Recently, “Vivian the Librarian,” author of the “As I See It” blog (vivianthelibrarian.blogspot.com/) posted some ideas for a “Narnia” themed library program on the PUBYAC Listserv. I have taken her ideas and added a few of my own, for a Do-It-Yourself program celebrating C.S. Lewis’s popular “Narnia” series that began with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
When I hold these programs, I try to have five craft stations, and five game stations, with things that appeal to a wide age range. Using high school volunteers can also help; try to have two at each station. Serving refreshments can help draw in participants, and make for a festive atmosphere. Serve Turkish Delight candy, or English tea (hot or iced) and shortbread cookies.
If you would like to hold an “all day” type of program, began with the games, and then have the craft time be as long as folks would like. Finish by showing the 2005 film “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe:” www.imdb.com/title/tt0363771/?ref_=fn_al_tt_3
Began the program by distributing a “Railway Ticket” as the audience enters your programming space. The ticket lists all the stations, which are punched as they complete each game or craft activity. As an icebreaker, play Freeze Dancing, where everyone dances until you pause the music and they freeze like the statues in front of the White Witch’s castle!
Make Lion Masks in honor of the Aslan character: cheapcraftymama.com/lion-mask-toddler-craft/www.activityvillage.co.uk/rat_mask.htm
Make these cool castle desk organizers out of cardboard tubes and small boxes: www.activityvillage.co.uk/castle_craft.htm
Create small statues out of clay or Play-doh, similar to the statues outside of the White Witch’s castle.
Make crowns, shields, or other items, as seen here: lesenfantsparty.blogspot.com/2011/10/narnia-inspired-party.html
Wardrobe Relay: Divide children in teams of four or six, grouping children of similar ages and sizes. Two teams compete against each other; whichever team finishes first wins! The relay consists of putting on a coat, picking up packages, and running to a lamppost. Run back, put down packages, and take off coat. Give out magic rings as prizes.
Beaver – Wolf Tag: Adapt the game “Duck, Duck, Goose,” substituting a beaver and wolf: www.wikihow.com/Play-Duck-Duck-Goose
Jump the River: Use a blue plastic tablecloth as the river. Fold up the river so it is “thin,” unfold one fold after every “jump,” making the river wider each time. Have players line up on one side of the river. On your go, everyone jumps across without stepping on the tablecloth. Unfold the river one fold each time before they jump back. This elimination game can be played in rounds if you have a lot of people, with winners going to a final round against each other. Or, have winners for each age group.
Target Practice: Using Pool Noodles as spears, have two players toss the noodles at hula hoops hung from the ceiling.
Feed Aslan: Make a large cardboard target of Aslan the Lion’s head, with the mouth cut out. Have players toss beanbags through Aslan’s mouth to win a prize.
Penny Peck, San Jose State University, School of Library and Information Science