May the Fourth Be With You!

Today is May the Fourth, better known as Intergalactic Star Wars Day!

Last year we did a May the Fourth program but this year I opted to skip it and focus more on SWRD in October….however…. I got a few sad queries about if we were doing May the Fourth and why not so I decided on a whim to do a pop-up program. Luckily I was working all weekend and was able to prepare and set things up before I left Sunday evening so it’d be ready Monday morning before I came in. I did a very passive program of activity sheets and a droid craft that I put out on our play tables and just left for most of the afternoon. I plan to clean it up after storytime tonight.

Here’s a peek!

droid craft full of pompoms and do-dads

droid craft full of pompoms and do-dads

craft stations

craft stations

greeting patrons in our lobby

greeting patrons in our lobby

quick and dirty book display

quick and dirty book display

reference mascot, Chapter the Raptor sporting his lightsaber

reference mascot, Chapter the Raptor, sporting his lightsaber

look at how tiny and cute it is! hahah

look at how tiny and cute it is! haha

May the Fourth be with you!

May the Fourth be with you!

Star Wars Reads Day 2014

You guys! I never posted about Star Wars Reads Day 2014!!
How did this happen?

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I feel like I’m losing nerd cred…ok, on with it.

 

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We had done May the 4th Be With You day but now it was time for Star Wars Reads Day

This day was full of Star Wars crafts, games, and lots of books. We made masks, had puzzles, screened the Star Wars the Clone Wars animated movie, and completed our Jedi training by building our very own lightsabers before posing for our glamour shots in the photobooth.

I actually “did” the program at TWO libraries because I’m magic and can be in two places at once (kidding, probably).

I planned, ordered and printed materials, booked, and coordinated both but was only at one library for the day while relying on amazing co-workers and volunteers to run the event at the other library. Star Wars Reads Day 2014 marks my 3rd year doing SWRD program and my 3rd year starting the program at a new library. I’ve started the program at 3 different libraries, one each year…to keep that trend going, it means I’ll have to find a new library to begin working at and start it there this year! (won’t happen, hah)

The day was full of awesome crafting, games, reading, and Star Wars. Here are pictures from the photobooths at each location!

http://tinyurl.com/SWRDlibrary1

http://tinyurl.com/SWRDlibrary2

Here’s me with one of my favorite costumed characters I saw all day!

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is this not adorable!?!

 

As for the activities, aside from the photobooth, One year I had a really awesome Trivia session (if you ask really nicely, I might even share the powerpoint I made)

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I’ve also stuck with the classic DIY lightsabers craft which you can find a variety of different ways of doing. I personally found that some basic posterboard and craft tubes work best. Here are the links to the printable hilts and a link to the posterboard I used which is inexpensive and worked perfectly!

Lightsaber Hilt from Disney
Discount Poster Board

I’ve also had a Star Wars Character Mask station each year with very basic printouts out cardstock which only require that the kids cut them out, punch the holes and tie them on. Easy peasy and super popular.
Excellent Printable Star Wars Masks from GeekMom Mashup
(love her site!)

I’ve also found the “Droid Creation Station” to be a big hit. Basically, I gathered various cardboard supplies (think trash lab programs) and supplemented them with a plethora of shiny, sparkly, do-dads and let kids go wild in our craft room and build their own droid, just like Anakin!

buy all the shiny crafts!

buy all the shiny crafts!

I’ve also had games that range from very basic lo-tech like the “force relay race” game that we did using our red and green (perfect colors for jedi and sith!) wooden rhythm sticks to keep our storytime scarves afloat as they walk up and down a line as fast as possible or our Deathstar beanbag toss game to a much more hi-tech game using Speros (spheroes?) to play our “Drive a Droid” station where kids or staff create an obstacle course that they then have to navigate a droid (sphero) through.

I made two versions of the Deathstar Beanbag toss game. The first one was very last minute and kinda crummy, the second one (next year) was way better since I planned ahead.

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here’s the first one I made that was only cardboard so the force was not very strong with this one. The paint came out pretty great though so I may try to mount it to some wood for strength.

The second version I made out of wood with the help of my boss who did all the woodworking for me. (yay, boss!)

 

Random Star Wars crafty things. This page has a great collection of crafts, games, and printables. Many of the crafts are things I’ve considered for events but couldn’t manage for our large crowds of 200-300, maybe I’ll use them for a smaller event, or they would work great for smaller libraries.

For most of the crafts / activities I’ve done, I’ve tried to make them relatively simple so that people can drop in and work at their own pace and not have to worry about what time they get there or how busy it is. For example, one of the stations I put together was a writing station. this isn’t just any writing station though, it’s writing in Aurebesh which is “a writing system commonly used to represent the Basic language” Kids could write their name, a secret note, a whole story if they wanted! This might seem silly or just fun, but it also encourages literacy and creative writing skills.

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I’ve always gotten excellent feedback about these programs. I love not only seeing the kids dress up and geek out, but their parents and even older kids do as well which I think makes it even cooler for the little kids to be able to see that. The event itself is awesome in so many ways but I just love that they have such a recognizable and well loved franchise that pairs up SO well with reading! there are Star Wars books GALORE! And have you seen Wookieepedia?!  And these are not just books, these are graphic novels, Omnibus collections, phonics learning tools, chapter books for kids, early literacy readers, and even picture books. There is literally a Star Wars book out there for any kind of reader. Or if you’re an super-nerd, like me, sometimes you get so into a book or character that you then have to go read up on their entire history and other character relations and back stories on their wiki page which can take HOURS. ok, this analogy might be a bit…brash, but talk about a gateway drug, these books have the ability to not only get kids hooked, but they are so many formats and option our there that before they know it, kids (or reluctant adult readers) will soon find themselves perusing other sci-fi books or mysteries, or even, (GASP) non-fiction! Science of Star Wars anybody?

Check out my May the Fourth post to read more about our Star Wars programs and to see some pictures.

I’m REALLY hoping that we secure a visit from the 501st for this Star Wars Reads Day at one or both of my libraries because it makes it just that much more amazing.

This coming year I plan to keep the old standbys of DIY lightsaber, and the print out masks, but I’d like to change the event up a bit as well, maybe instead of a photobooth we make a mural wall for photo ops? Maybe make your own Star Wars graphic novel with pre-drawn scenes that just need words in the word bubbles? Who knows!? I’ve got a bunch of ideas a brewin’ and I can’t wait!

DIY Lightsabers are excellent for protecting against cupcake thieves.

DIY Lightsabers are excellent for protecting against cupcake thieves.