by Susan Baier, Santa Clara City (CA) Library
Do your library kids freak for fairies – specifically, the Rainbow Magic variety? The Daisy Meadows series is wildly popular here, and we like any excuse for a party at our library. So two weeks before Christmas, we threw a Rainbow Magic Holiday Extravaganza. We targeted it to the kindergarten through fourth grade crowd, and had 50 kids in attendance.
Since it was the holiday season, I began the program by reading aloud an excerpt from Paige the Christmas Play Fairy. In this installment the mischievous goblin Jack Frost wreaks havoc in the lives of Rachel, Kirsty, and their friends, and a delightful fairy must help the girls save the day. You’re shocked, right? Let’s keep it real – these books are a tad…formulaic. But if they get kids exciting about reading and bring them into our libraries clamoring for the next book in the series, it’s a good thing – right?
(Although not all my attendees were particularly excited about fairies. When I asked how many loved the Rainbow Magic series, I was greeted with a chorus of high pitched squeals and one stone-faced boy who raised his hand to say “I’ve never heard of them before in my life.” Kid, it’s going to be a long afternoon for you then. My apologies.)
I then divided the audience into three groups so they could rotate through the three craft stations.
(1) A Rainbow Magic door hanger to color, printed on white cardstock. This craft and other printables are available at www.rainbowmagiconline.com.
(2) Pixie Dust Magic Wand – I bought jumbo Pixie Stix (remember those?), and the kids attached curling ribbon and an Ellison die star they decorated. A few of the boys used them as swords. Figuring they were punished enough by being brought against their will to a Rainbow Magic program, I let them have their fun (within reason.)
(3) Fairy Flutes – This probably isn’t something I should admit on a public forum, but I bought plastic champagne flutes for the kids to decorate. But I rebranded them as “fairy flutes,” and if any parents were scandalized they kept it to themselves. By far, this was the most popular craft. I purchased the flutes through Oriental Trading, and put out adhesive jewels and gems for the kids to use as decoration. Some of their designs were incredibly intricate and beautiful. After much consternation, I put out Sharpies because they were the only marker that would write on plastic without smearing. Permanent markers and children can prove an inauspicious combination, but I needn’t have worried. The kids were all about the blingy jewels, and the markers were barely used.
For refreshments, we served Trader Joe’s meringue cookies and called them “fairy cloud cookies.” For those of you more ambitious than I was, you could do fairy wands with pretzel rods, icing, and sprinkles.
Email me at sbaier at santaclaraca dot gov if you have further questions or would like specific links to the craft supplies I purchased.