Library Programs

Secret Pizza Parlor!

Last winter, I happened to talk to Kelsey Cole (of Library Bonanza), who works at the library one town over from me, minutes before she was doing a program called Secret Pizza Party, based around the book of the same name. The program and book sounded really fun, so I pulled the book off the shelf, and by the next day was planning a secret pizza party of my own! Our program ended up different than Kelsey’s, but that’s where the inspiration came from.

As I’ve mentioned before, we have a number of play literacy setups at my library. (Check out my past posts on the grocery store and veterinarian.) We also have a pizza parlor, so that was the focus of this program. We had 20 kids in grades K-2, for 45 minutes. First they ate popsicles while they listened to several books:

  • The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza by Philemon Sturges (Love this book and it’s always a hit with this age)
  • The Princess and the Pizza by Mary Jane Auch (Also love this book, but it was probably too long and the kids started getting wiggly)
  • Secret Pizza Party by Adam Rubin (Cute story about a raccoon who tries sneaking into a restaurant to get some pizza. It gave me the happy squeals.)

We talked about all the things you’d find in a pizza parlor and the types of people who would be there (chef, waiter, customer) and then it was time to play! They did a great job playing with each other and behaved really well (at the last play program I did, the kids started getting a little wild towards the end).

Here are photos of our setup. Unfortunately, I don’t have good pictures of the literacy aspects, but we had menus and order forms for the waiters/waitresses to fill out and give to the chefs.

Play kitchen (Secret Pizza Parlor at the Ela Library)
One of our ovens in the kitchen. This is a small shelving unit with (paper) burners taped to the top and a cardboard flap taped on for the oven.
Play kitchen (Secret Pizza Parlor at the Ela Library)
The other stove–more burners taped to the top and we used drawers as the oven.
Kitchen supplies (Secret Pizza Parlor at the Ela Library)
Kitchen supplies (pots, pans, dishes, aprons, chef coats, etc.)
Dining Room (Secret Pizza Parlor at the Ela Library)
The dining area, ready for customers, complete with menus, napkins, and bread baskets.
Take out window (Secret Pizza Parlor at the Ela Library)
The takeout window. There was a menu, cash register, telephone, and pizza-by-the-slice boxes. Oh, and cleaning supplies off to the side. It’s important to maintain a clean restaurant!
Kids lined up at the takeout window (Secret Pizza Parlor at the Ela Library)
Kids lined up at the takeout window and a custodian wheeling around the cart of cleaning supplies.

Yummy! Eating at the Secret Pizza Parlor

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