In celebration of our library’s 50th anniversary, we wanted to have an American Girl party with a 1970s theme for Julie. Of course, now we have to postpone getting together in person, so here are a few ideas for 1970s activities to enjoy with your family or a few friends.

Eat Fondue

When I was first thinking about fun foods for a 1970s party, I immediately thought of fondue! I don’t think Julie ever eats fondue in the books, but it’s hard to think of a dish that’s more strongly associated with the decade (especially since my mom has an avocado green electric fondue pot). If you want to make fondue for a meal, there are plenty of recipes online for kid-friendly cheese fondue for dipping bread, vegetables, etc. Chocolate fondue is also popular for desserts! Here are a couple of options for approximating fondue, depending on what you have around:

  • pudding cups
  • prepared pudding mix
  • a chocolate fountain
  • any sauce you would put on a sundae

Berries are easy to prepare for dessert fondue since you don’t need to cut them (or you can cut them with a dinner knife instead of a sharp knife). Other fruits, cookies and marshmallows also make good dipping material. You can skewer them on a toothpick before you dip.

Make Friendship Bracelets

Miss Melisa recently made a video demonstrating how to make friendship bracelets. Watch her tutorial, and then make a few for you and your BFFs.

Go on a Scavenger Hunt

How many can you find? Try walking around your neighborhood and looking around your house. Think creatively! Maybe you won’t see a live eagle, but you might see one on a sculpture or on a T-shirt.

  • Basketball hoop
  • Something colored harvest gold or avocado green
  • Rabbit
  • Something tie-dyed
  • Airplane
  • Volkswagen
  • Chinese restaurant
  • Horoscope
  • Eagle
  • Music from the 1970s
  • Spider plant
  • Nancy Drew or Laura Ingalls Wilder book

Try a New Hairstyle

The American Girl website has lots of videos on how to style your doll’s hair. You can follow the instructions for a doll, or use the same techniques to copy a style for yourself or a friend.

Make Something New Out of Something Old

Do you have an old pair of jeans that doesn’t fit? Check with your family to make sure they don’t mind if you upcycle them for a craft. You can try making a no-sew denim purse (or if you’re handy, you might substitute sewing where the instructions call for glue). Follow the link for instructions and some ideas for how to personalize your bag with different kinds of decorations. It’s just the kind of thing Julie’s mom would carry in her store!

Read!

Are you signed up for our Summer Adventure? Let your summer reading take you to the 1970s! Click on the book title for more information and to place a hold in our catalog.

Billie Jean! How Tennis Star Billie Jean King Changed Women’s Sports by Mara Rockliff

Anything Billie Jean did, she did it ALL THE WAY. When she ran, she ran fast. When she played, she played hard. As a top women’s tennis player, Billie Jean fought for fairness in women’s sports, and when she faced off against Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes—the most famous tennis match in history—she showed the world that men and women-—and boys and girls—are equal on and off the court.

Bringing Down a President: The Watergate Scandal by Andrea Balis & Elizabeth Levy; illustrations by Tim Foley

Bringing Down the President describes the events, personalities, and issues involved in the Watergate Affair, featuring quotes from primary source materials. It’s a narrative account of the Watergate scandal draws and discusses its major events, impact on the Nixon presidency and role in shaping the political events of today’s world. An audiobook is also available from hoopla.

Cub by Cynthia L. Copeland

Twelve-year-old Cindy has just dipped a toe into seventh grade drama—with its complicated friendships, bullies and cute boys—when she earns an internship as a cub reporter at a local newspaper in the early 1970s. This title is also available as an ebook from cloudLibrary.

Gloria Takes a Stand: How Gloria Steinem Listened, Wrote and Changed the World by Jessica M. Rinker; illustrated by Daria Peoples-Riley

From an unconventional childhood, to Smith College, to Ms. Magazine, to the women’s liberation movement, to feminist icon, this book brings to the page a spirited look at Gloria Steinem’s influential life, energizing a new generation of feminists to stand up and demand equal rights for all people.

The Long Ride by Marina Budhos

In New York in 1971, Jamila and Josie are bused across Queens where they try to fit in at a new, integrated junior high school while their best friend, Francesca, tests the limits at a private school.

Sunny Rolls the Dice by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm; with color by Lark Pien

Trying hard to be cool can make you feel really uncool… and it’s much more fun to just have fun. Sunny’s going to find her groove and her own kind of groovy, with plenty of laughs along the way. This title is also available as an ebook from cloudLibrary.