The 12th book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, The Getaway was released yesterday, November 7, 2017! Could our library let an occasion like that go unnoticed? I think not! We hosted a Book Launch party complete with games, activities, mom bucks, and presented a copy of the newly released book to a very happy elementary school student. Definitely a lot of fun. Definitely, something I want to do again (and, as quickly as Jeff Kinney seems to be able to get these books out, that will not be long!).
This is the first DOAWK party that I have planned, so I looked to my colleagues for inspiration and support. After an internet search, I found many blog entries incredibly helpful in brainstorming some ideas (I included a list of blog posts and resources that were especially helpful at the end of this post. Check it out!).
On the day of the party, I set out a copy of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid paper scavenger hunt from Thrive After Three as well as a drawing page for kids to be able to design their own book covers so that kids who arrived early right from school would have something to do. Both of these documents needed a little editing. I cut off the bottom of the scavenger hunt form and updated the information to promote The Getaway. I also cut off the top of the book cover design page, and just ran off copies of my physically shorter page. The kids never knew the difference.
When the kids arrived at 4:00 p.m. it was party time! We began by sitting in a circle and I asked each kid to tell me what their favorite Diary of a Wimpy Kid book was, and why. Then, I told them just briefly that The Getaway is about the Heffley family spending Christmas vacation in Mexico, and instead of it being a relaxing trip, everything goes wrong. I then asked the kids to tell me about a trip that they went on where things either went well and they had fun, or things went wrong.
These conversations took up maybe 8 minutes, but they were a great way to get started, and it gave us some time for kids who were coming in late to feel that they were not missing anything.
Then, we transitioned to a game of Cheese Touch. It is like the game, “hot potato”. I asked the kids to remind me what the cheese touch was. After hearing how they described it, (“It is like being infected”) I showed the kids the Moldy Cheese bean bag I had made. This is just a bean bag covered in yellow felt. A friend used markers and white-out to create the mold effects. I told the kids that I was going to play some music, and they needed to throw the bean bag around to each other. I would randomly pause the music, and the child holding the beanbag, or the last person to have touched it, was out. I used the “Capitol Kids Christmas” CD and used the Twelve Days of Christmas track because it had the faster beat that I wanted to keep the energy up. The kids loved this, and we played three games. When I do this over, we will spend more time on this, because it was a favorite!
I created a file for some Diary of a Wimpy Kid Mom Bucks that I handed out the kids whenever they did anything. I did not tell the kids what these were for, I just told them to hang on to them. At the end of each round of Cheese Touch, I gave all the kids who played a Mom Buck, and the winner two Mom Bucks. This pdf file has two different looks for the Mom Bucks, depending on if you are using color paper, or colored ink. Enjoy!
Next, I gave out Diary of a Wimpy Kid Scavenger Hunt (borrowed entirely from Future Librarian Superhero) pages to the kids with six different Diary of a Wimpy Kid characters and told the kids that I printed out a picture of each of the characters and hid them all in the Children’s library. I asked the kids to find each character, use walking feet, and help each other if they saw someone stuck. The kids loved this! I knew we would be getting older kids, so I hid the pictures in more difficult places. I told the kids they would get a mom buck if they found all six pictures, and two mom bucks if they found a book to check out.
Next, I led the kids through the Trivia Quiz prepared by Bryce Don’t Play. We only went through the Cabin Fever questions, and it was fun to hear the kids calling out the true or false answers, and giving reasons for each!
And, in true Diary of a Wimpy Kid fashion, we played a game of Manny Cereal Toss from Tiny Tips for Library Fun. I am fortunate enough to have Marge as our library’s system’s Youth Services Consultant, and I heard her share this idea a year ago at a workshop. I promised myself that I would try it, and it was great. I bought a box of mini cereal boxes from Amazon and the toilet seat for about $30 altogether. Like the cheese touch, the kids loved this game.
To wrap up the program I asked any kids who wanted to have their photos taken as a book character try on one of the masks and we took photos. And then, it was time for the book drawing. I showed the cover of the book to the kids, made sure I had everyone’s name in the bucket and drew out the winner who walked home with a copy of the new book. I gave everyone else a coupon for free ice cream provided by a community business in exchange for the mom bucks they earned, thanked all the kids for coming, and told them that our library added three copies of The Getaway and if they wanted to read it, we could put it on hold for them. The kids rushed over to the circulation desk, and every child who attended requested the book.
This was so much fun! In the future, I think I will spend more time on the Cheese Touch Toss, the Scavenger Hunt, and the Manny Cereal Toss. Having fewer activities would help the flow of the program more. Also, there were a few ideas that we did not get to do, as the program ran an hour as it was. I really wanted to try the Picturonomy idea from the In the Children’s Room blog. I wanted to use the topics: Zoo-Wee Mama, Loaded Diaper, Mom Bucks, Extreme Sports Sticks, French Fry Friday, Tell-A-Teacher, Elevator Pass, and Greg’s Fictional Monkey, Rory. We will see next time. Also, if you have several laptops you could run the Wimpy Yourself station. This is super cool: kids get to create a cartoon of themselves or a family member in Jeff Kinney’s artistic style!
I would love to hear your ideas on great Diary of a Wimpy Kid programs!
Below are links to wonderful blogs that shared their ideas!
Bryce Don’t Play: Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 8 Party
In the Children’s Room: Diary of a Wimpy Kid Party
Future Librarian Superhero: Wimpy Station
Thrive After Three: Wimpy Kid Scavenger Hunt
The Magpie Librarian: Getting Ready for A Diary of a Wimpy Kid Party is Like Planning a Wedding
Cap Creations: Diary of a Wimpy Kid Party
Party Like a Non-Stop Whimp
Homespun with Love: Diary of a Wimpy Kid Party
Keeping my Cents: Diary of a Wimpy Kid Party
Sarah Riches Instagram Photo Booth Idea
Pin Junkie: Cheese Touch GameSaint Charles Parish Public Library: Diary of a Wimpy Kid Party
Tiny Tips for Library Fun: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Third Wheel Edition
Tiny Tips for Library Fun: Wow! Wimpy Kid Party!