Crafty Monday taps into children’s creative urges | ParkRecord.com

Crafty Monday taps into children’s creative urges

Summit County Library Coalville Branch Librarian Yvonne Judd wanted to show children that libraries weren't just about books and magazines.

So, she came up with a program called Crafty Mondays.

"Kids love to create and my main goal is to allow children to show their creativity and imagination," Judd said during an interview. "We provide the crafting supplies and usually have an end product in mind, but we just turn the kids loose and let them create it however they want to. It's amazing what they come up with."

The Summit County Library Coalville Branch will host its next free Crafty Monday session on Sept. 26, between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. The craft will be mosaics made with dried beans, peas and popcorn.

"It's a drop-in activity so people can come anytime between those hours to work on their crafts," Judd explained. "Librarians and volunteers will be there to help the kids and parents. We even have teenagers participate."

In addition to having kids get in touch with their creative side, Crafty Mondays is also a good educational tool.

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"There are many things that we can tie into the program," Judd said. "For one, it helps the
younger, preschool-age children develop their fine motor skills, especially when it comes to using scissors."

Judd had asked an educator if there was anything she could do at the library that she felt was important for early-student development and using scissors was the first thing the educator mentioned.

"A lot of children who get into kindergarten do not know how to use scissors," Judd said. "Yes, it is kind of scary when you put a pair of scissors in a child's hand, but I can see that it is something that they need."

Crafty Monday also teaches children to follow instructions and gives them the opportunity to focus on what they are doing.

"There is a commitment for them to keep going once they start a project," Judd said.

That's one thing that stands out to Judd.

"When we started Crafty Monday, I found that the kids do want to complete their projects before they leave," she said. "Sometimes the time will go over because they won't want to leave until they are finished because they thoroughly enjoy sitting there working on the projects and they enjoy sharing them with everybody.

"With our other story times crafts, the kids often tell me that they will finish their projects at home," Judd said. "So, it's rewarding for them to see what they make during Crafty Mondays."

Although the program is known as Crafty Monday, it isn't a weekly or monthly program.

"We hold it but it depends on what other programs the library is doing at the time," Judd said. "During the summer, we do so many programs that we don't offer it.

"However, during the school season, I have tried to do it monthly," she said. "In fact, we are deciding whether or not to do it monthly. We would like to reach more kids. I would like to see more kids come and participate."

So, for now, Judd and her staff are hosting the sessions and assessing the success.

"We're just feeling our way through things, especially when it comes to students in kindergarten through second grade," she said. "We will continue to do craft projects, regardless, because the kids love doing them."

Crafty Monday will be Sept. 26, at the Summit County Library Coalville Branch, 82 N. 50 East, between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.thesummitcountylibrary.org.

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