- 5 minutes of getting settled and greeting (get a snack on your way into the room)
- 10 minutes of reading aloud from Vanessa the Choreography Fairy
- 30 minutes of craft time: Make your own Fairy Wings
- 15 minutes of dance party
- …with a photo booth open throughout
(This formula gets a lot of mileage at my library: it’s the same thing we do for New Year’s Noon, and we’re using it again for the Elephant & Piggie Party this fall)
- Crafts for 30 children – wings and stickers: about $80
- Cupcakes and juice boxes for 30 children: about $25
- Decorations for the room and photo booth: about $75
I’m lucky enough to work in a library that can bear such expense, but it can be done exactly the same for as little as $43. Here’s how:
- Nix the decor purchases and reuse whatever brightly colored tablecloths, toys, posters, and decorations your library has kept in storage (you could even create a rainbow backdrop for your photo booth out of multicolored copier paper)
- Trim the craft budget by buying only the wings; reuse stickers from your craft closet or just let children color with markers
- Don’t serve food
Do you have even less than $43? Make a different craft: magic wands out of dowel rods or pencils would be nice! Or staple blank paper into mini-books and print out pictures of fairies to glue inside or on the cover: each child can name the fairies and write stories about them.
Why should you do this program?
- It’s an easy-peasy crowd pleaser. This was one of the easiest and most successful programs that I’ve presented in my entire career. Caregivers and staff alike were over-the-moon complimentary; children were awed, thrilled, and amazed throughout.
- It celebrates literacy. The Rainbow Magic Fairy books are just that: books! They’re outrageously popular and they don’t have a tv show or movie to propel that success. Children love reading about the adventures of the fairies and the talents that make each one special, and I wanted to reinforce for these kids and their parents that these books are VALID and GREAT, no matter what fairy prejudices you might have.
- It’s inclusive. In promotional text, I specifically noted that this party was “for boys and girls.” When I got questions about whether it was “just girl stuff,” I was careful to always say the party was “for children of all genders who are interested in fairies.” At the program, I talked with all of the children about the talents that each Rainbow Magic Fairy has, and asked them what their talents would be: the answers I got ranged from Gymnastics and Football to Arts & Crafts and Reading. I drew their attention to talents we all have: Listening, Being a Good Friend, Taking Care of our Pets, etc. I wanted each one of them to think about what makes them special, and it was FREAKING. PERFECT.
- And then, we danced! Librarians love dancing because it’s a perfectly fun free-form exercise that gets parents and kids moving together. I like combining physical activity with mental activity in my programs, especially for this age, K-3 grade, which is when lots of curricula and programs start sitting them down for more serious brain-work.
I’m indebted to Literary Commentary and erinisinire for their great ideas and commentary on this program, as well as to my spectacular colleagues Ms. E and Ms. S who helped me pull it all off. Librarianship is truly a collaborative field where we all support each other and make each other better. Y’all are the literal best. And I love you.