Spark a Reaction!: Results of my First Summer Reading Program

Since I outlined a few months ago what I was planning on doing, I thought I’d post an update on how it turned out. I’m a month and a half late, but things only slowed down for a few weeks before getting crazy again. Which might be a post in and of itself, but for another time.


This was my first program, and possibly the most successful. It had the largest turnout, even if I didn’t see some of them again all Summer. The boys loved the duct tape top hats we did, and the girls went all out with the jewelry and the journals. I think they used just about all of the jewelry supplies I bought, and came up with some awesome stuff. The pictures even got the most views of the Summer on the branch Facebook page, and my costume was a huge success with the teens.

Dr. Who

This week my attendance dropped, but I began to get a nice core group. Even though most didn’t know what Dr. who was, the had fun designing their own sonic screwdriver pens. One girl showed up in a trench coat, and the branch manager’s son even began watching the show and liked it. Anytime your love and enthusiasm for something rubs off on one of the kids/teens you know your doing something right. I have a lot of clay left over though, so I’m trying to find something to use it for, it’s a good thing I got it 50% off though! You can make your own sonic screwdriver pens by following the directions here.


The zombie felt dolls were a creative success! And it tested weather or not the Making Monster pro ga going on later in the week for the Tweens would work at the same time. Teens can be trusted with needles to do simple sewing! One of the young girls that came jaggedly cut off one foot, stuffed it, and attached it as if it was hanging off, her older sister took the strips of muslin I had for bandages and colored them with a Ed sharpie to look bloody. One of the boys cut off an arm, the branch manager’s son gave his yellow teeth because according to him “They’re dead, they don’t have white teeth!” Check out my demo.

Zombie Feltie

Zombie Feltie



I showed Catching Fire and served popcorn and soda. I had a great turnout, and despite some of the boys not wanting to watch it, they liked it in the end.


This was pretty simple, I just hooked up the equipment and let them play. We tried out the Kinect Adventures game and had fun trying the obstacle course.

Galaxy T-Shirts

This was our final craft. The only problem was I ran out of fabric paint. Luckily, we had a plethora of craft paint and were able to mix it with a textile medium to make it work on fabric. We had to instruct the kids to heat set it later with and iron, and I hope they were able to, otherwise they might find the paint fading and washing out. I pulled some books on space with some fabulous inspiration and let them peruse the books for inspiration. They had a lot of fun, and again got really creative. You can follow the video below to make your own galaxy inspired wearable.

Galaxy T-Shirt

Galaxy T-Shirt


5 thoughts on “Spark a Reaction!: Results of my First Summer Reading Program

  1. Sounds like a great summer! I especially love those zombie dolls—so cute and so great to know that the teens could wield a needle and thread without any disasters 🙂

  2. Dude!!! I am way impressed. These are fab. I have had so many requests for steampunk from the teens. I may have to steal the duct tape idea. Also love the zombie felties. Adorkable!

    • Thank you! My teens did not know what Steampunk was, so I included a powerpoint, that they only half listened too. I think the kids at the Hernando library paid attention more last Summer, but then again they were eating at the time. You can find the tutorial for the top hats on my Pinterest (Mina086), but I modified it. Instead of using regular duck tape and painting it, I just bought brown and black, and instead of sticking it to itself – which took a LOT of tape and came out flimsy – we covered posterboard and fun foam. It gave it structure and made it sturdy. For the jewelry I raided the $1.99 bin at Jo Ann’s were I found chain. I made it into neclaces in advance, but I put out charms and gears for them to design it themselves. That way, everyone got the same amount and we had not “oops” cutting the chain too short or too long.

    • Oh, and I found the zombie online too, but it didn’t have a template so I just had my mom draw one. I used one sheet of felt folded over width wise per zombie and then gave them pieces of white, red, and black for the mouth, eyes, and teeth. I bought a bag of 20 buttons for 99 cents in two colors and gave them a choice. It was a very cheap craft in the end, and they loved it! The muslin bandages I used were from my own costume scraps. I was “Ocean Girl” in the third grade and we still had the fabric.

  3. Pingback: Summer Reading 2015: Every Hero Has a Story | The Ramblings of a Jedi Librarian

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