I love the holiday season and it's so fun to celebrate at the library. I admit that I do struggle a little bit to find a way to balance a variety of traditions, faiths and beliefs in the public setting. A few years ago, I had some success with a "Holiday Craft Party" format. I would read a Christmas tale, a Hanukkah story and a a Kwanza book. Then I had three different crafts available and the kids could make whichever one (or ones) they chose. The first couple of years, we had great attendance but then it started dropping off & I knew I had to change the format.
So, I decided to focus on a well known holiday book instead and build my program around it. Last December, we had a Polar Express Party, with a book reading, train crafts and refreshments. We even gave out train tickets; it was a huge success! This year, I chose to build my holiday program around the meanest, cruelest, most horrible Christmas villain of all time: the Grinch!!
First, we read Dr Seuss’s classic tale How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This story always gets me in the holiday spirit and I still love to watch the animated version on tv each year. It's not exactly a short book, but the children were surprisingly still and quiet! Many of them were familiar with the story of course and I tried to make it a little bit interactive whenever I could by asking for a show of hands, letting them fill in the blanks, etc.
After the story, it was time for crafts!
Craft #1: Grinch decoration
|Grinch template (found here)|
I printed the Grinch face & hat pattern for the kids to color, cut & paste. We added cotton to the hats and red foam hearts with green glitter. As they were putting their Grinches together, I came around with:
Craft #2: Grinch Dust
We put some white sugar in a small baggie along with a drop of yellow & a drop of blue food coloring. After the baggie is sealed, you mix it with your fingers thru the bag to blend the colors into the sugar and turn it GREEN! The kids loved this! We taped our Grinch Dust poem (found here)to the bags to remind us to sprinkle the dust in our yards on Christmas Eve.
We ate green ice cream in honor of the Grinch (my favorite: Mint Chocolate Chip.) I was shocked to find out that some children do not like this flavor!! I could not have done this party without help from the amazing team of people that I work with; its definitely an “all hands on deck”, labor intensive kind of program, but the kids and parents LOVED it, so to me, it was a huge success! We had a great crowd.