Butterfly Garden Update

It’s a boy! According to our research, the Swallowtails with larger yellow dots are male. Our butterfly garden has had a lot of caterpillar activity. The dill plant has been so popular with caterpillars that it is nearly leafless. Thankfully, we have some fennel in another location to feed our hungry caterpillars. We currently have two chrysalises in the library, and one caterpillar who looks like it will pupate at any time. Having caterpillars is such an exciting event at our library. Everyone interested to see the metamorphosis!



Snake Day II

We had our first World Snake Day  (July 16th) program last summer, and it was a success. It is important for people to learn about snakes and their place in the ecosystem. While there are some dangerous snakes out there, not all snakes are bad.

This summer, we collaborated with the Children’s Department in order to create an all-day Snake Day event with activities for all ages. In addition to the sewing activity, the kids made clay snakes, and Sternberg Museum of Natural History visited the library with some of their snakes.

Click here to learn how I made the snake pillows. It is a good idea to have two sewing machines running, and also schedule participants in groups of four every 20 minutes.

Someone also mentioned making snakes out of old neckties as a good activity, but I haven’t tried that yet. Whatever you do, have a good Snake Day!


Murder Mystery Luncheon: The Last Straw

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This summer, our murder mystery luncheon was called The Last Straw. Here is the setting: The play takes place at a therapy dude ranch near Area 51. People come from all over the world to cure their unusual addictions by being out in nature and bonding with horses. At the beginning of Scene I, everyone has just returned from a horseback ride on the mesa.

This was our most collaborative script to date. We had four teens who contributed either by providing ideas, writing, or editing the script. We only had about a month to get it all together, so I am very proud of how hard everyone worked.

I think we have finally created the easiest and most popular menu for the event: salad (soup was very unpopular last year), roast chicken and mashed potatoes, chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream.

I have also discovered these wonderful name tags that say “Hello, my name is…” which saves a lot of time typing, printing, and cutting name tags, which is what we used to do in the old days.

Here is our script. Feel free to use it for your own event 🙂

Teen Cuisine

We started the Teen Cuisine program last summer, and “more food activities” were requested this summer, so we are cooking once more (and eating too!). It is important for teens to learn how to cook, so that they can create their own meals in the future. The program includes five different activity days: Chicken Day, Beef Day, Veggie Day, Apps Day, and Dessert Day. For each day, participants watch videos that show them how to prepare each dish.

Here are links to all the recipes we tried:

Chicken Day: BBQ Chicken Nacho, Fajita Chicken Salad, Teriyaki Chicken Rice

Beef Day: Steak and Potato Nachos, Swedish Meatball Pasta, Ramen Carbonara

Veggie Day: Spinach and Artichoke Mac n’ Cheese, Black Bean Burgers, Veggie Spring Rolls (Veggie Spring Rolls didn’t work for some reason. We got these strange alien babies instead of food.)

Apps Day: Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Mozzarella Cheese Sticks, Bacon Guacamole Chicken Bombs, Waffle Grilled Cheese

Dessert Day: Cinnamon Sugar Twists, Homemade Ice Cream ,Apple Pie Bake

Happy cooking 🙂

DIY Snakes for World Snake Day!

July 16th is World Snake Day! I was not aware of this until I received a donation of small snakes made from pipe cleaners. I thought they would make great gifts for people who checked out items. What better day to hand out snakes than World Snake Day.

Coincidentally, we were having Knit and Nosh on that day and in need of a project. Making snakes is pretty simple if you have a sewing machine. We bought our sewing machine last year and it has been a great success. We also have a large supply of donated upholstery samples, and a few bags of Poly-Fil left over from making snowmans at Christmas, so we didn’t need to buy anything new for this project.

The snake makers chose their fabrics, and I ran the sewing machine. The first step for sewing was to connect all of the fabrics. Then I made a long inside-out tube tapered at one end (the tail) and open at the other end (the head). Tongues were made from ribbons, and eyes were buttons. The teens flipped the snakes right-side-out, stuffed them, and sewed the mouths shut. We had snakes of all shapes and sizes. What Fun!

Improv Class

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Improv Class involved clips from comedies and a fun team game. Team members could pick a character, a location, and a scenario. At one point it was necessary to repeat “I am a Penguin!”

DIY Tutus

The tutu activity was another one of our teen-lead activities. All you need is some elastic and a mountain of tulle (a yard makes a little less than a quarter of a small skirt). You can sew the elastic to itself, use stitch-witchery, or you can knot it. Yards of tulle can be cut into long strips, or you can buy tulle on a spool (rhyming is fun!). The length of each piece of tulle is twice the length of the skirt. It is a great activity, just make sure you get a lot of tulle.

Here is a video that is very helpful: