The 1950s are gone, but the strong effect of that era is still evident today. From the music, to the style and overall culture, many people still love the 1950s decade, dressing in 50s costumes for Halloween or going to 50s-themed parties. If you love the 1950s style or culture and want to share that with your child, plan a 50s day with her and her friends. This lets the kids get dressed up for a day of nostalgic activities, while also teaching them about the decade.
50s Costume Activities
Ask the parents of your child's friends to bring their kids over wearing 50s-themed outfits, including the classic poodle skirt or leggings for girls, and cuffed jeans and leather-like jackets for the boys. Outfits can be as simple or elaborate as they would like. Have a costume contest for the best costume for older kids. For younger children, recognize all of the kids with an award for different reasons, such as "most unique outfit" and "coolest hairstyle." Another idea is to buy a bunch of costumes and make a competition out of dressing up in a specific 50s outfit. Divide the kids up into teams of two and have them race to dress one person on each team using a picture example.
50s Music and Dancing
You can't have a 50s day without 50s music. Pick up CDs such as "Ultimate Rock & Roll Collection: 50's," by various artists, including Elvis Presley and Ritchie Valens. If you have a karaoke machine, you could have the kids try to sing along to some of the most popular songs of the decade. Teach the kids some of the classic 50s moves and dances, such as the twist, the swing and the hand jive, then have a series of dance-related competitions. Have a swing dance competition to see which pair can do the swing the best. See who can do the fastest hand jive, or have an Elvis impersonation contest. Have the kids team up to come up with a new dance that fits with the 50s style of music and teach it to each other.
50s Theme Games
Engage the kids in common 50s games and activities, such as a limbo contest, where they have to see "how low can they go." Hula hoops were popular at that time, so have a hula hoop contest to see who can hula the longest. Another idea is to have a bubble gum blowing contest to see who can blow the largest bubble. For school kids, plan 50s trivia games. For example, you can show them pictures of certain items and ask them how much they think the item cost in the 50s.
50s Theme Crafts
Have the kids work on arts and crafts with a 50s theme. One idea is to make paper plate vinyl records. Have the kids draw a medium-size circle in the middle of a paper plate, and a smaller circle in the middle of the larger circle. Color the entire paper plate black, except for the circle. They can color and design in the inside of the larger circle however they want, but they should write a title for their record in that area as well. Cut out the small circle in the middle to complete the record look. For another idea, if you show a movie that celebrates the decade, such as "Grease," have the kids decorate their own popcorn bags. Give the kids white paper bags to decorate in a 50s theme. If possible, set up the movie on a projector screen outdoors to give them the feel of the 50s drive-in movie theaters.