I had a little difficulty planning this program. You see, I knew what craft I wanted to do, but it was too quick to finish and took too long to dry, meaning I’d have kids sitting there staring at me for a good twenty minutes. That wasn’t my idea of fun, so I had to come up with a second craft to fill the time. But it had to match up theme-wise with the first craft, and that wasn’t easy. But I finally figured one out, and we ended up with a magnificent (if very crowded) program.
I themed this program as “color,” meaning there were almost too many books from which to choose! I pulled a dozen, or so, but here are my favorites:
- Except the Color Grey by Arlene Alda, while a little clunky to read aloud, has simply fabulous photographs and does a wonderful job of giving personality to colors.
- My Many Colored Days by the incomparable Dr. Seuss is a book that uses colors to show moods, a fantastic tool to provide little ones who are still learning how to express their feelings.
- What Is Pink?: A Poem About Colors by Christina Rossetti is a simple, delicate poem about colors in nature. And she does a great job with the impossible-to-rhyme orange, so this book gets extra points for that one!
- My top pick for this program, though, was I Like Colors by Barbara Hicks. Not only is it a unique book, but the illustrations match perfectly with our crafts. Score!
Speaking of the crafts, here’s what we did. I decided that both would be about the contrast between black and the other colors, so we started out by making Magic Scratch-Off Paper. Super easy. Just color cardstock (I used half sheets) with a thick layer of crayon, then paint over it with a mixture of black acrylic paint and some dish soap. I used Dawn. It works well and I like the smell. I used a little over a tablespoon of soap to each cup of paint. It’s not an exact science. It just needs enough soap so the paint doesn’t bead up when it touches the wax.
They did a great job coloring and very much enjoyed using those big, fat foam brushes for the paint. A couple of the kiddos worried about little bubbles in that paint, but I assured them that it won’t effect the outcome. It really doesn’t. We did get some paint on the tables, but I’m happy to report that the inclusion of the soap meant that it washed right off. In fact, the only thing it didn’t come off easily was the unfinished wood of the brush handles. Not too bad. The biggest issue with this craft was the time it takes to dry. Plan at least an hour. Most of my kids took theirs home still a little wet, but since I’d had them keep the cardstock on a sheet of scratch paper, transportation was easy. Only a couple of the kids hung around the library long enough to scratch it with me, but that’s okay. They’ll enjoy it at home with the family.
But it does work really well, and I love the contrast between black and the other colors. So did the kids! But since they had to wait for these to dry, I gave them another craft to do: Suncatchers!
These were incredibly easy. I bought tissue paper squares at the dollar store. A package there contained 1500 squares, and I didn’t use anywhere close to all of them for this program. The kids layered the squares into laminating pouches that is cut in half. They thought putting the sheets in the laminator was a blast, and since ours isn’t hot, I let them do it themselves as long as I was there to help.
Once the laminating was done, the kids used black duct tape to tape the edges and create a frame. The way the black made the colors pop was awesome!
A couple quick holes punched in the top plus a piece of black yarn as a hanger, and it was done! Inexpensive and very eye-catching. I know they’ll be hanging up in windows all over town, reminding kids just how many colors there are all around them. And just in case they forget, they took books home to remind them.