"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

19 December 2014

Craft Programs

I didn't make this exact one, but I made one just like it with different paper.
My family's Christmas tree is covered in ornaments, but most of them are not the stereotypical round glass ball type. Most of our ornaments are handmade, simply because my wife and I both enjoy crafts and Christmas ornaments are fun and easy to make.

We have ornaments made out of beads on pipe cleaners. We have ornaments made out of sequins pinned to Styrofoam shapes. We have crocheted ornaments, plastic canvas ornaments, ornaments that were made by melting plastic into metal frames to make "stained glass." We also have origami ornaments.

When we began planning our December crafts at my library I knew I'd want to do some origami.  It's deceptively simple to do, most people enjoy it and also already have experience with it, and it could easily be molded to fit any tradition. The ornaments I made at our "Ornament-igami" program have been placed on our Christmas tree, but they could just as easily be used for any holiday.

To prepare for this program I decided on two different ornaments I would demonstrate.  Both of them are fairly simple and would be easy for me to show someone else or to pull up a YouTube video of someone making them.  The square papers used for origami could be used for any number of shapes, though, so I wouldn't limit my patrons' creativity if they wanted to make a different shape.

All I needed, aside from directions for my two types of origami, was a lot of origami paper. I wanted shiny paper, patterned paper, and two-sided paper, in addition to the basic solid-colored origami paper most often used. I set these papers out, and once people started arriving, I gave directions to those who wanted to learn how to make the two shapes I had made and circulated among the others to make sure everyone had what they needed.  After that, the program pretty much ran itself.

I liked this program because it was flexible - patrons could make whatever they wanted - and because it required very little in the way of language skills.  A person who spoke another language could easily demonstrate how to fold a shape, and the directions I had pre-printed involved mostly pictures. This made this program ideal for just about any age, which is a good thing since our "tween" crafts usually draw people from age 8 up to age 80.

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