I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve developed something of a love/hate relationship with take home kits. Ok, sure, I can listen to an audiobook or something similar while I pack (and pack and pack…) but boy can it get old. Intellectually I can appreciate them – most of the time they’re popular and it really increases the accessibility of library programming to provide fun that can be done on a patron’s schedule. But then it’s time to pack kits again and I start contemplating just how many vacation hours I have left in the year. And then remember I’m the only person at my library who does programs so I’m all out of luck.
But why do take home kits have to involve crafts? The point is creating a program a patron can take home and do on their own, but crafts are only a part of what programming librarians do. That’s what inspired my series “Prompted”. This involved three sheets a month, a creative exercise, a list of writing prompts, and a list of art prompts. I’ve included my first set of worksheets here:
There are a ton of writing and art prompts out there, or you can be stubborn like me and try to mostly come up with your own. Likewise, there are a lot of creative writing exercises for world building. Create a magic system, make a monster, design a holiday, the list is extensive.
Beyond that, just remember that if something isn’t completely working for you, you can try and find a way to change it to play to your strengths and how much time you have available. I like writing, so it wasn’t that hard for me to come up with this. What works for me might not work for you though. What are your strengths & interests? Do you like codes and ciphers? Puzzles and riddles? Come up with a worksheet to challenge your teens. What about a series of exercises to teach them about how chance and odds work? Worksheets/activity sheets are frequently thought of as purely busy work for kids when there’s a substitute teacher, but there are honestly a lot of fun options out there that your teens will probably enjoy. And once you’re done, all you’ll have to do is print them off. Run out? Just print more.
It’s beautiful, I promise you.