Monday, August 15, 2016

Librarian Post: Tue Tales of Library Programming #2 - Merry Grinchmas!

   Well, that was interesting. I never expected the post about my Clue program to be so darn popular, but I guess there are those out there interested in my goofy programs, so I think I will try to post one per month until you all get sick of them.
   So, that being said, and realizing it is still super hot out, I thought I would take everyone's mind off Summer Reading with a program for the holidays. This is a Way Back When program, as it was the first big themed program I ever did when I was a Library Assistant in Youth Services, so parts of my memories about it have become a little rusty. I will do my best to explain it as thoroughly as possible, and there will be cool pictures.
   Therefore, without further ado, I give you: "A Very Merry Grinchmas!" a holiday program based on themes from How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss.

   At the beginning of the program, when the bulk of the audience has assembled. I get the kids portioned off into groups or teams. 4 teams seems to be, for me, the best number and works well regardless of the size of the crowd. I always choose the teams myself, never let the kids pick, because if you let them pick, they will just end up with their families or friends and what's the fun in that? The teams are chosen by asking the kids to get in a line in order of their birthdays.
    This has the added benefit of being an ice breaker, since they have to talk to each other to figure out whose birthday is when. Once everyone is in line, they count off 1, 2, 3, 4 and then all the 1's get together, all the 2's, etc. When the teams are in place it's time to play the first game.

Grinch Cake Walk

   For our first game, which was actually ocurring throughout the whole party, I cut out large Ginchy footprints out of green paper. One footprint also had a red paper heart on it. I laminaed the footprints and set them out in a large circle. 
   A teen volunteer was given a CD player and a CD with "You're A Mean One, Mister Grinch" burned on it a bunch of times. The volunteer would then play the song for a while, stopping it whenever it struck his fancy. When the music stopped, whoever was standing on the spot with the heart would get a green-frosted "Grinch-cake" (cupcakes topped with some cool Dr. Seuss puffy stickers I found and stuck onto toothpicks). 
   Make sure to tell the volunteers to limit the kids to one cupcake per person.
   A second volunteer dressed up as the Grinch for us and helped hand out cupcakes and took pictures with the kids. He was a huge hit!


Grinchy footprints. Notice the one with a heart that grew 3 sizes. 

The Grinch hands out cupcakes in the Grinch Cakewalk game.

    Tree Undecorating

     The first game we played was inspired by the scene in which the Grinch steals all the ornaments off the Who's Christmas Trees. I created 4 cartoonishly rendered trees from green butcher paper and taped the same number of ornaments to each tree (12-15 ornaments works well). The game was played as a relay race in which each member of the team got to run up to the tree (which was taped to the wall) and ripped off one ornament. I timed the teams to see who could get all the ornaments and the tree down fastest.

Un-decorating the Christmas trees. 
Teen volunteers were a huge help in running the program, especially with staffing limitations. 


   When working in Youth, I always saved our craft for last, since it's a good way to calm everyone down after physical activity, and so the kids and parents don't have to be carrying the craft around with them while trying to play games.
   For this program, our craft was making a paper bag puppet of Max, the Grinch's faithful dog companion. Max is very simple to make. you need:
1. A small brown paper lunch bag.
2. A pair of googly eyes.
3. A small brown pom-pom for the nose.
4. Cut out two vaguely peanut-shaped shapes out of black paper for ears.
5. A brown pipe-cleaner for his horn. Because he is a reindeer-dog. Of course.
6. A red marker, to color in a collar.
7. A small yellow construction paper circle, for his dog tag.

This is the only picture that survived where you can see Max. Sorry it's not great:

You can't tell, but my shirt had a huge Grinch face on it. I enjoy dressing for the program theme. 

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