I’ve been able to assist in a lot of programs at the library, but yesterday was pretty special – yesterday, I had the chance to put on a program that I’d planned, developed, and got to execute pretty much all by myself. We’ve done a few theme party events for kids (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, My Little Pony, Transformers), so I asked my manager if we could put on a Monster High party. Not only did she say yes, but she gave me my own budget and left the whole thing totally in my hands.
I’m a HUGE Monster High fan. Ever since the doll line debuted in 2011, I’ve been a pretty avid collector; I love the message of the dolls, that it’s ok not to be perfect and that the things you might see as flaws make you who you are, and I love the character designs and the individuality of each monster. And I know our library has a pretty big MH fanbase – the DVDs and books circulate regularly, and I’ve had chats with little girls about their favorite dolls while helping them find materials. So it seemed like a great fit for our programming.
When planning the event, I came up with a couple of different stations I could set up that could all operate simultaneously – we usually give these kind of events an hour or an hour and a half, and treat them as drop-ins where people can come and go as they want to. I planned for Ghoulia Yelps’ Scary Smart Trivia Contest, Frankie Stein’s Freaky Fabulous Mask Making, Draculaura’s Diary Decoration, Clawdeen Wolf’s Special Doll Giveaway (generously supplied by my manager), and Cleo de Nile’s Nail Art Salon. I had a budget of $50, most of which got spent at Party City (a GREAT resource for branded items in bulk), and bought the following supplies:
– Mini comp notebooks from Staples and stickers for the diary decoration
– A PDF of monster masks from Etsy
– Ghoulia eye glasses, some rubber bracelets, pencils and bookmarks for prizes
– MH nail art decals
– A couple of MH table cloths for decoration
I planned for thirty kids, which felt high, but I didn’t want to run into any issues with supplies, and everything I got could be used for prizes or supplies in future events if we had leftovers.
I ended up with ten girls, but we had a lot of fun! Funnily enough, the most popular thing at the party was the movie I had playing (I showed Frights, Camera, Action!), but the mask and diary decoration were also a lot of fun. The big flop was the trivia – even though I’d tried to make the questions fairly easy, they ended up being beyond my group. (I was talking to a mom during the program, and I mentioned I’d made sure all the answers came from the doll packaging so it wouldn’t be dependent on the kids seeing the webisodes or anything – and she laughed and said “But the kids don’t read the packaging, they throw it away!” D’oh!)
A happy monster with her own Vandala Dubloons doll
Winter programming is typically hard to get high attendance for at our library, so I was happy with my turnout – and, my manager has already agreed to host another monster party in October, with a heavier emphasis on costumes and facepainting. I admit, I didn’t end up using the nail decals because I’d never used them before and I chickened out – although we easily used up our hour without that activity.