Living Columns & Blogs

From the Beacon: Beat boredom with craft books

Hey, kids, are you feeling a bit bored? Is time at home giving you that "I don't have anything to do" feeling? Are Mom and Dad on your case to keep yourself occupied? Well, do I have the answer for you.

A short trip to your local library branch can provide you with that, "Wow, look what I made!" feeling. These craft books are guaranteed to help you lose that unwanted bored attitude and bring out the true artisan in you.

But wait ... there's more! Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa and even good old Aunt Betsy, there's absolutely no shipping and handling or obnoxious spokespeople and nothing costs $19.95 -- or any money at all for that matter. All you need is a trusty library card and you can get crafty now with books such as these:

"Kidtopia: Round the Country and Back Through Time in 60 projects"

By Roberta Gould

Even though you can stay at home to make these 60 projects, they take your mind on a creative journey across the United States. Ever wonder how it feels to milk a cow? Perhaps the most unique project in this book is how to make a simulation of the process. Other unique crafts include a tin can lantern and snow globes.

"Funky Junk"

By Renee Schwarz

With a little bit of time, a few tools and the help of this book, a young person can enhance their life at home and at school. Need to tell your locker from all the others? A "Locknest Monster" can easily be created to do just that. Need a notable keychain? This book will show you how alien enhancement will do the trick. Need to liven up dull writing tools? The "Fat Fly Pencil Pal" will surely show your friends your creativity.

"Crafts for All Seasons"

By Kathy Ross

There's no better way to mark the seasons and celebrations of the year than to craft keepsakes for each one. This book begins the year in the autumn with fall tree lapel pins. Back to school is noted with school bus picture frames. Soft sculpture pumpkins mark October, and tennis ball turkeys mark November. On through the year the reader creates snowman jars and plastic bag butterflies until the summer winds it up with a dandelion corsage.

"The Kids' Multicultural Art Book"

By Alexandra Terzian

This book's crafts travel around the globe and help the reader understand other cultures through a variety of crafts. Storyteller animal masks represent the American Southwest. There are green toad banks and Worry dolls from Central America. There are Kokeshi dolls from Japan and Korhogo mud cloths from the Ivory Coast. Those are but a few of the worldwide activities that come out of this book and into your creative hands.

"Kids Around the World Create"

By Arlette Braman

This is a cornucopia of activities from around the world. The book begins in India with welcome messages. From there it travels to the United States for an Amish quilt and then on to Guatemala for weaving. On it travels (through places including Ghana for Adinkra cloths and Mexico for Otomi Hei Tiki pendants) before ending in Japan with a variety of gifts.

And don't forget to make time to visit your local branch during National Library Week, April 11-16. We're making a documentary about library users and what the library means to you -- and that includes kids. Let your voice be heard. Go to our website for more detailed information, Everyone who participates in our filming project gets a special thank you. Now that's crafty.