Wednesday, December 26, 2012

... Share the Crafts I've Completed at Work

It's been slow at work the last few days.  The holidays are just like that at my library.  So, to keep myself from going completely nuts I've been working on my crafts for the next few months.  I love that I get to do so much painting at the desk.  So, enjoy the projects... please don't mind the white and blue theme.  It's that time of the year.

Close-up Snowman
This one is for my older kids.  They'll draw and paint this snowman without a single circle.  Yay! New perspective!  I found a lot of crafts that involved looking at snowmen from a different angle.

Snowman from Above
This one doesn't have a link.  It's circles and supposed to be a simple paper craft for my preschoolers.  I found a picture of a card on Pinterest and made my own pattern. Could be a fail as a craft.  I had kids stop at the desk while I was working on it and they couldn't understand how the pile of circles was a snowman... I suppose if the kids make a traditional snowman picture with them it will be just as well.  That being said, I have a handful of kids (particularly my special little ones) who LOVE stacking circles.  So, maybe this will work alright for them.

Again, no link.  Just draw a vaguely monsterly shape.  Then use Q-tips (I bundled about 6 of them together with a rubberband to make it go faster) to paint it white.  Add some snow and if you really feel like being fancy use a sharpie to trace the details.  Done.  I sort of love this one.

And now an unexpected perk of my job.

Kids make me stuff.  Stuff that they are REALLY proud of.  I love that they are proud of their skills and also that they want to share their talents with me.

First up:
T told me he was really good at origami.  He is.  After he made Christmas trees (he was the first to complete the challenge one with the 1 inch square of paper) he made me these.  They'll live on my desk til some kid walks off with them.  That's the way of the art in my life.


S is good at art.  She tells me every time I see her.  Today she proved it.  Notice the different ways she can draw eyes... and the interpretive way she makes snowman arms.  Those were an artistic choice.  She told me so.  Also, she tells me she's a good drawer, but she's better at painting... I can't wait!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

... Fell Down the Children's Music Rabbit Hole...

... and found some neat stuff.

First things first, there is a lot of GREAT children's music out there.  There is a lot of great children's music that doesn't even really sound like it's for children and some of it is even created by adult artists.

Some of my current favorites that I use routinely as background music for my tween crafts.

Barenacked Ladies: Snacktime!

Lunch Money: Dizzy
Folk Playground
Sugar-Free AllStars: Funky Fresh and Sugar Free
Jack Johnson: Curious George Soundtrack
Recess Monkey: Animal House
Frances England: Fascinating Creatures
I haven't given any of these titles the thorough listening that they probably deserve, but as far as background tracks for painting like Michelangelo (lying on our backs under tables dribbling paint on our faces) or whatever crazy craft I've cooked up for the day; they were superb.  Everyone one of these had at least one song on it with lyrics just quirky enough to catch the kids interest ("Wait!  Did they just say make a balloon your friend?! That's ridiculous..."  Yes, yes it is.).  

Today, I went looking for a different kind of music.  Music that I could enjoy, but also find the chords for and maybe even play on my ukulele for the newest addition to our programing line up*.  This proved a bit tricky.  There isn't tab for a lot of children's music because no one has taken time time to figure it out (the exception being Barenaked Ladies and They Might Be Giants).  But. after much digging, I found my heroes.

Introducing Mr. Dan Zanes.  Check out his website where he give links to all the lyrics and an option to download the lyrics with the chords!!!  THANK YOU!!!!


Mr. Caspar Babypants, (hint: not his real name.) who has also graciously provided music and chords.

I was very excited about this.  I emailed Mr. Babypants:

THANK YOU!!!!  I'm a children's library. I bought a ukulele for storytime, but have been seriously struggling with nursery rhymes (they have a purpose, don't get me wrong, but they are hard to really get into).  We use your CDs CONSTANTLY (had to buy extra copies so the patrons can get a hold of them) and on a whim I googled for chords for your songs.  So happy that you've provided them!

You're our hero!

Jessica and the rest of the Children's Department

He was very excited to hear from me and replied to my email:

YES!!! that is the response I hoped for as I spent hours and hours and hours doing that project!!!
glad they are getting used! spread the word!
 We have collectively used our lifetime allotment of exclamation points.   There you have it.  My seriously esoteric break-through.  This is life changing for me... and only me. :-(

*Our newest program is called Preschool Pals and is aimed at ages 2-5 (but we welcome any age when accompanied by an adult).  We created this to try to service our growing number of toddlers, but still provide an option for our dwindling number of preschoolers (last session of storytime the turn out was devastatingly abysmal)... Wish us luck!