May the 4th Be With You: Star Wars Library Program

Will Star Wars ever go out of style? Unlikely.  This year I decided to put on a May the 4th Be With program for school-age kids partly because I thought it might draw in some new faces and partly to promote all the different Star Wars materials we have in our collection.  I kept it pretty simple – 3 activity stations, a scavenger hunt, and a book display.  There are a million different ideas online for a Star Wars program, but I went with cheap activities that kept the focus on play, storytelling, and getting to know our collection.  Here’s what I did!

Star Wars Name Generator

Your Star Wars First Name:

1.  Take the first 3 letters of your last name.
2.  Add to that, the first 2 letters of your first name.

Your Star Wars Last Name:

1.  Take the first 2 letters of your mother’s maiden name.
2.  Add the first 3 letters of the name of the town in which you were born.

When kids first came in they immediately wrote their Star Wars name on a giant poster I had hanging on the wall. I used the formula above.  They LOVED this activity. It’s so simple, but it really got them talking and laughing.  Kind of wish I had made name tags instead for them to wear around and take home. Next year!

Chewbacca Puppets

Supplies Needed:

  • paper bags
  • brown paint
  • paintbrushes
  • cups/bowls for the paint
  • white paper
  • black paper
  • scissors
  • glue
  • googly eyes (optional)

chewy puppet

I got this idea from this blog post.  Kids painted their paper bags first and then went to a different station while they dried or worked on cutting out the eyes, teeth, or sash.  I also made two posters with Chewbacca sounds so we could practice together.  This was the first time I’ve ever used in paint in a children’s program! I covered the tables with newspaper first and had a designated drying spot for the paper bags which helped immensely. If you can get the kids to only paint a thin layer they dry much faster.

chewbacca sounds

Yoda Ears and Princess Leia Buns

Supplies Needed:

  • green paper
  • white paper
  • brown paper
  • black markers
  • staplers
  • brown yarn
  • cotton balls
  • odds and ends for decorating (sequins/feathers/jewels)
  • glue
yoda ears
My adorable co-workers, Karen and Katherine, who let me take photos of them and post them to my blog

I could not find a Yoda ear pattern I liked online so my co-worker free handed this one. We made the Leia buns by tracing a cup.  To save time, we pre-cut the Yoda ears, Leai buns, and strips of white and green paper. The kids got to put them together and decorate them however they liked.  Some had feathers and beads glued on all over the place.

Droid Cubecrafts

Supplies Needed:

  • patterns printed on cardstock
  • scissors
  • glue or tape

droid cubecraft

This was definitely the more challenging station, and I had to help kids figure out how to fold and adhere the paper.  I used the C-3PO and R2-D2 patterns from Cube Craft.  After we made the cubecrafts I encouraged the kids to tell me (and each other) stories about their droids.  I think this activity could be turned into a storytelling program for older school-age kids.  Many kids went home with the patterns to make additional characters.

Scavenger Hunt

My co-worker had already made a Star Wars themed scavenger hunt so I adapted it to my branch and had it out during the program.  Kids had to hunt around the children’s area using the clues on the scavenger sheet to find the hidden characters. The hints were about where to find certain types of material, so kids learned where the planet books are located, where we store the music CDs, and things like that.  Each character had a letter which they used to fill in the secret phrase, “Read You Must.”  Completed sheets could be submitted for a prize.  It was nice to have this passive activity out so that kids could complete it while their Chewy puppets dried.  After many requests, you can now download the scavenger hunt file!

Book Display

star wars book display

A week before the program I put holds on a ton of Star Wars books and had a nice display for the kids to browse before, during, and after the program.

And that’s it. Easy peasy!  If you’ve done a similar program, I’d love to hear what worked for you.

53 thoughts on “May the 4th Be With You: Star Wars Library Program

  1. Hello
    Love your ideas for the star wars theme party. Since I want to get a start on next year, I would like to get the scavenger hunt file you mentioned.

    1. Thanks, Janet! I’ll email you the scavenger hunt file.

      1. Lindsey,

        Could I get a copy of your star wars scavenger hunt clues?


        Sherrie Mortensen

          1. Hi Lindsay, Could I have the file as well please?

          2. Hi Alice, I added the file to the blog post as so many people have requested it. You can find the link under the Scavenger Hunt section.

  2. This looks so fun! For my SW program I painted some toilet paper rolls and glued some Storm Trooper printouts to them for target practice (my husband had two Nerf gun pistols because of reasons). They loved it! I had them on a timer so they knew when to switch out and go to another activity.

    1. I love it! If I can hunt down some Nerf guns, I’m totally doing it next year. The timer is a genius idea.

  3. Well, I think I’m going to start going by my Star Wars name: Whija Ziott!

    We have some big origami fans at the branch, so we made the different origami characters from the Origami Yoda series!

    1. I really wanted to do the origami but had to cut one activity due to space constraints. Perhaps this summer sometime! Sincerely, Krali Blsac 🙂

    1. I’m not sure mine is quite as cute as yours (my co-worker said it looked more like a Panda). Thanks so much for sharing an awesome idea – my library kids really loved it.

  4. Great ideas! For my May the 4th Be With You program we made spinning paper plate BB-8’s that I found on Silly Fun Time’s blog, balanced balloons on pool noodle light sabers, shot Nerf guns at Stormtrooper posters, made paper airplanes and flew them through hula hoops (from The Show Me Librarian’s blog), answered Star Wars trivia and demonstrated our new 3-D printer by printing a model of the Millennium Falcon. After putting up information about the program on our website I was contacted by someone who works down the road from the library asking if we would like him to bring his life-sized, remote control R2-D2 to the program. Of course I said YES! The kids had a blast taking pictures with him and our starry backdrop!

