For my second spring break program this year, I decided to take a program I'd seen listed at a number of other libraries and have my own chocolate party for the tweens at my library. Plus, I love chocolate. As expected, it was very fun planning this program and I think the kids had a great time during the program (except for one minor snafu), so to me, this was a great success. Here's how my chocolate party went.
- When the kids came in, I gave them a chocolate word scramble, a recipe for fudge, and a blank answer sheet. The word scramble was just for them to work on while they waited for the program to start, the fudge recipe was theirs to take home and then blank answer sheet was for our first game.
- We played "Name That Candy Bar": using photos of candy bars cut in half (minus their wrappers, of course), the kids had to name as many as they could. A few kids complained that this was too hard and, admittedly, there were a couple of lesser-known candies in there (does anyone still eat Rollos?), but all in all they had fun trying to figure out what in the heck that candy bar was supposed to be. There were 12 in all; 3 kids ended up getting 8 correct (I tried to get them to pass their papers to the person next to them so they wouldn't be correcting their own, but this ended up mostly creating a confused mess of children, so I'd probably do that differently next time). I put their sheets in a bucket and draw one out to win a goodie bag (a giant Hershey's bar, two chocolate rubber ducks and a pair of chocolate bunny erasers).
- We then tested our chocolate knowledge with "Chocolate Trivia": I was a little worried that the kids wouldn't be that into this because I wasn't offering a prize for this portion. I wanted this part to be more informal, so I just had them raise their hands for which answer they thought was correct. There were some grumbles initially when I announced that there wouldn't be a prize but by the second question, they were completely into this. They actually seemed to enjoy learning some new things about chocolate, though it was hard to keep them quiet.
- Now it was time to get up for a bit and try our "Hershey Kiss Relay": if I had to pick one thing, this was probably the least successful. I thought this was a brilliant idea when I found it in another librarian's chocolate party plan: in teams, the kids had to race to unwrap Hershey's Kisses while wearing oven mitts. I split them up into 6 teams (another thing that proved to be unnecessarily confusing for them), got them to line up in front of the tables (where the Kisses were already set out for them), put on their mitts and then let them go. One team quickly pulled out in the lead, but they all struggled with it. Two boys got so frustrated that they were close to tears. I guess this game is better suited to teens (who might have an easier time laughing at themselves when they get frustrated). The winning team members each got a goodie bag with lots of Hershey's Kisses, rubber ducks and erasers.
- We sat back down and played "Chocolate Bingo": probably the easiest part of the program and the biggest hit. I gave them BINGO cards with chocolate-themed words and plain M&Ms for markers. We ended up playing two rounds and they probably would have played all day if I let them.
- The end arrived and it was time for the most important part: eating chocolate. I used white, milk, and dark chocolate chips. I portioned out spoonfuls in mini-candy liners and then passed one of each flavor out to the kids. Of course, they loved this part.
I said goodbye to them after that and asked them if they had fun; they all shouted "YES!" I felt a little bad releasing them into the library immediately after feeding them chocolate, but I think the program was a success!