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Welcome to Think Outside the Stacks. I've got some fun stuff and some serious stuff this month that I hope inspires and/or informs you. On a side note: If you are a Harry Potter fan who lives in striking distance of NYC I highly suggest you go see the hilarious Puffs.  As always I love to hear feedback and suggestions for content at saxton.elizabeth@gmail.com or @BethReads on Twitter. 
 

Here's what I have for you this month:


Using Process Art in Alphabet Crafts (via Fantastic Fun and Learning)
This is so cool! An entire list of how to tie process art projects with letter knowledge and phonological awareness. 

Blueprint for Crafting Your First Escape Room (via Lock Paper Scissors)
Step by step plan with examples for creating an escape experience including some templates and a list of puzzles you can create at home. 

Halloween Picture Books with Diverse Characters (via What We Do All Day)
Have you checked to see if your holiday books are as diverse as they could be?  Here is a list to get you started. 

Halloween Jokes for Kids (via Confidence Meets Parenting)
Just because we shouldn't drag every kid in the library into celebrating a holiday doesn't mean we can't share a few jokes with the ones that are up for it. 
15 Crafts for Tweens and Teens (via ArtBar)
To be honest, I almost hoarded this one to split into individual items. There were so many good ideas here that I haven't seen before. The paper bag stars, for example, have a great cost vs.effect ratio.
Library Services to Children Journal Club 
Lindsey, who you know from Jbrary, and her colleague Christie Menzo have launched a new project to encourage youth services staff to read and discuss current research in child development and related fields. You can read along and participate online or start your own journal club in your city or library system.  Learning from other fields is the key part of Thinking Outside the Stacks so I'll be reading along and I hope you'll check it out too. 
Sandra Boynton's Whimsical Animals (via WaPo)
If you missed this profile of my daughter's (and may other kids) favorite author then go take a look. 

A Simple "How-To" Guide for a Dodgeball Event (via Youth Specialties)
Considering a big event? Here is a great timeline for promotion and planning that you can adjust for the needs of your library. The most important thing is to figure out a timeline up front. 

The Rolodex Project (via Austin Kleon)
What kind of information can we think of to store this way? I'm guessing a ton. Favorite read-alounds? Booktalks? Storytime books, flannel boards, or activities for each letter of the alphabet? 

Youth Group Food Ideas That Aren't Pizza (via TanSquared)
If you often have food at your programs (Hi teen librarians!) and need some new ideas here are few that are mostly cheap and easy. 
How to Make A Zine: A Kid-Friendly DIY Guide (via Read Brightly)

Here is a great writing project that ties into The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez. This is a great time to show tweens the basics and just let them go to it with pens, markers, glue, and whatever scraps you might have sitting around. 
How the School to Prison Pipeline Works (via Teen Vogue)
If you're not sure exactly what that phrase means then please take a look. More cops than counselors kind of says it all. 

44 Tips for Building Stronger Teams (via Museum Hack)
Do the teams and team members at your library have the resources they need to succeed? 

Emotionally Healthy Kids Have These Six Things in Common (via Parent Co)
Knowing what emotionally healthy behavior looks like can help us prompt and model it in our programs and when sharing books about emotions. 

White Supremacy Youth Recruitment (via Youth Specialties) 
While this is written from a Christian ministry perspective it has a lot of good points about how and why youth are drawn to these sorts of groups and how the adults in their lives can help prevent it. 

101 Positive Thinking Affirmations (via Teachers Pay Teachers)
We've talked about affirmations/positive self-talk for kids before so I wanted to share this free list of 101 positive and kid-friendly affirmations. 
Batman Sensory Bottle (via Growing Hands On Kids)
So not only is this just a pretty cool thing on its own but they are using it to encourage -talking- to the youngest member of the family which is a great idea. Additionally, this inspires me to think of what other characters or books you could create sensory bottles for. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom?  Very Hungry Caterpillar? Pete the Cat? Toys and buttons can often be found in a variety of shapes. 
Crafty Kids 

Positive/Negative Art (via Krokotak)
Low-cost apple-themed art project to teach kids about positive and negative space. 

Winter Holiday Tree Squeegee Painting (via Hello Wonderful)
I think this is one of the nicest looking kids crafts I've seen in a while! I've seen squeegees at the dollar store so it won't cost too much for supplies. I'm also thinking could have teens do this on a large scale for a winter themed bulletin board. 

Frozen Sparkly Watercolors (via Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds)
A Frozen, art, and little person STEM lesson all in one? Sign me up. We'll be doing this at my house when it gets a little colder and it would be a great addition to a Frozen or winter themed program. 

 
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Think Outside the Stacks · Email · Cleveland Heights, OH 44118 · USA

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