Makayla, 4, was grinning as she used green markers to color a small, wooden house and happily guided its resident — a small piece of wood to which a pair of large eyes had been affixed — with her hand.
One seat over at the La Cañada Flintridge library, Susan Van Valer joined in the fun with her granddaughter.
“Where are my babies?” Makayla asked as she put the piece of wood in motion.
“Your babies are right there,” Susan Van Valer answered, smiling as she sat near smaller wooden figures.
“Come help me, Daddy,” the grandmother said, furnishing the voice for one of the babies.
The LCF residents were among 70 to 80 people who participated in a Kids Creation Station event on Tuesday at the library — a turnout that seemed to underscore the eagerness with which patrons seek summer activities for children.
An expansive collection of colorful homes, treasure chests and other art projects undertaken by youths as well as some parents, guardians and volunteers adorned the community room.
The Los Angeles County library branch, which closed on March 30 for maintenance, reopened on June 24 upon completion of the project that library marketing director Geraldine Lin has said was budgeted at $532,000.
None of that mattered to the attendees of the event, of course. Reya and
Zayna and their friends and fellow LCF residents Zain and Zara proudly showed off the treasure chests and jewelry boxes they had just finished.
“I made a box to put my nail polish in and it was really fun to make because you could just do whatever you want,” said Zayna, 10.
Zain created something he described as “the impossible opening box.”
“I taped it all up,” the 6-year-old said. “I was going to challenge somebody to try and open it and then I would tell them, ‘It’s the impossible opening box because it’s impossible to open.’”
Misbah Etman, mother of Zayna and Reya, was catching up on her reading as the kids built their projects.
“I think it’s wonderful,” she said. “It’s free, and I can take my kids to be creative on their own without anybody telling them what to do. There are plenty of supplies for them. It’s a great way to spend a summer afternoon.”
Sarah LoVerme, the children’s services librarian, said she was pleased with Tuesday’s attendance, as kids and parents casually wandered in and out of the room to work on the projects.
“It’s great,” LoVerme said. “A lot of the people have been here since the beginning [of the day] and it’s really relaxed. Kids can work on their projects and they do whatever they want, use all the materials that are available. Just having a good time.”
For LoVerme, Creation Station affords a way to talk to everybody, but it appeared a larger space might be needed for the upcoming Magic of Tony Daniels show on Tuesday, July 16.
“It’s a good problem to have,” LoVerme said. “The capacity is 118 for this room. When we expect a really big crowd, I have them in the main part of the library.”
Among the summer programs:
• 10:15-10:40 a.m. and 11-11:25 a.m. on Mondays through July 29 — Baby-Toddler Storytime for ages 0-3 (no storytime on July 22)
• 3:30-4 p.m. on Mondays through July 29 — Smarty Pants Storytime for ages 3-5
• 2-3:30 p.m. Friday, July 12 — Wearable Technology, part of National Summer Learning Week, for children (age 8 and older) and teens
• 3:30-4:15 p.m. Tuesday, July 16 —The Magic of Tony Daniels, part of the summer reading program for children ages 5-12
• 3:30-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 17 — Paws to Read with Zagato, an Australian shepherd, for ages 5-12
• 11-11:45 p.m. Monday, July 22 — Twinkle Time Concert for Kids, ages 3-12
• 4-4:45 p.m. Tuesday, July 30 — Annie Banannie Wacky Alien Balloon Show for ages 5-12
• 3:30-4:15 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5 — Juggling show with David Cousin for ages 5-12
• 3-5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6 — Ice cream social for ages 5-12
• 3-4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20 — L.A. Kings Storytime featuring Bailey and the L.A. Kings Ice Crew
The nonprofit organization Friends of the La Cañada Flintridge Library made possible the puppet show, Creation Station, Tony Daniels, concert for kids, Alien Balloon Show, juggling show and the ice cream social programs, officials said.
The friends’ annual spring book sale will occur Wednesday, July 31-Saturday, Aug. 3. A Friends of the Library members-only sale is from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. July 31; the event is open to the general public from 2-8 p.m. The sale begins at 10 a.m. the other days.
The library is located at 4545 N. Oakwood Ave.
For more information, call (818) 790-3330 or visit lacountylibrary.org/la-canada-flintridge-library.