Additional reporting for this article by Staff Writer Jason Licitra.
The children entered into the magic world of the Early Childhood Club’s custom Wonderland.
Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, a free event, took the hard work and planning of the 15 members of this club. The activities were held in the James Hall rooms 1112, 1115 and 1119 on Nov. 22.
Streamers, goldish-brown and black, hung down at the beginning of the hallway to create an illusion of shifting reality. The children and parents entered from a world of dull colors to that of vibrancy and topsy-turvy activities.
“This is a semester thing,” said Angelina Bennett. “We do it twice a year, every semester. We invite kids in the daycare here and kids of professors to come and enjoy this event.”
The event is a belated celebration of Universal Children’s Day, which is on Nov. 20.
“We are celebrating children and the life of children,” Sarah Murphy said.
Arriving at the Mad Hatter’s Party, patrons were greeted by Murphy, who was stationed at the welcome desk. Here there was a bean bag toss that was painted as if it was a red card, and huge playing cards that children could take pictures with. Immediately, the children were enchanted by what was before them and were giggling and jumping in excitement.
“It’s experience for what we are going to do in the real world,” Bennett said. “I want to personally be a kindergarten teacher. I’m getting my degree in pre-k through third. I’m very excited about it.”
There was a movie room where the timeless film “Alice in Wonderland” was playing while food and beverages were out for the taking. The one activity room held a maze where desks were placed crookedly together. Signs were pointing the wrong way, cutouts of Alice, flowers and cards were placed on the edges of the tables and on top. The end of the maze led to the activity of painting the roses red.
“You can’t be 4 years old,” said Bennett, talking to one of the children. “You’re so smart!”
The second activity room had a hat-making activity where children could choose to make crowns or top hats. The other activities consisted of making Play-Doh figures, designing playing cards and pin the smile on the Cheshire Cat. All of the rooms were overseen by multiple members of the club.
“It’s a great time,” Bennett said. “Seeing kids enjoy it is great.”
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