January 2015: Game On!
This was very bright and cheery during the dreary winter – all while encouraging families to get their play on. This was before we had our Board Game collection – and wowsa would that have been a great way to advertise it.
You can click on the theme’s name on any of these heading to be sent to the original blog post covering the theme. Usually there’s a lot more information/background/how to than what’s in these overviews.
I had a great time (mostly) putting both the giant fuzzy dice and the “two can play that game” display.
The dice is cardboard squares covered in red felt with white felt circles, and then a red braided yarn attaching them together.
February 2015: Library Love
This is a lost theme. Neither Natasia nor myself could remember what we did – it’s the second February that’s been “lost.” D’oh!
March 2015: Monstrous March
Gosh, looking back on Monstrous March, we did a TON. I’m glad that over the years we’ve found a good balance so that we’re using our time as effectively as we can. That said, while the front window display wasn’t the most popular one we’ve had, it was one of my most favorite interactive ones with kids and parents whispering wishes.
Click the above image for
your own flyer template.
Our very special guest: a tame Wild Thing!
He was nervous to meet the kids, so they had to gently encourage him to come into the room.
Our reading bench was both
very straightforward and popular.
Click on the above image to get
the popular Monster Name sheet.
Estimating the foot and stride size of Bigfoot.
It was fun watching people
try to follow in the footsteps.
Bigfoot Scavenger Hunt.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the files for this one. 🙁
Brittany knocked the Great Wall-o-Pun out of the park with this friendly display. So cute!!!
It’s 2022, and I still have this notebook. Looking back through it is so much fun. This type of self-directed program is something we should bring back.
Click on the image below to get your very own “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yeti” PDF that will help you recreate this at your library.
April 2015: Artsy April
We went all-out for our first Artsy April. The core inspiration came from this Pinterest post.
We partnered with local art teachers to have their students make art that we’d turn into mobiles. If I could do it over again, I wouldn’t put the art outside – it didn’t really effectively promote what was happening at the library.
This mural was created by purchasing from this great site, and then having a special program where our patrons arted it up.
This was a more involved scavenger hunt. I tend to lean towards simpler-is-better, but giving caregivers and their kids a chance to interact and learn remains important to me.
Brittany made this lovely sign for the reading bench display.
Our pun wall featured the artwork of Hanksy – who really loved what we did. Still sort of amazed at that one.
We had a worksheet that helped guide those who tried to unscramble the names.
This passive photography program was more of a flop, but for the kids who did participate, they really loved it.
We started up the Little Library Lego Club in April so that it would have its grand finale in May – a tradition that we’ve kept up until the pandemic. This year we added the spinning base. We’ve kept that base over the years, but the best way to use it was to take out the batteries and let kids turn it. After all, it doesn’t spin quickly.
The grand finale of the month was having the middle school’s jazz quintet come play as part of our final Art Show. They were great, and while adults didn’t want any of our “white sparkly drinks” (clear soda), the kids loved feeling special with their plastic champagne glasses – and I felt weird “serving” minors. Heh.
May 2015: LEGO MAY-nia
We had fun putting together LEGO MAY-nia again.
We were able to use some of the previous month’s Mondrian-inspired boxes, and convert them into LEGO bricks in our windows. Then we added yellow plastic table cloths, and black construction paper to make Minifig faces.
A quick breakdown of the month:
- On our reading bench display, we at first highlighted mothers, and then after Mother’s Day passed, we changed the word “mom” to “book.”
- The minifig scavenger hunt was another success.
- Our LEGO tower was the tallest it had ever been.
- We also created custom organizers at the circ desk so that they would be handy for each work station. Over the years we’ve rearranged the organizers to fit our changing needs.
June & July 2015: CSLP’s Every Hero Has a Story
Summer of 2015 was an incredibly tense time for the library. I could go into details that many of y’all would relate, but I’ll just say we shifted most of our energy over to advocacy.
