Ahh, I know, I've been slacking on my program recap posts, as evidenced by the fact that I still haven't finished writing up all my summer programs and it's now halfway through October. Regardless, here we are, once again recapping a hugely popular summer program.
This program grew out of one we held during spring break based on Angry Birds. That program was geared toward a younger audience and on a smaller scale. For the summer, the teen librarian and I joined forces to hold a tween/teen program on a much larger scale. We had a feeling it would be well attended as we promoted it as an Angry Birds and Minecraft-themed program and we weren't wrong. Here's what we did!
Live action Angry Birds: a scaled-down version of this had been a part of the earlier program but we knew for this program and with this audience we wanted to really go big. We held this part of the program outside in our courtyard and used leftover cardboard boxes for the kids to create their own landscapes. We had decorated big bouncy balls to look like piggies and birds and the kids took turns being on Team Piggy or Team Angry Bird. Team Piggy constructed their scene and tried to secure the safety of the pigs, while Team Angry Bird tried to knock down those piggies. The kids had a lot of fun with this and took turns well, though I was surprised by how many kids wanted to keep building on Team Piggy. I think what they liked most was seeing what kind of structure they could build and how well it would stand up to an assault (obviously, an idea for a future science program!).
Minecraft helmets: my colleague had managed to acquire some square boxes that were the perfect size for making a giant Minecraft block to wear as a helmet. She took the time before the program to grid the entire box so kids could color block by block (meant to represent pixels, of course). We didn't have nearly enough of these - they were the first thing to go and some kids spent the entire program dutifully creating their Minecraft helmet. One kid turned hers into SpongeBob.
Pixel art: we provided graphing paper and colored pencils for kids to make art in the pixelated style that is signature to Minecraft. We also provided M&Ms in case kids wanted to create some pixel art that way, but they mostly just ate the candy.
Minecraft block magnets: we bought little wooden blocks and strips of magnet for kids to create their own Minecraft-inspired magnets. These were probably the least popular thing at the program.
We also had a snack table inspired by one we'd discovered on Pinterest with various foods representing things you need in Minecraft like TNT and sticks (licorice and pretzels). If I'm being completely honest, I knew very little about Minecraft before the program and I still don't know terribly much afterwards. I think what the kids really would like is a program where they can come and play Minecraft together in the library; unfortunately, we're not set up for something like that. They seemed to enjoy what we had, even though I don't think it was exactly what they were looking for.
Any tips on what you would do at a video game-themed program?