Ideas for the Party Human

Posts Tagged ‘creativity

Interrupting the Games segment to insert a baby shower which we gave for my daughter.  She’s having a boy, but this could easily be adapted for a “little princess.”

THEME:  “Someday my [little] prince will come.”  (Disney Princes)097

INVITATIONS:  We designed a sort of “royal proclamation” which we printed on parchment paper.  You can see the wording here:

Publication1

MATERIALS FOR ACTIVITIES:  Envelopes and pens; plain onesies in different sizes and fabric markers;  sheets of stationery; small notebook for advice; team number centerpieces, Jeopardy-style game on bulletin board, and prizes; place to put gifts and notebook to record them.

FOOD:  We decided to try to find a food from each of the Disney movies with a prince involved.  This was a little difficult, and some are kind of a stretch, but you can see our layout here.  Some of the ones we thought of:  Pumpkin Cookies (Cinderella), Crackers (Aladdin), Nutella (Tangled), Watermelon (The Princess & the Frog), Fishy  Crackers (The Little Mermaid), Gummy Worms (Lion King), Berries (Bambi), Apple slices (Snow White) and Grapes (Hercules).  The cake and punch fit in with several of the other movies.

100

099

The focal point is the castle cake.  Since I am not a great cake decorator, we kept it simple.  I borrowed a friend’s sheet cake pan and made a round layer cake to put on top of it.  Ice cream cones for towers, sugar cubes for crenelations, wafer cookies for windows, chocolate Neccos for siding, and Hershey bar and licorice for drawbridge and door.

095

094

DECORATIONS:  For colors we used royal blue and red, since those are good boy colors.  We borrowed the white tablecloths, then cut plastic dollar-store tablecloths in half for the toppers.  We found these cardboard crowns at Hobby Lobby and spray-painted them and decorated them with stick-on jewels.  On the other side we wrote the team number for that table.  The wrapped boxes are just for looks.  We also put a few of the letter sheets (see Blow-by-Blow) and pens on each table as well.  102

At the front of the room, we placed a borrowed wooden cradle with a decorative pillow and crown in it.  The canopy I had from my daughter’s wedding reception.

098

We also found pictures of every Disney prince online, printed them out and put them up around the room.  We created the banner on our computer and strung it together with ribbons.  As a gift, two of my younger daughters put together a “diaper cake,” which didn’t turn out quite as we hoped.103

A few costume pieces of armor or swords set around the room finished the decor.

101

BLOW-BY-BLOW:  As guests arrived, we had them put their address on an envelope to help us with the thank-you’s.  Their gifts were placed in or around the cradle.  104

105

Then they could decorate a onesie, write a piece of mothering advice in the little notebook, or write a letter to the little prince.  We decided to have letters for every birthday until the baby was as old as his mother is now.  So we placed sheets of stationery around the room, and each one had a different year written in the corner.  They were to write a letter to Baby Charles that he would receive on that birthday.  We also had people get food and visit while this other stuff was going on.  After people had finished these activities, we played a Jeopardy-style game with questions about the different Disney princes.  The winning team received a bag of Hershey’s Treasures to share.  We then cut the cake and served it.

After the game, Queen Sara sat up by the cradle and opened her presents.  We gave her a crown and a sash to wear.  One of her sisters recorded the givers and gifts, so she could write her thank-you’s.107

Advertisements

I’m going to interrupt this thread of Anniversary Parties to insert a description of my daughter’s 14th birthday party.  She is a fan of the book and movie series “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins.  After a few peeks at Pinterest, this is the party we came up with.

THEME:  The Hunger Games books/movies

INVITATIONS:  We found a printable image we liked, printed it on cardstock and cut it out in a circle, with the message inside.  We assigned each guest a different District and invited them to dress in the style of that District.

Our invitations

Our invitations

MATERIALS FOR ACTIVITIES:  District badges (images from the internet printed and cut out); toy bow and arrow sets and targets (we used stacked paper cups); colored tissue paper, streamers, ribbons, bows, scissors and tape; small Post-It notes; enough chairs for each guest minus one; party favors of your choice.

FOOD:  We decided to have a Capitol Feast, and we brainstormed on what to serve.  We set the table with a lace tablecloth and nice china and labelled all the food.  Here’s what we had:  Capitol Pizza, Katniss’ Wild Strawberries, Peeta’s Breadsticks, Fishy Crackers (from District 4), sparkling cider (the Capitol’s Best Bubbly) and Nightlock (Poison Removed).  I made the cake (my daughter’s choice) and tried to duplicate the symbol on the invitations with my (very) limited skills in cake decorating.  

030

We also had ice cream with the cake.

 

 

 

 

DECORATIONS:  We put up a few yellow and black balloons and streamers, but did not feel the need for more than that.  As mentioned, the feast table was set very nicely.

