The final program I did this summer was an Arty Party for children ages 2-6. Over 20 kids attended, which for my library is outside the norm. We usually have between 5-10 children attending storytimes and other programs (except the ZooMobile, then it’s a guaranteed full house).
Because all of my summer programming was science-oriented, I wanted to do something art-oriented. I like fun, I like mess, and art is a good way to do both. I like activities that have no right or wrong way to do them. A child could do an activity completely different from the instructions and still create something amazing.
Our community room is somewhat small, so I was only able to squeeze five stations in. Even that was somewhat crowded because of the number of people attending.
All of these activities can be done inexpensively (the name of the game for a tightly budgeted non-profit library).
- Watercolors & Oil
- Paper Collage
- Shaving Cream Marbleized Paper
- Masking Tape Resist
- Spin Art
1. Watercolors & Oil (from Babble Dabble Do) – Rereading the directions, I realize I did this art project differently. It would have been easier for the kids if we did it the BDD way. For my way, the children used pipettes to squeeze liquid watercolor, water, and oil onto a plate. They then dipped a piece of sulphite paper into the mixture. The results were interesting, and no one realized that I gave the wrong instructions.
2. Paper Collage – For this station, I pulled out all of the random bits of construction paper that has been cut up over the past several years, foam stickers, and placed them on a table with scissors (fancy and regular), glue, and uncut construction paper to be used as the base.
3. Shaving Cream Marbleized Paper (from Happy Hooligans) – This was a popular, and messy, table. For the prints, I cut water color paper into approximately 4×6 in pieces. I also used regular-sized heavy duty paper plates for the shaving cream instead of larger trays. We were able to get two decent prints per shaving cream/watercolor mixture.
4. Masking Tape Resist (from Happy Hooligans) – Paper, tape, and watercolors are all that is needed for this project. It seemed like the least popular station, but I could be wrong about that assumption given that a lot of my attention was devoted to helping with the two über-messy activities.
5. Spin Art (from Babble Dabble Do) – I have done this at both a previous storytime and at my daughter’s 5th birthday party. It has proven to keep kids occupied until they run out of paint in the bottles.