1. As children came in our meeting room, they picked up their nametag. Our nametags were made out of a cardstock bone shape and strung with yarn.
2. We started off by reading Clifford's Birthday Party by Norman Bridwell. This is a fun book to read aloud to a group, because it has a lot of silliness that you can talk about (Really? A sweater on Clifford's nose???)
3. After the story, Clifford showed up! This was a big hit. Some kids got in line to talk to him right away, while other stood back, worked on the crafts, or played our games.
4. Our first craft station had precut pieces out for kids to make Clifford ears. Our pattern came from Kids Domain Crafts and I had originally printed it out in 2004. The link is no longer active though. When we make headbands in our programs, I like to use a paperclip to fasten them (instead of staples). Then the headbands are adjustable and don't rip quite as easily.
5. We also made Clifford out of heart shapes. I had originally posted an example and pattern here.
6. Then there was a station where kids could throw beanbags into dog bowls. For fun, I added "Clifford", "Cleo", and "T-Bone" to the front of one bowl with puffy paint. To add an extra component to the game, I pulled out beanbags that were the color of each bowl.
7. We had one more station planned, but didn't end up doing it due to our volunteer for the program calling in. We have a giant laminated Clifford that we cut out and were going to play Pin the Bone on Clifford.
How it went:
This was an EXTREMELY popular program. We registered 30 kids, ages 3-6, because that is what our room could hold and the program was filled within 3 hours (which is even kind of fast for us). The kids had a great time with all of the activities that we had planned and didn't really miss the game that we had to drop. The costumed Clifford was also a giant hit. While not every child went up to him, they all watched him and nobody went screaming from the room (always a sign of success). Due to the weight of the costume, Clifford only stayed for 15 minutes, which was plenty of time for parents to get pictures of their children. We had quite a few parents of children not registered for the program call the day of and ask if their children could come up and just "meet" Clifford. While we couldn't accomodate them this time, it is always an idea for the future to have a "meet and greet" session outside of the program.