Pirates have always been a big favorite at the library. It seems that kids of all ages, from toddlers just learning how to say “aargh” to tweens searching for the latest Peter and the Starcatchers book, have a fascination with all things pirate. So why not make the most of that by hosting a Pirate Book Party at your library! This program is the best of all worlds: it’s cheap, fun, plus, it’s popular across all ages and genders. At our party, we limited it to kids in Kindergarten through 3rd grade but it could work for any age group with some minor tweaking of the crafts and games. Here’s what we did:
The first hour of the party was devoted to crafts, booktalks, trivia, and a game of pirate bingo. The crafts were super cheap and easy. We made newspaper swords, construction paper pirate hats, and treasure maps. If you don’t have a large supply of black construction paper at your disposal then make newspaper hats instead! The treasure maps were just made out of butcher paper (or you could use the backs of recycled grocery bags). I booktalked a few of my favorite pirate books from our collection, everything from picture books (I love my Pirate Papa by Laura Leuck) to nonfiction titles like Kathleen Krull’s The Lives of Pirates. I read a few fun facts from the nonfiction titles then asked trivia questions (to make sure the kids were paying attention). The prizes were just stickers, bookmarks, and some random small prizes left over from Summer Reading Club that got pulled together wrapped up in a pirate bandana (also left over from SRC). I used one of the many free, online bingo card generator sites to print out pirate-themed cards and used more left over SRC goodies as the prizes.
For the final hour of the party we had a performer, Christopher Yates, who did a wonderful show complete with jokes, songs, stories about real pirates, and plenty of audience participation. If you don’t have the budget for a performer, you could expand the crafts and games or you could show a movie. There is so much you can do with this theme and plenty of great pirate books out there to promote. Plus, what a great way to bring together school-age boys and girls (and their families) and show them just how much fun can be had at the library!
Want to see more pictures of our event? Check out this link!
Our guest blogger today is Carey Vance, a Children’s librarian at the Burbank Public Library in Burbank, California. She is also a board member of the Children’s Literature Council of Southern California. Carey can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at email@example.com.