There are several movies coming out this winter that are based on popular children’s books. You can capitalize on the publicity these films will get with a library program celebrating those books. One that should grab the attention of a wide age range is “Paddington,” based on the series of short chapter books by Michael Bond. The first book is A Bear Called Paddingon (HarperCollins, 1958). Of course, when the movie comes out on DVD you could have a film showing if you have a license: http://www.movlic.com.
Icebreaker: Give each child a nametag that resembles the one Paddington is wearing when the family first finds him at the train station: http://www.britishairways.com/cms/global/pdfs/Travelling_with_children/Paddington_Bear_luggage_tag.pdf.
Read the first chapter (“Please Look After This Bear”) of the first book to introduce Paddington.
Display: Display Bond’s “Paddington” books as well as other books featuring teddy bears.
Refreshments: Proper English tea (hot and iced), some simple cookies and finger sandwiches. If possible, include Paddington’s favorites – strawberry tarts!
Peruvian Weaving: Since Paddington comes from Peru, make some authentic Peruvian crafts. This simple weaving craft is fun; make a blanket for your teddy bear: http://whirlsandtwirls.blogspot.com/2011/08/peru-crafts-weaving.html.
Bookmarks: Make these cute Paddington bookmarks: http://www.primarytimes.net/assets/files/byb_activity_sheet_-_pad_bookmark.pdf.
Paddington Bears: Make these out of toilet paper rolls: http://www.redtedart.com/2014/12/02/paddington-bear-craft-using-tp-rolls-of-course/.
Paddington Party Bags: Scroll down to see these simple Paddington goodie bags made from brown paper lunch bags and red construction paper: http://www.makeandtakes.com/paddington-bear-party-ideas.
Games and Activities:
Bubbles: Since Paddington creates a flood when he takes his first bath, give out bubbles as a fun activity.
Suitcase Toss: Make three simple “suitcases” out of brown cardboard boxes, to resemble Paddington’s suitcase. With a marker, write “Wanted on Voyage” on the side of each, just like the one in the first chapter. Stand them up on a table, and let players toss three beanbags to knock over the suitcases. If a player can knock one over, he or she wins a prize.
Magic Tricks: Paddington is fascinated by magic tricks, as seen in the chapters “A Disappearing Trick” and “Pantomime Time.” Set up an area where high school volunteers can teach some simple magic tricks: http://www.funology.com/magic-tricks/ .
Official Paddington site: Download some of the fun activities at the official Paddington website, including coloring sheets, mazes, and other hands-on activities. http://www.paddingtonbooks.com/.
Penny Peck, San Jose State Univ. iSchool