Tag Archives: Easter

Elephants and Eggs

Elephant of my Heart

The Prospero Theatre group came to Queens Park Library to perform ‘Elephant of My Heart’ in the children’s library. The animal of your heart is your personal inner guide and each person has their own.

This was a wonderfully inventive join-in musical workshop that tells the story of a girl recovering in hospital who is visited by an elephant, the animal of her heart, and a host of other animals.

The children in the audience made rain noises by banging on the floor, danced and played characters in the story.

Here’s what the children had to say afterwards:

‘You will fly, you will ride on an elephant’s head. Most importantly you will enjoy this’
‘So creative and engaging. Everyone loved it’
‘You were very good. 100/100’

After the performance the children were led in a quest to find the animal of their own heart. These included a snake, an elephant, a chimera, a tiger and a chipmunk.

Easter Egg Hunt and Easter Crafts

The children’s library was full of eager egg hunters at our Easter Egg Hunt and Crafts event.

Children had to find three matching tokens hidden around the children’s library to claim their chocolate Easter egg. There were so many egg hunters we had to organise a second hunt.

After the chocolate fun there was a whirlwind of paper, scissors, pens and glue sticks producing lots of lovely decorated eggs and Easter cards.



Which came first? The egg

Egg-cellent Easter activities at Queen's Park Library, March 2016Easter came early to Queen’s Park Library as local children enjoyed seasonal activities on Thursday 17 March. First there was egg decoration (the polystyrene variety, not the real thing), during which the kids were encouraged to be as creative as possible and come up with their own designs. They had some brilliant ideas – as well as the more traditional rabbits we had a very colourful Easter peacock and a couple of aliens.

The children were an incredibly well-behaved bunch and even helped pack up! The promise of a chocolate egg hunt once the craft materials were tidied away was definitely a good incentive.

On Saturday 19 March, Westminster’s Family Learning Service continued the theme with their Easter Eggstravaganza. Parents and children worked together to make detailed 3D chickens and eggs. One participant, Maryam, was particularly impressed with her creation and commented:

“I really liked it today because of how I made the chicken. It was stunning. I couldn’t believe my eyes!”

We’ve got lots more free children’s activities on offer during the Easter holidays, including a family film, April Fool’s crafts and jokes and a gaming afternoon. See you there!


Dragons, knights and… aeroplanes!

Wacky World War One Flying Machines event at Maida Vale Library, April 2014Maida Vale Library had a number of events for children over the Easter holiday break . There was an ongoing egg hunt where the children had to search for eight egg-shaped cut outs hidden in the library (for a chance to win a cuddly Easter bunny).

We also had two craft making events after our under fives’ sessions, making bunny ears and a cracking Easter egg with a fluffy chick inside.

As part of the World War One commemoration we had a Wacky World War One Flying Machine craft event. There were about a dozen children who attended, and they proved to be surprisingly knowledgable despite their young age. There were Red Barons and Sopwith Camels being glued and painted all afternoon.

Wacky World War One Flying Machines event at Maida Vale Library, April 2014

On 23 April to mark the oft-overlooked St George’s Day we made dragons and St George knights from recycled loo rolls and silver paper. A photographer arrived and we found ourselves gracing the pages of West End Extra (25 april 2014, page 4)!

St George's Day craft event at Maida Vale Library, April 2014


Maida Vale Library blog

Rushil, mum and a very happy bunny at Maida Vale Library, april 2013

Rushil, mum and a very happy bunny

April’s been a typically busy month at Maida Vale library. As the roof repairs continue above our heads (see previous post), we’ve reorganised our temporary home in order to welcome Windmill Montessori Nursery back to their usual location in part of the basement.

A replacement study area has been created for customers, which is located on the right as you enter the library. The daily newspapers are now kept on the magazine ‘spinner’ near the DVDs. If you need help finding anything, just ask!

As well as taking delivery of plenty of shiny new books and DVDs, we’ve seen a number of events and promotions in our library. The annual literature campaign, Cityread London, took place again this April, this year using themes from the novel A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks as a starting point for a month of events taking place across London. As part of our Easter celebrations (and in keeping with one of Cityread’s themes, ‘transport’) Simon hosted a children’s event on 9 April entitled ‘Going Underground’, where youngsters tested their knowledge of the London Underground with a fun quiz (eg “find stations with colours in their name”) and activity (colouring in a simplified tube map and inventing their own names for stations and lines).

