Doctor Who, Part Two

Doctor Who continues to be very popular amongst my teens, so we hosted another Who event this summer, this time just for teens (our previous program was all ages).

I found some fun videos on YouTube & put them into a playlist. My favorite was definitely a rather adorable fandom cover of Call Me Maybe. Give it a listen!

We played many games – Blink/Don’t Blink (a rather fast game of Red Light/Green Light, so we played it many times), Cyberman Says, and Toss the TARDIS. I discovered that my teens love to play any theme-specific game of hot potato, so of course we just tossed the TARDIS around to the theme song.

From our previous event, we again used the Gallifreyan translator but this time to make bottlecap keychains, and also made duct tape bow ties as well as Van Gogh coloring sheets for those who just want to hang out and watch the videos.

The biggest hit of the event was, by far, Guess Who. I would say that most of my teens had never played, with a surprising number that never even heard of it.They played this continuously all night, with many arguments ensuing (is River a villain or a hero?). They came up with the rule that Captain Jack is human, but the Face of Boe is not, being rather nice to those new fans who are still catching up.

I threw this together after seeing it on Tumblr, and the graphics & instructions for making your own is here at Karen Kavett’s blog.

The big craft of the evening was SPACE JARS. I followed the directions from Martha Stewart to make snow globes, only we tipped the jars right-side-up, and added a dangling TARDIS.

Supplies!
Jars (ask your staff to save or purchase)
Polymer clay
Silver jump rings
Fishing line
Hot glue gun
Glitter & confetti
Water
White marker pens
Black permanent marker
Glycerin (optional)

How to do it!
TARDIS:
1. Create rectangles from blue polymer clay. I was able to get eight out of each pack.
2. Press jump ring into top.
3. Bake according to instructions (I did steps 1-3 prior to event)
4. Using markers, add doors & windows.

JAR:
1. Hot glue fishing line to jar lid. (also done prior to event)
2. Tie fishing line to jump ring on top of the TARDIS.
3. Add glitter & confetti.
4. Fill with water.
5. Add a squirt of glycerin, which helps slow glitter’s descent to bottom. (A bonus, but not required.)
6. Tighten jar lid, gluing to seal if desired. (We did not do this part; the jars were fine.)
7. Decorate top of jar as desired with quotes, pictures, etc.
8. Shake up the jar to the theme music!

Be sure to ask if you have any questions!

The Hunger Games Survival Challenge: Catching Fire

<< Click here to download .zip of all files associated with this program >>

This is everything you need to run a successful Hunger Games scavenger hunt-type program. My previous program in 2012 was fun; the event I ran for Catching Fire was much better. Fifteen was the perfect number for an hour’s worth of fun, with some easy & some hard challenges for everyone. They don’t even need to have read the books to do anything other than the trivia.

Most of the supplies are listed, but you do need:
– Nerf-style archery set; various styles available on Amazon.com. We shoot at our old Twilight trio stand-ups, but you can easily print out targets.
– Bags of some sort – backpacks are available through Oriental Trading

Basic instructions:
1. Print out the challenges, enough for the number of teams you’ll be having. We’ve divided the teens into 12 teams in the past.
2. Stuff the challenges into envelopes, or simply fold them. I highly suggest at least tucking the origami challenge & the associated paper into an envelope.
3. Number the challenges, staggering so not everyone is at the same challenge at one time. There will still be some overlap, of course, but this definitely helped. Instruct the kids that they MUST do everything as a team, and that they MUST do them in order.
4. Create an arena map of your library with the stations posted. Freehand or Publisher!
4. Place challenges, map, and pencils into the bag, and place them in the center of the starting room (the Cornucopia). Ready, set, go!

If you have any questions, please be sure to let me know! Sometimes what I think is self-explanatory only makes sense in my brain.

One choice can transform you…

Here’s a confession for you: I like Tris better than Katniss (That doesn’t mean that I think Divergent is better than Hunger Games, because well, it’s not). And I’m very, very happy that the actor playing Four is only two years younger than me. I really liked Four in Divergent, and I’m quite delighted that I can find him attractive without feeling like a dirty old woman. I guess that’s the price you pay for reading so much teen literature!

But anyways! Are you throwing a party for the premiere of the Divergent film? I am!

