Organizing activities and competitions is fun but there are times you need some fresh ideas. In the activity drop-down menu below, you can find heaps of ideas. What about a Paper Plane Competition?
TIP: Keep an action list
I wasn't particularly good at it myself - I'm an ad hoc person - but it was one of my recommendations when I gave display workshops:
Make a rough sketch of how the display will look like
Write down what materials and tools you'll need
Create a time-line / checklist: This week copying and laminating - Next week: buy or beg materials - Two weeks: covering display boxes with matching paper - Three weeks: collect books matching the display etc. till you reach D-day and start getting nervous....
TIP: Staple at an angle
Removing old display items will be much easier when you hold the stapler at an angle when you tack items to the board. The staples will stick out at one side - perfect to get hold of and pull them out when you change displays.
TIP: Use a glue gun
Glue guns are the most fantastic tools for creating displays. You can attach all sorts of materials like hard plastic, metal, fabric and everything else you can think off.
Be careful with your fingers (blow - blow) the glue is very hot and you easily get blisters
TIP: Create a 3D effect!
Create a 3D effect by hanging objects in front of the display board, like fish in a Sea Life display or lanterns in a Spring or Garden display.
TIP: Don’t overdue it!
Too much text, images or books on display too close together distract the eye. It all becomes a blur.
Each object needs its own space. Think of a shop window that is more than full with appliances, you can’t distinguish one object from the other, while carefully placed objects attract the attention.
Humans and animals often have a special connection. Whether it is a guinea pig, a dog or our favourite pet, animals give us something that another human can’t.
In lots of fiction books animals play a roll. It might be a small one but often the cat, horse or pet rat pops up as the one we turn to if we’re lonely, sad or in need of a listening ear. Animals accept us as we are and we don’t need to pretend. We accept them as they are and we enjoy their characters. Strong bonds exist between us and our animals.
In this display I try to show our admiration for animals and how fond we are of them, especially when we are children. The idea to combine it with the maze came to me when I saw the beautiful pictures of a maze with animals inside the front cover of the book: Poems from the ZOO – “Flamingo Bendalingo” by Paula Green & Fifty children, illustrated by Michael Hight. It fitted perfectly with the theme and gave it an extra dimension.
Visualising a display is a creative process. Sometimes it comes in one hit and other times the ideas come in stages. This one came in stages, bit by bit it took shape.
The idea for the child with outstretched arms was more or less dictated by the tree on the other side of the display board. I had to cover up the back of the tree with something stocky. The limbs of the tree wave out between the board and the top part and the outstretched arms of the child covered that perfectly.
What you need:
Pair of child’s trousers (Op-shop or an old pair from one of your own children) Child’s hooded sweatshirt (same as above)
Lots of toy animals (bought a couple of fur ones at the Op-shop for one or two dollars each and some plastic ones at the Two Dollar shop)
Image of two outstretched hands (Google images) laminated
Plastic pipe to hang the hooded sweatshirt on. (length of pipe: size of the hooded sweatshirt with outstretched arms less 5 cm
Heaps of small images of animals (I copied mine from the book mentioned above, cut out and pasted on a A3 sheet and laminated
Copies of maze (book mentioned above) enough to cover the display board 3 packages of lime green crepe paper to cover the top part of the board and to make little hedges for the maze to give it a 3D effect
Nails, long and thin, to pin the animals on the maze for a 3D effect
Images of animals (optional) to cover 2 extra boxes on either side of the display board to display more books
Laminated letters “ME AND MY A MAZE ING ANIMALS.
What to do:
Cover the display board with the copies of the maze (use the staple technique described in Display tips)
Cover the top part of the display board (if you have one) with the lime green crepe paper.
Staple the child’s trousers to the board and fill with crumbled news paper.
Stick the pipe in the hooded sweatshirt and put a wire or nylon string through the pipe to hang the shirt to the board. Make sure you connect it securely – it is heavier than it looks. Staple the shirt and sleeves (from inside) to the board.
Fill the hooded sweatshirt with crumbled newspaper and staple the paper to the board. Try to cover the staples a bit when stapling the hoody by using the inside edge of the fabric.
Connect the laminated arm/hand to the pipe inside the sleeves. I used a glue gun which works fantasticly but tape would do the job as well.
Place the animals on the shoulders of the child and staple them to the board. On a couple of occasions the fur was too thick and I tied a nylon string to the animals and stapled that to the board. For the plastic animals I used the glue gun.
Also staple the letters for the title to the board. I made the mistake of pasting the letters to the backside of A3 tiger print paper and had it laminated. After cutting the letters I discovered they didn’t stick because the laminate sticks to the paper and a double layer of paper gets loose in the middle, so I had to give them an additional bit of paste around the edges. Then I discovered…..I had the letters in reverse. Not realizing that fact until I was in the middle of building the display I wondered what to do. It was going to be a major job to do it again and I was running out of time so I just stapled them to the board. It fits in well with the maze idea.
So here’s the right way to do it unless you like the idea of back to front letters for effect:-
Draw the letters on the printed side of the laminated tiger print paper and cut them out. Or draw them in reverse on the back of the tiger print paper and cut them out. You don’t need to cut very neatly, you can curl around the letters to give them a bit of swing.
Now it is time to do a bit more about the maze. Cut little strips from the crepe paper and staple that crumbled to the hedges of the maze to give it a 3D effect. You don’t need to make all the hedges, just enough to give the effect of hedges. Just a couple give that extra dimension.
To make it even more spectacular I nailed around 20 animals shown on the maze paper to each display board but let them stick out a couple of centimetres. It makes it so much more active.
We have so many fantastic fiction books covering the human/animal connection theme that I used two cardboard boxes from a previous display and pasted some laminated images of animals to them to create more display space. On the head and tail side of the display board they provide just that extra bit of attention to this display when entering the library.
This is not the easiest of displays to make but the extra work is worth it.
Keep on the lookout for unusual, funny or cartoon-like images in magazines, on internet or in the daily paper like the image above. Cut or copy them and store them for when you need inspiration.
One of those unusual images can be the basis for a great display. You don't need to do the whole design yourself.
Or what about this one? Free will, an illusion?
TIP: Think inside the hat!
Party hats, store-bought or made from pages of an old book or scrap paper are very useful for a display. You can staple the hat to the board as a container for whatever you want to showcase. Or hang them in front of the board filled with little notes, poems, toy animals or whatever takes your fancy
TIP: Use old umbrellas as a display unit!
Old umbrellas without the fabric but with a good frame are fantastic as a display item
You can hang little objects like birds, light bulbs, little books and art objects from the frame. Fluffy fabric draped over the frame will give it an extra elegance.... let your imagination run wild and experiment!