Alternative underground map - Maida Vale Library, April 2013

The Easter fun didn’t end there though. As well as running two cartoon-drawing workshops, we had ongoing events from 23 March through to 6 April:

  • Easter Egg Hunt egg - Maida Vale Library, April 2013For the under 5s we devised an Easter egg hunt. Eight coloured, numbered eggs were hidden around the library and participants had to find them all and match the numbers to the colours. On completion the youngsters received a free DVD rental voucher and were entered into a prize draw for the chance to win an Easter bunny toy.
  • For the over 5s we designed a Big Quiz with questions such as: “What was this building used for before it became Maida Vale Library?” and “How many weeks can you borrow a book before you have to return or renew it”? Again completers received a free DVD voucher but this time they were entered into another prize draw for the chance to win a chocolate Easter egg too.

Then on 25 April we held another of our regular health events. ‘Spring to Life’ was hosted by health professionals who were promoting – amongst other things – the important connection between physical activity, diet and healthy digestion.

Just a typical busy month behind the plastic sheeting! And there’s more to come during May, including free bike checks with Dr Bike on the 25th. Keep an eye on our events page for both regular and special events coming up. We look forward to seeing you!


Wish you weren’t here?

Spring sceneWith the Easter holidays coming up this weekend you might be thinking of going abroad for a Spring break…

That is, if you can still afford it after
a. The heating bills
b. Child care bills
c. Taxes to prop up the National Debt, Eurozone etc
d. Etc. etc.

For those of us stuck in Britain it looks like another cold/wet/snowy weekend on the way – more winter than spring. So even if you can afford to get away, expect travel disruption and cancelled flights because of ‘the wrong sort of snow’ or similar excuses. And if you are staying in Britain expect travel disruption and cancelled trains because of… you get the message.

So why not just stay at home, wrap up, settle down with a (library) book and gloat that there are others who are going to be even more miserable than you are.

You are awful (but I like you), by Tim MooreHere are some titles that might match the mood of a typical British Bank Holiday weekend…

You are awful (but I like you): travels through unloved Britain
by Tim Moore

“It began with an accidental daytrip to an intriguingly awful resort on the Thames Estuary and ended 3,812 miles later. This is one man’s journey through deep-fried, brownfield, poundshop Britain, a crash course in urban blight, deranged civic planning and commercial eccentricity.”

Crap days out by Gareth RubinCr*p days out
by Gareth Rubin
“From Land’s End to John O’Groats, this Sceptred Isle is riddled with what are laughably referred to as ‘attractions’. Rubbish tourism is a proud British tradition, and from Stonehenge to Madam Tussaud’s, Shakespeare’s birthplace to the Harry Potter Tour, and model villages to a museum dedicated to pencils, Crap Days Out is the quintessential collection of places that will ruin a perfectly good bank holiday.”

Bollocks to Alton Towers, by Jason HazeleyB*****ks to Alton Towers: uncommonly British days out
by Jason Hazeley
“The British Lawnmower Museum, Keith Harding’s World of Mechanical Music and Mad Jack’s Sugar Loaf. In a world of theme parks, interactive exhibits, over-priced merchandise and queues, don’t worry, these are names to stir the soul. Reassuring evidence that there’s still somewhere to turn in search of the small, fascinating, unique and, dammit, British.”

Far from the sodding crowd, by Jason HazeleyFar from the s***ing crowd
by Jason Hazeley
“Britons work longer hours than almost any other nation in Europe, taking fewer public holidays, laboring from Monday to Friday on the promise of a blissful weekend of fun. But how do we spend our precious days off? When asked what you did at the weekend, will you mutter something about shelves and how hard it was to park? Or will you regale them with a mighty tale of your trip to the Somerset Shoe Museum?”

To Hull and Back, by Tom ChesshyreTo Hull and back: on holiday in unsung Britain, by Tom Chesshyre
“As staff travel writer on The Times since 1997, Tom Chesshyre had visited over 80 countries on assignment, and wondered: what is left to be discovered? In a mad adventure that took him from Hull to Hell (actually a rather nice holiday location in the Isles of Scilly), Tom visited secret spots of Unsung Britain in search of the least likely holiday destinations. With a light and edgy writing style Tom peels back the skin of the unfashionable underbelly of Britain, and embraces it all with the spirit of discovery.”

