Snack on soft pretzels, monster gummies (yes, Halloween leftovers), and red juice (cause, you know, blood). Start off by discussing the book over snack. This is one of the books the boys chose at an earlier meeting. When I offered it as a selection, I thought they would enjoy reading it, but I wasn’t thinking about discussion potential. Honestly, there wasn’t a lot of “there” there, so I decided to just do the “what-did-you-think” question and then move on to the activity, building car ramps/jumps out of cardboard tubes and boxes.
I had 4 parent-child pairs (3 moms, 1 dad). As they came in, they got a snack. The boys devoured the (microwave) soft pretzels and did not even touch the gummies, which surprised me. We went around the table and talked about the book. Considering how much trouble I had getting the boys to talk at the first Boys & Books last January, I was surprised by how long they talked (although many of the comments were focused on the illustrations). They all enjoyed the book. I was worried that they would find it too young, but they all enjoyed the heavy use of illustrations and the silly humor.
After about 10 minutes of discussion, we moved to the activity. Two of the boys chose to build together, and the other two worked independently. The parents were pretty involved, and they all had fun. This ran about 20 minutes long, since they didn’t want to stop building. Our main problem was that the cars were a little bit too lightweight, and tended to flip over when going down the ramps. One of the nice things about this project was that each child/group approached it differently, so it didn’t get competitive. I would definitely do this one again!