I had hoped to put a superhero kid in each window with the torn-up comics (leftovers from Free Comic Book Day) as background. It didn’t happen. We just had one.
But we made a lot of other things happen!
Our photo prop made a return thanks to Mary’s beautiful work. Mary’s brother modeled it for us:
I had seen the basic sign design somewhere on Pinterest, and so made one of our own. Then I had the idea to put capes on the backs of the signs – so I spent some closed-building time to create a stencil and then form an assembly line. I managed to get yellow spray paint on my cardigan, but by golly, I still wear it. Oh, and the capes are made from red plastic table cloths.
I also really loved putting together this whiteboard display starring superhero Fred Rogers.
Looking back on what we did that summer, I really love this part the most. Reminding people how wise Mister Rogers was, and that he’s a superhero.
I never did write a blog post for this month – so most of what I share here is the first time y’all have had a chance to see it. Instead of sharing décor back in the day, I shared the alternative artwork that my husband Bruce and I created for the theme – you can check those out here.
August 2015: Theme Break
It’s so important to take breaks when you need them. Plus it’s a good time to “reset” the space and remind the community (without saying it out loud) that what we do here takes a lot of work.
September 2015: Minecraft IRL
We, as a team, really pulled together and made this a very fun month for everyone involved.
Leading the charge was our new Young Adult Librarian Dustan. His enthusiasm for this theme was infectious.
Our TAB group was tapped to make and install the artwork at the Children’s Library.
Kids went nuts about the characters in all of the windows. I learned a lot about Minecraft from kids.
The highlight of the month was our Minecraft IRL event for teens/tweens. After doing a bunch of Minecraft-inspired crafts and activities, Dustan handed out the “TNT” party poppers and then put on his Creeper costume.
After going outside, the kids surrounded him and on a countdown from three they popped their poppers and “killed” the Creeper. Everyone had a great time.
October 2015: Batty About Books
This theme is likely in the top 10 of my all-time favorites. The puns were strong in this one. Batik prints abounded. Baseball bats read and “circulated” baseball books. A Batman ’66 font was used.
I really share a lot about my mental process (for better or worse) on the original blog post.
I also go into why we avoid holidays for décor themes. And how this was the first time I really thought about Christmas being the most discussed, but the other holidays were ignored in terms of avoidance in our public spaces.
Over the years, coming up with unique/surprising themes has been truly one of my greatest pleasures. And not once have I wished that we’d go back to doing “traditional” themes.
November 2015: Fall Can Be Easy
This theme was an all-around big hit!
Even if the kiddos had no clue what book these trees are from, they still loved the cheery colors, and were SO VERY EXCITED to do the scavenger hunt.
I think that this was the first time we tried using watered-down Mod Podge and tissue paper, and overall it’s a great option. I also believe that the 50/50 mix of water/Mod Podge is the best way to go in order to make sure things stay put.
Natasia also used some of the extra tree branches from Artsy April to make leaf mobiles. These really added a dynamic element to our space.
This is a theme that I like to look back on because of all the warm-fuzzies it brought – especially with the weather turning cold and the sky gray.
I wish that we had figured out the whole Community Leaf Pile thing during this time because hoo-wee that would’ve added a whole ‘nuther fun layer to this month.
December 2015: Decemberley Snow Globes
Shelby created this sweet scavenger hunt: looking for the snow globes that have different shapes inside.
She created these from scratch, and so I cannot share a file featuring them.
Jennifer created this sweet coloring activity.
We started taping up these coloring sheets whenever a colored sheet was left behind. This had a great effect where kids would ask if we could post their art on our whiteboard, making this even more popular.
Click on the “My Snow Globe” image to get your own copy to use if you’d like.
Finally, I made this extra-fuzzy sign for our reading bench display.
The letters were cut out on cardstock, and then I glued on cotton balls.
Once I stuck them up on the wall, I fluffed out the cotton balls a bit more to hide any of the paper.
Et voilà! That wraps up the 2015 theme review!
As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to me either via social media or my email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions about this or anything else on my site.