Thursday, September 24, 2015

American Girl Club: Meet Felicity

For this month's American Girl Club, we learned about Felicity. She is one of the first American Girl's that came out, and I remember her fondly from my childhood. For this reason I try not think about how long it has been since she was released.

Here is a quick overview of what this monthly program usually looks like:
  • One session of 12 kids were registered. 
  • Age group: 3rd-6th graders. 
  • Length: One hour
  • The only cost involved is usually for snacks (about $10).

Felicity is a spunky and independent girl from 1774, and also seems to be a favorite among the kids at my library. Her stories focus on the period before the American Revolution and are set in Colonial Virginia.

As usual, we started out with a brief discussion and overview of Felicity's stories. It is always nice to talk about a time period the kids are relatively familiar with, so we had some good discussion. I brought up events like the Boston Tea Party, and themes such as patriotism and independence.

Once our 10-15 minute discussion was over, we moved on to our Felicity themed games. Our first game was found in the American Girls Party Book, and is called Frog in the Middle. It is a simple game that involves one child sitting on a chair while the other children walk around them. The child in the chair must try to tag the others without getting up out of the chair. I thought it was a good example of a simple parlor game that would have been played in Felicity's time period.

Image from

Our second game was my simplified take on badminton, which has been played in Europe for centuries. In the Colonial times it would have been called battledore and shuttlecock. Instead of rackets we used paper plates with Popsicle sticks taped to the back as handles. Instead of birdies/shuttlecocks we used balloons. We broke into partners and had to hit the balloon back and forth as many times as possible. The kids had a great time, although we did get two balloons temporarily stuck on our meeting room ceiling.

Image from

Our last activity was decorative paper cutting, also known as Papyrotamia. This was another activity I found in the American Girls Party Book. They provide templates in the book, but there seem to be other templates available online if you search paper cutting patterns. The craft seemed to work well from a difficulty level standpoint with this age group.

We closed out the program with a snack. I served apples, gingersnaps, scones and apple juice. The apples were chosen because in the books Felicity's mother uses them to illustrate the idea of beautiful things and acts remaining unseen. She cuts an apple and shows Felicity the shape that appears inside. Scones served as a tie to Britain, and gingersnaps are a cookie eaten during that time period. As a snack time/take home activity I provided a wordsearch I made about Felicity.

For information on my other American Girl related programs go to these posts:

So glad to be back doing this series and getting the school year programs up and running! Let me know if you have any questions or ideas to share.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Mixed Age Library Programming

Lisa Shaia of Thrive After Three asked me to speak via video to a class she is teaching on children's programming. Here is the result :)

Hopefully it provides a little helpful advice and insight into my thoughts about children's programming.