Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

TPiB: On a Stick

This is how some program ideas come to me: I am flipping through a new book that comes into our library and it sparks some inspiration.  It’s a win/win: patrons get cool books and I get great program ideas.

I like the idea of food on a stick.  There are some glorious recipes in here: Pizza Skewers, Cake Pops, Cinnamon Rolls (on a stick! You dip them into the icing.), Deep Fried Ravioli . . . So many great recipes. Give me a second, I have to clean the drool off of my keyboard.  As I looked through this book, I couldn’t help but think of all the programming and party planning ideas that could come out of it.  Sometimes all it takes is a little spark and you get entire party themes.  I think having a stick party is kind of the best idea ever.  But you can take it in other directions as well.  Wait, let me tell you some of the ideas that came to me as I flipped through.

Stick Puppets

I know what you’re thinking, “Stick puppets, really?”  But I have found that tweens and teens like to be creative if you give them the opportunity.  So give it to them.  Have them create stick puppets and then bust out your digital device and encourage them to make Vines or short YouTube clips.  Stick Puppets don’t have to be simple, you can create really elaborate ones (and clean out your craft supply closet) with hair, clothes, and more.  They can be people, animals, and even made up creatures.  Then feed your teens tons of glorious food on a stick.  They will love you.  And again I say to you, having a stick themed party is just quirky enough to be fun and interesting.

You can also play games like Hangman, Pick Up Sticks, and more at your stick themed party.  Or use pipe cleaners to make stick people and make stop motion Vine videos.

Spam and Pineapple Skewers and a Post Apocalypse Survival Party

When I saw this in the book I immediately thought: Post Apocalypse Party (or book discussion group).  Well, actually first I thought: “Ewwww, Spam.”  Then I thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to have a post-apocalypse discussion group/survival party?”  You could do things like make Paracord bracelets, discuss survival strategies, and even talk about your favorite post-apocalypse fiction.  Better yet, make it an ongoing book discussion over a series and discuss several books and do a different survival related activity at each book discussion meeting.  You could also include fun things from the Quirk Books Worst Case Survival Handbook.  And I happen to own the Worst Case Scenario Boardgame.  When you are running from zombies, you’ll want to make sure you know how to survive falling into quicksand.

You could also combine some of the recipes here with the ideas found in this Kitchen Road Trippin’ program outline to create a read around the globe book discussion group.

Cookies on a Stick

Have a Cookies on a Stick version of Cupcake Wars.  If you have not ever seen Cupcake Wars, you basically are given a theme and you bake and decorate cupcakes to highlight that theme.  In this version, you would provided cookies on a stick and allow participants to decorate the cookies around a theme.  You could take it up a notch and have them use their decorated cookies to create a scene, much like they do with Peeps Dioramas.

From Bake with Ginger


Bake with Ginger has a fun tutorial for creating Mustache Cookies on a Stick which you can use to make fun mustache pics – and then eat!  You could even have a mustache themed party with mustache crafts and a fun photobooth.

S’Mores (on a stick of course!)

Scary stories around a campfire – perfect for October.  Of course, you would have to create a fake campfire if you were going to do this in a library.  But get out a copy of your Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, eat some S’Mores on a Stick, and have fun.

Fish and Chips

Probably in part because I am obsessed with British TV (think Doctor Who, Sherlock & Downton Abby), I immediately thought about having a British TV/Film festival where you would of course serve Fish and Chips – on a stick.  The Robert Downey versions of the Sherlock Holmes films are covered under by Movie Licensing USA.  And you can buy some cool Union Jack Duck Tape to make some very British duct tape crafts.

As part of Quirk Books Week, Quirk Books has generously donated a prize package for one lucky winner that will include 2 of the above cookbooks, a copy of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, the first book of the Lovecraft Middle School series, and a copy of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars. I’ve tried to give you as many ways as possible to enter so pick the one (or ones) that work best for you and do the Rafflecopter thingy below.  The giveaway closes on Saturday, December 14th and is open to U.S. Residents.  The books will be sent to you from Quirk Books and they are worth it.