    1. Holy hairballs! Can I come to your program next year? 🙂 I think I saw the spinning paper plate BB-8’s the day after my program and fell in love. I will definitely do those next year.

      1. It was my first big program and I had a blast with it! I learned a lot along the way. The BB-8’s were super cool, but took a lot of prep work (I added two extra squares of cardboard to the back of each so that they would spin easily without hitting the edge of the paper plate). I prepped 100 and it took forever! I think it would be a great craft for a smaller crowd. I had over 200 people show up, so next time I will choose an easier craft that doesn’t require as much prep.

  5. HI, great program! can you send me the scavenger hunt file? thanks, Joy

  6. We celebrate Star Wars Reads Day in October. All of our programs for the day are SW-themed. We do “Mother Goose on the Loose: Padawans and Ewoks Edition.” Little ones come dressed up, and we do a couple of altered rhymes: “Fly, fly, fly your ship, through the asteroids. The odds are stacked against you but don’t listen to the droids.” (Row your boat) In the afternoon we do Star Wars Crafternoon, and have a huge craft-fest with Lightsaber crafting, papercrafts, yoda ears, etc. We have a local Thai Chi instructor come in and do Jedi training with the kids and their sabers. 60-70 Jedis very intently focusing on their “force.” This year Darth Vader and some Storm Troopers came in and hassled the kids and took some photos.

    We’ve also done “These are not the droids you’re looking for,” where we stick pictures of R2D2 and C3P0 around the library with codes on them, and kids have to report back to the circ desk with the code. They get three chances to get the right code to win a prize.

    1. Wow, you really go all out! I love the song adaptations for the little ones. I’d love to work with a community partner next year – the Thai Chi instructor is a great idea!

  7. I want to use Star Wars as my library theme this year. Loved your ideas. May I have your scavenger hunt file?

  8. Hi, love your website! I am doing my first “SWreads” this year. Could you please send me the scavenger hunt file? Thank you.

    1. Hi Victoria, I emailed you the scavenger hunt. I hope you have a wonderful event!

  9. Hello! Thank you for all of your fantastic Star Wars program ideas (and other wonderful tips and videos). Could you please send me the scavenger hunt file? Thank you!

  10. Thanks so much for all the amazing ideas that you share! There are gobs and gobs of inspirational ideas on your blog! Can you please email me the Star Wars Scavenger Hunt file? Thanks!

    1. Thank you for your kind words! An email is on its way 🙂

  11. I would also love to use the scavenger hunt file, if you could email it, my kids here would appreciate it!

  12. Today I just found out we are doing the may 4 thing. I would love the scavenger hunt for the Library. and is Mother Goose on the Loose Padawans and ewok edition a real book or did someone just make that up. Thanks Debbie

    1. Hi Debbie, I put the link to the scavenger hunt in the blog post so you can download it straight from here now. Just click on the green link above. Based on the comment above I think that was just the name of the program someone created and not the name of a book.

  13. Hi! I love your ideas could you send me your Star Wars scavenger hunt for the library? I’m a brand new elementary librarian nd hunting down ideas to incorporate in our library! Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Sara, I got so many requests for the scavenger hunt file that I included a link to it in this blog post. Check under the scavenger hunt section. Thank you!

  14. Hello! I am thinking of doing the Star Wars Scavenger Hunt this year. Could you please send me the files?


    1. Hi Marlene, I had so many requests that I added a link to the scavenger hunt file in the blog post under that section. Hope you enjoy!

  15. I’d love a copy of your scavenger hunt file as well if still possible? Thank you! Charell 🙂

    1. It was such a popular request that I added a link to the file in the section called “Scavenger Hunt” in the blog post. Enjoy!

  16. Wow!
    We just finished our first ever May the 4th program and it was a huge hit! Learned so much and definitely have some ideas for next year. The Death Star paper airplane station was the biggest hit.

    Thanks so much for all you do!

    1. Awesome! I had to take apart my death star later that year to use the hoola hoop for another program. I’m glad you had such a successful program 🙂

  17. We did a May the 4th program last year and are repeating it again this coming year called Jedi Training! There were four stations where the kids tested different things, like their mind, the force, etc, and then once they were done with those, they got to make their own lightsaber out of different colored duct tape and pipe insulation we cut into lengths of three feet. It was a big hit and lots of kids and grownups dressed up! Though I may swap out something for the scavenger hunt.

    1. Wow, how did you get so much pipe insulation?! That’s one of my biggest challenges with Star Wars programs – we get huge numbers and I have a limited budget for supplies. So awesome that kids got to go home with a makeshift lightsaber!

  18. Hi,

    Thank you for sharing your ideas. I am interested in the droid cube craft but the link leads me to a dead page. What website did you use for the patterns?

    1. Hi Sarah, I have updated the link so it works now. There are so many great Star Wars templates on Cube Craft!

      1. Thank you for updating the link!

        What did the kids use to make the cuts on the tabs?

        1. So we didn’t actually cut those lines as directed. Instead we had the kids glue the flaps together. It’s been a long time since I ran this program, but I think it worked okay for the templates we were using. Depending on how much time and capacity you have you could pre-cut those lines using an exacto knife before the program begins or have a staff member who assists the kids during the program.

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