Sunday, August 11, 2013

Program: When Zombies Attack

I am a big fan of zombies - I will watch any zombie movie, read any zombie book, etc. Last summer, I helped my coworker with a teen zombie-themed program. This year, as we were starting to plan summer, we discussed holding a joint zombie program, for tweens and teens. On the calendar it went! Here's what we did!

Zombie makeup: this was the main event of the program, the piece that we really wanted to incorporate. Thankfully, our teen librarian knows someone highly skilled in theater makeup. We hired her for our program. She gave me a full-on zombie makeover before the program and I walked around the library doing a bit of promotion for the program. The makeovers during the program were not quite as extensive as mine, but the kids absolutely loved them. More than half of our attendees were transformed. On a different note, I kept my zombie makeup on and stopped by Target after work to pick up a few things. Not one person said anything to me. Interesting social experiment.

Zombie apocalypse team construction: this was inspired by a meme making the rounds on the internet, and usually featuring the main players of various fandoms (I'm thinking of Superwholock here). My colleague made a simple template with blank squares and different roles that might be necessary during the zombie apocalypse (weapons expert, brawler, medic, etc.). Then we provided small photos of various characters and celebrities that the kids could use to construct their own zombie apocalypse teams. The kids absolutely loved this, and I loved hearing them debate each other on the merits of who deserves a spot on their team. For the record, my team consisted of Ron Weasley (team leader), Bruce Willis (brawler), Rupert Giles (weapons expert), Albus Dumbledore (brains), Eric Northman (medic - healing properties of vampire blood and all), Buffy Summers (speed fighter), and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (mascot).

Zombify a doll: this is something I have really been wanting to do and am so glad we finally did it. It was a bit expensive, but I think it was really worth. We bought a large quantity of doll heads (that sounds extremely odd, but they were the busts mainly used to practice hairstyling on) and gave the kids paint. They then morphed the dolls into creepy zombies. This was another extremely popular station - even the boys who were at first hesitant about being seen near a doll ended up making over a head. Some were incredibly creepy. This would be an inexpensive Halloween craft if you could get donations of unwanted dolls.

Zombie target practice: this was a station we didn't have to worry much about. We taped up a zombie silhouette and gave the kids Nerf guns to practice their zombie killing skills. Obviously, a very popular station. We put a teen in charge of this station, mainly to make sure the kids didn't aim the guns at each other and only shot at the zombie target.

Zombie marshmallows: another Pinterest find! We gave the kids marshmallows and icing pens and had them zombify their treats before they ate them. We ran out of marshmallows about halfway through the program, so this was obviously another popular activity.

Learn to "Thriller": all right, this is the total nerd in me coming out. I really, really, really wanted to learn the dance from the "Thriller" music video, so I basically used this program as an excuse to do so. I am definitely not an expert at it (yet!), but I thought it could be a fun extra bit of the program. Only a handful of kids were willing to get up and try to dance in front of everyone, but they all thought it was pretty cool once we got started.

And that was our zombie program! Have you done a program like this with your kids?

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