A Percy Jackson Party

Believe it or not.. Percy Jackson is still very popular. With the release of the new series a few years back, it has gained a whole new generation of fans. Our teen advisory board requested another event that focused on the original series and the new series. The program also had to have a quest otherwise it wasn’t legit!

Instead of releasing the beasts teens into the library to complete the quest, I kept them in two of our conference rooms. We did not do registration for this event so I had no idea how many would show up. I tend to either have a crowd of 1-2 or 20. There is no middle ground! I figured that I could do activities that might be a bit louder in a room versus the sanctuary of the library. In the end we still were too loud! More on that later…

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Every Party needs a fab pair of Shwings! I wore these to honor the god Zeus. Last year we found a bunch on clearance for only a dollar and I gave them away as prizes. There are patterns online to make your own out of felt. The expense would have been too much for our party so maybe next time!

The Quest– (feel free to steal the clues)

I used several resources for this activity. Most came from birthday party ideas on pinterest. Have you guys seen some of these parties?! They are insanely awesome. They make my parties at the skating rink look a bit lame. I used the following blogs to help create the clues for the quest:

 

A few of the clues required fighting with pool noodles, darts, and sticks for whacking pinatas. I tweaked these because of space and the possibility of injury. The clues I wrote were printed out and rolled up like little scrolls. The kids had to complete each task to get a clue so they could move on. I also had a point system using marbles (pearls). The first to complete a task got 3 marbles, 2 for second place, and one for everyone else. We added up the pearls at the end and passed out prizes accordingly.

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Clue #1- 

Zeus is master of them all

He is really big not small

His bolt is gone you see,

Hero ‘s it is up to thee

To find his bolt & bring

it back

Please be careful & don’t

Get attacked

1st you must look the part

These feats will be for the mighty

In heart

Togas are cool but must not fall

Wrap your partner to win it all

 

You have 2 mins to make your partner a toga that does not fall down.

 Winners get a pearl

Since we ended up with only 3 kids in attendance, I had them complete the quest by themselves. The girl used streamers to make her toga and the boys chose toilet paper. This activity works great with a team. It was really hard for them to do this without help but they seemed to have fun trying!

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Clue #2- 

Hydras are such wicked beasts

On brave heroes they love to feast

Place the candy on your head

To help you from this evil dread.

Your hands are trapped you cannot move

Eat the candy or you are doomed

 

Place the candy on your forehead.  

The first one to get it in their mouth wins a pearl.

You can not use your hands, if candy drops you may pick it up and start again

This was hilarious to watch! They had to wiggle their faces to get the candy in their mouths. I used starbursts and wrapped lifesavers.

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Clue #3-

There’s  much to fear in Hades’ home

For in his kingdom the dead do roam

Descend, descend to darkest black

And if you survive a pearl to bring back

 

            You must cross the river Styx but first you must flip a gold coin

into the cauldron as a payment to Charon to cross.

On the other side the next feat will be hidden.

Find the scroll and find a pearl.

I built Hades out of blankets and foam blocks. It basically is a blanket fort. I had some eyeball lights from Halloween to string across the front to make it a bit creepy. The “river” was some water bulletin board paper from a previous display. I found a giant cauldron and some plastic gold coins they could use to pay the toll. I hid the scrolls in the “hades cave” along with a few pearls. Instead of tossing the coins they had to flip them in. It made it a bit harder.

Clue #4– ( I did not get a picture of this one.)

Ares is the god of war

He loves to fight

And not much more

He’s hidden a clue in orbs of gold

To find them out, you must be bold

So grab an orb

And pop them well

Within the orbs a clue may tell

I put the clues in yellow and orange balloons. They had to pop them to retrieve the clue. I had more balloon than clues and this activity got very noisy! We ended up with some complaints because apparently popping balloons sound like gunshots… sigh… Just be aware if you do this in a quiet area!

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Clue #5- 

At the casino time will fly

To stay on task you must try,

a game of chance so roll a pair

and win the pearl if you dare

This task was not my favorite. It was really easy and didn’t require much skill other than rolling dice. If I did this again I would have them fold a paper lotus and roll the die. Or I would use giant die. Or skip this one completely!

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Clue #6-

The time has come to finish this quest

but you cannot stray and you cannot rest

Your next feat can see your demise

If Medusa freezes you that won’t be nice

To slay her dead grab a snake

be thankful that these are fake

When the deed is done the last clue will be found

not in the air but on the ground

I made a pull pinata for this task. See this idea: Pull Pinata directions This is so much better than handing teens sticks and having them beat it down.  Plus it adds an element of chance. They really liked this one and I plan to do it again in future programs. I filled it with candy and clues.

