The Rogue Reads featured book, The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, lists a few things that can make someone different: “…maybe it will be your skin, your clothes, or the curl of your hair.” (View the Storytime Short featuring The Day You Begin.) Jackson County Library Service is celebrating those differences. Pick up a Take & Make Kit designed to give children and their adults a chance to get creative with the “me they want to be.” The kit includes supplies for young and old alike to get started on their journey. Embellish it even further with scrap material, yarn, and more. Kits are available while supplies last.

For those of you who can’t make it to the Ashland Library to pick up a kit, I’ve made sure to include everything you need to know to create this craft at home.

Here’s an outline of a person you can print out to get you started:

I recommend tracing this on cardstock or sturdy paper. I had a lot of fun creating my person, so I really recommend cutting out a couple of these; you and your child can work side-by-side, and when you’re done… did I hear someone say DANCE PARTY!?

When you have the outline of your person worked out, here are suggestions for some of the supplies you’ll need:

  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Yarn
  • Scrap material
  • Tissue paper or coffee filters
  • Pictures from magazines
  • Markers, crayons or colored pencils

Embellishments: foil, stickers, ribbon, raffia. I could go on and on… don’t be afraid to think out of the box. Pretty much anything you have on hand can be used to create the person you want.

One of the first things I did was figure out my person’s hair. I happened to have some shredded paper on hand, and it worked great! I felt like it defined which way my creative spirit was going to go.

After I had my hair done, I decided to color a coffee filter with markers and water. I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to use it, but I knew the colors I wanted, and I knew it would probably end up being part of my person’s outfit.

While that was drying, I thought adding the face would give my figure a little more personality and help me focus even further of how the rest of her was going to turn out.

My face is pretty simple. Yours can be as life-like or fun (think googly eyes) as your child wants it.

I took another coffee filter and colored it with markers. I cut this in small pieces and used it to create a little skirt for my person. A younger child can simply tear up paper to create some of the clothing.

By this time, my other coffee filter was dry and I knew just what to do with it. My person was evolving into quite the fashionista!

I was fortunate to have a little leftover yarn from another project. I decided to finger knit a scarf for my person.

Finger knitting is a wonderful skill to teach your young child. It helps them relax and focus. Think of it like a meditation in action. When my kids were being especially squirrely, I’d give them some yarn and ask them to finger knit me something. I found it especially useful on long car drives. Here’s an easy tutorial on finger knitting.

The little bit of finger knitting I did was a chance to reflect on the person I was creating and what else I wanted to add. I had a cupcake liner in my stash of stuff, and I came up with a neat idea.

First, I flattened it out.

Then I got out my crayons and colored it.

Next, I scrunched it together to make something that looks like a flower.

I put it in the hand of my figure, and suddenly I knew… my person was complete!

Your person will probably look a lot different from mine, which is what it’s all about. Miss Nancy came up with really different idea for her person, and it turned out awesome too!

It’s not too late to sign up for Rogue Reads and have a chance to win some neat prizes. Don’t forget to reserve your seat for a live, virtual author talk with Jacqueline Woodson on Sunday, February 21 at 4:00 p.m.

And last but not least, check out the Storytime Short featuring the book, Be You! by Peter Reynolds, “a joyful reminder of the ways that every child is unique and special.” Just remember, you are “your own work of art,” so embrace the specialness of you and share it with the world!