With the Summer Olympics coming in August and the iRead and CSRP themes this year centering around sports themes, there is no better time to take a look at some favorite sports crafts. While the summer sports tend to focus on baseball, swimming, soccer, and rugby, I’ve found that any type of sports crafts are a welcome addition to my programming rotation. It tends to draw in those that wouldn’t ordinary be interested in a craft-based program, especially if I make sure to have enough of the favorite team colors on hand, whether it’s the local high school teams or the nearby national teams. Also it helps me bring the teens’ focus toward areas of the library collection that they don’t tend to look at unless they have an assignment- biographies and adult nonfiction. By making the connection that there are books and other materials in there that are interesting to them, often I find that teens will start asking for more of “those types” of books.
On Mason Jar Craft Love, they have the awesome idea for football based mason jars. I love the idea, and if I were making these for myself, I’d follow their steps exactly. For a library based craft, however, it’s impractical to take multiple days to prime, paint, and dry. I’ve something similar with my teens using acrylic paints and washi tape, although we didn’t let them dry overnight…but then again, we weren’t a patient bunch and we weren’t interested in perfection. We used food jars that the community and library staff donated, which I ran through my dishwasher at home with bleach on high heat. Teens painted them like their favorite sports hero jerseys, team logos, and team colors. We had a blast.
Over on Sports Roses, they have a basic DIY on how to make these easy sports ball washer necklaces. My tweens loved doing washer necklaces, and this tutorial could easily be done with a little prep if you wanted to spray paint them ahead of time. Or, you could find an outdoor space for your program and let your teens do the spray painting! I’ve never had an outdoor space available for use, but I know others have so it’s certainly an option. They show a yellow softball and a white baseball option, but with the proper orange base you could have basketball necklaces, and with black markers you could have soccer and volleyball necklaces. I’d definitely recommend having examples of the various sports balls for templates as tweens can get particular on how their sports ball patterns should look, and having examples will save you a lot of headaches.
Over on She Knows, they have the most brilliant idea for a dark library game ball — glow in the dark wiffle balls. While not exactly a craft per se, I love the idea for any and all dark library programs:
- Alien encounters: stuff a bunch of them with yellow and green for an Independence Day showing the week of June 24 and roll them out during the middle of the movie, like right when the alien eats the doctor in the middle of Area 51
- Survival Skills: with chapters in the CSRP manual focusing on dystopian games, have a survival skills challenge and make these be some type of trap they have to avoid
- Library After Dark: I’ve done a ton of lock-ins and after hours nights at my libraries and we’ve always had the lights on dim. Have these scattered around to add to the unique atmosphere of being in the library after everyone else
On Mum in the Mad House, they have a wonderful DIY to create a shoebox foosball arena. I kid you not, a shoebox foosball arena. I LOVE IT! It has a lot of pieces to create, but having used all of them for various library crafts I think the most challenging one is the shoebox. Definitely put it on flyers so those who are interested can bring their own, and then immediately start begging staff and community for theirs. Also hit up local big box retailers for anything of similar size- this is the time when your good relationships will pan out.
What sports crafts have you done in your library? Share in the comments!