Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Mad Hatter Tea Party

I held my first Mad Hatter Tea Party last spring before I had given much thought to 2013's teen summer reading theme of "Beneath the Surface." It was only after the event that I realized it would be perfect for 2013. I guess I can consider the one in 2012 a test run for my second Mad Hatter Tea Party.

Inspiration for this event came from the following: Abby the Librarian’s Mad Hatter Tea Party Plan, Amy’s Mad Hatter Tea Party Plan, Post from PUBYAC, another post from PUBYAC, "March Hare" chapter from Lithgow Party Paloozas!, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland party plan from Storybook Parties by Penny Warner & Liya Lev Oertel

This is one of the events that needs about two hours for decorating and set-up. During the summer, I'm lucky if I can manage an hour. Luckily the teens didn't seem to mind that we were running a little late. Two of my regular girls helped me prep the food while my volunteer Cathy completed the decorating.

The tables were covered with colorful plastic tablecloths. The table decorations were clear glass punch cups filled with flat marbles, ceramic items served as centerpieces (rabbit, teapot, clock, mushrooms). We also scattered two decks of playing cards down the table. The caterpillar and the Cheshire cat made appearances for photo ops.

Costumes were welcome but not required. We had Tweedledee, Tweedledum, the White Rabbit, and the dormouse. I came as the Cheshire Cat. Everyone was dressed up after the craft.

The first thing we did was eat! The menu this year was Tea/finger sandwiches (Pimiento cheese & Cucumber), Brownie bites, Lemon bars, Blueberry Scones with lemon curd, Fruit & dip (strawberries & grapes), Annie’s Cheddar bunnies, Chessmen cookies, Individually wrapped chocolates (presented in a tea cup & saucer with an “Eat Me” sign), and iced green tea (Lipton’s Orange, Passionfruit, & Jasmine).

After that we made Mad Hatter Hats. The instructions came from The Imaginary Librarian's blog. I'm glad I printed them ages ago because her blog has since disappeared. While they made their hats, I read them selections from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. After making the hats, we took photos of all the kids posing around the room with their new hats.

After that we did the dormouse hunt. Basically, you hide a small stuffed mouse under a teacup. Mix it in with others and have the teens find the dormouse.

Then it was time for the scavenger hunt. This was the first scavenger hunt I ever planned/wrote. If anyone has tips to share please do! Here it is:

  • Find the Cheshire Cat, the one without, not within, and you’ll have you’re first clue. (I read this one to them in the meeting room. There was a Cheshire Cat in the meeting room, but the clue directs them to the one in the mural in the children's section.)
  • The Queen of Hearts is quite angry. Perhaps a drink of water would cool her off? (This clue leads them to the water fountain.)
  • If you wanted to rescue the oysters from the Walrus here in the library, where would you find them? (This clue leads them to the fish tank.)
  • Tweedledee and Tweedledum love nonsensical poetry. Find a nonsense poem and you’re sure to find the next clue. Hint: check the online catalog. (This clue leads them to a book of poetry by Edward Lear in the j-non section.)
  • Alice meets a Sheep in a Shop in Through the Looking Glass. Your next clue is with the sheep. Hint: check the online catalog. (This clue leads them to Sheep in a Shop by Nancy Shaw in the easy section.)
  • Let’s paint the roses red! But first to find a rose bush! (This clue leads them outside to a rosebush.)
  • Find the White Rabbit in a place you normally wouldn't find a rabbit and you'll get a prize. (We gave them hot/cold clues as they walked around the library outside. A picture of the White Rabbit was in a tree. The prize was bubbles for our next activity.) 
After the scavenger hunt we blew bubbles in honor of the Caterpillar. Then we moved back inside for our Who Said That Trivia & Riddles. A correct answer gets them a piece of candy.  

A few things we didn't have time for were playing card towers, card toss into a hat, and a caucus race.

Last year, we made edible teacups, did the dormouse hunt, had a caucus race, played ninepins, ran an I'm Late sack race, and answered trivia.

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