Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

TPIB: It’s a Dead Man’s Party

Last year a combination of The Walking Dead and Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry (best. zombie book. ever.) made me put together a  zombie themed program.  The undead are quite popular – and are likely to continue to be so with the upcoming movie releases of World War Z and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  And people everywhere are talking about what they would do in the event of a zombie apocalypse.  I would be content if they would just let me hole up in my house and read, but then again – all that reading has probably given me big brains so I am probably ripe for zombie eating.

But in the event of a ZA, how will you help your teens survive?
Zombie Survival 101
Everyone knows the only way you can fell a zombie is to get them in the head.  So get out your Nerf guns and bows and arrows and get some target practice on.  You can even download and print zombie themed targets online.
In fact, I put together a variety of survival activities for my Hunger Games program so you may want to visit that post for some ideas.
Let the Zombie Games Begin
Eyeball Miniature Golf: Buy some of these wicked cool floating eye balls and set up a mini golf course around your library after hours.  Books ends make great mini golf obstacles.  To double the fun, let your participants design obstacles for the course and then set up and play.
Severed Hand Toss:  Get a fake severed hand (really, please don’t use a real one) and play a version of hot potato.  Or ring toss.
Zombie Shuffle Relay Races: Think 3-legged races.  Or simply see who can come up with the best zombie shuffle.  Have a zombie shuffle fashion show (bonus points for totally awesome zombie wear).
Zombify Me
Use face paint and theater make-up and allow teens to make each other into zombies.  Have plenty of soap on hand!
Deconstruct t-shirts and add blood stains, teeth marks and hand prints.  Take old t-shirts and rip them, tear them, and cut them.  Stain them to make them look bloody and dirty.  No one makes it through a ZA looking pretty.
Fake Wounds: Use petroleum jelly and red food coloring to make fake blood.  Use gauze bandages and band aids to create fake looking zombie wounds.
‘Cause this is Thriller
Michael Jackson’s Thriller is perhaps the most famous zombie dance ever.  Spend time with your teens and this awesome youtube video learning how to do the dance.  See if you can get the local schools to let you come in and do the dance as a flash mob during lunch.  Great publicity for you zombie party.  Or have a zombie prom like these libraries did.
Zombie Crafts
No seriously people, if you have not done them yet this is a great time to make gocks.  Zombie gocks!
Make zombie silhouettes: You can use these to decoupage pictures frames or coffin shaped treasure boxes.  There are a lot of cool zombie silhouette ideas out there.
Zombify old Barbie dolls and GI Joes
Make zombie themed “motivational” posters.  Teens will have a great time coming up with pictures (since they are getting dressed up, they can be the subjects of the pics) and coming up with their own witty sayings.  Part of the fun of zombie culture is the zombie humor.
Fun examples at http://www.zombieapocalypseblog.com/2010/09/17/zombie-motivational-posters/ (not all safe for work or teens)
Make polymer clay zombie heads for jewelry charms.  Also, shrinky dinks.  You can use a toaster oven to bake.
And check out this cool book on making zombie felties
Sure it’s a stretch, but go for it anyway
Zombie buttons:  When searching for zombie crafts I came upon this wicked cool button that said “Zombies love a girl with brains”.  So we had a great time making our own zombie buttons.
And you know, should the zombie apocalypse happen – there’s a good chance you will be out in the open and not have a lot of time to prepare.  So you will have to use whatever is handy: stones!! Like I said, it’s a stretch – but seriously, I was inspired by these stone crafts.  So go ahead, gather some stones and decorate them (I like words, but color and design works just as well) and throw them at the nearest zombie. 
Zombie food
Bust out the old Halloween food feeling faves: Cold spaghetti = brains, Peeled grapes = eyeballs, Carrot sticks = severed fingers, Peach slices = skin
Wrap crescent rolls in a tube around cocktail weinies to make fingers.
Or you could make zombie cupcakes . . .
Zombie Crafts in Other Places
Don’t forget get to get them reading . . .


  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks! Planning our own library Zombie night.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Awesome ideas!

  3. Brilliant ideas. We're thinking of a large multi-age event with zombie volunteer youth based on the good work at Tullamore, rural Australia.

    Here's a link to their work:


  4. Cheryl Mugleston says:

    I’m interested in the zombie silhouettes idea, but the link is broken. Where can I get more info? Thanks.

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