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Teen Program Ideas Joanna Axelrod Youth Services Librarian II

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1 Teen Program Ideas Joanna Axelrod Youth Services Librarian II
Escondido Public Library @txtinglibrarian Jennifer Lawson Program Services Librarian II San Diego County Library

2 Creatures of the Night Party
Lock-in or limited # of hours Zombies, Werewolves, Vampires, Oh My! Look for after-Halloween sales for décor and game components When I heard that this year’s theme was “night”, I immediately thought of creatures of the night – not sparkly vampires which have had their time in the spotlight, but zombies and werewolves! Zombies are HOT right now! Actually, they’re cold and dead but in terms of popularity they’re IN in a big way! Tons of great books have been published recently (which I’ll get to later) and you can hardly watch the t.v., a movie, or play a video game without seeing zombies. An interesting article on argues that zombies have the potential to be a $5 billion business. So what better way to either kick-off or wrap-up your summer reading fun than with a Creatures of the Night Party! It’s hard to quantify how much an event like this would cost because there are so many variables. It can be as long or as short as you want, but obviously the longer it is the more activities you have to include which will increase your costs. Jennifer is going to talk more about a multi-library lock-in event later in the workshop, and I think this would be a great way to participate in that event. Who wouldn’t want to get locked in the library with a bunch of werewolves and zombies?!? When I was creating this presentation it was right before Halloween so the stores were filled with perfect items for this. Now we can hit up the after-Halloween sales and get some great deals.

3 Creatures… Active Games
I would recommend incorporating a few active activities and a few passive activities depending on how long your party lasts, but first and foremost encourage your teens to come dressed up. It just helps set the mood that much more, and you won’t need as much décor if your teens are all dressed up. If you think your teens won’t dress up, you could provide a Make-up station – you’ll need disposable makeup sponge wedges and eye shadow applicators; makeup base in green, white, black, etc; dark eye shadow, disposable makeup remover wipes, and mirrors. Much of this can be purchased at the $0.99 store. You could also go to Goodwill or another resale place and get old clothes to tear up for zombie wear. For werewolves, you could buy some cheap fake fur and let the teens make their own ears and paint on whiskers. Then have a “Costume Contest” or just a runway show. Once they’re all dressed it’s time to play some zombie games! These active games can be really inexpensive because they don’t require much more than the teens “Zombie Tag” – Just like normal tag but with a zombie twist (rules available separately courtesy of Melissa Delaney from Tippecanoe County Public Library). This game really only works during a lock-in when your group are the only ones in the library since they need space to move around. Teens love nothing more than being able to break the rules by running in the library. One librarian I spoke with even let her teens take off their shoes! If you’re going to play this game you need to set up some ground rules such as the bathroom is off limits but you can’t barricade yourself in there and you can’t go behind closed doors or areas barricaded off. Be sure to review these rules with your teens before you start. “Zombie Relay” – Zombie bag of parts Party City $9.99 Divide teens into relay teams. Each team member will draw a card of how to complete relay. Possible card directions – no legs, one leg, no eyes, no arms (have to carry body part with chin). Group leaders will look at cards and help kids figure out what they need to do and put blind-fold on whoever draws “no eyes.” The deck has multiple of the same card so that team members could potentially have the same card. Each team member must carry the arm across the room and back and hand off to next team member. Value: (based on time for all members to complete race) 1 minute and below—5 pts.; 1:01-1:30—4 pts.; 1:31-2: pts.; 2:01-2:30 –2 pts.; 2:31 and longer – 1 pt. “Shadow Charades” – Use the book “Shadow Art: How to have fun in the dark” to have a game of shadow charades. I got the book on clearance at B&N for $8. The only other thing you need is a really dark space and a strong flashlight or spotlight.

4 Creatures…Passive Games
There are tons of great passive games that you can just set out and let the teens participate in throughout the event. “Zombigami” - $4.51 also “Monstergami” by same author “Zombie Fluxx Cards” - $15.99   “Zombie Dice”- $ You can play this on the iPad as well with the free app "Pin the Part on the Zombie" – either draw or buy a life-size zombie and a set of internal organs. Blindfold teens and have them take turns pinning the parts on the zombie. The one pictured here (bottom left corner) is a 72 in jointed cutout from Party City for $7.99 “Zombie Target Practice” – Make a zombie and laminate it (or what I did was purchased a zombie cut out from Party City and laminated that) and then let your teens at it with a nerf dart gun. $12.99 for 2 Amazon $6.84 (16 darts) $9.99 (36 darts) I’m going to reuse these guns for my Hunger Games movie release party in March Zombie/Werewolf Challenge, Elevator -- Is the teen volunteer a Zombie or a Werewolf in the Elevator? If you guess correctly, you may win 5 points. If you’re incorrect, you lose 5 points. Each team must do this at least once, but can play up to three times. (We had a volunteer stationed in the elevator with a zombie and werewolf mask. Teams had to guess which one he would be when the door opened). Zombie Apocalypse Survival Box Challenge– Items spread out on the table around box. Teams must decide the seven best items to put in their box. When they assemble the box, check your item list and point values to determine how many points they get. The list of items and their point value are available on the handout.

