Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pieces of Programming: Zombie Week!

The idea for Zombie week started with the release of Dead Island, the ultra-horrific but greatly anticipated video game.  I knew my teens would love to get their hands on the game, and that it would have to be an after-hours event for them to really get the opportunity to play it in our teen room.  An exact week after I started working on their night, I got a visit from a dance instructor in the area who was trying to find ways to connect our library kids to her studio.  Her studio is actually a partner of our library, so I was more than happy to help in any way possible.  From chit-chatting with her, we finally decided to have one of her instructors visit the library during drama club and teach Thriller to my tweens!

Thus, Youth Services Zombie Week was born.

Though we called it a "week", the program really only consisted of two programs.  One for tweens and one for teens.  For the tweens, we had a very special Zombie edition of Drama Club, while my teens were treated to after-hours gaming that featured Dead Island{score}.

Our warm up games for Drama Club were Zombie based on this day and included a riveting round of "Don't Wake the Zombie"

Then came actually making our zombies.

To create Zombies in drama club, cost me about $8.  Our "skin" was created with pancake batter from instant mix.  Yes. Pancake mix.  I would recommend doing the pancake mix paste for short-term use because when it cakes up after about 45 minutes, it gets hard and a bit uncomfortable.  But in the meantime, it makes for great pics.  I used Popsicle sticks for the kids to apply their faces.  At first the mixture looks really soupy and brown, but as it dries it really takes on that dry skin look.

For our wounds, we used a mixture of honey, chocolate syrup, corn syrup and red food coloring.  Each of my kids was able to choose how deep they wanted their red to be by the amount of chocolate syrup we used.  For a few of them, this was like a huge edible science experiment. LOL  A messy, huge, edible science experiment.

After they were zombified, we used some of our random drama club costumes (old clothes from Goodwill), to complete their looks.  Then came time to learn the dance!!!  Elisa from Intuit Dance in Forest Park, IL. was amazingly patient and energetic with my crazy bunch.  She broke the dance down into small portions and taught it piece by piece.  By the end of the night, we had a nearly complete Thriller video!  This was a great opportunity for her to promote the dance studio to our kids, and also for our kids to see what attending a dance class would be like.

Aside from the cleanup, this was easily my favorite program to execute.  It happened to fall on the same day as the Illinois Library Association Conference, so I was sure that I'd be too tired to see it come together the way I wanted, but I was totally mistaken.  The kids and I were so excited and pleased with how everything turned out.  
Peep my awesome Zombies!!

Now for my angsty teens..LOL

Every other Friday this fall is Flash Cinema in the Teen Room and I throw on a movie and provide popcorn.  For Zombie Day, I allowed them to watch Zombieland until closing and then we dove straight into Dead Island.  Now, if you're unfamiliar, Dead Island is a rather gory zombie game so it warranted an event where they could play without younger spectators.  For that, we provided them with an after-hours program so that they were the only patrons in the building.  While food is usually my best way to get teens to participate in things, this time the game spoke for itself.

I provided pizza and drinks, which they inhaled, and gave a brief list of similar games, movies and books as a takeaway list.  Beyond that, this program was mostly hands-off.  Dig the Zombie decor from Party City.

My display included zombie books, movies and games.

The funniest part of it all was watching how they all sat up close to the television at the beginning of the program but as the zombies started coming out, you could see the chairs start slowly backing away. LOL  By the end of the night, I had about three of them who came completely out of the room and sat with me at the circ. desk talking about other things and sneaking peeks into the teen room from safety.

The best compliment of the night came towards the very end when one teen came out and said, "This was fun, Miss Regina, thanks a lot!"  {Swoon}


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