On June 19, we celebrated the birthday of everyone's favorite lasagna-loving cat.
We had a bean bag toss...
coloring sheets, a trivia quiz, and fill-in-the blank comic strips...
as well as party favors (Garfield bookmarks), snacks, Garfield & Friends on the big screen, Garfield books for browsing, and a speed gift-wrapping game.
Our Garfield books are well loved by patrons of all ages, so this event was a natural fit for our library. It was so popular that I'm considering purchasing a Garfield costume for next year!
I had planned to serve lasagna and cake at this program, but we asked for sign-up so we could find out about food allergies. Am I ever glad we did that! Knowing in advance the types of allergies we'd be working with (including tomato, gluten, and dairy) helped me to purchase party-worthy snacks that everyone could enjoy.
Participants were free to choose any combination of activities, in any order, and stay as long as they liked during the 45-minute program. Having a self-serve structure helped eliminate waiting in line for one-person-at-a-time stations (like button making and the gift wrap game); there were plenty of things to do, and everyone had the chance to try every activity, if they chose to do so.
The gift wrap game was surprisingly delightful. I bought several rolls of birthday-themed gift wrap on clearance at Target, and I brought in two small boxes and a Garfield pin (which I had serendipitously found in a drawer a few days prior to the program). We started with both boxes wrapped in gift wrap, one of the boxes containing the pin. I had a volunteer staff the gift wrap game table; she timed kids as they unwrapped both boxes, moved the Garfield pin to the other box, and wrapped both boxes back up. Simple? Yep. But they LOVED it. I think the fact that we were encouraging them to use gift wrap and Scotch tape with abandon helped a lot.
The button-maker was, as always, a hit. I purchased a one-inch American Button Machine personally six years ago, and it has been a fabulous investment. I highly recommend them! We had a volunteer at our button station, and he helped each participant choose a Garfield or Odie graphic and transform it into a piece of wearable bling.
Many happy returns of the day to Garfield!