5 Creatures…Passive Games Cont.
“Werewolves mafia game” – available on Amazon for between $10 - $20 There’s a free printable werewolf mafia game available at with instructions at “Werewolf Name Generator” – You could set up a laptop and allow teens to enter their names to generate their own werewolf name. Mine is “Jana Lowell” These passive games require an initial investment, but many can be reused for other programs or put out in the teen area to be played while waiting for computer time. Any of these activities can also be incentivized if you have money for prizes or they can just do them for fun.

6 Werewolf “puppy” chow (served in dog bowls)
Creatures…Food Creepy Treats Severed toes with or without bandages Brains from icing Brain from candy mold Werewolves Werewolf Claws Werewolf “puppy” chow (served in dog bowls) It wouldn’t be a party without food and there are some adorable ideas out there for creating deliciously creepy delights! Brain Cupcakes – you can either buy pre-made mini cupcakes or make these from scratch out of red velvet cake mix by following the directions and then ice them using a piping bag in a brainy design or you can buy a brain candy mold and some chocolate and then attach the chocolate pieces with icing. - $3.69 Candy chocolate is $4.29/lb which will yield 64 brains Instructions for candy mold brains: Werewolf cupcakes Werewofl Claw Pretzel Mold - $1.99 at Michaels Severed Toes in Bandages – pigs in a blanket with a twist Or without bandages Werewolf “Puppy” Chow - I make this at Christmas time and call it “reindeer chow” but no matter what you call it it’s delicious and serving it in dog bowl is a nice werewolf-y touch. If your library doesn’t allow homemade food to be served, you might be able to work with a local caterer to either donate their time if you provide the supplies or at least cut a deal on the cost.

7 Creatures…Other Stuff
Giveaways Decor Werewolf Sucker Masks - $2.99 Halloween Party Favors - < $3 Undead Mad Libs - $3.99 Prizes: Zombie stuff - Werewolf Sucker Masks – Oriental Trading $2.99 ea. Undead Mad Libs – Barnes & Noble $3.99 Show Michaels Halloween party favors ($ $1.99) Make your own werewolf suckers $2.99 for mold (not pictured) Gummy body parts - $15.99 for 100 pcs and it even comes in a coffin shaped box! Walking Dead zombie action figures – available online and at B&N I want to remind you as well to ask for the educator discount at places like Michaels, Jo Ann fabrics, Party City, Barnes & Noble, etc. You can save 15%-20% on top of other discounts. Décor: Halloween Fright Tape - $2.99 Party City Caution Sign - $0.99 Party City Danger Zombies - $0.99 Party City Scene Setters – range in price from $ $19.99 and serve as a great photo background I would also suggest asking coworkers and friends if they have Halloween decorations you could just borrow. Dismember me zombie doll - $9.99 Gummy body parts - $16 for 100

8 Thriller Flash Mob! As I mentioned earlier in the Outreach section, a flash mob could be a really effective way to promote your summer reading club and if you’re going to do a Creatures of the Night party either for a kick-off or a Wrap-Up, what better way to promote it than to do an homage to Michael Jackson’s Thriller? The moves are pretty well-known and not that complicated and you could work with some high school cheerleaders or dance teams. It would definitely get teens’ attention in a memorable way.

9 Great Resources…
Karen Jenson, author of the Teen Librarian’s Toolbox blog has a wonderful post on “What’s the deal with zombies” that provides a great justification if you, like me, have vocal parents who tend to object to things like vampires and Harry Potter. She also makes freely available her wonderful posters on all sorts of topics so I highly recommend checking her website out. Another great source for ideas are the YALSA listservs [ya-yaac] and [yalsa-bk]. Many of the ideas presented here were compiled with permission from librarians across the US who post to these listservs.

