Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Shrinky Dinks!

Honestly, is there anything better than Shrinky Dinks? You can get them at Hobby Lobby or Michaels. We used the "Ruff and Ready" kind. I also bought some silver ball chains and metal rings so the kids could each have a necklace to take home. We used colored pencils that the library already had and guess what? You can shrink them in a TOASTER OVEN! You don't even have to have a real oven! I included a pair of kid scissors in the picture so you can get an idea of size. These things really shrink down!

Here's a link to the Shrinky Dink website: Shrinky Dinks!

Fun with Duct Tape...

You ever have a day where you look at the clock at 2:45 and realize you have a club meeting in less than an hour? That's when you pull out the duct tape and raid your basements for cardboard. A box cutter helps too. We made wrist bands and every kind of sword imaginable. It was fun and you can bill it as "Cosplay Accessories." I definately recommend picking up some cheap headbands so you can do ears as well.

Making Buttons...

Here is a really easy thing you can do with your Anime / Manga club. Take back issues of your Anime / Manga magazines and let them go wild with your button maker. This occupied my club of 6 teens for a full hour. Some of them went home with 15 buttons! I really love my button maker because you can get supplies for pretty cheap and you have an instant program with very little planning. I use my button maker for all kinds of things: program, publicity, prizes, you name it!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Poetry and Ramen Noodles

Never in a million years thought this was a particularly stellar idea, but it went really well. We made Ramen noodles and ate them while reading an ENTIRE book of Japanese poetry. We used the book 100 Poems from the Japanese edited by Rexroth. We made two batches of noodles just in the microwave. I had chopsticks for the students and while the food brought them in, the poetry kept them there. This is a great collection because the poems are short, they have the Japanese pronunciation below, and they are almost all about love and longing which my teens relate to really, really well. We passed the book around, they read the poems, and after many the whole group would heave a collective *sigh*.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Manga Art Display!

Manga Art: we are having a Manga Art display in the library. During this meeting, I am just going to set out all my "How to Draw Manga" books with pencils, pens, and crayons and have the participants draw a few pictures for our display. To give the program a little bit of pizzazz, I had a volunteer cut 8 and 1/2 inch by 11 inch cardstock into 8 1/2 inch squares. I'm hoping that having paper that is a little more substantial and of a different size than they are used to might make them feel that their drawings are more "special." We'll see.

The participants will also get to use any manga in our collection for their models for drawing...I am just going to discourage tracing.

When I'm doing programs like this where the finished project stays in the library I like to have them start by putting their name and phone number on the back so I can easily return their items to them after we are done displaying them. I do this at the beginning so I don't forget. :)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Makin' Sushi!

Well, I took the plunge and made sushi with teenagers. It worked out okay. I used some really easy recipes with ingredients like: rice (duh), nori, seseme seeds, shrimp, crabmeat, avacado, cucumbers, green onions, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. I did purchase 24 sushi rolling mats (so if anyone wants to borrow them...) which gave the program a little bit of a "wow" factor. I can't get past the seaweed so I'm not a huge sushi eater, even when I like everything in it, but the teens really seemed to enjoy making it. :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A couple parasol pics...

Well, it was messy, but we had a great time. Didn't get my powerpoint done, but I read them the picture book, The Umbrella Queen. Did they appreciate the subtleties of the book? Nope. What did they think of it? In a word...sappy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Painting Parasols

Once again I turn to the DIY crafts of the Oriental Trading Company. These parasols, at 29.99 for 12, are not cheap, but I went ahead and bought 24 of them for my club. I showed them to the students last week and they were all (boys included!) excited to paint them. I will probably do a quick powerpoint on the history of paper umbrellas in Japan to suppliment the craft. We have a great new picture book called the Umbrella Queen about a little girl in Thailand who paints unusual images on her umbrellas. I will go ahead and share that with the club too, even though Tailand is not Japan.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Manga Swap

