I remembered enjoying American Girl as a kid and I know the books move like crazy at the library to this day. I figured something American Girl related would be a good event to try. Oh boy, was I right. All 20 seats were full days before the event. We had people calling and emailing to see if there seats available. Eeek!
I searched around online trying to figure out what to do. I knew I wanted to us to make something that the girls could wear/use and a doll could use as well (if she had one). I ended up deciding on making some simple necklaces. I went to Lowe’s and bought some washers in few different sizes. I asked my coworkers to bring in any unwanted nail polish. That got me quite a few bottles in fun colors (if you don’t get enough that way, you can always buy some at the dollar store and get good colors). The idea was we were going to paint/design the washers with nail polish. After they were dry, we would put them on some yarn or ribbon and wear them as necklaces. I also found a big bag of buttons for us to hot glue on to cheap bobby pins.
This will get messy. Cover your tables up with something. We used butcher paper and that made clean up a breeze! Girls will decide to paint their nails with the nail polish so keep an eye on them if you don’t want that to happen.
The publishers of American Girl have some great printable materials for most of the girls. They’re perfect for the age group. They aren’t anything too fancy: some games and mildly educational things to do with the girls’ time period. If you’re a teacher or book club leader, they also have some more educational printables. Basically I printed out quite a few of these for the girls to take home or work on if they finished their necklaces early.
Verdict: This went amazingly well. If I’m ever stuck on an idea of what to do, American Girl is the way to go. If you want to do a program like mine, brace yourself. You might try a smaller group or have volunteers or moms hang out to help out. [There was no way I could have handled all that on my own]. The nail polish odor was overwhelming. Open windows and doors.