I’ve been meaning to blog out about our Noon Year’s Eve Party and I just got a request for information so I thought “NOW! DO IT NOW! MAYBE IT CAN HELP PEOPLE PLAN NOW!”
Here we go:
1. Celebration hats! When people come into the department, we direct them to our Children’s Activity Room where they decorate party hats. We purchase hats from Oriental Trading Co. or Party City, get a mess of star, fireworks, celebration-type stickers, curled ribbon and lots of tape.
Once they’re finished we direct them to the floor where they help decorate:
2. The Wishing Tree! We provide a bunch of die-cut bells with twine (to “ring in the Noon Year!”) and ask everyone to write down one thing they wish for in the next year. For an older audience, you might be able to veer into resolution territory, but we thought wishes would make more sense to our younger population. They then hang them on our “wishing tree.” Last year one of my favorite wishes was “To be a my little pony.” I hear you, kid. I hear you.
3. Dance Party! We put together a playlist for a 15 minute dance party. Last year we used: Tooty-Ta, The Mack Chicken Dance, Banana’s Unite, Silly Dance Contest, 1, 2,3, Whee! and The Jumping and Counting Song. We purposely added counting songs because we do a countdown to noon and we wanted to get them ready with the numbers!
4. Story! I looked and looked for a good New Year’s Eve book and at the last minute discovered we had a big book copy of “Chicken Soup with Rice.” It was perfect not only because it explained the months but because we ended up with an enormous crowd. I introduced it by asking what in the world were we even celebrating and we talked our way through the book. It’s long-ish, but there’s a lot to talk about. This year we MIGHT be singing it, but the talking is pretty important for the youngest ones.
5. Countdown! Originally, I was going to ask for 10 kids to come up and help me put the numbers in order, but, again, we ended up with such a big crowd I ended up putting the numbers on a shelf and mixing them up myself. First we put them in order from 1-10 and then we had to put them in order from 10-1 because COUNTDOWN! This ended up being a perfect activity for the timing. If you have more time than you thought, you can easily drag it out and make it super silly. If you don’t have a lot of time, you can do it pretty quickly.
6. Bubble wrap fireworks! Last year, we started collecting bubble wrap around the holidays from staff. We ended up with a bunch, but we still went out and purchased more. I cut them into 12″X12″ squares. This year? We purchased 350 feet for $18ish on Amazon and it’s perforated. Post putting numbers in order, staff helped pass out the bubble wrap.
7. Countdown! I instructed everyone to put the bubble wrap on the ground at the very end of our countdown and get ready to jump. We counted down, we jumped and gosh darn it if 250 people jumping on bubble wrap simultaneously doesn’t sound like fireworks! (It also made our Reference Department think the ceiling might be caving in. That was just a bonus.)
8. Balloon Drop! We purchased a few balloon drops from Party City. Static made them kind of sad. This year we’re going to rig up our own with…something…this week we’re hoping to test out a few options.
Sad static shot with numbers in the background:
9. Dance to Celebration! By Kool and the Gang! Because it was my favorite celebration song when I was a kid!
There are a lot of options for alternative crafts: noisemakers, more complicated hats, poppers, etc. We just suspected we’d be inundated and wanted to keep things as simple as possible. And I’m not gonna lie, for the payoff? It’s a pretty simple program to put together. It was one of those programs where the immediate feedback was incredibly positive.
I’d love to hear if and how others are Noon Year’s Eve-ing it up at your libraries!