Doctor Who returns to BBC America on Saturday, September 19, and my teen Whovians (and I) cannot wait for the return of our favorite time traveler. Back in 2013 I co-wrote this piece on putting together a 50th anniversary party for your library; since then I’ve changed blogs and we’ve changed companions and changed Doctors, so it’s definitely time for an upgrade.
While you can’t show Doctor Who episodes in your library without getting special permission from BBC America (and paying extreme amounts of money), there is NO reason why you can’t have an amazing celebration to recognize the return of The Doctor.
There is nothing to a good teen program without craft options. Mine love nothing better than to get their creative side going, and amazingly they have the best time with the easiest options. Even if your Doctor Who party is just a couple of crafts, your Whovians will be all over it.
- Have a button maker? Over on A Typical English Home, they created some really awesome Doctor Who printable circles that are perfect for making buttons with. Have your teens pick their favorite Doctor, embellish the rounds with markers or phrases that best describe their Doctor in their own words if they want, and punch way. Or, if you want a really easy decoration, print them out as a banner or as stickers!
- Have a sink and a well ventilated room? One Red Shoe has an awesome tutorial for using freezer paper and soft scrub with bleach for re-purposing T-shirts. I’ve done similar using a bleach & water mixture with cardboard stencils outside, and it turns out really amazing, but theirs looks more controlled. Darker colors are definitely better for bleaching shirts.
- There are a ton of papercrafts and printables out there. Sonic screwdrivers, favorite Doctors, Daleks, the TARDIS– anything you can think of you can find. Print them in color, lay out some scissors, and tape, and you have an easy self directed program.
- Everyone I know has a ton of spare keys that they have no idea where they came from. Have your staff bring them in, and have teens turn them into their very own TARDIS key. They can customize them using washi tape, duct tape, sharpies, tempura paint, nail polish, or a host of other media, depending on the material of the key.
I love having food at my programs- I know that my teens actually get to eat something, and they actually talk over food, so it’s a win-win situation. With food at programs, it also gives me a chance to expand on a theme, which lets me release my creative side as well.
- Purchasing cupcakes from the neighborhood bakery or the box store down the street? Never fear- print out these Dalek cupcake wrappers to make them fit right in with the Doctor Who theme.
- Looking for an easy punch? Serve the Eleventh Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver Mocktail, courtesy of The Drunken Moogle. The citrus too much? Make limeade!
- Want to celebrate both the 12th Doctor as well as the 10th and be a little creepy at the same time? Serve thin crust cheese pizza, and label it Cassandra.
- Why not serve the teens all of space and time in food form? Over on bakingdom.com, they put together blueberry jello with a variety of mixings to create Doctor Who jello– and while they made it in individual jars, there’s no reason why you couldn’t multiple the recipe for a huge dessert serving.
- In the mood for tea? Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint always turn to tea when things are tense, and there’s no reason why a Doctor Who party couldn’t consist of a proper Victorian era tea. Fruit, scones, punch, tarts, shortbread cookies, and small sandwiches would be perfect, and make Madame Vastra perfectly at ease.
- Or, go easy peasy: fish fingers and custard= vanilla sugar wafer cookies and pudding. Take other bulk snacks like cheese poofs, veggies, and store cookies and name them after things in the series like they did on Doodlecraft.
What would a party be without games? There’s always pin the sensor on the Dalek, put the bowtie on the 11th Doctor, and my Doctor Who version of Humans vs Zombies. However, there are some other fun things out there as well.
- Do a version of Red Light Green Light by making the “stop light” a Weeping Angel complete with mask.
- Want to go further than that? Play a variation of British Bulldog, with one person starting out as the Doctor and everyone else as a villain using a variety of these masks for your party goers. The Doctor then calls out the type of villain they want to cross, and starts the game. The ones they catch stay with the Doctor and he converts to his side.
- Invite your teens to come in costume, from the First Doctor and his companions to the current series. Have prizes for the best ones in each category (best Susan, best Rose, etc.)
- Get sticker name tags and print out Doctor Who character names on them ahead of time. At a designated time, get everyone in a circle and place them on their backs. Then, they have 10 minutes to figure out which Doctor Who character they are, asking ONLY yes or no questions AND only being able to ask ONE question per person in a row. Asking two questions of the same person in a row does not work. Getting in a group and rotating questions around does not work either- they must move around the room.If they think they’ve figured out who they are, they can ask one of the adults not playing if they are correct. If they are, they win a small prize; if not, back into the fray they go!
Are you teens into Doctor Who? Are they fans of the new Doctor? Why or why not?