It’s been about a week since we ran the Christmas party at the Carnegie Library of Homestead, and it went great!
I was asked to pull together some crafts on a bit of a last minute basis, so I dashed over to Michael’s to pick up some crafty things. Christmas cards were an easy idea, and I picked up a fair amount of cardstock and scrapbooking paper, as well as ribbon, foam sticker letters, and even some dreaded glitter glue. I divided everything in half and put it on two different tables.
I set up a third table with contact paper and tissue paper in order to make ornaments.
While I did something similar to this project from Joyfully Weary, I didn’t have the kids draw shapes and cut them out. Instead, we just cut out basic shapes (circles, triangles, squares) and stuck them on for abstract design. We put the pieces between two pieces of contact paper and then punched a hole in one side from which to string a ribbon for hanging.
There were stations for competitions like whipped cream towers (who can get it the highest), and pin the carrot nose on the snowman. We also had pizza and snacks for the kids.
I wasn’t around for the library’s Halloween party, so this was my first time. We had required sign up, but that wasn’t necessarily enforced – we have a lot of neighborhood kids that just drop in, so we left it open for them. Basically, that meant we had no idea how many would show up or how old they would be.
The first few kids came in and saw the glitter glue. They immediately set up shop at the card tables and went to town. They cut sparkly paper and made cardstock sparkly. More kids came in and saw the first group, and soon I had 30 kids around the card tables, one or two around the ornament tables – and nobody at any of the other activities. Groups attract more people, and it stayed that way the entire party. I was glad I had gotten enough supplies – we have enough to do Valentine’s Day cards or something similar later this year.
A local girl with an amazing voice (she’s going to be on The X Factor next year, I think) came and sang some songs that got the kids dancing. It was pretty awesome once they got over the “I’m too cool to dance” idea. So there were 10 year olds dancing, with glitter glue. Terror. But really, really cool to see them participating. Some kids (and even some parents!) commented on how nice it was, which was great feedback.
At the end, Santa crept in and distributed some gift books, and the kids dispersed. Overall, it was a good turnout and a lot of fun. If I had to do it again, I’d make sure the rest of the staff was at least a little familiar with what was happening at the craft table so I’m not trying to manage 3 tables and 30 kids. 30 kids with glitter glue. (Which actually wasn’t that bad.)