For the holidays my club wanted to do a Manga Swap and Holiday Party. I had sushi, egg rolls, crab rangoon, sweet and sour chicken and pork (obviously, this was more of an American Chinese party than an authentic Japanese party), Pocky, fortune cookies, and wasabi hot peas (which no one ate). I also gave out packages of chopsticks for prizes for wearing a costume and for winning at guitar hero (which was inexplicably played) and I had chopsticks for the kids too. For the Manga Swap we used the "left / right" Christmas story where you stand in a circle and give your item to the person to your left when you hear the word "left" and vice versa for the right. We could have re-written that story to have a manga theme, but I ran out of time. We had fun, although I spent a lot of money on food. Everyone was happy with the manga they ended up with.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


A fun thing to do with your Anime/Manga Club is to have a Cosplay party...you can either just have the teens show up in their cosplay (costumes based on their favorite anime/manga character) or you can actually have a workshop and make pieces. I've never done that but it sounds fun. I always have to be very careful about insisting on the appropriateness of the costumes. They have a tendancy to be pretty racy, especially the girls, so I am very strict about how much skin is showing, etc. You can have prizes for the best costumes, you can take pictures, you can watch a film while everyone is wearing their costumes, you can eat pocky or fortune cookies or maybe just use pencil and paper and have the kids design future costumes. Have fun!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Manga Tee Shirts

When my club told me they wanted to make Manga tee shirts I was excited. Tee shirts are a fun and easy program and can be adapted to lots of different themes. I had the students bring their own shirts (but I had several extras in case anyone forgot one or couldn't get one by that day) and I just set out our puffy paint and sharpee markers. I also bought a couple sets of fabric markers (they were not cheap). Some of the kids ended up not doing a Manga shirt, but I'm pretty lax so that didn't bother me.

Painting Fans

Sometimes I really love oriental trading! They used to have these DIY fans...they might still have them. We just used water color sets that the library already had. I gave each kid a fan, water, a brush, and paint and told them to paint watever they wanted. You can also do a handout on fan dancing, fan language, or you can give them some Japanese symbols or writing to copy onto their fan.

Once they are dried they are a little difficult to open and close, but you just have to keep working it. The fans I used weren't of the best quality (but boy were they budget friendly!) and I purchased some extras in case of breakage which we did have.

Candy Sushi

This is a really bad picture but doing Candy Sushi is a really fun program. Just make a rice crispy treat mixture (follow the directions on the box) and wrap your mixture in fruit roll ups. You can use licorice in the centers or some other kinds of candy or fruit snack. Roll it up and slice like regular sushi. Get some chopsticks and the teens will love you! We added swedish fish for the tops of our sushi.

This was a big hit. It takes a little time to assemble the ingredients, but this is another food program that you can do with just a microwave. You can make it more of a library-esque program by doing a handout about sushi, you could have real sushi for them to try, have books out about sushi, whatever you want.

Makin' Mochi

Our Mochi didn't end up looking like much, or tasting like much either, but we had a lot of fun making it. The recipe we used was very simple and just used a microwave:

1 cup glutinous rice flour
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
potatoe starch for dusting the outside and to prevent sticking

Mix the rice and the sugar in a bowl. Add the water and mix thoroughly. Microwave this mixture for about 4 minutes. After that it is ready to play with. Use the pototoe starch to prevent sticking and to dust the outside of your balls. You can put chocolate in it before you microwave it to give it a chocolate flavor, you can add food coloring, you can add flavor extracts, whatever you want.

I got this recipe from this website: http://www.recipezaar.com/Simple-Mochi-146183
When I did this program I bought "real" mochi ice cream from a market close to my house that way the kids could see what the real stuff looks like and tastes like.

Be forewarned...this program can be really messy! However it is not too expensive to make mochi (moe-shee). The ingredients are pretty cheap.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Anime / Manga Club Artwork

These are a few pictures that my teens did...aren't they great! That is one really easy program you can do for your Anime / Manga Club. Just have the kids draw their favorite characters. If you get really ambitious you can have them create their own Manga. You can have different kids create the characters, write the story, draw the pages, ink everything, lay it out, etc. You can also have an art contest or an art show with your teens work.

The nice thing about a program like this is it doesn't require much set up, it is very low cost, and, if the teens create original characters, you end up with great artwork that you can use on your Anime/Manga Club Flyers (with permission from the teenager of course)!