By Awnali Mills
Hear ye, hear ye! Welcome to the Royal Party!
That’s right. Today was the Royal Party held at the library for all the little princes and princesses. We had a lovely time of crafts and games. And, I got to dress up in my princess dress, which is always a win. My co-worker Meghan came as a modern day princess a la Kate Middleton, and another came as King Chris, wearing his poet shirt and a tabard I scavenged from an old costume of my husband’s. Do we have the best job, or what?
The party began with a reading of The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch. This is an older book, but one that we librarian types fancy. The resourceful young princess has everything she owns, including her clothing, burned up by a nasty dragon. The dragon kidnaps her prince and leaves. The only thing she can find that hasn’t been burned is a paper bag. She dons it and goes after her prince. Her cleverness saves the day, but the unexpected twist at the end makes the story delightful.
After the story, we sent the kids off to work on their crafts: creating a crown and a scepter.
- Create a crown. We found some patterns online and printed them onto metallic paper that we had in the staff room. This paper was pretty flimsy, so we used spray adhesive to adhere it to heavier cardstock. We provided self-adhesive jewels so that kids could decorate their crowns.
- Create a scepter. We have been doing a massive cleaning of our craft supplies, and discovered a bunch of Styrofoam balls and dowel rods. I cut the dowel rods down to 12” with pruning shears. We purchased gold paint and painted both balls and rods. Insert rod into ball, remove, pour in some glue, re-insert rod, and decorate with self-adhesive jewels.
Because King Chris had to go on his dinner break, we switched everything around on the fly. The Royal Procession was supposed to end the party, but we had to put it in the middle. We lined everyone up and taught them how to do a royal wave and nod, and took them to King Chris who was manning the information desk. King Chris then led a royal procession through the library. The adult patrons were enchanted and waved enthusiastically. One older gentleman even got out a camera and filmed the procession with a big grin on his face. Our princesses were very quiet and dignified.
Once the procession returned, we gathered the kids into two teams for games.
- First, we did a book-on-the-head relay. (It was fun to watch all the spines straighten when I talked about the importance of good posture in princesses.) They had to walk with a book on their head down the room, around a masking tape line, and walk back to pass the book to the next person. This is not as easy as it sounds! I, for one, discovered that I have a pointy head which is incapable of balancing a book. This has caused no end of mirth for my colleagues and family. Because others may have pointy heads like me, we allowed kids to have one finger on the book to help with their balance. Also, smaller size books work much better than larger size picture books. This game ended up as a tie and all the winners received a royal-looking book mark.
- Next, we did a relay which required a cobbling together of two fairy tales. Meghan provided some high-heeled, open toed princess shoes. Each team got a shoe. Each team also got a “pea” (actually, a dry garbanzo bean). They had to hold the shoe by the heel, put the pea in the toe box, and run the shoe around the masking tape and back, a twist on the “egg-in-the-spoon” relay. The object, of course, was to keep the pea from rolling out of the shoe (yes, this did happen). The winners got a different royal book mark.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get pictures of the games because I was busy cheering and encouraging, and making sure the rules were followed. One little girl REFUSED to run because, you know, princesses don’t run. This drove her mother insane but amused the heck out of me.