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Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Heidi Shorter reads a book to her children Izabella, 4, left, and Michael, 1, during the Allen County Public Library’s last Saturday activities.

Library programs entertain children

– Every last Saturday of the month, the Allen County Public Library offers special activities for children.

The events usually are well attended, said Erin Warzala, children’s librarian.

But three days after Christmas when the sparkle is worn off presents, the activities can be a really good reason to get kids out of the house.

“She’s finished playing with her toys, and we kind of wanted something new to do. She’s burned out on her toys,” Williams Barrientos, 31, of Fort Wayne, said as his daughter, Beatrice, 6, started making a butterfly out of tissue paper and a clothespin.

Barrientos saidhe and his daughter often visit children’s services when he has her for visitation on weekends. They get books and she makes crafts.

“This is our second time (this month),” Beatrice said, scrunching some light blue tissue into butterfly wings.

The craft also got the attention of Sophia Billman, 5, who made a butterfly in pink and orange to match her aunt’s quilted paisley purse.

“The theme is ‘Color Full,’ so we came to do something colorful,” Sophia’s aunt, Shelli Rimelspach, 45, explained.

Her niece’s butterfly and one made by her nephew, Logan Billman, 5, were clipped to her bag like purse charms.

“We’re baby-sitting a dog, a guinea pig and the two kids,” Rimelspach said. “We’re getting cramped.”

Karen Perry, of Fort Wayne, wound up at the craft table with her grandson, Trent Davis, 10, whom she was babysitting.

“We came in to use the computer, but I’m trying to get him into it because I think he’d like it,” she said.

In an adjoining room, youngsters were getting ready to play with what Warzala called “cloud clay” – stretchy, squishy material in fluorescent colors.

“They can make monsters, jewelry, critters, whatever. The things they come up with are always more creative than anything I do,” she said.

Next month, on Jan. 25, the programming will correlate with the Parks and Recreation Department’s Winterval festival downtown, Warzala said. The festival features free events for the entire family to enjoy.

Seasonal crafts and an outdoor activity called “Freezing Fun” will be geared to 5- to 10-year-olds.

“We don’t know what it will be yet. It could be snowman bowling, if it’s cold. It depends a lot on the weather,” she said.

But, Warzala added, one thing is guaranteed. The event will get kids out of the house.