When I set about planning this party, I knew that despite the setting of the first novel (and presumably, first movie) I didn’t want this to just be a Dauntless shindig – that kind of goes against the whole point of the books. So I wanted to have something that celebrated each faction, and this is what we have planned:

DAUNTLESS: chocolate cake & tattoos
ERUDITE: book trivia
CANDOR: confession jar
ABNEGATION: canned food drive
AMITY: peace sign bookmarks (in book thong style)

We’ll also create t-shirts (I order them in bulk from Adair so we have them for various programs) using stencils of the factions & the Crayola Airbrush – have you used this yet? It is AMAZING! I don’t understand how it works, but wow. Pretty fantastic, and a definite worthwhile investment for programming. I’m always looking for items I know I’ll use for multiple programs, & this is definitely one of them. We have two now, and I know we’ll get our money’s worth in no time.

We’ll probably also make book charms, because they’re so cheap, easy, & fun for the fans. To make them: print out 1″ images, cut out, glue onto folded paper for the “cover”, then staple 4-5 pages inside. Punch a small hole & loop a jump ring through – voila! Super easy & cheap craft your teens will spend HOURS making. It’s a great “merit badge” for book clubs, too.

So, what do you have planned for your Divergent party?

Anatomy of a Teen Event Flyer

anatomy of an event flyer

Hello fellow librarians of Ohio, & all who are looking for information on creating graphics to reach the teen audience: Anatomy of a Teen Event Flyer was a poster presentation at the 2013 Ohio Library Council Convention & Expo. Please feel free to print off any & all of the information below!

PS: If you save the images, it’ll save the hi-res version, so you’ll be able to read it better! Yay!

anatomy_opening

anatomy diagram
Click for larger image!
anatomy_dosanatomy_where

anatomy_brands
anatomy_fonts

PDF

anatomy resource bookmark

As always, if you have any questions, be sure to let me know!

Update 01.12.16: Go here for samples of what I’ve created over the years.

City of Bones (FINALLY!)

Why finally? Because my teens have into this series for far longer than they’ve been into Hunger Games. They are so, so excited! I know a lot of you are probably working on movie premiere parties, as I am, so I thought I’d share what I’m planning now! 

In case you hadn’t heard yet, the movie was moved to a Wednesday release, so now it’s premiering on August 21st. I always have my programs before the movie to lessen the chance of spoilers, so if you have the same concerns, take action now! 

  • Inspired by these pewter steles, we’ll be making similar ones out of polymer clay. All you have to do is completely coat the plastic, remove the ink before you bake, & you’re good to go! 
  • Henna tattoos of the runes, with official designs available at Cassandra Clare’s site. I’m going to get some temporary tattoo pens as well, for those wary of the henna. 
  • Tarot card readings 
  • Book prizes
  • Soundtrack listening party, sprinkled in with the trailers, as we always do. 
  • Jeopardy-style trivia (traditional at all our programs)
  • Food… honestly, I don’t know. I usually try to tie the food into the story somehow (we had wedding cake for the first Breaking Dawn movie, trail mix & other wilderness-type food for Hunger Games, etc), but so far, I haven’t really found any particular food that’s in the series, other than Jace’s fondness for tea. Anyone have any ideas?

So that’s what we’re planning! What are you doing at your library?

The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Celebration Extravaganza!


I mentioned awhile ago now that Doctor Who was quite popular among the teens of our library, so when we set about creating our generic “ReImagine Your World @ your library” teen summer reading program, I *knew* I was going to host a Doctor Who event for the 50th.

I just never imagined it would be such a hit.

First & foremost, I am incredibly proud of myself for that flyer. Although I do think I have an eye for graphic design, I have no formal training, and am usually stuck with whatever images I can find through the various royalty-free databases. But that flyer up there, I created the entire thing using shapes in Publisher. Obviously, I printed it on blue paper, but it just worked so well. Everyone IMMEDIATELY knew what it was, & so the marketing worked perfectly.

I decided to host this for all ages – and they came. We had well over 100 people, which the most I’ve ever had at an event. The most amazing thing, though, was that the Facebook event was shared all over the place. I had calls from the next county over, asking about the program. And just… wow. It was so much fun!

forgive the bad quality; it was take with someone's phone

So, what did we do? Well, to begin, I turned the entrance to our meeting room into the TARDIS. I painted a bunch of cardboard blue, hot glued it together to match the doorway (there were plenty of overlaps), use black duct tape for the lines, & then duct taped the whole thing to the door frame. It was a lot of trial & error, but definitely worth it. Everyone had a great time entering the doors only to discover that yes, it’s “bigger on the inside.” Plenty of photos were taken, too.

Food was simple – I made sugar cookie “fish fingers” and small cups of vanilla pudding “custard”!

