Last night I had my Silly Stories program. The kids are off for spring break this week, so they spend their days with us at the public library. I’d originally planned on reading 5 stories and no craft, just to shake up the usual routine. But around 3pm one of our regulars, 6th grader Dustin, used up his computer time quota for the day and came to the desk complaining of boredom.

Never tell a teacher/librarian/parent that you are bored, we will find something for you to do. We already had a fleet of “bored” kids straightening the shelves and reorganizing the DVDs. He asked about my program, but I knew that most of the stories were aimed younger and I needed to find another way to get him involved. So I told him he could come up with a craft for the program, make a sample, gather the supplies, and lead the project after I read my stories. He jumped at the chance and worked diligently on his craft until the program started at 6pm.

So, these are the books I read:

Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch (the kids like when I get all puffed out pretending to be the dragon).

Knuffle Bunny Too by Mo Willems (they love Trixie).

The Jazz Fly by Matthew Gollub (I got the jazz beat down pretty well!).

Oink? by Margie Palatini (I do pretty good farm animal voices for this).

Are You My Mother? by PD Eastman (this is what Dustin based his craft on).

This is the magnificent craft that Dustin came up with entirely on his own, based on the bird from Are You My Mother? Never in a million years would I have come up with this, and Dustin did a fantastic job of preparing all the supplies (I introduced him to our Craft Closet and let him root around), teaching the craft to the kids (who were in the 7-11 range), and helping them personalize their birds with crowns, cell phones, and sunglasses. I asked our student assistant to make him a special library volunteer certificate, which my manager signed, and the kids gave him a big round of applause for all his help. I even flagged down our branch manager (I was lucky that everyone was working last night) to show her Dustin’s craft and help me thank him for all his hard work.

The kids had a ball, and he learned a lot about how much goes into the programs we plan. Here are some examples of birds the kids worked on with his help.

PS–When I told Dustin how impressed I was that he came up with this entirely on his own, he told me it’s because he is “more recent” than I am. I gave him a hard time for suggesting that I’m old (29 is the new 21!). I’m still not sure how that affects my crafting creativity, but I will admit that he has a great imagination.