Teens create a carnival at the library

Luishmel Reyes uses cotton balls to make a snowman during the Cornwall Public Library’s winter carnival.

Luishmel Reyes uses cotton balls to make a snowman during the Cornwall Public Library’s winter carnival.

Saturday started as the coldest day of the year and some might say it was too cold to enjoy a winter carnival, but not if it was indoors, in the confines of the Cornwall Public Library.

The event, organized by the library’s teen volunteers, attracted well over 100 parents and children in the first hour. Shortly after the carnival was scheduled to commence, not a parking spot could be found. Inside the community room, there was little space to maneuver to the various stations.

Upon walking into the room, which had paper snowflakes hanging from the ceiling, the first station had a table with a large white sheet of paper covering it. Little Ozobots were moving about the paper, seemingly following colored lines made of black, red, blue, and green marker. The colors determined in which direction the bot would move. The activity helped teach children about coding.

To the left was a facepainting station where kids could have a cupcake or cat nose and whiskers drawn on their face.

Continuing around the room in a counterclockwise direction, in the corner diagonal from the door was a mat with large-sized, light-weighted blocks. Using a tablet, children were able to guide Dash, a robot, around the obstacles. Dash could also be directed to push the blocks.

In the center of the room were two craft tables. Cotton balls, resembling snow, were used to create snowmen on paper. Another project had kids using a piece of foil to act as a frozen pond. Miniature paper figures were glued to a paper clip and placed on the “ice.” Placing a small magnet underneath the paper, attracted the paperclip allowing the creator to “skate” the figure on the “frozen water.”

At the final station, librarian Rebecca Barth was teaching kids to make snowballs using yarn (see below).

The library typically hosts a winter event, but this was the first time the teens organized a carnival.

(1) Start with a small square of cardboard with the center cut out. (2) Wind a long strand of yarn vertically around the cardboard. (3) Using another color, tie a smaller piece of yarn horizontally around the wrapped strand. (4) Once tied, cut the top and bottom of the wound yarn with a pair of scissors. (5) Then pull it out through the center hole to create a colored ball of “snow.”


Jason Kaplan