Although we have a Teen MakerSpace that tends to be technology focused, we have also found that our teens want and enjoy a lot of more traditional arts and crafts. In fact, we have created both a drawing and teen coloring station in our Teen MakerSpace and both have proven to be very popular. So when we were trying to think of a 3rd quick, easy and inexpensive outreach module, teen coloring was the winner!
We have a variety of coloring sheets. We also have some high quality colored pencils, fine tip markers, and – after suggestions from our teens – a large assortment of gel pens. But I recently went to a very cool crafters conference and they had made coloring postcards and I thought – I can do that.
I am here to tell you that it was harder than I ever thought it would be. But I did, in fact, do it and I am quite happy with the finished product. I designed the postcard in Canva, which is an online site. The most difficult part was trying to find image outlines that had places to color as opposed to actual graphics. I used Canva because it has a preset postcard size that worked. I then downloaded my image and laid it out in a 4 part piece in Microsoft Publisher so I had a master to photo copy onto a thicker card stock.
I will also say, you can use portion of a coloring sheet to make fabulous buttons if you have a button maker. You could also provide stickers and teens could make names or sayings on their buttons using their coloring page as a background. And because I always get asked, we have American Button Machines button makers and we adore them. They are one of our most popular items in our Teen MakerSpace. We have both the 2.25 and 1.25 size and they are equally popular. It costs on average about 10 cents per button.
Where to find coloring pages:
- Google free coloring pages
- Buy and take apart coloring books you purchase at your local store
- Demco sells these coloring bookmarks
I recommend having higher quality coloring tools – not crayons, though you will notice above that we bought name branded crayons for outreach. You can buy logo crayons at places like 4Imprint.com and GoImprints.com. Gel pens can be expensive but we bought this set at Costco for only $20.00.
So there you have it, 3 different outreach modules that are all set up and easy for us to grab and go when we are invited to go outside the library to promote our Teen MakerSpace. As I mentioned, our goal was to make them easy to carry and set up/take down and inexpensive, but they had to be hands on because we are promoting the idea of making and our teen makerspace. We do have some remote control robots that we can take with us for the “wow” factor. Now I have to get out there and go do some outreach!
What kinds of outreach activities does your library do? We’re always looking for more great ideas.