As for activities…
Van Gogh coloring sheets for the little ones
– Duct tape bowties, which I hear are cool.
– Vote for your favorite Doctor – very close between 10 & 11, with 4 right behind.
– Trivia through space & time
– “Don’t blink!” staring contest – we gave away a Weeping Angel Barbie, and everyone who participated received a “don’t blink” button
Sonic screwdriver pens made with polymer clay
– Gallifreyan name translator using this nifty widget – we printed on blue paper!
TARDIS and Dalek paper toys
Doctor Who at the Proms from 2008 aired throughout the program

Will the Doctor be visiting your library in the future?

An Evening of Awesome

Image

Have Nerdfighters invaded your library? They’ve certainly invaded mine! So for our kick-off party this summer, I hosted our own Nerdfighter Gathering, “An Evening of Awesome.” 

What’d we do? So glad you asked! 

  • Pizza, because after all, the answer is always pizza.
  • Charms of John’s books & Hank’s CDs (print out 1″ images, cut out, glue onto folded paper for the “cover”, then staple 4-5 pages inside. Punch a small hole & loop a jump ring through – voila! Super easy & cheap craft your teens will spend HOURS making. It’s a great “merit badge” for book clubs, too.)
  • “Okay” bracelets with TFIOS book charms
  • DFTBA bracelets & keychains (you can get specific letters at most craft stores)
  • Stamped pennies (usually with names & DFTBA)
  • Viewing of the “official” Evening of Awesome (freely available on YouTube!)
  • General nerdiness: giant Jenga & Star Trek Monopoly

Image

Image

Image

 

Hello Awesome Librarians of Ohio!

Beyond Book Clubs

If you were at my presentation (Beyond Book Clubs & Gaming: Creating dynamic programs to which your teens will flock!) – hello! Thanks for stopping by!

I am sorry I ran out of time to give you a proper send-off, but some of you asked for this information, so here you go!

PDF Handouts:

If you have any questions or comments or just want to talk, please feel free to email me, either here or through my work email (amazings AT wtcpl DOT org). It was awesome to see everyone, & I hope we’ll talk again soon!

Here’s what I’ve been doing lately…

569572_1_6961620620_o

I don’t know about you, but I have been just SWAMPED lately with just everything! I can’t believe we’re almost completely through April – summer reading is right around the corner, but I am nowhere NEAR ready! Our Hunger Games program went very, very well, & we had a reasonable number of teens attend. I created the program with the intention that it’d take about an hour for them to get through all the challenges, but they went all hardcore on it & the first team was done in eighteen minutes. EIGHTEEN. Every team was done in half an hour, so I’ve promised that the Catching Fire event will be much more intense & difficult. & they cheered!

The photograph up top is from our local newspaper – the bows went over very well, & made for very photogenic teens!

This past Saturday we held our very first Otaku Mini-Anime Convention. Although it was a blast, someone remind me to never again plan a six-hour teen event? Four hours is about the limit of my attention span, apparently. To be fair, most of them didn’t show up until the afternoon, so I think a noon to four time will be perfect.

They had a blast making sushi, as you can see below…

 
dscn0011_6960331576_o


It was actually quite easy – I picked up sushi rice, nori, krab, cucumber, shredded carrot, cream cheese, & a few condiments. They used wax paper to roll up their creations, & it worked really well! So should you decide to do this, there’s no need to fork over the money for mats. You can easily do this for about $20-25 dollars, & I guarantee they’ll have fun.

 

Geekin’ out @ the library…

So… Teen Tech Week 2012: I LOVE LOVE LOVE this theme. It might be because I’m pretty much a major geek myself, currently obsessing over all things Doctor Who & Sherlock, but overall, I think the theme is quite inspired. What with the celebrations of all things geek right now in pop culture (Big Bang Theory is the most popular sitcom at the moment, after all) & the incredible popularity of Tumblr, which has taken LiveJournal’s place as the social networks where all the geeks gather, it’s just perfect.

Here’s what I’m up to:
» Our library system is hosting two gaming tournaments: Just Dance & Smash Bros. I had originally planned to do a Rock Band tournament, but when it became quite clear that although the teens really enjoy playing, they can barely get through a song… I switched to Smash Bros. Perhaps they’ll be ready for it next year.

» Every year we have a tech survey – so far we’ve done music & social network questions, but this year we’re focusing on television. They fill out the survey (with about three questions), & then we pull a random winner out of the entrants. The prizes vary, but are usually books, candy, & whatever stuff I have lying around.
The questions:

  1. What are your favorite tv shows? Name up to six.
  2. How do you watch it? Circle all that apply: As it airs on TV / DVR/Tivo / Online Streaming (Hulu.com, official websites, etc) / Purchase individual episodes / TV on DVD / “Acquire” through various websites
  3. How do you find out about new shows?

