Saturday, July 7, 2012

What Rocks Your Teens?

At the Dwight Foster Public Library in Fort Atkinson, I’ve been trying out some new teen programming ideas.  During the first week of the summer reading program, we hosted a successful teen karaoke night.  At first I was concerned about finding a karaoke machine, but it turns out that you can use a Wii console and purchase (or borrow from another library) Wii Karaoke games.  Simple, right?!  We used Karaoke Revolution Glee, American Idol Encore 2, and Sing 4.  Three games was just the right amount for our 1.5 hour program and among the three we could find songs that all teen participants enjoyed.  We projected the game onto the wall with a ceiling-mounted projector and teens chose to sing duets or solos through the games’ karaoke modes.  We also had a large number of “backup singers” who joined in regardless of whether they had a microphone in their hand.  I loved watching the teens let loose and belt out songs like “Sweet Caroline” and Kelly Clarkson’s “My Life Would Suck Without You” in the library!

Last week we offered a “Highlighter Party” for area teens.  For those of you who are familiar with the highlighter party concept, this was obviously a tamer and craftier version.  I set up long fluorescent black lights (which only cost $10 at Wal-Mart and worked great!) on tables along with highlighters, neon paint, and glow-in-the-dark paint.  Participants brought white t-shirts and decorated them with markers and paint in the darkened room while listening to music.  Some of the girls swapped shirts and decorated their friend’s shirt while others painted their hands to create neon handprints on their shirts.  The readily available sink in the craft room allowed us to get messy, which of course made everything more fun!

Minetta Koblings
Dwight Foster Public Library
Fort Atkinson, WI

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