Getting ready for New Year's

Photo by Heather Middleton

Photo by Heather Middleton

By Curt Yeomans


Jonesboro resident, Orion Young, 5, and her mother, Nichelle, broke out in laughter at the headquarters branch of the Clayton County Public Library system on Tuesday afternoon as they blew into home-made "New Year's" noise makers.

They continuously blew into the noise makers, which were folded pieces of paper, with holes in them. Each blow produced a high-pitched squeal as Nichelle Young made faces at her daughter.

The Youngs were among the children and parents, who participated in a News Year's-inspired, craft-making session on Tuesday. The objects made during the session were the noise makers, and crown-like hats that participants can use tonight.

"It's definitely fun to participate in things like this," said Nichelle Young, who also brought her younger daughter, Alevia, 2, to the session. "It's fun to be together, and to have that quality bonding time."

Library Youth Services Assistant Breana Florio, the organizer of the craft-making session, said she put on the event mainly for the children, so they would have something that would let them feel like a part of the New Year's Eve festivities.

"Pretty much [Headquarters Branch Youth Services Librarian Bea Mengel] told me to plan something, so I tried to see what holidays or special events were coming up," Florio said. "Right now, the main focus is New Year's Eve, so I wanted to do something for the kids, so they could celebrate it just like the adults."

The participants made their hats first, using a design that Florio found on YouTube.

The novice hat-makers folded their paper plates in half, and cut a line from the middle of the fold outwards to a halfway point between the fold and the rim of the plate. They then made two more similar cuts, one on each side of the initial cut, to form 90 degree angles that converged in the middle of the fold.

The participants then unfolded their plates and made two more cuts, stretching along the fold to make a star-shaped cut in the middle of the plate. The cuts made eight wedges that could be folded up to create points, like the kind found on a crown. Everyone who participated in the session got to draw whatever they wanted on the hats, using crayons.

"I was actually looking for something more traditional, and I happened to see this on YouTube," Florio said. "It wasn't your traditional, everyday hat, but it was still simple enough that children could easily make it."

Several children offered their seal of approval for the hats. "I liked coloring the hat, because I get to wear the hat on New Year's," said Christiyana Williams, 9, of Jonesboro.

"I liked making the crown because of the jewels I drew on the crown," Orion Young said.

"I drew hearts on my hat," said Kennedy Hood, 5, of Rex. "I like drawing because I'm an artist ... I like to color."

The noise-makers were then made. Florio said she found this design on YouTube as well.

The participants folded palm-sized, pieces of paper in half. They then cut two triangles in the middle of the fold. The final step involved folding the ends of the paper, opposite the fold, away from each other.

"I like the sound it makes, because it sounds funny," said Jonesboro youngster, McKalya Williams, 6, sister of Christiyana Williams.

Danielle Williams, mother of Christiyana and McKalya Williams, said she signed up her children, as well as a niece and nephew, for the session, because she signs her children up for as many classes as possible at the library. She said activities like the New Year's Eve craft-making session are ideal, because they provide the family with something to do.

"It was perfect, because you can't find too many things to do [elsewhere]," she said. "It's so cold outside, and I know the library always has some good activities for the kids."

Some of the youths predicted their new, hand-made party favors would get plenty of use when the clocks strike midnight tonight, and 2010 arrives.

"This was pretty cool to do," said Thaddeus Hood, 9. "I think, on New Year's Eve, I'll wear the hat, and blow the horn a lot."