Children's Programs

Polar Express Pajama Party

All aboard the Polar Express!! Come in your festive PJs and get your Holiday on.
Here are the activities we had set up throughout the Children’s Department for children of all ages.

Do You Want to Build a Snowman Flannel Board

To read more about this mix and match snowman flannel board check out my post here!

Snowmen Bowling

Bowling is a fun game for all ages; there were teenagers playing when the party first started and then little ones came in. It was great to see the 1 and 2 year olds walk through the pins giggling as they knock them down and it was especially great to see the older kids help the younger ones set up the pins. All I did to make the game was buy a cheap child’s bowling set (about $15) and taped snowman faces on them!

Letters to Santa

It wouldn’t be a Christmas celebration without letters to Santa! To make the mailbox I covered a box with blue wrapping paper, cut out a slot and glued on the “MAIL” sign and logo. Reading the letters the children (or their parents) write is the best part!

Polar Express Bookmarks

Children cut out the Polar Express tickets and (were supposed to) punch holes in the word “BELIEVE.” Have you ever given children hole punchers before? Well let me tell you, it was quite the experience. Hole punches are tools children don’t get to play with often and they really enjoyed the rare experience. You can find some great activity sheets and ideas at Houghton Mifflin Books.

Story & Song

We read “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg, passed out the bells and sang some songs. This book is a little long for younger ones and can be cut down, the illustrations intrigue the children.

We sang the following songs with our bells:

Jingle Bells
Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh
Over the field we go
Laughing all the way
Bells on bobtail ring
Making spirits bright
Oh what fun it is to ride and sing
A sleighing song tonight
Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh, hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh

Jingle Jingle Little Bell (Tune: Twinkle Twinkle)
Jingle jingle little bell
I can ring my little bell
Ring it fast
Ring it slow
Ring is high
Ring it low
Jingle jingle little bell
I can ring my little bell

Ring Those Bells
Oh, ring those bells and turn around
Ring those bells and turn around
Ring those bells and turn around
Christmas time is here
Ring those bells and stomp your feet
Ring those bells and stomp your feet
Ring those bells and stomp your feet
Christmas time is here
Ring those bells and jump up high
Ring those bells and jump up high
Ring those bells and jump up high
Christmas time is here

Snacks

We had juice, cookies and candy canes. I was a little nervous about serving it but after asking everyone to please stay at the table with their snacks they were really good about it.

Presents

All children who attended the party received a bell and a teddy bear. There is a gentleman in town that gives the library brand new teddy bears every year and we like to give them to the children. It is great when they can walk away with something to remind them of the library.

Source for Bell Printable: Design Dazzle

How It Went: I was shocked by the low attendance, we only had 10 children and I was expecting at least 30. The last library I worked at had something similar and they had to turn families away because they had so many people. I’m not sure if it was the time of day that was a deterrent or if it was just the fact that our library tends to slow down during the Holiday season. I definitely plan on doing something similar next year, maybe not so close to Christmas.

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