Tag Archives: make and take

Reading Buddies: PreK and School Age Take and Make Kit

The concept for this kit was a reimagining of Bluffton Public Library’s program. I absolutely loved their idea and structure, but I made some adjustments to make my program activity-focused. The assembled activities for Reading Buddies were geared towards a broad range of ages (3-11). It was my hope that this kit would entice kids to enroll in our summer reading program and read to their buddy all summer long. To support this aim, I included several pages of reading recommendations for the age ranges 3-5, 6-8, and 9-11 and supplemental information about our summer reading program and events. 

This program would pair well with any pre-K or school-age reading program in a school or library setting. 

The kit came with several items:

  • Booklet of activities
  • Summer Reading Program materials (specific to our SRP; these were created by our marketing department so I have not included templates)
  • Reading Buddy in pillow box (information on purchase is below)

Choosing activities for this kit was a challenge because the age range was so wide. I chose ones that aligned with the animal theme of our summer program, Read & Roar and the activity sources can be found on the last page of the packet.

Each kit included a small stuffed animal purchased from Oriental Trading, and I put them in 7” pillow boxes so the animal would be a surprise. The label on the box (PDF included) encouraged the child to read to their reading buddy throughout the summer.

It was a simple kit to conceptualize, design, and assemble and it was fairly cost-effective at about $1.50 per kit. Grown-ups really appreciate the pickup kits at my library, and it is likely that we will continue creating them, even when we return to full-time in-person programming. The PDF files are included and please feel free to reach out to bookcartqueens@gmail.com to request the editable files.

Download your own activity packet below:

Slideshare not working? Access with Dropbox.

Who Would Win: School Age Take and Make Kit

Who Would Win kits were created as a homage to the perennially-popular book series for early school-agers, Who Would Win by Jerry Pallotta. I have had this idea in my head for years but our youth programming schedule/my own personal schedule never allowed time for me to present this as an in-person program. Then, of course, the pandemic hit, so I chose to reformat this one as a take-home kit. 

The Who Would Win series is so sought after for our 1st-3rd grade readers and it has spawned some other series that you might want to check out:

Who Would Win Kit Contents

For the Who Would Win kit, I included several materials—the most time consuming of which was the document I created to emulate the Who Would Win book format. This document is inspired heavily by the original book series in format and content and this choice was intentional. This isn’t to copy what Jerry Pallotta created or to infringe on his intellectual property at all, more so to give the vibe that program participants are creating the next book in the Who Would Win series.

Download the ready-to-print Who Would Win booklet below:

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF here.

The Who Would Win kit came with several items:

  • Instruction sheet
  • Who Would Win Booklet
  • Blank sheets of paper for illustrating your animals
  • Glue dots (strips of dots affixed to wax paper for easy use)
  • Magazines (library discards—National Geographic Kids, Ranger Rick Jr., etc.)

The instructions for the kit include resources for kids to access for researching their animals. I included QR codes that would direct kids/grownups directly to our kid-friendly research databases. Of course, the kids were welcome to research the old-fashioned way and check out library books about their animals of choice.

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF here.

I like to design my kits so that they are all-inclusive. The only thing this kit does not include is a pair of scissors (that was cost-prohibitive). I don’t want to assume that any kiddo participating in my programs has access to a printer or computer at home so I don’t structure my programs so that either of those are necessary. I had 50 kids participate, and all those spots were snapped up pretty quickly after the program’s registration opened. 

This program could be easily reformatted to be an in-person program once supply-sharing is given the green light by health officials. I love an opportunity  to tie into our most popular book series. (I did another program series called Who Is/Who Was based on the “Big Head” books that circulate SO well.)

I really enjoyed making this one and the design of it was challenging but it was a lot of fun.

Want to use make a Who Would Win kit at your library? Download the PDFs at the links aboce, or write a comment or send an email (bookcartqueens@gmail.com) for editable files.

Little Free Library Kits: Dragonfly Craft

The highlight of 2020 (and 2021) No Contact Library Programming: Take and Make Kits! I’ve written about this before in other kit-based programs, but my library didn’t initially have the option for curbside-based pickup kits, like many other libraries have adopted. First we mailed kits to patrons, but more recently we have offered drive-thru (and now in-library) kit pickup. All of our take and make kits have required registration through our event calendar. This limits who we are reaching, as patrons have to know to check our event calendar to sign up for a program. One of our new service offerings that has allowed us to actively reach new people are our Little Free Library Kits!

These kits contain materials to make just one craft, though they also have to be physically small. Bags can’t hold anything larger than a half sheet of paper. Each month, we create 200 new bags that are distributed at 14 Little Free Libraries around our community. Even while our building may be closed, our amazing outreach team has been restocking these boxes with books (and now kits) that are always available to our community.

