What I Did:
Like many of my programs, this one was born on Pinterest. I saw this sweet pin of waffle sushi, and I definitely thought it was something that sounded fun (and delicious!) Even though I have a solid budget for teen programming, though, I just couldn’t justify buying a pizzelle maker that we would probably only use once. I can think of a hundred uses for an electric skillet, though, so I figured we could just use pancakes instead of waffles and it would still be delicious!
What I Bought:
$20 electric skillet
$4 for two containers of whipped cream cheese – one plain and one berry
$2 for complete pancake mix (generic, yo!)
$1 for a spatula (you might already have one of these on hand if you do cooking programs a lot!)
$2 for some syrup
$2 for a container of strawberries
$2 for a bunch of bananas
Total, about $33 for supplies, with about two thirds of that going toward equipment (the skillet and the spatula) that we can use again and again. If you do cooking programs with your teens already, you might have these things on hand, which would make this a pretty darn cheap program.
How It Went:
This was my first Anime Club since school is back in session; we are on programming pause for August to give us time to recover. I was a little scared that not many teens would show up – what if my healthy summer numbers were just a fluke? What if the teens hated me? WHAT IF I’M A SMELLY LOSER?
Welp, apparently none of that is true. We had a nice crowd of about 10 teens, with a few newcomers and a good bunch of regulars. I had a teen help me measure out the mix and water (life skills!); we made sure to add a little more water than suggested to make a loose batter for better rolling. I set a teen with some knife skills to cutting the strawberries and bannanas into slices. I manned the skillet, and my flipping skills were put to the test. Some of the pancakes were more…beautiful…than others, but all were tasty. The teens had a lot of fun spreading the cream cheese on their pancakes and adding fruit. They also had a lot of fun mocking my flipping failures, but that’s life. Some teens ended up making more pancake taco, but hey, it’s still delicious in my book!
Did you know teens love to color? Yeah, they didn’t know it either. But they do! It’s super soothing and teens get stressed! So this week, I printed off a bunch of sheets from http://www.printmandala.com/, bought a pack of art markers using a sweet 60% off coupon from Joann, and put it all out. I can’t deny, it’s pretty delightful to wander back to the teen area to tidy up and find the bright pages scattered around.
Again, if you are holding back on doing passive programming for teens because you don’t have a budget, give coloring sheets a try! Or print out some Cubee Crafts and throw them out. Or put out some black out poetry supplies, or a sign for book spine poetry. There are so many awesome, cheap ideas on Pinterest, and I really do believe that having a stealth program going on in the teen area makes teens feel more welcome in the library. Give it a try!
What I did:
This was a pretty easy program to do! It’s the second in our DIY@Your Library for Teens series, which was supposed to focus on a different community expert teaching a skill each month. So far, though, it’s pretty much just been me (although hopefully that will change soon!) My event description invited teens to bring a t-shirt they didn’t mind destroying to work on.
We had five teens sign up for this program, which is a pretty big number considering it’s over at our less-used community center location. To prepare, I bought a few cheap pop-culture tshirts from Woot.com for teens who didn’t have a shirt to wreck, a couple of pairs of fabric scissors, hand-sewing needles, and several colors of thread. We also had some fabric paint kicking around from time immemorial, so I threw that on my cart, along with painter’s tape and some foam brushes. I also printed some example shirts from this awesome blog called WobiSobi, checked out all our books on sewing and customizing clothes to our unit card, and grabbed a laptop for teens to use to look up more tutorials.
How It Went:
Well, only one teen showed up. On the other hand, ONE TEEN SHOWED UP! She was a cool kid, and we chatted for an hour while we cut up and re-built our tshirts. Hopefully she’ll return to future programs and bring friends. I’m trying to give this program time to grow and breathe before I kill it. It was a pretty cheap program – I definitely could have done without the extra shirts, or hit up the thrift store for some dollar shirts, and if we’d had fabric scissors on hand for program use, it would be almost free!
How long do you let a program languish with low attendance before you scrap it?