Posted in Holiday Programs, Makerspace

Chibi Holiday Cards

I see visions of cardstock, die cut winter shapes, and glue dancing in my head.  It’s holiday card making season which means tables of kids and teens surrounded by a tables of card making supplies.  If you would like to add STEM to your program, add chibitronics.

Budget: Assuming you have the basic supplies-$35-$55

Length: 30 minutes

Supplies Needed:

  • Cardstock of all colors
  • Paint Sample (I took a bunch from Walmart)
  • Glue stick
  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • Scotch Tape
  • Gem stickers & foam stickers
  • Hole punch
  • Mounting tape or little pieces of cardboard if you are on a budget
  • Stamps (optional)
  • Copper Tape
  • Chibitronics $30/30-Yes, it is expensive!

Here’s How:

  • Cut colored cardstock into quarter sheets.
  • Cut white cardstock into slightly larger sheets.
    • I used white becasue teens used holiday stamps on the back and it’s easier to see on white paper.
  • The Cover.
    • Begin by punching a hole at the top middle of the paper. This is where you will see the light on the chibi.
    • Allow teens to decorate the cover.
      • Have teens cut three triangles with the paint samples.
      • Layer the triangles to look like trees.
      • Stick a gem/sticker on top of the outside trees.
      • I have snow but if you look at the image below, you can precut circles and I’ll tell you how to use it later.

holiday cards 8

 

  • Behind The Curtain
    • Copy the images below if you prefer.
      • If you prefer to know how it works:
        • Pre cut little strips of paper for the battery holder and tape it to the bottom right.
        • Run to pieces of copper tape paralell (remember to cut the tape in half).  Have teens place one long piece of tape.  Don’t cut the tape; it can break the circuit.
        • The left side should run longer then turn right. The tape should run all the way onto the battery holder.
        • The right side should be shorter before you turn right.  Run the right tape over the top of the battery holder.
        • The chibi can be place either way and your battery should be placed accordingly.  In the picture, the + side of my chibi is on the left and therefore, the left side of the tape should touch the + side of the battery.
          • TIP-If you’ve done your circuits correctly and your chibi doesn’t work, press your copper tape and your chibi down.  If this doesn’t work, try a new battery.
        • Tape the bottom half of the battery.  Be sure the tape doesn’t cover the entire battery because it breaks the circut.
        • When you fold the battery holder down, it should activate the chibi.
  • Complete The Card
    • Place the mounting tape on three sides of the bottom and secure the cover.  Make sure the chibi light shows through the hole.
    • Get your little white circle cut outs and find the battery holder with your finger.  Glue the circle on top of the battery holder.
    • Use a stamp to stamp “Press Here” or write it.
    • Flip the card over and stamp or write a holiday greeting.
holiday cards 6
The white circle activates the light when it is pressed.

 

All Done!

Do you have teens who just want to make cards?  You can make the card above without the chibitronic. You can also turn your holiday cards program into community service.  Check out this link below for information on how to send holiday cards to incarcerated youth.

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Posted in Holiday Programs, Makerspace

Christmas in the Makerspace

We recently turned out teen room into a makerspace and while we used to decorate the teen room for the holidays, I wanted to do something different for the makerspace.  Instead of simply putting up decor and trimming the tree, teens will make ornaments for our the tree and to take home.  All of my ideas came from Pinterest.  If you’d like to follow me on Pinterest, I have a link to my page on the right of this post.

Ornaments Ideas:

Ornaments with Hot Glue

Hot glue -For some strange reason, our teens love the hot glue gun.  It’s like normal glue is useless because they only want to hot glue things together.  To satiate the love, they’ll make snowflakes using hot glue and nail polish or paint.  Here’s the craft on Pinterest.

Hot glue and Modge Podge Snowflakes

Pipe Cleaner and Borax Snowflakes

Don’t have a tree but have windows? Snowflake Window Cling Snowflake Window Cling

Ornaments with Popsicle Sticks

Sleighs

Tree Tree

Clear Balled Ornaments-  I purchased ornaments at The Dollar Tree for 2/$1

Harry Potter Themed

Emoji

Teen’s Names

Melted Crayon

Sewing/Yarn Ornaments

Trees & Stars

Yarn Hats

And of course you can’t forget good old 3D printing ornaments.

Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

Posted in Holiday Programs

Halloween Parties

Halloween Parties

It’s the end of August and school’s almost back in session so it’s time to start planning for Halloween.  Tired of your same old Halloween party?  Here are some Halloween themed parties that we’ve done at our library and some horror type activities that could fit for a Halloween party.

Poe Party (Edgar Allen Poe)

Believe it or not, teens like Poe.  Many middle schools and especially high school read his work in class and since teens like anything scary, they usually like Poe.

Please click the link to see our Poe Party.

Sugar Skulls/Day of the Dead

sugar skullsWe hired someone to facilitate this program and chances are there is someone in your community you can hire.  Sugar Skulls is part of Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and you literally decorate skulls made of sugar.  If you bring in a facilitator, they will probably provide a short history lesson and bring all the supplies which is great.

If you want to do them without hiring someone, you’ll probably have to order the skulls and frosting from a speciality store because I don’t think they are available on Amazon.  If you just want to do a Day of the Dead party, you can find ceramic skulls and wooden skulls on Oriental Trading.

If you want to pair with a book, Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier and Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova feature The Day of the Dead.

Murder Mysteries

Murder mysteries are a popular program at my library that we do annually. We do ours in January but one could still do them during Halloween.  The great thing about murder mysteries is that they are cheap but the bad thing is that they require A LOT of staff time.   our murder mysteries always require teen participation (actors) and an original script and these are the time suckers.  If you aren’t worried about that, please click the links below to see our past murder mysteries.

Death at a Slumber Party

Library Horror Story

We had a Medieval Murder Mystery and the actors were staff.  For this program, we had a joke contest, a joust tournament (NCAA style), and they learned a traditional dance.  We also had one of the staffers read a story from Canterbury Tales-Miller’s Wife.  We served fried chicken, potato wedges, and “mead.”

This was my first murder mystery so I didn’t save the script but the characters were a queen, a king, a prince, a princess, and the queen’s maid who was having an affair with the king.  The queen is poisoned and the teens had to guess whodunit.  Everyone had a motive.  The queen’s maid was the murderer because of the affair but we didn’t make their affair obvious to the teens.  If they were paying attention, they would have seen the one clue.  This was actually one of the best murder mysteries simply because the staff really committed to the play.

The following programs we did not do at our library but they are still good ideas that we might try.

Spooky Nails

pumpkin spice 5

This is a bit girly but some of the boys did it for fun.

We asked staff to donate any unwanted nail polish.  We purchased black, white, and purple if no one donated.  We also purchased polish remover and cotton balls.

 

Not-Quite-Halloween-Yet-Still-Fall-Themed: Pumpkin Spice Party

pumpkin spice 11

Somewhere around the middle of September, everything at the grocery store has a pumpkin spice flavor, thanks Starbucks.  So we decided to turn this into a themed party!

Decorations: We held this around Halloween and we were in our teen room so however we decorated the room, that was our decor.

Promotion: Besides our normal newsletter and flyer promotion, we did a book display of orange/red covered books in a nice fall basket.

Food: Pumpkin Spice flavored hot & iced coffee; pumpkin spice donuts; pumpkin spice Oreos; pumpkin spice popcorn; pumpkin spice cupcakes.

Activities: We made pumpkin spice lip gloss.  Search Pinterest for DIY lip gloss. It’s really easy to make-bees wax, essential oils, pumpkin spice food flavoring, and we did crayon for tint. You can purchase little glass containers at Hobby Lobby or Michaels.

 

Haunted Gingerbread Houses

Halloween at Hogwarts-You can recreate the Deathday Party Harry, Ron, and Hermione attend hosted by Nearly Headless Nick in book #2/chapter 8.

Jack Skellington Party (Nightmare Before Christmas)

Goosebumps Party (for younger teens and if your Goosebumps books still go out)

Breakout EDU-The kit costs $200 and Google provides step by step instructions for several escape room ideas.