Monday, October 08, 2012

Angry Birds Live!

My first thought when I heard "Angry Birds Live"
"The video game you know and love is coming to your library. Birds, pigs-- larger than Life! Build a level, knock down a level, and earn achievements!  Spend your Friday out of school with this fun free program."

Does that sound like I've ever played Angry Birds before? I don't even know. But I haven't anyway. No smartphone+a particular aversion to the laws of physics=not interested.

BUT, That didn't stop me from putting on a quality program, loosely based on this post by Future Librarian Superhero, who I refer to by her Twitter name in everyday conversation.

Here was the deal:
1. The kids had to build and knock down(with ping pong balls) cardboard scenes, alone or in groups.
2. The first scene was one level tall, the next was 2 levels tall, etc until they got to five.
3. Every time they successfully built and knocked down a scene, they got a new sticker for their scorecard, which was called "unlocking an achievement".
4. When they collected all five stickers, they could continue to face any challenges they wanted.

The stickers were pictures of various types of Angry Birds from the Internet, printed on mailing labels (2 per label). The scorecard was a piece of paper with a picture of an Angy Bird on it.
A younger player tries to steady his 4-level scene.

 In the above picture you can kind of see the scorecard next to this avid Angry Birds fan. He didn't come up and collect his stickers every time, which was fine; I just made sure he left with a full card because it didn't detract from his or anyone else's enjoyment or safety. No School Day: Instructions are good. Rules? Bad.

Members of the local Boys and Girls club make the tallest levels they can.

A happy fan with a scorecard on his head.
A brother-sister team use extra ping-pong balls as pigs
An awesome teen volunteer hands out achievements

 I ended up with 40 kids throughout the day, ages 4-13. I ran one 45-minute program at our south branch, and another at the main library. I played a CD by Dino 5, a group of hip-hop artists who collaborated to make an album for kids. I found out about them from this post by Magpie Librarian, another tweep whose name I also know but who I instead refer to by her Twitter handle in every day conversation.

Since I had no idea what I was talking about, I was afraid the kids wouldn't like it-- but they loved it! A kid from the Boys and Girls club even remarked, "This was the best field trip ever!"

EVER, folks.
So there.


  1. I love this idea! The kids at both my school and public libraries have talked about Angry Birds a lot and I still have never played the game. I guess it's never to late to check out the app. What supplies did you use? I noticed the ping pong balls, toilet paper rolls, and cardboard pieces, as well as the score cards and stickers. Was anything else used?

  2. Hi Miss Andrews! Nope, that was literally it! Easy, quick, fun program huh? If I were to do this again I would have something to specifically represent the pigs, which the kids would build in and then aim at those to knock down the levels.

    ...Not that the kids missed them at ALL!, but it would add to the Angry Birds Canon.
    Hope this helps!

  3. Hmmm...maybe some bright green pom pom balls? That's the cheapest thing I can think of to represent the pigs. Thanks for sharing your program ideas! Can't wait to try them!

  4. Sure! Those would be PERFECT, seeing as though I know at least my children's room has a stock of them being unused. Or the holders in egg cartons? I've seen other programs that focused more on crafting the angry birds sets (you can find a lot of these on Pinterest) but I wanted to just get to the meat of it, and good thing because all these kids wanted to do was knock stuff down!

  5. I was hoping to do an Angry Birds program and this post was just what I needed for inspiration. Thanks! I have two questions for you -- How did the children use the ping pong balls to knock down the towers (throwing, catapulting, other)? -- Did you create the challenge level or did the children come up with their own? Thanks again!

  6. Thanks for reading, Kendra! They just threw them. I came up with the challenge levels as far as "how high" to get their achievements, but after that they were on their own.

    If you do one, and wouldn't mind writing up your version as a guest post for my "Librarians Don't Play" series, please email me at brycesa1 at gmail dot com!

  7. Thanks for your additional ideas. I'll be running the program during March Break ... so I'll think about doing a post.