Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

TPiB: Retro Rad- the 1970’s

You know a party isn’t a party with disco, right? If the 50s and 60s didn’t hit your teens, have them go all out and rock the bell bottoms and go go boots of the 70’s for a wild time. Full on hippie styles they’ll know from the musical Hair, bell bottom and disco styles that they can associate with Saturday Night Fever and the Bee Gees, and music from ABBA will all hit the right notes for your stylin’ set. Think The Brady Bunch, Bewitched, the original Battlestar Galatica, the Superfriends, and The Gong Show to pull ideas for dress and games.

Dig out the bell bottoms, and ring them high, for this was the age the originals came out. Moon boots that are seeing a comeback now were original to the 1970’s as well, and don’t forget your maxi dresses. Big glasses with tinted glass, floppy hats, and high wasted pants with long sleeves and feathered hair were all the rage- or letting your hair go natural and embracing your heritage. Or go mod and wear mini skirts with long sleeves and high socks, and show off your love of colors…
 Disco and smooth jazz were highlights during this era, along with soul, and some rock. Think Bee Gees, The Hustle, Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor for your disco. Or the Carpenters and John Denver for soft rock, while Aerosmith started hitting the charts for hard rock. James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, the Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Tower of Power, and others had the airwaves for jazz and soul.
  • Create a life sized battleship board in your room by nominating captains then sectioning off the room with cardboard. Have people lay down as the boats, and people call out the hits as they strike
  • Find Stratego boards and have a tournament, or Operation boards and see who the winner could be through their strategy and skill
  • Create a photo booth so that teens can show off their 70’s styles and instagram them to their friends, or make instragram crafts with them
  • Teach teens the popular dances of the era (the Hustle, YMCA, etc.) then have a dance off
  •  Have a costume relay race- gather up items like a leisure suite, big shoes, vest, weird hair, etc., and have teams relay throughout the area to see which team can get the best time


 Run these movies in the background for the perfect atmosphere, or have them be a centerpiece for a longer program. Be sure to check with your public performance license to make sure you can show them. Titles marked with an asterisk would be awesome for sing-alongs.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory *
Grease * (made in 70’s, set in 60’s)
Carrie (1976)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
The Wiz *
Logan’s Run
Tommy* (bonus points if they can name the stars)
Soylent Green
Hair *
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Enter the Dragon

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