Teen Librarian Toolbox
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TPiB: Retro Rad Valentines- 1960’s

1950’s not your style? If you want to flip back in time for Valentines (or any time for a teen program) try the 1960’s. Instead of bobby socks and poodle skirts think of the mod and miniskirts, flipped hair, and the beginning of the hippies. Jacqueline Kennedy, Twiggy, Austin Powers, and the Beatles.  Gilligan’s Island, the beginnings of Doctor Who, the original Star Trek, and I Dream of Jeannie.

With such a wide range to work with, how can you NOT have fun?


To get ideas for dress, look no further than current TV. Mad Men or the original episodes of Doctor Who will give you all the ideas that you need, as well as idea for hair and makeup. Look to your collection or the web for articles on hair and how to do flips and bubble hair, or if you have it long enough, iron it. If you don’t want to wear a suit or a dress, find a pair of flare pants, and a long sleeved shirt and tuck it in with a large belt, or go completely flower child hippie.

My tweens and teens are in love with 60’s music, even if they don’t know it’s from the 60’s. They will CONSTANTLY sing Beatles music, and will listen to Hendrix at the drop of a hat. Load up your ipod with all the genres and be surprised at what your teens know.
Look no further than the British Invasion and start with the Beatles, then move to the Monkees. The Rolling Stones, The Animals, Freddie and the Dreamers, the Kinks and the Dave Clark Five all are in the early 60’s. Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, and other folk singers hit their fame in the 60’s as well. Or if that’s not your scene, move to the surf rock of the Beach Boys, the Champs, or the Ventures, or the psychedelic rock of Jimi Hendrix or the Doors or Jefferson Airplane. Janis Joplin and the blues rock, Paul Revere and the Raiders style of garage rock, and Credence Clearwater Revival and their style of roots rock are all 60’s style. 

  • Grab multiple sets of Twister and have a Twist-off contest for a master champion!
  • Pass the orange (or tennis ball if you’re afraid of allergies): line up everyone, and you have to pass the object from neck to neck down the line and back without touching. For a competitive spirit, you can make teams.
  • Grab the hula hoops and have a contest to see who can last the longest
  • Musical chairs to the music
  • Freeze dancing- everyone can dance (somewhat, right) but can you stop when then music does?

 Want some 60’s inspired crafts to go with your theme night and valentines?
  • Decorate a pet rock
  • Create daisy chain necklaces
  • Dig out the pony beads and create groovy love necklaces for you or your valentine
  • Get adventurous and have everyone bring an item to tie-dye
  • Hand out psychedelic coloring sheets like these or these
  • take a look at some of the vintage valentine pages online for inspiration:
    And when all else fails? Show movies for that perfect ambiance- just check to make sure your public performance license covers it.
    Titles marked with a (*) are awesome for sing-alongs.
    American Graffiti
     Dr. No
    From Russia With Love
    Dr. Strangelove
     Funny Girl *
    The Love Bug
    Mary Poppins *
    My Fair Lady*
    Hairspray (2007) *
    The Sound of Music *
    West Side Story *
    Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
    Breakfast at Tiffany’s
    It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World
    Night of the Living Dead (1968)
    Batman (1966)
    Across the Universe *

    Next up, the 1970’s

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