Organizing activities and competitions can be fun but there are times you need some fresh input. In the activity drop-down menu below, you can find heaps of ideas. What about a Paper Plane Competition?
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: 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.
No need to say that a display with the large ancient animals who’s name means: ‘fearfully great lizard’ will rouse the fantasy and make one wonder how it must have been to live in a world with the flying Pterodactyl, the Brachyceratops or the Deinocheirus. SCARY probably!!!!!!!!!!
What you need:
Fabric for the background (one of the emporiums)
Fabric for the flying dinosaur (one of the emporiums)
Images of dinosaurs, enlarged and laminated. I enlarged the yellow and green dinosaurs several times on A3 paper. After having the pieces laminated I used strong tape (at the back of course) to fit the pieces together so you end up with very large images
Feathers (two dollar shop)
Letters for the banner adorned with small dinosaurs and laminated to give it a bit more body
Green/yellow/brown card for the palm trees
What to do:
Any of the emporiums we have are a treat to visit. Not because it is a pretty shop (not at all) but because it is like a garage sale; you never know what surprises you’ll find. Most of the fabric they have is very cheap and they have a huge variety. Here I found the fabulous printed camouflage fabric and the very thin silky fabric with the feathery pattern for the flying dinosaur.
Flying dinosaur above the display board:
First of all I had to create a flying dinosaur to cover up the background above the display board. I used the base for the dolphins (see: Sea life display) but you can create your own base using a similar shape for above the display board.
I have used the board for several displays and this time it became the basis for an airborne Pterodactyl. Make the head of the flying dinosaur a couple of days before ‘display’ day. Also make the legs and tail. The National Geographic magazine features some amazing flying dinosaurs and I copied the head of one of them and used my imagination to make it more colourful. A couple of torn-off metal rods from old folders were used to support the head and neck and over it, I pasted the card and fabric.
To make sure the wings will cover the board, I staple newspapers over it. I just use one or two staples per sheet (remember to do the staple at an angle for easy removal – see: Display Tips) and use tape to connect them. With a Velcro, I followed the shape of the board and in the centre drew the body of the bird. Subsequently, I remove the newspaper from the board, put it on a workbench and cut it to shape.
I covered the wings with white A3 and a layer of beige A4 and I bordered the top part of the wings with black card. (staple only the top edge because the fabric will be attached under the black card) The image of the flying dinosaur shows it had a large tail with a fluffy tip and a pair of thin hanging legs. I use my imagination and a bit of coloured paper to come up with something that could have been an exact copy. I covered the tip of the tail in black feathers.
When it was finally ‘display day’ I stapled the body and wings to the top board. Standing on a table I attached the head to the body and made sure the metal rods were taped securely to the background. Now the bird came to life. Then it was time to attach the feathery fabric to the wings and body. The silky fabric could easily be shaped under the black border. A couple of staples secured it and I could cut the fabric in the shape of the wings, not in a nice and careful way but random and ragged. For a feathery look, I stapled little feathers to the top part of the wings. The legs and tail could easily be attached and the dinosaur looked as if it was ready to take off.
Type the letters DINOSAURS in Word. Do one letter per A4 page using a very large font to fit the page. Choose a font colour to match the display and print it. For each letter print an image of a dinosaur in the same scale so that they fit with the letters. Cut out the little dinosaurs and shape them around the letter. For some, I cut a little slot in the middle to give the impression the dinosaur crawls around (part of) the letter. Paste the dinosaur to the image of the letter. Have the letters with dinosaurs laminated and cut to shape.
Cover the board with the ‘army’ printed fabric. Just a few staples will do. Attach the dinosaurs, both at one side of the tail that reaches from above the board halfway ‘til the middle of the display board. (remember to staple the images with ‘bubbles’ instead of flat, this gives a much more authentic look) Attach the banner to the board. Drape the legs or tails of the dinosaur above it around the banner. Attach the other (smaller) dinosaurs. Cut the green/yellow card into palm leaves and staple a couple of them together. You can do this a couple of days beforehand but I came up with this idea during the creation of the display. Using a hole punch make two holes approx 3 cm from the end. Cut the tree trunks and give them some horizontal strips in a different coloured paper to give an authentic look. Attach the trunks to the board and connect the palm leaves. I used wire and attached the leaves upside down so that they wave out from the base. Staple the rest of the leaves under the display shelves to create a tropical atmosphere. With lots of books about dinosaurs to show, this display will easily take you a couple of million years back in time.
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: 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!
TIP: Keep an action list
I am not particularly good at it myself - I'm an ad hoc person - but it is one of my recommendations when I give display workshops. It helps you keeping track of what you're going to do.
Make a rough sketch of how the display will look like and write down what materials and tools you're going to 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....