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A Summer Craft and a Sneek Peek at The Lord of the Flies

This craft was so awesome, it deserved its own post, but I did not actually get around to it until now (hangs head in shame). However, I hope someone can use it next summer, or maybe for a beach party craft in March. Why not?
During the beach party, I created sand tables by taping rolled newspaper all the way around one of our activity tables and then covering it in plastic tablecloths, which I then taped to the table as well. I got that idea from a librarian who used that idea with her Lego crafts.
Then, at home, I mixed up about 6 batches of this clay.
The clay kept overnight in plastic containers with a wet paper towel tucked in there. In fact, it was so moist, I had to air it out a bit before the craft.

We shaped the castles by hand, and I supplied shells, toothpicks and triangles cut from construction paper (for flags) as well as glue sticks. Everyone was told to work tiny, as these bad boys take forever to dry. I gave everyone a paper plate (cake serving size) and wrote their name in sharpie for the kids to place the castles on when finished. I put them on a cart to dry and to free the kids up to move onto other things when they were done.
Some kids really got into making castles, I would say the majority of them. Others, and I thought this was cool, created instead a flat disc-like platform and pressed the shells into the clay making what looked like a seashore stone. Very cute!
This craft was for 6 to 12 year olds and they had a great time. Except for time, I was only out the cost of some baking soda. The sand I borrowed from my backyard (pool sand). This was a lot of fun, but I would not recommend it for little ones.
Now, my entire break from school (the lousy twenty days) has been filled with brainstorming for my Teen Craft. We are covering Banned Books, and they chose (at the Mockingjay Party) to read the Lord of the Flies.
We will have a mini-lecture (bio of Golding, WWII backdrop, major themes......) done on Power Point, with a few minutes of the Simpsons episode "Das Bus" to show the popularity of LOF in pop culture today.
And then we will craft.
Why? I hear you wondering...
First, I believe that kids express themselves through craft. Let me drag over my soapbox!
Now, I believe:
Coloring sheets (word searches,etc) are not crafts.
Purchasing pre-cut art sets and putting them together is not crafting (it is future assembly-line worker training. Everyone leaves with a product that looks EXACTLY like everyone else's).
Discussions are great but can be boring.
The point of coming to the library on your own time is to learn something in such a way that you are not bored.
Taking home a piece of what was discussed is important and meaningful, and I'm sorry, but photocopies of information and cheesy bookmarks do not cut it.
AND, the kids tend to talk to one another while crafting without looking to me to be moderator. In fact, they tend to forget I am in the room and that is what I want. Library bonding!!
So, how does one craft The Lord of the Flies?
I'll show ya!
We revive the ancient art of the diorama!!!! and then, make it cooler.

We take an oatmeal canister and paint it black. Then we cut a door into the front. Label the can with the book's title and mention the author!

For the door knob we use a gold brad (fastener) and a black springy hair tie. Both punches made with a hole puncher. Pretty easy!

Open the door and we have the Lord of the Flies, dramatic final signal fire showdown. Or close to it. I printed out a picture of a tropic sunset, a picture of boys playing on a beach, and a picture of a campfire. I cut out the shapes, leaving about a half inch on the bottom to fold up and staple onto the base (the base is a styrofoam bowl upside down and a circle of black card stock measured to fit inside the canister. Pretty easy!! I used a stapler to secure the images to the base because glue was not cutting it. I did not glue the base down until I was satisfied with the placement of the boys and the fire.
An aside, it was so sunny today and I took these photos outside and the fire really looks like it is on fire, but I assure you it is just glare.

Then, I started showing the finished product off to my family and my brother says we need to "pimp" it. He returns a minute later with an LCD light that sticks to the roof of the canister. AND IT IS AWESOME!!!!
The photo really does not do it justice, but there it is!
It looks really great at night.


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I have had an insane amount of fun this summer, but I always try to do something for Shark Week. This year I called it Shark Lab and we are making three crafts I have never done with the kids before.

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Tonight's storytime followed the same format I use for all of my day storytimes as I have temporarily suspended my idea of doing storytime in reverse in order to get the kids sleepy. They only seem to run out into the library to pick out movies and books and the effect is lost. So here is what we did tonight.

Our theme was teddy bears, but our night storytime is always wear jammies, bring a lovey, and low action.

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