Wednesday, September 27, 2017

150th Anniversary Celebration

The city my library is in celebrated it's 150th Anniversary this year. In honor of the occasion we were recently part of a city wide celebration that included our local history fair among other things. I thought I would share what we did in hopes that it would help inspire you to try some history themed activities in the library or anywhere else.

The two major components of our celebration were stations for kids and a historical speaker. I tried to keep the stations easy, inexpensive and somewhat historically relevant to the time the city was founded.

Station 1: Butter "churning"

I saw this idea several places and changed it around to fit my needs. The basic concept is to shake heavy whipping cream until it turns into butter. The best idea I had was to use the tiny plastic cups I found at Kroger as our butter churning containers. They are the ones that only hold a few ounces and come with lids. They really worked well and it only cost a few dollars for about 50 of them. 

Station 2: Historical crafts

Our historical crafts included coloring pages, paper dolls, and a variety of paper pinwheels I got for free from another local group.

Station 3: Weaving

This is an idea I got here. The one modification I made was using square plastic plates rather than the foam trays. I was having problems finding the right trays and the plates seemed to work just as well. I was somewhat surprised to see that this was the favorite station of the program. My one tip is that an odd number of strings on your "loom" allows you to tie up the extra strings at the beginning and end. 

Station 4: Hoop rolling
 We already own several hula hoops, so I figured why not bring them out and encourage the kids to "hoop race". It really didn't seem to catch on well, but probably would be a lot of fun with a bigger group.

Station 5: Make a hat

No party is fun if you are not wearing the correct ensemble right? So we made bonnets and hats that seemed to fit the time period. I found the bonnet pattern here, and the other hat was simply a template for a "cowboy" hat that didn't seem to obvious as such.

All in all this program brought in a small but dedicated group of kids who seemed to have a pretty good time. Most stayed for over 3 hours for both the program and the speaker. The stations were also pretty inexpensive, as the biggest cost was for snacks. I would definitely recommend this type of program for anybody looking for a way to celebrate this period in history.