This is actually my first post on my new blog and also a kind of trial run to make sure everything works for this coming Flannel Board Friday!!!
So, without further ado … We all know money is tight and in some budgets it may be non-existent, so one of the things I like to do when I plan art projects for my storytimes, is to use supplies that are free. What kinds of supplies are free you ask? Trash I say!!! Things that would normally go into the garbage or the recycling bin can be used to make beautiful art. One family's trash is a children's librarians treasure! J Before I became a children's librarian I worked in childcare, so I understood the importance of doing activities on a tight budget, but I was never much of a trash hoarder. When I started my first job at a library, I met "The Queen of Anything & Everything Can Be Saved", and it quickly rubbed off on me. Now I have bags all over the place stuffed full of eggs cartons, toilet paper rolls, cardboard, yogurt cups, Styrofoam meat trays, plastic applesauce & fruit cups, bottle caps, even old CD's and the little plastic rings that are left when you are done with a roll of tape. Crazy you say – well, I have found many uses for these and other trash over the past few years. So, I will try to post a fun, cheap and easy art project every Monday, that uses everyday trash that you, your co-workers, family, friends and even storytime parents can collect.
My first Trash to Great Storytime Art Project is a Weather Mobile.
The trash – WIRE COAT HANGERS
The additional supplies – paper, yarn, crayons, scissors, tape and a hole punch.
I started asking everyone I knew for wire coat hangers about a month in advance to make sure I had enough (my back-up plan was to go out and find sticks). I ended up getting about three times as many hangers as I needed, but we packed them away neatly and a co-worker used them to make fairy wings a few months later.
Once I had all the hangers collected, I cut out a large blue cloud and taped it to the coat hanger, so the space up there wouldn't look empty. Then I drew the different elements of weather you see on my mobile (thunder cloud, raindrop, sun, snowflake, windy cloud and rainbow) on a sheet of paper and made one copy for each child in storytime. They colored, cut-out and hole punched the ones they wanted to use and chose pieces of yarn, I had pre-cut, to tie them onto the hanger. Just like that, a cut little mobile for them to hang by their window.
Now I realize that this seems like a lot of work to do during storytime, but at the library I did this project at, I was lucky to have a great group of parents who knew to bring their elementary skills to storytime. I try to have some stuff already cut out for the younger side of the preschool crowd, but I also feel it is important for the kids to practice skills like cutting and tying. I laid out a few single hole punches, but I also ran around with one punching as many hole as I could.
I have a PDF of my weather shapes if anyone would like me to e-mail them a copy. Although, you don't have to do weather, you can pick anything you want and Google images to make your patterns.
Until next week – don't throw it away!