When I decided to take a break from doing traditional bilingual storytimes, I knew that I still wanted to offer some Spanish language programming. In January I planned a Family Fiesta for the end of April as a celebration of Día de los Niños, complete with a salsa tasting and a piñata. Even though since then I’ve moved to another library, I went back for this awesome party!
Book display. I pulled a bunch of bilingual books and had them out on display for reading or checkout.
Art projects. I had stations with tissue paper flowers, tissue paper papel picado, and coloring sheets. I was too busy having fun to take any pictures of the finished products, but these stations were insanely easy and pretty popular.
Salsa tasting. I lined up three community volunteers to make salsa for this event. In the end, we only had 2 different kinds of salsa, so next time I would make sure to have more than I want. Each person got paper ballots for the tasting to mark down how much they liked each one and what it tasted like.
Piñata. The middle school Spanish class made our piñata over the spring months, and I filled it with candy. We didn’t have a good hanging option, so I had to older boys stand on chairs with the piñata hanging from a broomstick. My plan had been to teach everyone the piñata song, but it ended up being too busy and the kids were getting antsy.
Each kid got one hit of the piñata, starting with the youngest and working up. It only stayed on the string for a few hits, so then we just put it on a table and let the kids go at it. It look a lot longer for every kid to get a hit in than I had anticipated, but they all loved it.
This was a super easy and really fun program, but what made it really work was the community connections and the relationships that really made it into a party atmosphere. I invited the Head Start class that I worked with, with a majority of Spanish speakers, to attend as their April family fun night, and the event was heavily promoted through the literacy council which offers English classes in the library. This ended up being one of the biggest and best family events I’d done.