Maybe I had ulterior motives of prolonging my summer vacation when I dreamed up this idea!
Our lockins last from 8-midnight and are for grades 7-12. The routine is an opening activity that will let them wander supervised through the building while it is closed and then they are all corralled into the meeting room for the rest of the evening. This works for me because I can ask for extra helpers during the first part of the evening and only one or two stay until midnight.
In previous years I have used the Live Clue and the Space Theme Scavenger Hunt. This year we will play Library Survivor as our opening activity.
In the meeting room, all tables and chairs were removed. The walls were decorated with fish paper below chair rail height for the ocean everything above the chair rail was treated as sky. A variety of sea life bulletin board cut outs and a large yellow sun with sunglasses finish decorating the walls. The window to the kitchen was made to look like a bamboo hut with a thatched roof using brown kraft paper. Palm trees in the corners were constructed of wrapping paper and poster board. Furniture was limited to beach chairs and beach towels and floats. Travel posters from tropical destinations added to the beach atmosphere. A volleyball net was set up at one end of the room. I added a fan with ribbons for an ocean breeze. A babypool and treasure chest of prizes were in the corners.
I pulled fake flowers off old candle rings we had here at the library, but almost everyone has old artificial flowers at home they would happily donate. Just thread them onto fishing line or dental floss with a needle and they make beautiful leis! The leftover greenery can be used for seaweed or plants in decorating the beach room.
Babyfood jars, another item you can collect from staff and friends, make nice containers for sand art. Spray paint the lids and hotglue on a small shell ahead of time and let the kids choose their container and be creative with the colored sand. You can buy sand art tools or just use small items of various shapes to press into the sand to make the design you want.
Beach Blanket Bingo
I downloaded a bingo demo off the Internet and used the word "BEACH" across the top of the cards and typed in a bunch of beach words. The bingo card generator will print as many cards as you like, 1-4 on a page and also prints the calling cards.
Volleyball inside the meeting room? Well, this version anyway! Players sit on their beach towels and a beach ball is used for the ball. Keep the net low for ceiling clearance.
Sea Shell Mancala
Mancala is a neat game you can play with anything from stones to jelly beans. I had a box of clam shells so I set up 12 luncheon sized paper plates with sand buckets on either end for the mancalas. Clam shells are the playing pieces.
Grass Skirt Hula Contest
Hawaiian music, grass skirts and leis... just a lovely thought unless you put them on the guys and the girls are the judges!
Hula Hoop Contest
Just like it sounds, who can hula hoop the longest? Or maybe combine with the grass skirts!
I found this game on the Internet. Place a bowling pin in the center of a hula hoop on the floor. Using coconuts for bowling balls, try to roll the coconut into the hoop without knocking over the pin.
While this isn't exactly a beach activity, I thought it would be a fun idea to try. You can use the Junior Pictionary game cards and Play-doh. Instead of drawing the clues for the team, the player must make a Play-doh model!
Mini Putt Putt
I borrowed my grandson's toddler sized golf sets and set up a course through the basement rooms!
Ring the Flamingo's Neck
Played like horseshoes. Get 2 lawn flamingos and some ring frisbees or cut rings of heavy cardboard. We anchored the flamingos in 2 foot long 2x6's by drilling holes for the wire legs. Decorate with some greenery and leis.
Depending upon your refreshment budget and the taste of your teens, you can have fun with the food. I needed inexpensive so hotdogs were the answer, fruit and Goldfish crackers or chips, sodas or fruit punch, ice cream or popsicles... fun summer food fits the bill.
Prizes for games could be sunglasses, sunscreen, water guns, candy, beach balls; there are lots of inexpensive fun items teens would like that would add to the beach atmosphere. Throughout the evening the teens can catch fish (tickets with fish pictures on them) to cash in for prizes or have a fish auction at the end of the evening for larger prizes. Display the prizes in a babypool or treasure chest.
Update: I had small prizes in the baby pool hidden under greenery to represent seaweed. I threw a frog and some fish and sponges in and it looked pretty neat and was fun for the kids to fish through to look for treasures. They paid one fish for each item they wanted from the pool. Larger prizes were displayed in a gold wrapped box with "Treasure Chest" written on the front. These prizes were auctioned off during the last half hour of the night and the teens loved this! They were busily counting their fish and figuring what they wanted to bid on and how high they could go. Everyone went home with neat prizes they had earned by using their library skills.
©2012, 2001 RoseMary Honnold.