One of my favorite things to do for summer reading is art projects with my patrons. The past few years, I’ve been doubling up art projects with decorating for summer reading.
We have a mural program to kick-off summer reading so that my patrons can really take ownership of the program. At school visits, I have kids make something to help decorate the library. And of course, we do purchase a few items as well.
Today, I wanted to share what they have created for this year’s CSLP theme.
This year, the kids created two murals. The first mural was painted using foam stamps that I purchased ahead of time. I let the kids stamp to their hearts content, as well as painting swirls for our universe. The kids got very creative with their designs, and I think it came out beautifully. Our artists signed their names along the edges on the mural in black marker before I brought out the paint.
The second mural began as black butcher block paper and I mixed up some gray paint. The kids splattered, swirled, brushed it and sprinkled a ton of glitter onto the paper as they painted. After it was finally dry, I cut it into rough moon shapes and taped it up on the wall. My preschool storytime group LOVE this mural and it really helped explain the moon cycle during our “Moon and Stars” themed storytime.
Lastly, all of the classrooms that came to the library to hear about summer reading got to create a star to hang up in the library. (We have more strings of these in the Youth Room as well as our programming room.) We’ve had a lot of kids staring at our ceilings to find their star to show their families when they come in. I love when kids own a part of the library, it gives them such pride and the decorations make all the rooms brighter!
What kind of decorating has your library done for summer reading?
— Katie Salo
Youth Services Manager
Melrose Park Library
This year we modified the Illinois Library Association’s theme: Reading is So Delicious. We went with a pizza theme: Pizzeria Read. Our staff of 9 really nailed the decorating. We decorate to create excitement for the club. The kids love it. Parents love it. Decorating, at least for us, creates a sense of place — the Junior Room changes for 12 weeks out of the year. You can get a sense of our decorating on our Pinterest board:
One of the reasons we went with the pizzeria theme is we wanted to have a restaurant/kitchen where preschoolers could take orders (we have order pads out), cook pizza, and deliver it (boxes donated by pizzerias). It’s hugely popular and kids as old as 3rd grade are playing along!
Our Pizzeria ristorante:http://pinterest.com/juniorroom/pizzeria-read-restaurant/