Sunday, August 25, 2013

Program: Superheroes

To coincide with the release of the new Superman movie (and also just because who doesn't love superheroes?), the teen librarian and I planned a joint program to celebrate all things superheroic. Here's what we did!

Make your own mask: pretty much exactly what it sounds like. We ordered a variety color pack of masks from Oriental Trading and gave the kids markers, stickers, and foam to decorate as they pleased. They got pretty creative with this.

Superhero bookmarks: like so many recent crafts, this was inspired by Pinterest. We provided popsicle (or craft) sticks and Sharpies for the attendees to transform into superheroes. I made a Spider-Man as an example; my coworker made a Riddler.

Hero registration forms: another Pinterest find. This was simply a downloaded printable form that the kids could fill out. They decided what their superhero identity would be, as well as their special skills. We did alter the original a bit, as it included some special skills that we didn't think would be relevant to our attendees. I think this was probably the least popular station of the program, which I find a bit surprising.

Origin story station: this was a combination of yet another Pinterest find and my colleague's own imagination. We found another free printable of superheroes and their powers, intended to be printed and pasted on to craft sticks, which the kids could then pick out of a jar. To make it more interesting, we had our attendees pull one from the jar and then tell me their origin story, i.e. how they got the powers listed on their draw. If they completed this task, they received a superhero lollipop. Some of the kids had a more difficult time with this than others, of course, but I think everyone gave it a shot (and everyone got a lollipop). I had fun listening to them!

Superhero snack bar: all right, I promise not everything we do comes from Pinterest, but there are a lot of great ideas on there! This was actually inspired by someone's wedding - a cereal bar with superhero labels! We had Rings of Power, Mr. Freeze Frosty Flakes, Captain America Crunch, and more. Obviously, the kids love it when we feed them, so this was definitely a hit.

Trivia: after the first 45 minutes or so of craft time, we all focused and played trivia. I'm not sure the kids who attended the program were the exact right audience for the difficulty of our trivia. We did have a couple kids who knew nearly all the answers, but most kids could only get the easier questions correct. I think they all had fun learning some new information, though.

After we finished up the trivia, the program came to a close. It wasn't our best attended program and we had certainly prepared for a lot more people, but I think the kids who came had a good time. It might be better to focus on one superhero at a time, but maybe that would narrow the focus too much. Has anyone had a great success with superhero programs for upper elementary kids or teens? I'd love to hear ideas!

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