Are we nearly there yet? by Ben HatchAre we nearly there yet? A family’s 8000 miles around Britain in a Vauxhall Astra
by Ben Hatch
“They were bored, broke, burned out and turning 40, so when Ben and Dinah saw the advert looking for a husband and wife team with young kids to write a guidebook about family travel around Britain, they jumped at the chance. With naïve visions of staring moodily across Coniston Water and savouring Cornish pasties, they embark on a mad-cap five-month trip, embracing the freedom of the open road with a spirit of discovery and an industrial supply of baby wipes.”

And finally, what we can only dream of:

Cream teas, traffic jams and sunburn, by Brian VinerCream teas, traffic jams and sunburn – the Great British holiday by Brian Viner
“The British on holiday: how can four simple words evoke so many vivid images – of raw sunburn and relentless rain, of John Bull’s Pub (in Lanzarote) and Antonio’s Tapas Bar (in Torquay), of endless queues to get through security at the airport and endless tailbacks on the motorway, but also images of carefree sploshing in Portuguese swimming-pools and lazy lunches in the Provencal sun? It is a story that connects Blackpool with Barcelona, Mauritius with Margate. It is a story, indeed, that connects us all.”

A Week in December, by Sebastian FaulksaulksStaying in London? You could read A week in December by Sebastian Faulks, set right here. In December. Which is, after all, what it feels like… It’s the Cityread London book and several of our book groups, including Text Tribe (the online book group) will be reading it in April – join in!

Get your library books for the Easter break today, as we’ll be closed Friday 29 March to Monday 1 April inclusive. See you next week!


Making an ‘eggstra’ effort to have a health ‘chick’

Health eventIn the Times newspaper recently (16 March 2013 – log in with your Westminster library card number to view the article via Newsbank), the health ‘Czar’ said something along the lines of:
We are all going to have to take responsibility for our own health and wellbeing as the NHS simply can’t afford to treat the results of our unhealthy lifestyle choices.

I won’t ‘rabbit’ on too much in this week before Easter but Marylebone Library customers seemed to be taking this on board last week, or perhaps they were attracted by the offer of a ‘Free Health Chick’.  Quite a few people turned up to have their blood pressure taken by Barry from the Stroke Association. I provided him with miniature toy chicks to give out – they raised a smile and, perhaps,  even lowered the blood pressure result!

Health events, Marylebone Library March 2013

Marian and Rachel from the NHS health improvement team were also in the library; they offered information and advice around healthy eating and ‘eggsercise’ alongside a bowl of ‘easy peel’ satsumas, the fruity health event favourite,  to tempt people away from choccy eggs.

Several Marylebone Library staff got their blood pressure checked; librarian Sameena was full of smiles at her eggcellent result. Duty Supervisor Helen informed me that her ‘body is a temple’. I am jolly pleased to hear it!

Health events, Marylebone Library March 2013The staff of Marylebone Library and Information Service are going to need all their health and strength for the year ahead – first the move to a temporary home in August and then, this time next year, (hopefully) to their brand new, state of the art, de luxe new library in Luxborough Street [find out more]. I for one am very much looking forward to lots of health events in the new space inside, and outside in the park area.


Easter Egg competition

Victoria Library held a children’s Easter Egg design competition during the school holidays. The winning designs have been on display in the library.

And here they are:

Hannah's Egg - Winner in the Under 5s category

Karina's Egg - Runner up in the Under 5s category

Under 5s category:

Hannah was the Winner

Karina was the Runner up.

Well done!

Aston's Egg - Winner in the 5-7 years categoryGregory's Egg - Runner up in the 5-7 years category5-7 years category:

Aston was the Winner

Gregory was the Runner up

Nice work!

Fereshta's Egg - Winner of the 8-11 years categoryFatima's Egg - Runner up in the 8-11 years category8-11 years category:

Fereshta was the Winner

Fatima was the Runner up

Great pictures!

Well done everybody 🙂 – if you haven’t already collected your prizes, you can pick them up from Victoria Library.

There will be lots going for children during half term in Westminster Libraries – you can check the news page for forthcoming events and activities. And then in the Summer there’ll be the Circus Stars Summer Reading Challenge – watch this space for more about that in the next few days.