At one of our craft programs during this past year, we had a Spanish speaking father and son come. The son had a look of excitement and expectancy as he looked around the room at the various projects to do. As they went from table to table, the father would encourage his son to try each thing on his own. Whenever his son had a hard time doing something on his own, his dad would do a little bit to demonstrate how to do it. Then the little boy would try again. One example was when the craft required using scissors. The little boy was trying to cut out a circle, but he felt frustrated. His dad did a little bit, and then encouraged his son to try. They took turns like that several times, and I could see the little boy gaining confidence through each attempt. Later, the son was making greeting cards. At times the little boy needed help with spelling and asked his dad for help. When the dad didn’t know how to spell it, the dad would ask me. I found it so heart warming that he was willing to ask so that his son could write the words he wanted to say on the greeting cards. The little boy and his dad stayed longer than any of the other attendees. He worked so diligently on each project, and his dad helped him so patiently. As they were leaving the little boy asked for a bag to carry his works of art home, because it was raining. I apologized that I didn’t have any. The dad said that it was all right. He said he would carry them under his coat. He explained that they had walked to the library for the craft program, and that his son just loves to walk. It was just really a privilege to watch a parent work so patiently with his child, spend so much time waiting and not rush the child, and knowing the whole time that they would be walking home in the rain. It really gave me a new and greater view of the value of craft programs. I recently saw the little boy come into the library after school with his backpack, and I was reminded of his efforts and enthusiasm as he worked on his projects at the craft program. No doubt his experiences at that library program and others helped to prepare him for projects at school.
The Monroe library has just started a new series of preschool storytimes on Wednesdays at 10:30. After each preschool storytime, we have a craft table set up to offer preschoolers the same opportunities to create and learn like the little boy in the story above. If you have a preschooler, please come and check it out! Also, watch our calendars throughout the year for other free craft program opportunities.