Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

TPiB: Sprinkles – Things to Make and Do with Sprinkles, inspired by the book Sprinkles! by Jackie Alpers

Last year for Christmas, The Mr. and I bought the girls this big box thing of sprinkles.  I’m not going to lie, it really just appealed to my organizational nature – I am a librarian after all. We used the sprinkles exactly twice.  Once to make cookies.  And a second time when the Tween had an ice cream sundae party at school, I volunteered to bring the sprinkles.  So I needed the book Sprinkles! Recipes and Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts by Jackie Alpers.  And honestly, I had no idea all the various things I could do with sprinkles.  My kids look at this book basically every day, not an exaggeration.  But to be honest, it is very colorful and inviting and full of awesome ideas.

The Tween’s Top 5 Recipes:
1. Homemade Pop Tarts (page 45)
2. Hot Chocolate Stir Stick (page 55)
3. Rainbow Layer Cake (which you see on the cover, page 75)
4. Holiday Cake Pops (page 81)
5. Brownie Bites (page 85)

And flipping through this book, I came up with a few fun programming/party ideas. It always amazes me how you can find the best ideas in the most unlikeliest of places.

Sprinkle Words/Letters

Glitter Initial Instructions at DesignMom

As a book lover, I love words.  And as a mom, I can tell you that tweens and teens are all about their names.  My tween has a ton of craft projects she has done where she has ended up with her initial or her name on her wall.  Or the name of a show she loves.  Or the title of a book.  So why not make (or buy) sugar cookies and let teens use the sprinkles to make word (or initial) cookies that mean something to them.  They’ll want to Instagram them of course.  If you do an end of year book discussion group where everyone shares their favorite titles, this would be a fun way to provide snacks and get teens talking about books.  Or you could do a variation of this using glue and confetti/glitter (and something for a backdrop like paper, picture frames, wooden or foam initials which you can purchase at most craft stores at minimal cost, etc.) and just eat cookies.

Doctor Who Sonic Screwdrivers

What you need: Pretzel Rods, Frosting, Green and Blue Sprinkles
Dip pretzel tip in frosting.  Coat in sprinkles.  Voila – a sonic screwdriver.  Or, for Harry Potter fans, a wand. Or for the non-geeks, just tasty, cool looking pretzels.

Fairy Bread Sandwiches

I recently spent the entire day making a fairy garden with my kids, inspired by the book Return to Me by Justina Chen.  And yes, there is a severed Barbie head on a stick in my fairy garden.  I would love to have a book discussion group for this book, make fairy gardens, and then eat fairy sandwiches.  I also talk fairy themed parties in the post on Tiny Food Party!  There is so much fairy themed fun you can have, and some of it is very dark 🙂

Hot Chocolate Stir Sicks

This is the tween’s favorite book in the whole shebang, and this is one of her favorite projects out of it.  To make this stir sticks, which are a version of chocolate covered marshmallows, you need marshmallows, chocolate, some type of stick and sprinkles.  You melt the chocolate (can be done in a crock pot or microwave), dip the marshmallow in the chocolate, and then coat in sprinkles.  You can also make mini ones using mini-marshmallows.  So I am envisioning having a holiday program where teens come and make their own chocolate stir sticks which you package to give as gifts (wrap in plastic wrap and tie with ribbon).  Then, at another station, they could use stamps, markers, etc. to make their own wrapping paper or gift bags.  Then at another station they can either pick out a discarded book or an older ARC that you have lying around.  Also, it would probably be a good idea to include individual envelopes of instant hot chocolate.  They can put a thing of hot chocolate mix, the stir stick and the book in their gift bag and they can give the gift of reading to someone.  Or you could take the packages and donate them to a local shelter or charity organization.  Or you can do a white elephant exchange at a book discussion group.  Want to take this to the next level? Make a Sharpie mug to complete the package.

Science: Make Rock Candy

There is recipe for making rock candy in a jar that is epically cool.  It takes a bit of time, it says the rock candy will grow over two weeks, but I can’t help but think how cool it would be for Tweens to come into the library periodically over that two-week period and watch the rock candy crystallize and grow.  You’ll want to keep it at well staffed desk, mainly because it has to be kept in a jar of water for the 2 weeks.  Make bookmarks with the recipe on one side (properly cited, of course) and a list of other fun hands on science and craft books on the other so patrons can duplicate the experiment at home.

As part of Quirk Books Week, Quirk Books has generously donated a prize package for one lucky winner that will include 2 of the above cookbooks, a copy of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, the first book of the Lovecraft Middle School series, and a copy of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars. I’ve tried to give you as many ways as possible to enter so pick the one (or ones) that work best for you and do the Rafflecopter thingy below.  The giveaway closes on Saturday, December 14th and is open to U.S. Residents.  The books will be sent to you from Quirk Books and they are worth it.

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