Okay, it’s school holidays. Now what? Get crafty!

Cover of Paper Scissors GlueIt’s school holidays and the weather is doubtful. What should you do after you have done your homework and tidied your room? One possibility is to borrow a stack of DVDs from the library and spend the day curled up in front of the TV.

A better solution to the “what can I do?” question is to borrow some craft books from the library and get creative. Check out our arts and crafts for kids page.

Paper scissors glue has fun craft ideas for younger children aged 3-10. Great ideas for busy fingers and the best part is, most of the materials needed to complete a project can be found at home. I really enjoy papier mâché. Old newspapers could be recycled here. The Chinese dragon would be fun to take outside on a windy day. The origami whales could live on my blue tablecloth.

Cover of The Lonely Sock ClubMaybe you found odd socks in you sock drawer – why not make a sock monkey? Or if you have found my lost glove, you could make a glove monster. There are lots of cool things you can do with your odd socks and it is likely that everything you need will be at home somewhere.

For those of you who like sewing, we have an excellent selection of books that will help you make toys, gifts and fashion accessories. Simple softies for the whole family has toys that older children (and adults) can make. Most of the toys are made from felt and all of them are hand sewn. I quite like the anti-spy Christmas tree and the cat-face cushion. If I were to make a dinosaur toy from floral material, would I end up with a flowersaur?

Cover of Simple SoftiesSo the weather is awful and you really don’t wan’t to visit the library. Go online with your library card and Password/PIN and check out World Book Online Craft Corner. Lots of crafts for all ages and abilities. Crafts that can be completed in a few minutes and crafts that take all day. Crafts that are free (or almost free) to make. Crafts that cost several dollars. Crafts for boys and crafts for girls.

So, are you game?
Are you game to turn your kitchen table into a craft space?
For a day?

 

Minecraft in action


Enjoy this video of Minecraft in action at our Learning Centres. Thanks to Danny of South Learning Centre and Bridget of MakerCrate.

Want to get your MineCraft on?
Check out our MineCraft Club, back in action after the school holidays. Get creative, start crafting! Build imaginative worlds and battle nocturnal creatures at the learning centres Minecraft club. Novice or expert, join the club and play with your friends in our very own world. A tutor will be in attendance to supervise and assist if necessary. Places are limited.

New Brighton Learning Centre.
Starts week two of every term
Tuesdays 3.30 to 4.30pm
Age: 8 to 13 years
Cost: $15.00 per child per term

South Learning Centre
Starts week two of every term
Fridays 3.30 to 4.30pm
Age: 8 to 13 years
Cost: $15.00 per child per term

Upper Riccarton Learning Centre
Starts week two of every term
Fridays 4.00 to 5.00pm
Age: 8 to  13 years
Cost: $15.00 per child per term

See this and more on our page on afterschool programmes. Bookings are required for sessions except Science Alive. Phone Learning Centre 9415140 or email learningcentre@ccc.govt.nz.

Cover of Minecraft Cover of Minecraft Cover of TinkerCad

Search our catalogue for Minecraft stuff.

Going clubbing

Cover: The LuminariesWhen one of my Book Clubs decided to read the Man Booker 2013 shortlist I was a bit sceptical. Yes, we could then decide if  The Luminaries deserved to win, but we would also have to read it. And – this just in – it is very long. Anyway, it all turned out swimmingly and I read and loved books I would never have looked at if they hadn’t been on the list.

Reading from a list was so successful we’re  casting around for another one. My suggestion was to consult the handy Literary prizes and book awards  page on our very own Christchurch City Libraries web site.  The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2014 looks promising,  mostly because of the judges:

  • Mary Beard, author, hugely entertaining television presenter,  blogger and admirable human being who has risen above some very nasty verbal abuse without being insufferable about it
  • Denise Mina, “the Queen of Tartan Noir” and owner of one of the best quiffs ever
  • Caitlin Moran, very funny, very rude and a woman who is is unafraid of the word feminist
  • Sophie Raworth, one of the BBC presenters at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Truly impressive
  • Helen Fraser, the chair of the judging panel and former Managing Director of Penguin U.K. She may not have written a book, but has surely read a few good ones

Cover: A girl is a half-formed thingA list chosen by this crew must be preferable to the system my other Book Club uses, where the members tick titles on a catalogue at the start of the year.  They then shiftily deny any knowledge of the books that arrive each month and steadfastly refuse to read them. Or perhaps that’s just me.

The winner of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2014 was Eimar McBride, who must be good, because if she could be a literary character she would be Dorothea Brooke from Middlemarch and because she chose Anne of Green Gables as the defining book of her childhood. Although the book she always recommends is Ulysses –  “why don’t more people listen?” Because it’s impossible to read, that’s why.

Using the Baileys list also offers the opportunity to swig down the sponsor’s product (or rather sip it in a genteel fashion) while discussing the finer points of literary fiction. A winning combination.

Christchurch – this week in history (7 to 13 July)

The Society of Artists Gallery, corner of Armagh & Durham Streets, Christchurch [ca. 1921]  CCL PhotoCD 12, IMG0045
The Society of Artists Gallery, corner of Armagh & Durham Streets, Christchurch [ca. 1921] CCL PhotoCD 12, IMG0045
8 July 1880
Canterbury Society of Arts formed.

9 July 1863
Civic tree planting begins. Part of the day’s planting was a commemorative tree, generally regarded as the beginning of the Botanic Gardens.

11 July 1879
Post Office building in Cathedral Square completed.

Post Office Corner 1963 from Cathedral spire Flickr HW-08-FE-09
Post Office Corner 1963 from Cathedral spire Flickr HW-08-FE-09
13 July 1905
Construction of King Edward barracks begins. The building was completed in an amazing 25 days. In the absence of a true Town Hall, it was often the venue for large concerts and civic occasions.

14 July 1945
Record snowfall 280mm (11 inches) over most of city. See our page on historic snowfalls in Christchurch.

Christchurch chronology
A timeline of Christchurch events in
chronological order from pre-European times to 1989.

More July events in our Christchurch chronology.