Friday, June 30, 2017

A week in the life! Mazes, puppets, buttons, oh my!

Another week of pop-up making complete!

Again this week, we started at Pinney Library, and we had so much fun! The kit we worked with is called Maps and Mazes. 

Some kids designed intricate mazes on paper as well as on the ground with tape. Others drew maps. And someone wanted to make a racing track instead, and another decided to construct a house (complete with support beam). It is awesome to see where imaginations lead them when they have awesome supplies to choose from! 

But the most popular activity by far was the laser maze. 

Kids taped red crepe paper between the walls and tables to signify laser beams. Then they took turns crawling through it, trying not to touch the paper-- I mean lasers. 

As time went on, the laser maze became more and more intricate. Not many adults wanted to climb through, but Caide was brave enough to give it a try.

At Alicia Ashman, we made different kinds of paper puppets and paper masks. By the end of the day there were googly eyes and feathers everywhere! Here are some of the final products:

(L) Bro with a lightsaber. (R) Yoda with a lightsaber. 
Many of the kids stayed long enough to make two or three puppets. Some girls even made sandwiches for their puppets, as well as a box to put all the food in. One of Kai's favorite moments was when a girl accidentally decorated the wrong side of the paper puppet, and instead of getting sad or frustrated she invented a new way to move the puppet so that the face would be right side up.  

Two puppets and one mask.
Paper bag puppet.

When Caide went to Hawthorne, they made things with the Things That Fly kit, constructing many different styles of paper airplanes that whizzed around the children's section of the library.

After making several airplanes, some of the kids tried out their own flying and exploding contraptions out of popsicle sticks, or even helicopter like vehicles held together by rubber bands.

Caide was sorry to leave at the end of the hour since the kid's creations kept getting more and more creative as the time went on, but she was glad that some of the kids took materials home to keep working on their inventions.

At Lakeview, the kids played with the Mystery Boxes kit, and it was as much as success there as it was at Pinney.  

This week we added two libraries to our program: Goodman South and Meadowridge. At Goodman South we made paper circuits-- one of Kai's favorite kits. There weren't many kids that rainy day, and the ones that were there were quite young. But one mother-son duo worked together to make two paper circuits. Here is the robot that the boy decided to wear as a necklace: 

That same day, Kai went to Meadowridge for the first time this summer. There she and a bunch of kids constructed buildings and towers with Keva planks. One of the families that came was very experienced with Keva planks, because they have some at home. The oldest girl offered her friends in the library advice for making their structures stronger and less likely to topple over. It was a great example of team work. 

When Kai finally had to pack up, some of the kids helped by tossing the planks into their box as if they were basketballs through a hoop. Thanks for your help, friends! And nice three-pointers. 

Finally, on Friday at Central, we made buttons. We either cut out images from magazines and old book covers, or drew our own designs. Kids stayed and made up to five buttons each; they couldn't get enough of it! 

One of the girls found an image designed by the Bubbler that says, "Libraries are for everyone," and shows different people reading books. We have that same design in many languages including Arabic. The girl recognized that one immediately, and decided to turn it into a button. She couldn't read Arabic herself, but she wanted to show it to her dad who knows the language. 

It's such a pleasure to get to know the greater community of Madison through the Maker Corps programming. We wonder who we'll meet next! Check out our full schedule of locations and times at

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