BLOW-BY-BLOW:  As the guests arrived, they were given a badge to wear stating their District.  While waiting for others to arrive, they practiced their archery skills.

036

 

 

 

 

Then they sat down for the great Capitol Feast.

032

034033

 

 

 

 

 

There was, of course, a toast to the Mockingjay (in this instance, the birthday girl).

035

 

 

 

 

After the Feast,  we brought out boxes of ribbons, packages of colored tissue paper, scissors and tape.  We paired up the girls, and they went to work creating  fashion costumes for the Grand Parade, something relating to their district.  They took turns being the Designer and the Tribute.039

 

038

 

 

041

When the first batch was done, we had them model their costumes, while their Designer narrated.

049

 

051

Then they switched, and the Tribute became Designer for their partner.

 

052

 

 

 

 

After those costumes had been modeled, we went outside to play “How Did I Die?”  This is simply “Who Am I?” with a mode of death on the post-it note on their back, instead of a person.  We used deaths from the Hunger Games books.

053

 

 

 

 

Then we played “District Switch.”  This is the same as Fruit Basket, but everyone is assigned their District number, instead of a fruit.  The chairs were placed in a circle, and the person in the middle was It.  She called out two district numbers, and those two girls had to switch seats before It could steal one.  Whoever was left out was the new It.  When It called “District Switch,” everyone had to scramble for a new seat.  The girls had a lot of fun with this one.

 

059

062

 

 

 

 

After this, the birthday girl opened her presents–many of which were Hunger Games-related.

063

064

 

 

 

 

Then there was cake and ice cream, and the girls went outside to play some more District Switch while they waited for their parents.  When they left, we gave them bookmarks and cookies from the “Mellark Family Bakery.”  I dressed as Effie Trinket and served and coordinated.066

031

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone had a great time!

THEME:  Class on baby care for a first-time mother-to-be

INVITATIONS:  The invitation should look official, like an invitation to take a college course.  Use calligraphy or a flowing script font on your computer, and print  on a nice bond or parchment paper.  The guest-of-honor is invited to take the course, and the guests may be invited to come and participate as “associate professors of motherhood.”

MATERIALS FOR ACTIVITIES:  Name tags for each guest; a crossword puzzle using names of baby items and pencil for each guest; a baby doll, diaper, stopwatch, two diaper pins and a blindfold; a sheet of blank paper for each guest; prizes, if desired, such as baby items like candy pacifiers, outlet plugs, baby shampoo, etc.; an elegant diploma for passing the course.

FOOD:  Serve foods that babies like:  milk, applesauce, graham crackers, juice, animal cookies, etc.  Another idea is to make nut cups in the shape of diapers.  This is done by cutting small rectangles or triangles of baby-print fabric, folding and pinning them like diapers with tiny safety pins (leaving leg-holes too small for mints or nuts to fall through), and setting them upright as if an invisible baby was sitting in them.  Then grasp each with tweezers and dip briefly into melted wax to coat, setting them out to dry and harden.  These little “diapers” can now be filled with mints and nuts, or whatever small snacks you desire.

DECORATIONS:  Decorate in pastel colors and cut pictures from parenting magazines of mothers doing things with babies.  Make a collage or hang them around the room.  Set out familiar items like bottles, baby powder, diapers, bibs, baby blankets, pacifiers, stuffed animals, baby toys, etc.

BLOW-BY-BLOW:   As guests arrive, give them name tags reading “Prof.   (their name)  .”   Welcome the mother-to-be as a new student, and “orient” her by giving her the crossword puzzle to do.  (All other guests will do it, too, and the first one to correctly complete it may be awarded a prize.)

Next, the “instructors” will demonstrate their prowess in the Blind Diapering Contest.  Set a baby doll, cloth diaper and two diaper pins (closed) in the center of the room.  Each contestant will have a turn to be blindfolded and see how fast she can correctly diaper the baby doll.  You (the hostess) will time each one.   Last of all, the guest of honor will try it–“to see if she has learned anything”–and the contestant with the best time may receive a prize.

Now it’s time to settle down and get a little more serious.  Give everyone a blank piece of paper on which to write some word of advice for the new mother.  (It can be funny or serious, whatever they prefer.)

After the advice is in, present the “successful student” with a lovely diploma (“suitable for framing”!) and celebrate her “commencement” by commencing  to open the presents.  Do this in the usual way, recording the gifts and givers and passing the gifts around to be admired.  You might also suggest the “professors” tell the mother-to-be what each item is used for, perhaps making up silly uses–like putting the diapers on her head during the baby’s bathtime, to protect her from splashes!

To complete the evening, serve the refreshments.

