I am not a fairy person. I am not a rainbow person (unless we’re talking about the LGBTQ+ community and then I’m all kinds of in love with rainbows!). And I’m not a huge fan of the Rainbow Magic Fairy books. So, I’m not sure what I was thinking last fall when I said “I think we should throw a Rainbow Magic Fairy Party and I’ll do it.”
I’ve been mildly freaking out about it ever since.
I may have mentioned this before, but we don’t require registrations for just about every program we do at the library. While I completely understand the reasoning behind this, it does mean staff takes the brunt of the stress: What if I run out of materials?What if I don’t have enough room? What if I can’t control the crowd?! (that’s all me and my inability to feel in control of school aged kids. I seriously need to work on this.)
I definitely have Kim from Literary Commentary to thank for inspiration. I probably read this post a thousand times. I so wanted to do flower crowns, but alas I was worried about how many kids would show up.
Here’s what we did:
1. I started by talking about the fairies and it took me awhile to get comfortable with my approach. I decided to focus on talents. I mentioned that the fairies all have different talents: the sports fairies! the dance fairies! the music fairies! I talked about Gail Carson Levine’s book “Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg” and how Prilla is a new fairy and no one knows what her talent is at first. This ended up being a really great way to approach it as we talked about things we were really good at doing. And yes, it warmed my little heart when a girl said “My talent is reading!” I had a few kids who said “I don’t know what my talent is…” which allowed me to channel my inner Mister Rogers and talk about how we’re all different and special and we are still trying lots of things to find our talents, but a talent usually comes from something we really love doing so what are some things YOU LOVE TO DO? Nervous kids turned into excited kids!
2. I read the first 2 or 3 chapters from Inky the Indigo Fairy. I confess: I chose Inky because she wore jeans. And wasn’t pink. And wasn’t blonde. We had advertised it as a program for K-3rd graders and I had some much younger kids. Call me impressed that the majority of them sat through a 15 minute reading of a book without pictures.
3. We decorated wings. We purchased these from Discount School Supply. Have I mentioned how lucky I am to work for a library that can afford this kind of thing? Because I am. And I know I am. I mentioned before we got started to think about what our talents are and to keep those in mind when we’re decorating. We used washable markers and glittery heart stickers and some stick on jewels to decorate.
4. We made wands. We purchased thin dowels and used glitter hearts and ribbon. They could also color the dowels with washable markers if they wanted to. This ended up being a different “station” (thanks to my awesome team for some quick thinking on this option!) which took them away from the open area where we had decorated our wings and gave us a chance to clean up a little to get ready for….
5. The Fairy Dance Party! I put together a playlist of fairy-ish songs: When Will My Life Begin from Tangled, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies from the Nutcracker (added bonus that the Sugar Plum Fairy is mentioned in Inky!), To the Sky by Owl City (yeah, yeah, it’s from Guardians of Ga’hoole, but they didn’t care or notice it was about owls not fairies!), Bibbiti Bobbiti Boo from Cinderella (and I was shocked, SHOCKED I SAY, many kids didn’t know this one), Fly To Your Heart from the Tinkerbell movie, Touch the Sky from Brave and….wait for it….LET IT GO. Three times. I had to play Let it Go THREE TIMES.
And then it was over. And I realized I had survived. And not only had I survived, I realized I had a rapt audience of about 27 girls and 3 boys where we talked about talents and individuality and being special. And then we danced to songs that were about flying in the sky and reaching for the stars and being ourselves.