One of my favorite things about being a public librarian is the programming: Story times, crafts, gaming. I was used to large attendance numbers at my story times, but teen programs would bring in maybe 10 teens at a time. Then I started my new job and was introduced to “Wild Wednesdays”. What are Wild Wednesdays? you ask. My predecessor used to do a craft program every Wednesday at the library for both the public and the kids in the school’s (did I ever mention that my little public library is attached to a school? It is!) after school program. So, imagine, I used to have 10ish teens in a very large meeting room…. and all of a sudden I have 50ish kids in a one room library building expecting a craft. Hence, Wild Wednesdays.
It has been an interesting, and surprisingly fun challenge finding crafts for every Wednesday that 50 some kids can do, ranging from ages 4 – 11. I think I’ve come up with some great ideas over the last few months and decided that I wanted to start sharing them with you. Of course, we’re now in the middle of July, so I don’t have the same amount of attendance numbers since there is no After School program in session, but I’m still bringing in 15-25 kids each Wednesday. Because I have less kids, my big goal for the summer was to have a two part program. For example, last week we made ice cream in bags and then had an ice cream party with lots of toppings. This week, we painted clay pots, and then I gave everyone potting soil and petunias to take home to plant with their “big person”. I ended up having 17 kids show for the program, and I’m pretty sure everyone had a great time! As kids came into the library, I had them sit down in front of a terra cotta pot that I bought from AC Moore. We gave the kids poster paint and it seemed to work just fine. I love crafts like this because it really allows each person to show their individuality and express their creativity. Plus, it works for a wide range of ages. I had small children up to 11 year olds in attendance.
The pots were pretty reasonable to buy. I think they were $1.50 a pot. The flowers were the most expensive part, but it was worth it to see how excited the kids were to pick out their flowers and hear that they got to plant them when they got home. Plus, I love bringing dirt into the library. 🙂