Variations and Comments:  It is important to make sure that this is all done in the spirit of fun.  The mother-to-be should have such a rapport with the other guests that she would never feel she was being belittled, mocked or teased for her lack of knowledge or experience.  In fact, some of the “professors” might not be mothers yet themselves, so they really would not be able to “instruct” her.  If done in the right spirit, the atmosphere will be humorous and light-hearted, and no one will be offended.

 

THEME:  Children’s Nursery Rhymes

INVITATIONS:  An invitation for this shower could have a picture of a nursery rhyme character on the outside, and the message could be written in rhyme, adapted from a Mother Goose rhyme, such as:

“Hey, diddle, diddle, the cat with the fiddle

Is playing a lullaby;

So come to the shower for  (woman’s name) ,

Whose baby’s coming is nigh.”

MATERIALS FOR ACTIVITIES:  A chair for each team; a baby doll and blanket for each team; prizes, if desired, such as candles, plastic rings or small bells.

FOOD:  Serve food from the nursery rhymes, such as tarts, plum pie, homemade bread and butter, pudding pie, curds and whey (cottage cheese), plum cake and sugar candy, etc.  Try to serve them in appropriate dishes.

DECORATIONS:  The Mother Goose Shower can work with any colors you choose, especially bright ones.  Trace pictures of nursery rhyme characters from children’s coloring books and enlarge them at your local copy center.  Then color them and use them on walls, tables, etc.  Streamers and balloons are fine, but you can also set out items that will recall familiar nursery rhymes, such as a cat and a fiddle, a dish and a spoon, a miniature lamb, a candlestick, a pumpkin shell, a pail of water, a pipe and bowl, a large shoe, a plastic spider, a clock and toy mouse, a hard-boiled egg with a face drawn on it, etc.

BLOW-BY-BLOW:  When all the guests have arrived and you have stowed their gifts, make sure everyone knows everyone else and then divide them into two teams for the first game.

To play the Diddle Diddle Dumpling Relay,  the two teams line up on one side of the room.  Opposite each team, at the other end of the room, is a chair.  On a signal, the first player on each team runs to the chair, takes off a shoe and puts it back on before running back to tag the next player.  The second player does the same, and the relay continues until every player on one team has completed the action.  That team is the winner and may be awarded a prize.

Next is the Baby Bunting Relay.  This is similar to the relay above, except the  players on each team must run to a doll and swaddle it correctly in a blanket, before tagging the next player who must then un-swaddle it, etc.  The first team done wins, and you may choose to give them a prize.

The players can relax a bit for the next game.  For the ABC-Nursery Rhyme Game, you can keep the same teams, but the players get to remain seated with their team during the game.  You might flip a coin to decide which team will go first, and then the other team sings the alphabet while the starting team quickly chooses a nursery rhyme.  At the end of the alphabet song, the starting team must sing a nursery rhyme, then they sing the alphabet while the second team decides on a nursery rhyme for their turn, and so on.  The first team to be unprepared with a nursery rhyme to sing on their turn, or to sing a rhyme already sung, loses.  You may choose to give the winning team a prize, if desired.

Now the guest of honor may open her presents.  As always, have someone record each gift and who it was from on a piece of paper for the mother-to-be.  Pass the gifts around to be admired, and then serve the refreshments.

Variations and Comments:  With a little ingenuity, you might create all kinds of games from nursery rhymes.  You could have an egg toss (to commemorate Humpty Dumpty)  or a relay going up and down a hill with a pail of water (no tumbling required).  Or, you could have  a quiet game where players have to fill in the blanks with the correct words from nursery rhymes.  The possibilities are endless!  But you might want to get a hold of a good book of nursery rhymes before you start planning.

* * *

THEME:  Gender-related–for a baby boy already born (or if the doctor has confirmed his sex prior to birth)

INVITATIONS:  You could use blue construction paper, cut  in the shape of a diaper, to write the message on.  Decorate with rubber stamps, stickers or freehand drawings of snakes, snails and puppy dogs.  Then fold like a diaper and tape in place. 

MATERIALS FOR ACTIVITIES:  Several boy’s toys, such as dump trucks and wooden blocks;  small slips of paper on which you have written different  words or phrases having to do with babies–such as an item, like “diaper”, an event, like “labor”, or a phrase, like “bathing the baby”; advertisement puzzles you have made by cutting  out magazine advertisements of well-known baby products, gluing onto cardboard or stiff paper, cutting into several pieces and placing the pieces in envelopes; prizes, if desired, such as marbles, gummy snakes, stationery with puppies on it, etc.; pad of paper and pen.

FOOD:  When planning refreshments for the shower, be certain to ask the mother if there is anything she cannot eat.  Within those parameters, try to carry your theme through into your refreshments.  For instance, you could have a cake decorated with cookies, crackers or candies  in appropriate shapes, like snakes, puppies, cars, etc. Use  blue icing and serve blue mints.

