At home activity with a librarian

Stoughton Public Library’s children’s librarian Amanda Bosky created a decorative magazine mat from the book “More Boredom Busters” by Caroline Fernandez. While school is canceled and parents are home with their children, Bosky found a calming activity using easy to find household products.

If your family makes a mat, send a picture to abosky@stolib.org and she will post it on the Stoughton Public Library’s Facebook page. (No photos of children’s faces)

Things you need:

Old magazine, clear packaging tape, activity mat, scissors

Clearly tear out 20 pages from a magazine. This can be a combination of graphic and print pages. Make sure the pages are colorful.

Organize the pages into two groups of 10 pages each. Take one group of pages and start folding in half — the long way.

Press along the crease.

Now fold the page upward in half again and press along the crease.

Repeat the folding and creasing so that you have a long narrow strip about the width of your thumb.

Keep the pages in two groups of 10. Repeat the folding and creasing process for all 20 pages of the magazine.

Next take one magazine strip and lay it sideways in front of you. This will be the bottom border of the mat. Then take nine magazine strips and position them pointing up, over and under the bottom border. Now take clear packing tape and tape the bottom border and nine strips down onto the activity map.

Take the second group of magazine strips and start weaving it --one at a time — through the strips facing upward. Push each strip down to the bottom.

One you’ve finished with all 10 strips put clear packaging tape over the whole thing to keep intact.

Amanda Bosky’s tips:

I think the number of strips you use depends on the size of the magazine. Mine wound up being 9 x 9 strips and I had two leftover — so use your favorite colors first.

If you have someone to help you, they can hold strips in place while you tape the bottom to get started. But I was alone when I worked on the craft and I used another book to hold the strips in place so I could position them and tape them down.

The paper does wiggle around a bit so just keep positioning it back into place and pushing those new strips down toward the bottom to make a tight weave.

The instructions say to cover the whole thing in packing tape but that’s a lot of tape. I just bound the edges of mine with packing tape.

I think scotch tape would work fine too, just use a strip along each side on both sides (I folded my packing tape over along each edge).

Submitted by Stoughton Public Library’s children’s librarian Amanda Bosky