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  • For Activities and Competitions select from the Activity list below

    Organizing activities and competitions is fun but sometimes you might want some inspiration. I've collected ideas and posted them in our activity lists below. What about a Jelly Bean Competition?
  • Activities

  • TIP: Keep an action list

    Make a rough sketch of how the display will look like. Write down what materials and tools you will 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....
  • TIP: Staple at an angle

    Your job will be much easier when you hold the stapler at an angle. The staples will stick out a bit at one side - perfect to get hold of them with pliers and pull them out when you change displays.
  • TIP: Use a glue gun

    Glue guns are the most fantastic tools when 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 Summer Reading display.
  • TIP: Don’t overdue it!

    Too much text, images or books on display too close together distract the eye. 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.

Illuminating New Zealand’s past

North Island

"The man

who is swimming

against the stream


the strength of



Woodrow Wilson

South Island


Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai te iwi

With your basket and my basket the people will live

This time I'm highlighting New Zealand''s history, its culture, art and diversity. Every term I plan to cover a specific topic of New Zealand's rich society. The title can easily be adjusted by replacing the last word.

We have a huge display wall in the library – 6 x 3 meters that calls for bold statements. (well, I interpret it that way)

2 Islands with rope lights

I'm a huge fan of re-using materials and finding a creative destination for unwanted or discarded objects. At first this display didn't seem to be a display in which I could incorporate my ideas of using old light bulbs but when I read my own sub-title I realised I had the perfect opportunity……..

I created a special corner with – indeed –  old, dead light bulbs and fluorescent lights hanging from the ceiling with a sign saying:


light bulbs dead light bulb

Call me crazy but I LOVE it!!!!!

The maintenance department collected the light bulbs and I am sure they secretly laughed about my antics…

I assured them that I was really happy with the stuff they delivered and for a couple of days they came in putting more bulbs and tubes on my desk……I thought about spray painting them with gold paint but in the end decided against it. They are beautiful the way they are ………………

What you need:

  • Blue fabric or wrapping paper 
  • Green fabric or wrapping paper
  • 2 x Christmas  rope lights 



    piece of blue fabric Green fabric Rope lights
  • Gold wrapping paper cut into small strips and scrunched up to give the idea of water flowing along the boats
  • Black card as background for the historical events
  • Images of waka (Google – images – Creative Commons) enlarged and adjusted (I constructed wakas with figureheads, Maori desings cut into the shape of a waka and copying the tail of a waka, all glued together and copied /enlarged/ reversed or reduced in size as required)
  • Images of figureheads (Google – images – Creative Commons)reduced / reversed, printed and laminated
  • Images of Endevour or Windjammers (Google – images – Creative Commons) reduced or reversed, printed and laminated
  • Images of important historical New Zealand events + their explanation – printed and laminated (Google NZ historical timelines)

    crumpled golden wrapping paper Blue figure head sailing boat
    Rear of Waka Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior figure head x
  • Old  light bulbs and fluorescent tubes
  • Title – printed and cut to size. Don't be too careful when cutting around the letters. It gives a nice curly edge if you vaguely follow the shape of the letters to emphasize their shape (and it makes it much easier to do the job (:-)
  • Poster with the text:' HIGHLIGHTING NEW ZEALAND's HISTORY' showing an image of a light bulb underneath – laminated and cut in the shape of an arrow pointing down
  • Carton boxes in different shapes
  • Wrapping paper to cover the boxes
  • Images with Maori (or local) motifs and designs to paste onto the boxes




    Rope light on floor  Captain Cook attachment rope lights
    Coal mine disaster Huntly image of Maori Leader train accident

What to do:

  • Cover the background with the blue fabric or paper
  • Print a map of the North and South Island of New Zealand (or whatever country you want to display)
  • Draw a grid across the map of the country and convert the image to the green fabric – cut it to shape
  • Staple the islands (country) to the background





    Display area with blue background North Island in green fabric South Island
    Waka title display boxes
  • Unroll the Christmas rope lights and connect them with the power supply – they will heat up and that makes it easier to form them to the desired shape
  • Cut dozens and dozens of little pieces of blue fabric to be used for holding the rope light in place
  • Pin the rope light around the islands and reshape it until satisfied
  • Staple the rope in place using the pieces of blue fabric to tie them down
  • Pin the images with historical events to their place – when they're in the right place staple them to the board
  • Staple boats and wakas to the display board – all around the two Islands of New Zealand






IMG_3433 IMG_3463






This display attracts a lot of attention from teachers and students. The good thing is that with little adjustments I can highlight New Zealand's art – with  painters, sculptors, writers, poets working in their home town.

Or New Zealand's cultural diversity by pinpointing the ethnical variety across the country, adding food, recipes or historical landmarks from their country of origin.

Or I could add photographs/short biographies of New Zealand's heroes (past and present) showing their accomplishments…..

Maybe highlight the New Zealand tourist industryshowing images of bungy jumping from Auckland's skytower or riding the cycle trail from Kaikohe to Okaihau (which is fantastic)

This display gives you a great opportunity to make it your own. You can copy the basic idea, but fill it in with details as you see fit…

I would love to see how you make it into a complete new display – send me photos!!!!!!

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