To kick off Halloween, we had a Poe Party at the library. I said we would: Celebrate the horror tales of Edgar Allan Poe with activities, treats, and a play by Bright Star Touring Theatre, coming to us from North Carolina! Hear of “The Tell-Tale Heart!” Dig deep with “The Cask of Amontillado.” Quoth ‘nevermore’ with “The Raven” and hear the ‘tintinabulation’ of “The Bells!”
Pinterest wasn't exactly chock full of suitable Poe activities for kids, so I had to get creative and/or modify things to make them work. First, we had to have a raven craft.
I found a great printable from Learn Create Love. I modified it so we could put brads in the individual parts so they could move, and gave the raven a "Nevermore" banner. Here is the end result:
I used the Cricut to cut them out on black cardstock, and used the Crayola Construction Paper Crayons on them, which show up great on black.
I had it all cut and laid out on the table, so guests could just assemble and decorate.
Another craft was a black cat. I used a great template from Krokotak, which I just printed onto black construction paper.
I considered not using the cat's pre-drawn face, because it was a little too happy/cute, but eh.
Another activity was "The Tell-Tale Heart" game. This was just our corn hole boards, converted to Poe versus the Beating Heart.
Beside this game was a pile of cardboard bricks, Mondo Bloxx, actually, that kids could stack up à la "The Cask of Amontillado."
I found some great Poe infographic posters, like the one behind the bricks here, for free at Course Hero. I believe there were 5 altogether. I tried to match them with the corresponding activity. Plus they made for a great wall decoration!
Another craft was decorating masquerade masks in honor of "The Masque of the Red Death." Unfortunately, I somehow missed getting a picture of the table, but I ordered paper masquerade masks and had markers, glitter, feathers, jewels, etc out for the kids to decorate them with.
Another activity was a group coloring mural. For this, I just enlarged a Poe coloring page, and printed out two copies (one in gray, one in black). The black copy I cut into several small pieces to be colored, and left the fainter, gray version intact and on the wall to use as a template.
It turned out really cute! I thought figuring out the puzzle piece-like sections of the mural was a fun addition to the activity.
I also tried to have a Poe book at every table.
The library purchased Literary Paper Dolls by Kyle Hilton, so I could use the Poe doll for an activity at another table.
There were a lot of cute paper doll options available on Etsy as well, but this worked well for our budget. I made copies of the Poe dolls, cut them out, and set them on a table to reenact Poe stories.
On the projector screen during the event, I played some fantastic animated Poe stories that I found on YouTube. I had no idea there were so many great ones until I started looking! Here's a link to my playlist.
My mom found some Edgar Allan Poe wafer paper at Fancy Flours, which we purchased to make cookies for the event. She had the cat cookie cutter already, so we made a few of those as well. They were perfect for the Poe Party, but the set weirdly included a Macbeth quote which we couldn't use. What the heck, Fancy Flours. Get it together.
After the activities was a Poe play by Bright Star Touring Theatre, which we had used once before for their rendition of "A Christmas Carol." I actually built the whole event around the performance when I saw they were offering a Poe play, because I thought it would be fabulous. They always do a good job, I highly recommend this group.