Teen Connection Kits

During the COVID-19 pandemic, teens have experienced unprecedented levels of social isolation. They have also missed out on the opportunity to build important life skills. Teen Connection Kits  are tools for libraries to help teens reestablish social connections and create learning experiences to help them build practical skills and resiliency. There are two different ways that your library can use the kits:

  • Circulate them. If you choose to circulate a kit to teens in your community, your library is responsible for adding it to your catalog and creating circulation procedures. You can add items to the kits and use different containers if the ones that we send don’t work for your library. The ICfL is unable to replace lost or damaged items.
  • Use them for library programs. The kits can be used during in-house library programs, or during outreach events. You may need to purchase supplemental materials for your programs. The ICfL is unable to replace lost or damaged items.

Your library may request up to two kits, and each kit is your library’s to keep. We will send you a survey in six months to gather feedback on how you used the kits and how many teens you served. Click this button to fill out the survey:

UPDATE: We are out of kits. Thanks to everyone for the enthusiastic ordering!

Here is a list of everything that is included in the kits, with links to where each item was purchased.

Teen Connection Kit Descriptions:

Birdwatching

Birdwatching, or birding, has become increasingly popular among teens. It’s a great way to explore Idaho’s natural environment and is an easy skill to learn. This kit includes a copy of Biding is My Favorite Video Game and a foldable pamphlet of birds that can be found in Idaho. It also contains a monocular, which can be attached to a smartphone. Teens can use the monocular to spot birds and capture the image (or video) with their phones. The kit also contains a waterproof birding journal. Each teen who uses the kit can record the birds they spot and use the journal as a type of guest book. We’ve also included a handmade zine on birding created by ICfL Continuing Education Consultant Annie Gaines. Check out the Birdwatch Kit Table of Contents.

Bookmaking

Writing and journaling is a great way for teens to express themselves and connect with their emotions. Crafting their own books or journals can take this practice to a higher level. This kit contains basic tools for teens to create their own books. Warning – there are several sharp objects in the kit, including a retractable knife, awls, and bookbinding needles. It also comes with several spools of wax thread. These will eventually need to be replaced as teens use them. The bookbinding guide will help them make even stitches, and the stencils can be used to decorate the final product. Check out the Bookmaking Kit Table of Contents.

Cooking

Basic cooking is a skill that most people master at some point. This kit contains tools to help teens learn how to use simple kitchen equipment to cook for themselves. A short cookbook is included, as well as a book on developing knife-cutting skills using potatoes. A warning about the knives – they are sharp, and they are hand-wash only. You may want to include extra instructions with this kit about washing everything before returning it to the library or after using it during a program. This kit also comes with a small electric grill – it should be wiped down after each use. Check out the Cooking Kit Table of Contents.

Dungeons & Dragons

Role-playing games encourage players to work together and create a community. Teens who have experienced social isolation or who are having trouble building a community of friends can participate in a Dungeons & Dragons campaign to help build social ties. This kit contains everything you need to get started – even if you have never played before. Check out the Dungeons & Dragons Table of Contents.

Make, Mend, Repair

Being able to make, mend, and repair things is a powerful set of skills. This kit empowers teens to repair damaged clothing, broken appliances, and even make minor home repairs. Fixing something that is damaged or broken is more cost-effective than buying a replacement and makes better environmental sense. Teens can learn how to patch a hole in their jeans, fix their broken glasses, or hang a picture. There are a lot of pieces to this kit, and some things – like thread from the sewing kit – may need to be replaced. Check out the Make, Mend, Repair Kit Table of Contents.

Ukulele

Music engages teens’ creativity and can be an outlet for reducing stress. Learning to play a musical instrument can be hard, but the ukulele is relatively easy to pick up. This kit includes an instruction manual and a ukulele with all the accessories that a teen needs to get started playing, including an auto tuner and chord chart. It does come with one extra string and two picks – these may need to be replaced at some point. Check out the Ukulele Kit Table of Contents.

Jennifer Redford

Youth Services Consultant
Email / 208-639-4147
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