Nailed It / Failed It: Holiday Snacks Edition

This program was inspired by Netflix show "Nailed It!", which features amateur bakers trying to bake crazy cakes and treats.

Our program encouraged teen and tween participants to create decorative, fun snacks. Since the program was being held in December, we challenged them to make holiday-themed marshmallow pops: a reindeer, a Santa and a snowman.

Advanced Planning

With this program, I sought to create a fun environment for tweens and teens to showcase their creativity in replicating holiday marshmallow pops as closely as they could.

At all of the Omaha Public Library branches, we enter our programs into our programming calendar two months ahead of time, so I started planning this program in September. I started by gathering ideas through Google and Pinterest of different holiday marshmallow pops.

Once I decided on the specific marshmallow pops, I created a supply list. Any supplies that I could buy ahead of time (sucker sticks, orange candy melts, candy eyeballs, pretzels, red M&Ms, sprinkles, rolos, candy corn), I bought at the beginning of October. I bought the rest of the supplies (marshmallows, candy cane kisses, Oreos) a week before the program.

My goal was to have enough supplies on hand for the 12 teens who could register for the program; then I would allow other tweens/teens who just showed up to participate with the leftover supplies.


Marketing for all Omaha Public Library branches is created centrally with our marketing department, based at our main branch. Our marketing team creates a calendar for each branch and also publishes our programs on our website.

Sometimes our marketing department will also send out press releases about particular programs. For bigger events where most of the 12 branches participate (holidays, Teen Tech Week, etc.), the marketing department will make a poster highlighting the events during that time.


This program cost approximately $50. Most of my supplies were bought at one of our local grocery stores. Some supplies (white candy melts, chocolate candy melts, sucker sticks, wax paper, glass bowls, spoons) our library system already owned or were in kits shared between branches. Any remaining supplies I bought on Amazon.

Day-of-event Activity

A couple hours before the program start time, I gathered all of my supplies onto an empty library cart. I decided not to make examples of the different marshmallow pops, so I printed off pictures of each variety.

At the beginning of the program, I shared the pictures of what the teens would be creating and told the participants that they needed to take photos of their creations before eating them.

As soon as the teens decided which of the three marshmallow pops they would be attempting, I divided them up into tables based on their preferred marshmallow pop and set out the supplies. Hilarity soon ensued as the teens attempted to make the holiday pops. Teens were begging to continue to make pops even after the hour-long program ended.

Program Execution

In the end, 10 tweens/teens participated in this program and expressed wishes to do more Nailed It/Failed It challenges in the future. 

I was the only staff member present for this program, which worked for my group size. Because only 10 teens attended, I had extra supplies and allowed the teens to attempt more than one of the holiday marshmallow pops. 

Since the teens enjoyed this so much, I'm planning on doing more challenges in the future that involve marshmallow pops, Rice Krispies snacks, cake pops and more. I've even started gathering ideas onto a special Pinterest board.


Wax paper is a must with this program so the participants can cover their work area. This prevents you from having to scrape melted chocolate off the tables after your program. In addition, make sure to have plastic baggies on hand for the teens who would like to take their creations home.

Also, consider melting the chocolate right before the program starts if you do not want the teens melting the chocolate themselves. You may wish to have more than one staff person present to help with melting chocolate and taking pictures.

Supporting Materials

Slideshow Images