hola a Todos!

Beautiful Colors Abound!

National Hispanic Heritage Month is absolutely beautiful in our library.  The dual language books and juvenile biographies are colorful and gorgeous.  We came up with a fancy song for our Tunes for Tots program - something to sing for this month of celebration - but really, why should we stop?  Everyone's singing in Spanish.  We are all bilingual for at least 60 seconds!  I vote we stick with it for awhile, a long while!

(to the tune of Are You Sleeping?)

Buenos dias, buenos dias
Como estas?Como estas?
Yo muy bien gracias.  Yo muy bien gracias
Y usted?  Y usted? 

(that Y has to be carried out for two notes: E-E usted)

Translation: Hello
How are you?
I'm very well thank you
And you?

Do you know about our dual language collection? We wrote about it here.  Check it out, it may surprise you.  Two languages in one book for our amazing multi-lingual community.  And we have Dual Language Kits that are fantastica! 

This is the perfect time to introduce Armando, "Mando" - the newest character on Sesame Street - and he speaks Spanish and English. He's from Puerto Rico.  Piper and I would love to have him visit us.  Fan-girls can dream!  Read about him here.   Speaking of Sesame Street, Cookie Monster made an appearance at Prime Time with Piper and Mrs Breen this week. "Me want cookies" always brings the giggles!  We all laugh in the same language!

If you're interested in reading about raising bilingual children please click here.  

And if you'd like some inspiration for making bilingual flannel stories - please visit the Flannel Friday Pinterest Page!    Really good stuff there.  Look!  Miss Mary Liberry's elefantes!

Thanks for visiting Piper Loves the Library.  Please leave a comment in English or Spanish -  Gracias!

P.S (Piper Script): Our story time kids love Dora, Diego and too!  Oh and you may want to check out this book review in SLJ.  Betsy Bird timed it perfectly for our blog!

For more information on National Hispanic Heritage Month, just click.


Friday, October 3, 2014

How To "Tunes for Tots" on Flannel Friday

Tunes for Tots Parties in the House of the Fish!

Dance with Me by Charles R Smith

Well, we've hosted some form of Tunes for Tots, Music and Movement, or Dance Party Night for more than 15 years.  Both Piper and I love to dance.  In fact my New Year's Resolution for January 2013 was more dancing in the house, my house...a personal ...sort of like 1972, 1982!  Music and dance programs with preschoolers are So. Much. Fun.   And currently Piper and I have about 50 big and little people who agree with us. 

I think our Tunes for Tots popularity is due to our willingness to change, explore, experiment and well, of course, there's Piper!  This fall we've mixed it up a little.  Not too long ago I realized that we needed a new opening for our program..something to make everyone comfy, silly and happy to play with their kids.  Our very own ice breaker for the wall flower moms/dads/kids.  Let's think of it as a gentle push to get out there and get your dance on!

For the past three weeks we've opened with flannel board songs inviting the kids to the board, encouraging bouncing, clapping, rhyming, counting, color recognition and best of all -they get to know the Piper girl!  Once the caregivers and kids realize that I am willing to be totally ridiculous...we do indeed get our dance on!  This has been an easy change.  And maybe the best part is that I get an up close-to-the-flannel-board-moment with most of the kids, it's that a word?  It's more friendly!

Now this is how I bring the awesome! It's old school.  I am a Sharpie Marker addict for all things creative.  With my clear pallet of folded white paper I write out my weekly hits list in detail and large print!  I am in love with my ipod and easily creating playlists but currently my "boom box" is not working with the ipod.  Budgets being what budgets are - I am back to spinning CD's!   And it's all good!

Here's the recipe for success for Week #1

Flannel Songs/participation:
Bumping Along in my Little Red Wagon(each child had a color square to place on the flannel board)
and then P-I-P-E-R song and meet the dog!  

Johnette Downing's -Shake Your Scarves
                                 and Flitter Flutter  (using scarves)
Laurie Berkner's - We are the Dinosaurs
                            and I Know a Chicken (with our shaker eggs)

Everyone sits down and we sing:
                      Go Fish, Party Like a Preschooler's - ABC's
                       Ralph's World - Driving in My Car

We stand up again and we sing
                        Songs About Me - Piece of Paper  (with a piece of paper)
                        Go Fish's - If You're Happy and You Know It
                         and Fun Music Man's - Wave Goodbye Like a Windmill

...and then there's lots of hugging good-bye!  Did you know we need at least 4 hugs a day?  Thank goodness for Tunes for Tots...I get my "dance on" and my hugs!  

P.S. (Piper Script):  One of our favorite songs is on the Go Fish Party Like a Preschooler CD - If You"re Happy And You Know It.  Go get your kids and click this link.  It's too cool!  You want to party in the House of the Fish...are you with me?  Cole?  Daniel?  Let's do it!

 Giant Dance Party by Betsy Bird