Read about my December picture frame craft here.

For May’s kits, I created a clothespin dragonfly craft and a nature scavenger hunt. I promise, not all dragonflies looked this depressed, but the last set of eye stickers I had for my sample were fairly sad looking.

Each kit included the following materials:

  • 1 clothespin
  • 1 pack of crayons
  • 2 pipe cleaners
  • 1 set of eye stickers
  • Nature Scavenger Hunt

Instructions encouraged kids to make their own dragonfly to take on an exploration of their neighborhood as they complete the nature scavenger hunt.

Download the instructions here and the nature scavenger hunt here, or send me an email for the editable file (bookcartqueens@gmail.com).

Are you taking books and make-and-take kits to unique places in your community? Share in the comments!

Little Free Library Kits

The highlight of 2020 No Contact Library Programming: Take and Make Kits! I’ve written about this before in other kit-based programs, but my library didn’t initially have the option for curbside-based pickup kits, like many other libraries have adopted. We have mailed kits to patrons, and we have started to offer materials for pickup at our drive thru window, but all of our programs have required registration through our event calendar. This limits who we are reaching, as (especially now), patrons have to know to check our event calendar to sign up for a program. One of our new service offerings that has allowed us to actively reach new people are our Little Free Library Kits!

These kits look a lot like make and take kits at other libraries, containing materials to make just one craft, though Little Free Library Kits have to be physically small. Bags can’t hold anything larger than a half sheet of paper. Each month, we create 200 new bags that are distributed across over 14 Little Free Libraries around our community. Even while our building may be closed, our amazing outreach team has been restocking these boxes with books (and now kits) that are always available to our community.

Pictures from Westerville Library’s Instagram.

For December’s kits, I created simple DIY picture frame sets. Each kit contained a half sheet with instructions, a business card advertising our Dial-A-Story program, and the following materials:

  • 4 Jumbo Popsicle Sticks
  • 8 colorful foam stickers (with peel off sticky backs)
  • 8 Glue Dots
  • 1 Small Magnet Strips (with peel off sticky back)

Instructions encouraged kids to make a picture frame to give as a gift or keep for themselves. The magnet let them turn the frame into something they could hang on the fridge.

Download the instructions here, or send me an email for the editable file (bookcartqueens@gmail.com).

Are you taking books and make-and-take kits to unique places in your community? Share in the comments!

Make & Take Crafternoon

A few times a year, I offer a Make & Take Crafternoon program for our patrons. While this is designed for ages 6+ (some crafts with small pieces are included), this is a family event with a variety of crafting opportunities. This is also a great chance for us to clean out old supplies that have been sitting in our cabients.

While this isn’t my best attended event, it is simpler than most, involving a few stations and teen volunteer help.

At this month’s crafternoon, my activities included:

  • Button Makers (2.25″ and 1″)
  • 3Doodlers
  • Perler Beads
  • Random Craft Corner

Visitors could move between any of the stations as they liked over the 1 hour and 15 minute program. Anything they made they got to keep.

Make & Take Buttons

While our button makers are normally quite popular, they didn’t receive much use during this program. One teen volunteer managed both our 1″ and 2.25″ button makers, both from American Button Machines.

These machines have definitely been worth their relatively high cost. We use the machines as a creation station in programs, and we use the buttons we make as incentives to stop by the library during the summer, prizes for passive activities, and giveaways at large events.

I have a ton of templates with cute button images as well as blank templates that allow kids to design their own buttons. I also put out magazines for kids to find their own images in, but these have not been very popular at my last few programs.

3Doodlers

Our 3Doodlers didn’t get too much use at this event. Typically, they are the star of the show. These amazing pens print a warm plastic that can be molded into any shape before it hardens. While it isn’t recommended you draw on your skin, the pen tip and plastic are never hot enough to burn you. They are great for practicing dexterity and patience for elementary school students, and older kids can make some pretty amazing creations.

Perler Beads

Perler Beads were the most popular activity this week! I was surprised to see the interest, but almost every attendee made at least one Perler Bead creation, with many being quite elaborate, and some involving over 200 beads!

We had an adult volunteer manage the iron. Attendees were welcome to copy templates out of beadcraft books, off of internet images, or to make whatever they could imagine.

Random Make & Take Craft Corner

I always like putting out random craft supplies, as this gives kids the freedom to make anything they would like. While the 3Doodlers and button makers often attract attention, many kids will gravitate towards the hodgepodge of materials to make something simple (like a bracelet) or something more elaborate, like a sock puppet with two heads. We recently had a large donation of empty Pringles cans, and those were the star of the random craft materials this time.

Make & Take Crafternoon is a fun program for me–it is simple to put together with what we have on hand, promotes family engagement, and helps clear out our craft closet. A win all around!