Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Superhero PK-2 Party

I contend this is blurry due to superhero-ness.
The second Monday of every month is Monday Funday at one of our branches, where we provide a special evening program for elementary-age kids. Since this was the same type of program as the PJ Puzzles Storytime, I ended up planning for ages 3-8; but, of course, I could have differentiated if the group turned out (SURPRISE) a little older. I'll share those with you below, as well, with the caution that these are based on quick changes that have worked in the past and not tested day-of (actually, now that I started writing, I did do some day-of; details below).

As pictured, left, I dressed up as Captain America for the occasion, a plus of a household that has a few of those cosplay hoodies used as everyday clothing lying around.It was actually pretty cool: some kids brought costumes but were unsure if they should wear them to the party, but the second they saw me they were racing out to the car to change (or having their parents do that, because it was the first super-cold night of the season) (I KNOW. Pretend I'm writing this in November when this program took place).

Here's how it went down:

1. Read Charlie's Superhero Underpants and The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man: These are both books that are a little long for under-5s but they're both pretty funny for most ages, especially since the latter has some tongue-in-cheek humor about superhero tropes. Because my group DID skew younger: I read Charlie, then played a quick game of "Captain America Says" (which is clearly based on Librarian Says, which is based on Simon Says, and by "based on" I mean "exactly the same as"). I had everyone sit down took a super-official-eyes-closed-no-xray-vision allowed vote: read one more book, or do Superhero stations first? Having just reset their brains and wiggles with a self-regulation activity, they chose the book.

2. Superhero Stations: If the group had skewed older, I would have ask them to help me when explaining each station, so they could show off their superhero knowledge: Who is this? Why do you think we're doing this activity at this station? Etc and let them geek out.
-Nick Fury's Avengers Find: Room hunts are a big hit at our library. A natural fit for this party was how in every single movie Nick Fury has to go around and find the Avengers. You might think, "Bryce, come on, a three year old hasn't seen any of the Avengers franchise." I would respond that you might think so, but every kid there could recognize and name every picture of a live-action Avenger. Sometimes that happens.

-Batman's Bad-Guy Smackdown: This "bowling for bad-guys" is one of my go-to-stations, and this time its inclusion was inspired by Kimberly's Superhero Training Academy at ALSC blog. (Check out more of her amazing programming at http://literarylibrariankim.blogspot.com/). All it takes is a ball (I like to use the small beach ball/soft playground balls that show up in stores for a dollar in the summer), six or so empty soda bottles, and pictures of bad guys. A word to the wise for the upcoming summer programs, especially: it's completely possible to know your stuff about superheroes and still sound like you're an old person who doesn't know what they're talking about. In that spirit, I took to the Batman: Brave and the Bold wiki to figure what villains the kids might know today (there's another Batman cartoon on now, but it's on Adult Swim, and this is one is on DVD in its entirety, so I figured it was a good bet) AND what they look like.
Spidey setting up the Smackdown for the next hero
-Groot's Rescue Mission: Again inspired by Kimberly, the Astro-Pigs made a comeback to be rescued by Groot, whose arms look suspiciously like those robot claws we have! And don't worry that little kids don't know who Groot is; for them, he was the only good part of Guardians of the Galaxy.


If the group had decided to not read the book earlier, we would have wrapped up the evening with Awesome Man. But it was super cold and dark, so as soon as the kids were done (they could do each station as many times as they wanted), they were free to hang out or go home.

And now, because you know it's in your head too:


  1. Thanks for the shout-out! Your Nick Fury scavenger hunt sounds awesome. :)


  2. thanks for such an inspiring post!!!