Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Snap, Crackle, Pop Art!

Librarian-students all had a chance to create/report out a program they developed as a final project. Each considered the goals of the program, format (active, passive), how much time/money it might take and described how it was or would be done. Erin from MI shared this idea. 

For children 2-4 years old with a caregiver
Join us for an exploration of art with inspiration from picture books.
Dress for a mess! Meet in the Children’s Activity Room
October Wednesdays (10/1, 10/8, 10/15, 10/22, and 10/29) at 11am

Based on a recent survey of our very popular toddler storytime, we  decided to offer a trial art program for this age group. We chose Wednesdays at 11am (after our baby storytime) as this was an extremely popular choice among those polled. It’s also a time when there are no other programs offered. One staff member will be responsible for set up and executing the program. We’ve opted to not include registration despite a potentially large crowd and will chose projects that are more easily executed with large groups. As this is a trial program, we will only offer it for the month of October. Depending upon response, we will consider offering this program in rotation with our preschool dance parties once a month.

The budget requested is $50 or $10/week. We anticipate approximately 25-30 toddlers participating each week plus caregivers. Most materials we have on hand, but we will need to purchase a few items that will be able to be used in other programs (contact paper, aluminum foil, sandpaper, playdough making supplies, bubble wrap, balloons, new paint, thicker paper).

Resources for ideas:

As children enter the room, they will be instructed to write their names on our Wall of Names (used in Toddler storytime currently to encourage writing. It will be a familiar task and helpful in determining a count of those participating). We’ll then gather together and the staff member will talk about what materials we’ll be working with today. Staff will read a story that will act as inspiration and give general guidance to kids and caregivers on suggested ways to interact with the materials presented. Staff will introduce an “adult challenge of the week” encouraging caregivers to focus on the process of the art with their child not the product (see: librarymakers blog). The remainder of the time will be for children to explore various materials. Similar books (either in style or content) will be provided for those children who finish quickly and would like to read a story with their caregiver. These books will also be available for checkout.

Weekly project ideas:
  • Contact paper collages
  • Foil sculptures
  • “painting” with sandpaper and string
  • Playdough monsters
  • Bubblewrap/balloon painting (the one potentially messy project)

While there is some prep and clean-up for this program, we do not anticipate more than 30 minutes of additional staff time per session.

We do not currently offer crafts in toddler storytime opting for play time at the end instead which is an extremely valuable component of our storytimes: allowing children to learn to play together, having interaction with our storytime presenters and it’s valuable time for caregivers to visit with one another . I believe a toddler art class is entirely appropriate for our organization. It will help develop fine and gross motor skills, narrative skills, and vocabulary. It will also be a valuable experience for caregivers to focus on process instead of product. Given the low cost per child ratio and minimal staff time, I believe our community will find value in this program. 

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