Wednesday, May 8, 2013

May the "Fourth" Be With You!

This past Saturday was a double-header of awesomeness: it was Free Comic Book Day as well as "May the Fourth Be With You" Day (a.k.a. Star Wars Day). So I felt like it would only be natural for my library to host a Star Wars Jedi Training Party. I had done the program in July 2012 and it was met with much success, so I was hoping history would repeat itself. And, in a sense, it did!

If you've never participated in Free Comic Book Day, I highly recommend it! I am lucky enough to work with a local comic book shop who is gracious in ordering a bunch of comic for me. I simply pick them up and set them out the day of. If you aren't into Star Wars, you can do a number of programs to coincide with Free Comic Book Day, such as author presentations or comic drawing workshops. Or you can just keep it a passive program.

Ok, back to Star Wars...

Because I set my program up as a family program, I wanted to have mostly self-directed stations. I had first gotten the idea for how to run my Star Wars Party from an excellent presentation by the librarians at Westerville Public Library. The gist of the program is that each child enters the program as a young Padawan and leaves as a Jedi Knight. I chose the following activities/stations:

  •  Lightsaber Building - I bought long balloons from Amazon and set out hand balloon pumps for the parents to blow them up. Then with the help of my coworkers I collected a TON of toilet paper rolls. You just stick one end of the balloon into the TP roll, then use silver duct tape to attach the balloon and cover the rest of the handle. Voila! Instant lightsaber!
  • Train Your Brain - Here the kids had to complete 2 of 3 mind-training exercises:
    • Star Wars puzzle - I found a picture from Star Wars Clone Wars and copied it into Publisher. I then cut it up into squares and the kids had to assemble the picture.
    • Mazes - I printed out two different mazes from the Star Wars website and DK Star Wars Activity Kit. The kids could choose to complete the easier or the harder maze.
    • Which Yoda Is Different? - Found here, the children had to choose which Yoda was different from the rest.

  • Flight School - I set out plain white copy paper and instructions on how to make a simple paper airplane. Each child had to make one, then throw it through a hula hoop held by a teen volunteer.

  • Harness Your (Creative) Force - For this one I simply set out crayons and printed out page 11 from the DK kit and had the kids customize their own X-wing and droid.

  • Agility Test - I cut out construction paper rocks and fire clip are and glued them to a long roll of red paper. The kids had to walk across the "lava pit" by only stepping on the rock using their agility.

  • Fighter Pilot Training - I gathered 2-liter pop/soda/soda pop bottles and taped pictures of TIE fighters on the front. One had a picture of Darth Vader. Using the bean bags from storytime, the kids had to knock down the bottles and Vader. If you fill the bottles with a little water, they fall over more like bowling pins.

  • Pin the Bun on Princess Leia - 'Nuff said. 
  • Jedi Refueling Station - As every hardworking Jedi needs to refuel, we provided Wookiee Cookies (chocolate chip cookies) and Yoda Soda (green Hawaiian punch) to our young Padawans.
After each child completed all the activities, they could come up to me (dressed as a skinny Princess Leia with glasses, by the way) and receive a Certificate of Completion stating that they were now officially Jedi Knights. I wrote their names on each with Sharpie.

Other activity ideas include:

- Droid Robotics - Set out some toilet paper tube and any craft materials you want to get rid of and watch the creativity happen!

- Keep Jabba the Hut Talking! - Last year, instead of Pin the Bun on Princess Leia, we played this game. I cut out some frogs using our Ellison die machine and made a large Jabba the Hut poster.

Have you ever done a Star Wars Party? Any activities/crafts/ideas that were hits?

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