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Clue #7- 

Zeus’ bolt is safe at last

Hurry heroes hurry fast

Back to camp to celebrate

Hurry now the Gods won’t wait

Count your pearls to finalize your fate!

The teens went back to another room for snacks and prizes. The publishers had sent a party pack to us a few years ago so I had some posters, bookmarks, and buttons. I also had some books in my prize closet that fit with the theme. Everyone went home with something.

Activities and Crafts-

I cut out cardboard circles and they made shields. Two them used extra cardboard for swords. I also had some printables from the Percy Jackson movies site.

Food- 

All the food was blue in honor of the books. I had blue cupcakes, blue candy, and blue jello with whipped cream. I also had some blue lemonade that did not go over well. They told me it looked like blue toilet water.

Final thoughts- 

For a party that only brought in 3 teens I thought it went rather well. They were pretty excitable and very loud! I thought it was awesome.. some of our older patrons did not. The quest only took about 15 mins to complete. I think it would have lasted longer if they were in teams and more kids had shown up. Next time I think I will have registration because I had a lot of food leftover and spent a bit too much on it for the amount of kids that came. However, the circulation staff was thrilled with the leftovers!

This program drew the tween crowd instead of teens. Which was fine due to the nature of the activities. I doubt I will do this one again because it really was geared for a younger crowd.

 

 

Science in the library- Pinterest Boards

One of my fellow librarians suggested that I share my “Science in the library” board from Pinterest. The theme for this years summer reading program is: Fizz, Boom, Read! Since December I have pinned quiet a few ideas for creating fun science programs in your library. Feel free to follow and share these great ideas from bloggers and librarians all over the US.

http://www.pinterest.com/msval313/science-in-the-library-fizz-boom-read/

Got another board that you think I should check out? Post the link in the comments below.

DIY- Superhero Bookmarks


As a Children’s Librarian I often find really icky things in my students books. (The worst was the used band-aid of 2011) I won’t even mention the really gross things that my public librarian friends have come across. I try to find fun bookmarks that my students will actually use. I came across the idea for craft stick bookmarks on Pinterest and had to pass the idea along. If you have kids, work with kids or are just a big kid at heart; these are super cute!!

The original pattern and idea comes from Amanda Formano on her blog “Crafts by Amanda”.  I used her patterns for the Iron man and Hulk sticks. Green Lantern and Wonder Woman are my own creations. See the original post here: Avengers Bookmarks

What you need:

  • Jumbo craft sticks-  (trust me the really skinny ones are hard to paint)
  • Acrylic paints-  I used green, purple, black, white shimmer, blue, gold, yellow, brown, clear glitter paint and red. I also mixed colors together to get the right shade.
  • Detail paint brushes
  • Modge Podge or Acrylic sealer
  • Pencil and pen

**Click on the photos to see more detail** 

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Step 1– Select your sticks. Make sure the edges don’t have broken spots and the wood  is mostly clear. This makes for easier painting later on! Sketch out your design in  pencil on the stick. Here is  my design for Wonder Woman and Iron Man.

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Step 2– Start adding the paint! I used really skinny brushes to get the detail of her  costume. Instead of painting stars on her skirt I used dots and glitter paint to make  her more girly! Let the top dry and continue the pattern on the back or paint with a  solid color. I decided to use a solid color for the backs of my sticks and just paint the  fronts. Let them dry for several hours before adding all the details.

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Step 3– Use a ball point pen to add the tiny details like the eyes and the outlines of  each piece of the costume. My hulk muscles are kinda crazy! He has a very tiny 6  pack! Make sure it’s a pen that will not smear when you add your sealer. I found that  using a pen was a lot easier than paint and more forgiving.

Step 4– Follow the directions on your sealer and use a good brush to paint it on. Look for one with soft neat bristles or you will have lines. Let dry between coats and seal one side at a time. My sealer made my detail on Green lantern run a tiny bit. It’s not that noticeable but still annoying!!

Once everything is dry you have a set of super fun bookmarks for your little guys or yourself. Trust me your librarian will be very happy that you are not using band-aids! Wonder Woman is one of the coolest things I have painted this summer. She just rocks my geeky socks off! Please feel free to use my Green lantern and Wonder Woman ideas as gifts for friends. (just not to sell for profit)

You could try this craft with your students using crayons or markers. Markers tend to bleed on the wood so crayons might be a better choice. If anyone tries this please post a link to the photo below. I would love to see some Batman sticks or other superhero ideas in either paint or crayon!

Happy crafting and geek out!!

~VEB