Program Possibilities: Pumpkinpalooza!

Hi, my name is Alyssa and I LOVE pumpkin.

Yes, I’m one of those people who revel in this time of year and all of the pumpkin flavored things that saturate the market (granted, some of them are gross).  I start hording canned pumpkin in late July and have a good stash going by the time Starbucks rolls out their PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte for you newbs).  It doesn’t get added to everything I cook…but many of my plastic containers start to take on an orange hue this time of year.

My love of pumpkin has even stretched into library program with our yearly Pumpkinpalooza programs.  I do one for the Tweens (9-12 year olds) and one as a Super Saturday program for kids ages 5-11.  Pumpkinpalooza has occurred every October for the past three years.  I usually have the Tween program early in the month and the Saturday program closer to Halloween (twice the Pumpkin Fluff leftovers for staff!).

What do we do at Pumpkinpalooza?  We craft and we snack.  The crafts are always pumpkin themed and the snacks contain pumpkin.  Simple as that.

What don’t we do at Pumpkinpalooza?  Craft with real pumpkins.  The first year I planned the program, I thought it would be fun to paint little pumpkins.

And then I saw what tiny pumpkins cost in my area.

Oriental Trading pumpkin-themed craft kits FTW!  Maybe we’ll try to work with real pumpkins in the future, but for now the craft kits are much more cost effective.  Plus, I’ve been able to use the leftovers in between the Tween program and the kids program the following year.  Not so easy to do with a real pumpkin.  Here’s what we made this year:

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For snacking, I make White Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Hot Chocolate and Pumpkin Fluff dip.  This year, I tried something different with the Tweens and we made Pumpkin Juice from this recipe.  It was a hit and I may be using it more in the future.

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Program Possibilities: Duct Tape Pouch

I love Pinterest.  Some of my favorite program ideas and activities have come from this glorious website.  This week, I promised my tweens a duct tape craft  (Fun Fact: both “duct tape” and “duck tape” are correct.  I like duct tape).  I wanted simple.  I wanted fun. I wanted different.  And Pinterest delivered.

Behold, the Duct Tape Pouch!

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The instructions for this beauty came from the blog While They Snooze and they were fabulous!  Sometimes crafting instructions are left to be desired but I have to commend the blogger for her clear instructions and awesome pictures on how to make this simple pencil pouch.

The other nice thing about this pouch is this:

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It’s fabric lined!  Most duct tape crafts require you to create fabric out of duct tape, which can be expensive and a huge pain in the neck.  This is much simpler and another way to use up some of our craft materials.

The tweens enjoyed this craft.  They got very creative in their choice of duct tape and fabric combinations.  They also made different types of closures for their pouches.