I’m definitely looking forward to finding out what they have to say! These are always immensely helpful in getting to know them.

» We’re also hosting a multi-fandom costume party (which I’ve called, so cleverly, the “Geek Out @ Your Library Costume Party“) where I’m inviting them to dress in any character from any universe. In addition to just showcasing our geekiness, we’ll also be having lots of fandom fun with trivia games & crafts.

» The final thing I’m doing to celebrate, outside of the usual displays & decorations, is a passive ALL THE FANDOMS matching game. Personally, I love stealth fandom stuff – rather than wear a t-shirt with the Doctor Who logo, I’d much rather wear something that states “bow ties are cool.” Or something with the leaf village symbol, rather than the main Naruto logo. In the spirit of this, I’ll be creating a display with numbered images or quotes from 25-30 fandoms, & have them name the fandom to which each thing belongs. I’ll add a picture once it’s done, but it ought to be pretty gnarly.

What’s your library up to?

National Gaming Day 2011: Live Angry Birds

 

dscn0040_6328247741_o

Using inspiration from this 4YA post, I set about creating our own version of Live Angry Birds for National Gaming Day (November 12). Above, you’ll see the examples I made using the instructions from the 4YA video – very easy, & the teens were able to create their own without much trouble. I let them use any color of yarn we had on hand, & I actually just used cardstock & glue sticks for the faces – a minute or two of pressing, & they stuck just fine.

As for the thieving pigs, I dug out some florescent green pom poms from the children’s closet (readily available, I’m sure, from just about any craft store), & glued on faces made from construction paper. Ta-da! Super easy & cheap program to the rescue!

 

dscn0041_6329003018_o

Using plastic cups, Jenga pieces, & a shoebox top, I made six different towers for the teens to topple. We found that throwing the birds worked best, & they had three tries to knock down all the pigs (some challenges used 1 or 2; at least one had all five pigs). If they succeeded, they got a small prize from the ever-growing prize grab-bag*.

The teens had a TON of fun doing this, & I’ll definitely do it again, so long as Angry Birds remains relevant & fun.

*This bag contains all that silly junky stuff, like temporary tattoos, pencils, keychains, buttons, bookmarks, airheads, etc, that are leftovers from various summer reading programs & other events. I just throw them into a canvas bag & watch it grow.

BREAKING DAWN…. part one

Now, I’m not a hater – in fact, I quite honestly enjoy the series, & it’s possible I’m among only a few that absolutely loved what Catherine Hardwicke did with the first one. But I can’t imagine I’m alone when I say I’m getting rather tired of this universe. For me, the biggest obstacle is the fact that there’s really very little to play with here – no costume contests, no silly food to recreate, very few universe-specific details. At the previous three parties, we’ve made glitter gel & created jewelry, a la what’s been available at Hot Topic, but I was getting a bit tired of doing that. So, for this movie, we created more of a wedding reception atmosphere, complete with “Save the Date!” wordage on our marketing.

What we did:
» As at all our Twilight parties, we had the soundtrack playing sprinkled with various trailers & tv spots.

» I made a wedding cake, & this was actually the first time I’ve ever decorated a cake like this, so I’m fairly pleased with it. We got the pans from a staff member, & I think the mixes, frosting, & other ingredients were less than $10.

» The guestbook was rather amusing – I think they had fun pretending to be at Bella & Edward’s wedding!

» Our major craft was a dreamcatcher. Oriental Trading has a very nice kit, less than $1 each, that makes quite a nice little dreamcatcher. The reviews over there are a bit unfairly negative, because the truth is, this isn’t something you can do with younger kids, but for teens & older, I think it’s perfect.

» I printed out a bunch of t-shirt ideas I’d seen online, & as we’ve done at all the parties, they were invited to bring along a t-shirt to design for the movie line.

» We always have a Jeopardy-style trivia game with questions taken from the book, & this party was no exception.

» We’ve had the life size standees since the New Moon Party, & I think we’ve had our money’s worth from them. Throughout the week prior to the party they help with advertising, & then everyone fauns over them at the actual party.

» Prizes included a few bookmarks, a donated copy of Breaking Dawn, & some other little vampire tidbits. Bookmarks with dreamcatcher lore, Twilight & New Moon reading maps, & Vampire Kisses READ bookmarks completed the freebie table.

For our next (& with any luck, FINAL!) Twilight party, we’ll be having cupcakes & thinking more along the lines of a baby shower. Of course, it’ll be a vampire baby shower, so darkness & candlelight will still rule the party planning.