It’s summertime, ya’ll. Yep. Figured it out all by myself. Wanna know how? Numbers. There’ve been lots and lots of kids in the library. This is a good problem to have, unless you didn’t plan for the number you got. That’s not happy at all.
Here’s what happened. Long before we knew that this summer’s theme was superheroes, we planned a superhero party. In January. We couldn’t very well repeat the program so soon, so we needed an alternative. Ninjas are sorta like superheroes, so we planned a Super Stealth Ninja Training program. How did it go, you ask?
It. Was. Nuts.
First, we had prepared for forty kids. Our programs usually draw between 20 and 30 kids, so we thought we were doing well to plan for 40. Ha! They just kept coming in! We ended up with around 60 kids. We didn’t get an accurate count because it was madness in that room.
My boss Chris started off with a ninja trivia contest, which the kids really seemed to enjoy.
For crafts, we had planned to have kids create swords out of pipe insulation and duct tape. They would make nun-chucks out of two toilet paper rolls and some cording. They would make their own ninja symbol on a 3” paper oval and attach it to a black head tie made out of plastic tablecloth (cut with a rotary cutter into 2” strips). So, we had forty swords, forty nun-chucks, and, well, more than 40 headbands (but only 40 ovals). Obviously, it wasn’t going to work for each child to make each craft when there were so many more kids than crafts (and no matter how hard you try, you cannot print pipe insulation–not even on our 3D printer). So, we had them make one craft of their choice, then once everyone had made something, anyone else who wanted to could make another craft. We actually ended up with a few leftovers.
For activities, we had planned that they would take their sword into The Square of Doom (a wide hallway attached to our meeting room) in which they used their sword to try to keep a balloon from touching the floor, the ceiling, the walls, and keep it inside the square, and don’t let it pop. I had to keep our sample sword in reserve for kids who didn’t make their own sword to use.
Next, my co-worker Meghan had valiantly made about 50 origami throwing stars and we had 5 villains for them to practice their throwing skills on (paper printouts taped to a table). Our plan was that each child would get to take a star home. That did not happen, since there were more children than stars.
We had planned to do the Square of Doom and the Throwing Stars simultaneously, and follow with an obstacle course. There were so many kids that I covered the two activities (we REALLY needed a third person) and Chris took the kids through the course.
We had used tables to block off the end of a wide hallway. We had marking tape in neon orange strung between eight chairs, four on each side, which was our laser course. After they crawled through there, they had to jump from one hula hoop on the floor to another hula hoop on the floor, then cross back the distance of the laser course, stepping from one piece of bubble wrap to another Without Popping The Bubble Wrap. Then, crawl under a table and receive their certificate of excellence in ninja training.
Because there were so many kids, Chris couldn’t get them started and give them their certificates at the end at the same time, so he pulled Meghan off the desk to write up the certificates while he sent kids through the beginning.
It was crazy. It was chaos. There are no pictures because there was no time for them. But we got lots of compliments and kids seemed totally happy, so it’s all good!
So, yeah. It’s summer. And ninjas are very, very popular.