Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Fancy Nancy Party

By May, I'll have done 6 Fancy Nancy Parties in the past three years. I'm getting quite good at it. This post is about my 5th party.

Attendance at the parties was as follows: 58, 49, 60, 41, and drum-roll please, 154. These numbers are children and adults combined.

The party this year had a phenomenal attendance. 79 girls plus adults for a total attendance of 154. There was only one problem...our meeting room's capacity is 75. The party was very crowded and people left at intervals before the party was over. By refreshment time, only about half the girls were left. I think the great attendance was due to several factors. More people know me now than they did 2 years ago. Every girl in school and head start received a flyer to take home about the party. And the weather was rainy. The age range was 3-10. I think I'm going to change that to 4/5-9. The younger girls couldn't follow the activities and needed lots of help at the stations.

Here's what I did along with my reflection: 

As the girls and their mothers, grandmothers, and even dads arrived, they signed in (I use the numbered sign-in sheet to give away the door prizes and announce the girls as they walk down the red carpet) and signed the permission to photograph form.

The party was set to begin at 10:00am, but we still had people pouring in so we didn't get started until about 10:20am. I began by introducing myself. About half of the attendants knew me. I mentioned upcoming events (Angry Birds Live and Cinderella Around the World). Then the story portion of the program began. Even with us starting 20 minutes late, I knew we'd have more latecomers, so I started with a few activities: Guess the Fancy Word Meaning (from Mrs. DeVine Event Kit) and a Fancy Nancy Mad Lib (from Fancy Nancy Reading Together Activity Kit). The older girls (say 6 and up) really enjoyed these activities.

To make sure I had everyone's attention before I started the first book, we did a listening song "If You Want to Hear a Story." I read Fancy Nancy: Bonjour, Butterfly. After that we danced to "Chantilly Lace" and did a transition "Two Little Hands" (Fancy Nancy style which I borrowed from my friend Liz). Since it was almost April and National Poetry Month, I decided to share selections from Fancy Nancy Poet Extraordinaire. I read the opening letter, Bree's poem, Nancy's poem, and the beginning & end of Nancy's anthology.

The story portion of the program went well because those 79 little girls were all seated and paying attentions. Things got a little wild after that. I decided to do the craft as a group so I didn't have to set up so many tables.  (We ended up setting them up during the program for the coloring anyway...oh well!) We made rings using buttons and pipe cleaners. I usually kit up the crafts in snack bags, but I wanted the girls to pick out their own buttons. At the time, I didn't know I'd have 79 girls who had to pick out buttons. The selection took forever. Of course, many of the girls decided to go ahead an make their rings even though I hadn't showed them how yet. But as Pete the Cat says, "It's all good!"

After the craft, I released the girls to the different stations around the room. Our main problem was no room. We set up extra tables for ages 3-5 to color. I was worried they were going to get trampled. I then divided the rest between the other stations: Fancy Nancy Read-Alikes, Pin the Collar on the Posh Puppy, and Can You Walk with a Book on your Head?/Posture Races. Everyone seemed to have fun, but it was really crowded.

Then it was time for the red carpet. We had about 40 girls at that time. We decided not to announce them, but just let them walk one by one down the carpet. I've decided to phase the red carpet out next year and have photo booth areas with props where we and the parents can get pictures. After the red carpet, I gave away the door prizes as my assistants were readying the refreshments. As the girls left, I gave them a Mark the Month coloring sheet from the Poet Extraordinaire Event Kit.

So a phenomenal attendance, but a wild party. Next year, I'm going to have a Fancy Nancy Party at all four of my branches, adjust the age to 4/5-9, require registration, and cap it at 40 girls.

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