Here’s a real lazy days passive program for you: artist trading cards. We’ve done this program both as a scheduled program and as a passive program before, and it’s pretty durn easy.
The first thing you need to do is make or procure some blank cards. You have a lot of options for this! You can pick up a pack of blank business cards, purchase a pack of blank playing cards, or even just cut up some cardstock into playing card-sized rectangles. This particular program was inspired by my scrounging around in our passive program supplies and turning up a couple of packs of Scratch-art trading cards we bought for a scratch art program almost a year ago. I whipped up a quick sign, put out two little containers (one for new cards and one for arted-up cards, and BOOM.
If you haven’t heard of artist trading cards, I’ll be a bad librarian and point you over to Wikipedia for the history of the medium. Essentially, they’re a cool way to share art and challenge yourself to make your art on a tiny scale.
This program was inspired by a pin from of a huge Tetris board on a person-sized flannel board. I knew there was no way to replicate that in our space (we have a huge chalkboard and a huge magnet board, but no felt board…) I wanted to make it work, though, so I set to Googling powers to work. I ended up a From ABCs to ACTs, which had some really nice printable Tetris pieces available. I printed them and laminated them, then stuck small pieces of velcro on the back. Finally, I whipped up a sign challenging teens to team up with a friend to play. The children’s department loaned me one of their portable flannelboards and I was done.
What up, guys! I haven’t been blogging, but I’ve been doing programming for the past year. I thought it’d be time to dive back in to filling the world in on what I’m doing.
I was browsing the internet the other day when I spotted a link to a post on Spontaneous Art Activities for Teens over at Expressive Art Workshops. I loved a lot of the ideas, and I definitely have a lot of artistic teens who hang out in our teen area.
So, I visited the free magazine exchange in the front of the library, and was delighted that there were some National Geographics up for grabs. I snagged a few and went ahead and cut out some pages to use. When we leave stacks of magazines back in the teen area for collage purposes, they often get “tidied” by the cleaning staff and thrown away. I discovered that our regular markers and colored pencils don’t really play well with glossy magazine paper, so I also put out some of our pastels. I whipped up a sign inviting teens to leave their art on our teen art board or to take it with them, and viola!
Given how stressed out a lot of teens are with recent news and current events, having out art supplies that they can use to express themselves is definitely a plus. This is an easy program to do, although it works best in a space where you can leave the art supplies without fear of them disappearing (although if a teen steals art supplies, maybe they need them more than we do…?)
The inspiration for this week’s teen passive program comes from me trying to simplify my life and get rid of stuff I’m not going to use. I was sorting through my stationary and realized I have a ton of really cute notecards – way more than I’ll ever use. So I hauled in a variety of cards, and put them out on the table with some different colored pens and an invitation for teens to write a letter to their parents, friends, or future selves. We’re perpetually short on attractive containers to display program supplies in, so I grabbed a couple of sheets of scrap booking paper and used this easy tutorial to fold up some holders for the pens and stationary.
How’d it go?
Well, I’m not sure yet! I’ve actually caught up on my drop in and hang out posts, so I just put this display out today. I’ll be sure to report back!
I’m working on stepping up our reader’s advisory materials that live in the teen area. I know lots of teens don’t ask for help when they’re looking for books, either because they don’t know we can help them find books, or they’re too shy. I started with We Were Liars because I know it was a big read last summer, and I am imagining at least some teens end up in the library in June and haven’t read anything for fun since the previous year. We Were Liars is also a slippery book to find readalikes for, since it’s a fairly unique and hard to pin down title.
If you like the poster, you can download the PDF of the poster here here. You can also grab a PDF of the matching bookmarks here.
Do you have RA or book suggestion materials up in your teen area? What have you found works?