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Spark Bags: Trash into Treasure

Hi Friends!

We have started a new project over at the Hampton Community Library: Spark Bags.

Each week, we will have an activity prepared to *spark* curiosity. Explore physics, chemistry, art, music, yoga & more, then share what you created on the library Facebook or Instagram. This week we explore the concepts of innovation & conservation by making *art* with found objects.

Just Imagine...what kind of jewelry could you make for the king or queen of Trashland?

Yes, it is true that Once Upon a Time in a far away land there was a royal family who loved their world. By royal proclamation, nothing could be considered "garbage." Everything had a place: compost, recycling, upcycling---nothing was wasted. Every year, people from all over the land came to the End of Summer Festival to sell & swap, attend workshops & seminars, and of course, socialize with all the big names in Trash Art, Trash Music & Trash Sports. It was a land of creativity, innovation & joy, and the people lived in harmony with nature. (Those words "live in harmony with nature" were spoken by local hero & activist Rachel Carson.)

Task 1: Now, my dear friend, as a citizen of Trash Land, you have decided to prepare a very special keychain, that you could present to the King & Queen (it is well known that the King is Very Forgetful & finds his keys in the most unexpected places). Find some interesting junk & figure out new ways to use it to make a fashionable & functional keychain.

Task 2: Cut out words from an old book/magazine to make a poetry collage for the Queen, who is very fond of poetry. Having been an 8th grade Professor of English, Art & the History of Candy before she met & married the King, she delights in reading poems created by the children of the kingdom.

Share what you make on our Facebook page!

Another wonderful thing you might try this week, is make up your own fairy tale.

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

Neil Gaiman, Coraline

So, how to begin? Consider the main elements of a story:

-Who are the characters?

-What will the characters do?

-Where will the story take place?

-When will these things happen (time is part of the setting, but the pacing of a story is super important; that's why professionals often use a storyboard or outline.)

Fairy tales typically begin with Once Upon a Time...and include some kind of lesson learned.

For a more deep-dive in writing (from a teaching perspective) check out this post from

Keep in mind, that the amount of storytelling is going to depend on how old your child is.

-For younger children, talk & play with toys or puppets to develop the story.

-Preschoolers enjoy acting out a story based on one they already know. For example, modify the 3 Little Pigs to become the 3 Big Monkeys.

-Older children may want to write themselves, or employ an adult to write down what they tell. Consider using technology to help: film a movie, record a story song, create a slide show.

Remember, it doesn't have to be completed in a day, either. The process of creation sometimes eveloves over days, weeks, months...

One of the most important characters in a fairy tale is the Hero:

Explore old favorites & find new ones to share using you library card: Check out the library catalog, Hoopla and more:

So happy to share Monday with ya:)

Toodleloo, Kangaroos!

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