Cynthia and I took a road trip to the World Market in Minneapolis for inspiration and unusual purchases. I found rice flour at and colored with vibrant food coloring in the hope that we could do a Rangoli painting outside. It was just too windy the day of the program, so we used paper with the design outline and tissue paper. Cynthia is a fan of plastic tablecloths for crafting and decorating. The colors do not fade and they can be used over and over. She taught everyone how to make pom pom flowers using bright colored.....plastic tablecloths!
Since decorating is so much fun, we turned the story time room into a restaurant.
We have some small tables that are easy to set up and don't take up much space (always an issue for us). Cynthia has several of the battery lit candles that were added to tables for atmosphere. The food was Indian food from Trader Joe's that only required a couple of minutes in the microwave. Each dish was served individually,the name and history of the food was read, then tasted. Everyone actually tried each dish offered and found favorites they never imagined they would like.
The party ended outdoors with a water balloon toss. Partners tried to keep the balloons from breaking as long as possible and counted the number of times they threw it back and forth.
They all enjoyed the party and asked to do it again with other countries. It really makes my heart skip a beat to see teens so happy and having fun at the library. We are in desperate need of a new library that has more teen friendly space, so we try to do all we can to make things special for them.
Feels good when we get it right.