10 Staci Terrell’s Own the Night Wiki
Great Resources… One of those listserv regulars is Staci Terrell, Teen Services Librarian at Anderson Public Library, who created a wiki to share her wonderful Summer Reading 2012 “Own the Night” ideas. Staci Terrell’s Own the Night Wiki

11 Book Club Zombie Titles Werewolf Titles
Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris The Dead and The Enemy by Charles Higson Dust and Decay & Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Mayberry Forest of Hands and Teeth series by Carrie Ryan The Fury by Alexander Gordon Smith Generation Dead by Dan Walters I Kissed a Zombie & I Liked It World War Z by Max Brooks Zombie Chasers by John Kloepfer Zombie Blondes by Brian James Zombies v. Unicorns by Holly Black Z by Michael Thomas Form The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group by Catherine Jinks 13 to Life series by Shannon Delaney Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith Blood Beast by Darren Shan Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson Dead is Just a Rumor by Marlene Perez Fateful by Claudia Gray The Frenzy by Francesca Lia Block Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride Nightshade by Andrea Cremer Red Riding Hood by Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce Strange Angels series by Lili St. Crow Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer I mentioned before that zombies and werewolves are hot topics in YA publishing right now and this is just a short list of some of the titles. If the Creatures of the Night party is too rich for your blood (no pun intended) or too much of an undertaking, you could pare it down and simply incorporate some of the ideas into a teen book club. In addition to discussing the book at my teen book club, I also always provide a snack related to the book and we do a related activity so we could easily incorporate one of those passive games and some cupcakes. You could even incorporate a Skype visit with one of these authors into either your regular book club or your Creatures of the Night party. We Skyped with Alexander Gordon Smith, author of the Escape from Furnace series and the soon-to-be released series The Fury which is about zombies. He’s British, so amazingly accessible and engaging, and he does these things for free. The Escape series was so awesome that I can’t wait to read The Fury and your teens will be that excited as well! All of his contact info is available on his website and if you tell him that I sent you there he’ll probably hook you up with something cool for your teens!

12 Astronomy Program Astronomy Clubs across CA Switching gears now…Another obvious way to interpret the “Own the Night” theme is to host an astronomy event with an expert. The challenge we face in doing this over the summer is that it doesn’t get dark until pretty late at night which can make actual stargazing difficult. There’s a website that aggregates all of the astronomy clubs throughout CA which is how I found the San Diego Astronomy Association. From their website I was able to contact a man who teaches a workshop on building your own telescope which I think could be a very cool program for teens. Even if you can’t fashion a program out of your local astronomy club, you might be able to get some great displays and from those great marketing for your other program. The man I spoke with has a collection of telescopes that he’s willing to let us borrow and display, and I know that’s going to generate lots of buzz and interest in our astronomy program. There’s a new performer we just found named Kevin Manning who is an astrophysicist out of NY. He charges $350 and will cover his own travel expenses if he can book multiple events while he’s out here. I spoke with several of his references and they all said he was engaging, knowledgeable, professional, and passionate and that’s exactly what you want in an astrophysicist! The benefit to booking someone like him is that he has experience working with schools and libraries and therefore we can assume that his presentations aren’t in NASA-speak. One of my coworkers has a 2-degree connection to a retired NASA astrophysicist who I’m sure is brilliant and is having a documentary filmed on his theory of black holes, but he may not be able to translate his knowledge to a group of teenagers. Kevin offers more than 13 different educational programs ranging from building a telescope to identifying constellations to the Great 2012 Scare: Fact v. Fantasy. Kevin Manning, Astrophysicist P.O. Box 527 Bellport, NY 11713 Full Spectrum Portable Astronomy Dome These programs can be more costly but require very little work on the part of the librarians. Kevin Manning, Astrophysicist 13 programs to choose from $350 – no travel expenses with block booking

13 Glow-in-the-Dark Scavenger Hunt
Cost = $40 for 20 teens

14 Night-Time Ninja Challenge
Bravery Posture Acuteness Patience Composure Agility Strength Endurance Cost = FREE & up Depends on what activities you use and what supplies you can find around your library and home.

15 Camping Party Cost = $15 (S’mores)

16 Jeopardy – Night Edition
Famous Sleepers Shadow Animals Night Sky Nocturnal Animals It Glows Astrological Signs Cost = FREE & up (prizes)

17 Insomniac Cafe Cost = varies depending on recipes you choose.
Midnight Snacks! Cost = varies depending on recipes you choose.

18 Glow-in-the-Dark Shrinky Dinks
Cost = $40 for 20 teens

19 Planet Mobile Cost = $5 (glow paint)

20 Glow-in-the-Dark Bracelet
Cost = $11 for 20 teens

21 Lanterns OR Cost = $20-30 for 20 teens

22 Cost = FREE & up (prizes)
Star Chart (Passive) Cost = FREE & up (prizes)

23 Fake Neon Sign Cost = $30 for 20 teens

24 Youth Services Librarian II Escondido Public Library
Joanna Axelrod Youth Services Librarian II Escondido Public Library @txtinglibrarian Jennifer Lawson Program Services Librarian II San Diego County Library The California Summer Reading Program is a project of the California Library Association, supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.

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