American Girl – Holiday Fashion Show

Introduction For my final 2018 American Girl program, I decided to go more modern girl. I actually had a young patron request that we do something with dresses, so voilà, “Fashion Show” was born. I wanted several activities to keep the kids busy.
Make a bracelet Beads are a guarantee craft and the kids always love them. We have a whole bin full of beads and I just threw a bunch of string and beads out and let the kids go to town.
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Doll Dress The kids always go gaga for anything they can make for their dolls, and I thought a tutu in honor of the The Nutracker would be really fitting. I dug around the internet to find instructions (instructions 2) that would be the easiest for the kids. Full disclosure: adults still need to help if you have a younger crowd. I bought the fabric from JoAnn Fabric and Craft because…coupons. Rhinestones are a must. Who doesn’t want a razzle dazzle tutu.

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Cookie Decoration The holidays are not complete without your 500 cookies galore, so my super awesome coworker made me a huge batch of cookies. We kept the frosting easy and threw out a ton of sprinkles.
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Fashion Show Our final activity was walking the red carpet. I purchased a red carpet off of amazon and jazzed up a door with some fringe. The kids then walked the carpet while I had a volunteer act as the paparazzi to take their pictures. Our department invested in a a portable Polaroid printer. Super awesome since we can just print the pictures as we go. The kids also love that their pictures have the option to become stickers.
  *We have pictures of the fashion show, but cropping the pictures do not do the pictures justice.
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American Girl – Caroline Abbott

Introduction Caroline Abbott was one of the first dolls I ever purchased for my library and unfortunately, she is now retired from American Girl collection. Almost four years later, I FINALLY decided to do her for my program!
About Caroline I really dug through Caroline’s books to get inspiration for this program. All the activities we did were directly inspired by Caroline’s books.
Food Since I try and provide some food, I found that biscuits and honey would be a very easy food option. My volunteer spent most of her time in the kitchen prepping the biscuits and making sure the biscuits did not burn.

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First Activity Oh, paper dolls have a special fondness in my heart, so I was excited to find the history of paper dolls in Caroline’s books. I thought my patrons would have fun making their own dolls. I found further inspiration from Thy World on affordable paper dolls. I was excited that my patrons could make boy or girl paper dolls. I had a volunteer make several clothing templates and then I put a ton of scrapbooking paper out for the participants to pick what they wanted to use.
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Second Activity Everyone love pockets! Unfortunately, during Caroline’s time, girls had to make “pockets” instead of having them sewn into their dresses. We simply used felt and I had a volunteer pre-poke holes to make the sewing aspect easier for the kids. This was kind of pain. However, the kids got a kick from it.
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Third Activity Our last activity was embroidery. I wanted this activity to be accessible for all participants and decided to use burlap and plastic needles (real needles gave me too much anxiety). I will say the youngest kids were more meh about it because it does take time and patience, but my older kids really got into it! Rhythms of Play really broke down what I needed.