Archive for Crafts

Okay, it’s school holidays. Now what? Get crafty!

Cover of Paper Scissors GlueIt’s school holidays and the weather is doubtful. What should you do after you have done your homework and tidied your room? One possibility is to borrow a stack of DVDs from the library and spend the day curled up in front of the TV.

A better solution to the “what can I do?” question is to borrow some craft books from the library and get creative. Check out our arts and crafts for kids page.

Paper scissors glue has fun craft ideas for younger children aged 3-10. Great ideas for busy fingers and the best part is, most of the materials needed to complete a project can be found at home. I really enjoy papier mâché. Old newspapers could be recycled here. The Chinese dragon would be fun to take outside on a windy day. The origami whales could live on my blue tablecloth.

Cover of The Lonely Sock ClubMaybe you found odd socks in you sock drawer – why not make a sock monkey? Or if you have found my lost glove, you could make a glove monster. There are lots of cool things you can do with your odd socks and it is likely that everything you need will be at home somewhere.

For those of you who like sewing, we have an excellent selection of books that will help you make toys, gifts and fashion accessories.

Simple softies for the whole family has toys that older children (and adults) can make. Most of the toys are made from felt and all of them are hand sewn. I quite like the anti-spy Christmas tree and the cat-face cushion. If I were to make a dinosaur toy from floral material, would I end up with a flowersaur?

Cover of Simple SoftiesSo the weather is awful and you really don’t wan’t to visit the library. Go online with your library card and Password/PIN and check out World Book Online Craft Corner. Lots of crafts for all ages and abilities. Crafts that can be completed in a few minutes and crafts that take all day. Crafts that are free (or almost free) to make. Crafts that cost several dollars. Crafts for boys and crafts for girls.

So, are you game?
Are you game to turn your kitchen table into a craft space?
For a day?

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How to edit a magazine (part 2)

In my last post I talked about planning each issue of Wild Things magazine. That’s fun – but here’s what’s MORE fun:

Deciding who to invite (or beg) to contribute.


Who are your favourite authors and illustrators?

Imagine you could create a magazine and invite them all to do something for it. Who would you ask to do what?

Who would you ask to design and draw a beautiful maze?

Who would you ask to write an article about your favourite animal?

Who would you ask to write a hilarious skit? And whose illustration might go brilliantly with that skit? You can team them up.


I can hardly describe how exciting it is to send off emails to writers and illustrators I admire, enquiring if they’d do a particular job for Wild Things, and then waiting for their reply.

Occasionally they’re too busy, but usually they say yes. (Yay!) Then I send them more details about the job, so they can get going. I try not to give  TOO MUCH detail – it’s better if they have loads of freedom. Because what’s the point in asking creative professionals to do a job if they can’t be creative?

Here’s the most brilliant thing of all:

The finished work that they send back is ALWAYS different from how I thought it would be – and way better. I’m in awe of how these people’s imaginations work. New Zealand has many amazing professional writers and illustrators!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter this exciting bit, I have to do boring stuff: make sure the contributors send in invoices so they can get paid, and sometimes ask them to fill in tax forms.

Strange things can happen …

Have you seen the book, Watch Out, Snail!? It’s about Powelliphanta – incredible, rare, giant snails that live only in New Zealand. They’re way more awesome than the common garden snails that eat your precious vegetables.

The book’s illustrator is Margaret Tolland, and for one issue of Wild Things, she made us a beautiful maze where you have to help a Powelliphanta snail find its food.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWell, I think the common garden snails that keep trying to live in our letterbox must have been jealous, because when she sent me her tax form, they ate it! All they left were a few shreds of holey paper.

I had to email Margaret, apologise profusely, and ask her if she could send another tax form, because snails had eaten the first!

More about editing a magazine soon. In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for your favourite NZ authors and illustrators in any Wild Things issues you see. (And beware the letterbox snails.)


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Explore the library at home

You’re stuck inside with no school, and the libraries are closed.  You can still explore heaps of interesting library resources from the comfort of your warm house.  The Kids page is one of the best places to explore on the library homepage because you can find quizzes, games and stories to keep you entertained.  Check out these pages:

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Postcards From Around The World

From October to December 2010 Caledon Public Library in Ontario, Canada, ran a postcard exchange programme with libraries from other countries to celebrate different cultures from around the world.

Click here to find out

Where in the world has your postcard ended?

The New Brighton Library joined the programme and we had local children and young adults writing and sending postcards representing Christchurch, New Zealand. We also had the special participation of Nova Montessori and Central New Brighton Schools, the kids did a fantastic job!

Christchurch City Libraries provided blank postcards for the patrons involved to draw and write on. They have mostly written about themselves and their favourite books and hobbies. You can have a peek at some of the ones we have sent here.

The postcards we received are on display at the New Brighton Library from 15 Jan-15 Feb 2011 but feel free to check out the webpage that Caledon Public Library has set up for the kids to find out where in the world their postcards have ended.

Click here to see more
Display at the New Brighton Library

It has been great to participate in such an inspiring Project!

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Find some Christmas fun at the library

At the library we’re all ready for Christmas – the tree and decorations are up, and the Christmas books are out on the shelf waiting for you to come and pick them up.

We have all sorts of Christmas books,  in the library.  There are books about Christmas cooking and crafts, and lots of stories about Christmas.  Here are just some of the things you could make using books from the library

You could even listen to some nice Christmas music from Merry Christmas Baby or Still the Best Christmas Album in the World while you work.

For more Christmas books to enjoy and some fun Christmas websites check out our Christmas page on the Kids website.

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Come along to the Storylines Free Family Day

Storylines logoOn Sunday 15 August from 10am-3pm some of New Zealand’s best children’s authors and illustrators will be heading to the Christchurch Town Hall for the Storylines Free Family Day.  The whole day is FREE and it’s a chance for you to come and meet some of your favourite authors and illustrators, including Margaret Mahy, Joy Cowley, Gavin Bishop, and the creators of the Wonky Donkey book, Craig Smith and Katz Cowley

As well as meeting all these cool people and maybe even getting your books signed, there are heaps of fun things for you to do, including face painting, creating your own bookmark or mask, and learning about the world around you in the Factopia zone.  Come dressed as your favourite book character and you might even score a spot prize.

To find out more about what’s happening on the day you can grab a programme from your local library or visit the Storylines website.

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Fun things to do these holidays

If your not going anywhere these holidays, there are heaps of fun things to do. Even if its wet and boring outside.

Make a movie out of lego and a camera. Set up a scene with characters and take a picture. Move the people a tiny bit and take another picture. Repeat untill you have over 300 pictures. If you play the pictures really fast, it will look like a movie!

Read! There are lots of books to choose from and lots of diffent genres. The library is a good place to find interesting reading material.

Cook up some great food

Draw a picture. Paint, sketch, or pastel, your picture could be based on your favourite book or movie.

There are heaps of other things to do, what else do you think is something fun to do during these holidays?

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