Wait, you may be thinking, MARCH is National Craft Month! What are you thinking?
Here’s the reasoning:
MAY has always been the craziest month for me scheduling-wise in the public library sphere. In May, I’ve always been pulling together all the last-minute details for summer reading programs, staff meetings and schedules, school visits and book talks, not to mention other orders and minutiae.
In addition, my tweens and teens have always swamped with things in May as well. They are worn out with state and school testing, final exams, retesting, and final projects. They are finishing up sports and school activities, and attending graduation parties, prom, and activities for friends and family. They are also WIRED for summer and the end of school, and even if there was a book club meeting scheduled and they showed up, talk would devolve into what was happening that week or the next.
So I’ve learned over the years to be extremely flexible in programs for tweens and teens in the month of May, which has led to a variety of craft programs. These programs have the benefit of keeping hands occupied, getting participants engaged, and letting them be creative while getting their stresses out as well. In addition, you can have a wide variety of “craft” programs without having the same thing day in and day out, such as the following:
- Host a movie afternoon with a new release and tie into it. For example, Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes out April 5, so have Alliance and Empire crafts.
- Set up an afternoon self-directed craft station with all the supplies, easy to follow directions, and pre-portioned craft materials.
- Time an afternoon of coloring for when there is state or school testing and your students need “quiet” time or a stress break.
- Host a maker or DIY afternoon and just create. (Makerspaces are NOT limited just to tech!)
Have a variety of supplies and ideas on hand, and when tweens and teens get a little too loud or rowdy pull out your craft box and get them involved.
So, throughout the month of April, I’m pulling together a cornucopia of craft ideas for teens and tweens collected from around the web and my own experience, which are put together in ways that will work for a library setting.