DECORATIONS:  Of course, your theme will dictate the type of decorating you do.  For the Boy Shower, you can use streamers and balloons in blue, pictures and posters of little boys on the walls, and boy’s toys set out on display.  If the newborn guest of honor is present, have a central cradle, bassinet, etc. to place him in to be admired.

BLOW-BY-BLOW:  After the guests have arrived and given their gifts to you (the hostess), the games should begin.  Since the guest of honor at the shower is either well advanced in her pregnancy or still recovering from the delivery, games should generally not be too strenuous.  You can adapt these three as needed.

            Toy Relay is a game you create using whatever boy-type toys are available to you.  One example is for competing team members to roll a dump truck across the room to a pile of blocks, fill the truck with the blocks and return it to the starting point without spilling any blocks.  The next team member in line then repeats the process, in reverse order; the first team through wins and may receive a prize. 

            Next is “Baby Charades.”  Divide guests into small groups of two to four and give each group one of the slips of paper.  Assign an area where each group may plan and practice its pantomime without revealing its assignment to the others.  Allow each group three to five minutes in which to prepare its presentation.  The performers may pantomime by syllables or by acting out.  Request one of the groups to present its pantomime while the other groups try to guess the word or phrase.  Any group that guesses correctly wins the honor of presenting its pantomime.  If the groups fail to guess right, the players announce their assignment and select another group to offer its presentation.

            The final game is Advertisement Puzzles.  Each group (keep the same groups as for Baby Charades) should sit at a table or countertop, if possible, or at least have a large, firm surface on which to assemble their puzzle.  Hand out the envelopes to the groups and give the signal for them to remove the cut-up advertisements from the envelopes.  The guests work to reassemble the ads as quickly as possible, and the first group to succeed in correctly completing the puzzle wins the game and may receive a prize.

            After the games, it’s time to open the presents.  As with the bridal showers, someone should sit by the guest of honor and record the gifts (and givers) as she opens them.  After they are recorded, the gifts are passed around the room for all to admire.

            When the gifts are opened, serve the refreshments.  

                                                                             

Variations and Comments:     If the baby shower is for the couple’s first child, it might be a nice gesture to invite the new father or father-to-be as well, to allow him to feel more a part of it all.

                                                                          * * *

THEME: Treasure hunt for gifts

INVITATIONS: Cut invitations in the shape of a treasure chest, with a lid that opens up to reveal the message. Let the guests know that they need to arrive earlier than the bride-to-be, so the gifts may be well hidden by the time she arrives.

MATERIALS FOR ACTIVITIES: Large trunk or box; clues (see below for suggestions); large trash bag; pad of paper and pencil.

FOOD: One idea is to make a large sheet cake and decorate the top to look like a treasure map of the journey through life. Various points on the map could be labelled with short phrases like “Wedding Day,” “First Child Born,” “First Home Bought,” etc. Small plastic figures appropriate to these phrases could be placed at those particular points (such as a bride and groom, baby, house, etc.). Instead of mints or nuts, you could fill a dish with gold foil-covered chocolate coins for the guests to sample.

DECORATIONS: Try to create a tropical island atmosphere. Use decorating ideas from the Hawaiian Luau and perhaps the Pirate Party.

BLOW-BY-BLOW:     As directed, the guests arrive early, and you (the hostess) hide the gifts in a large trunk or box in a pre-chosen place. You then set up a trail of clues (usually little notes written in rhyme) hidden as in the usual method for a treasure hunt. Some sample clues might read:

Straight up the stairs

In the bedroom ahead

You’ll find information

(Look under the bed!).”

The card found under the bed might read:

Pinned on a tree

In the yard down below

You’ll see some directions

About where to go.”

The card on the tree will hold another message leading to another clue, and so forth and so on. The last clue, sitting atop the trunk holding the presents, might read something like this:

“Just like this hunt

Your marriage will be,

Some ups and downs

And uncertainty.

Hold on to the end,

And you’ll see it’s true

That success comes only

By following through.”

You may elect to invite the groom-to-be to help his fianceé find her way to the treasure. When the guest(s) of honor arrive(s), make sure everyone is acquainted, then give the bride-to-be the first clue and explain that she’s going to have to work a little for her presents. The guests then follow the bride-to-be from place to place as she reads the clues aloud, but they give her no help! When she reaches the “treasure,” they gather round to watch her open the gifts. Be sure to have a recorder and let everyone admire each gift, then finish with refreshments.

* * *

THEME: Neighborliness, South-of-the-Border Christmas Customs

INVITATIONS: Cut construction paper in the shape of a sombrero (or other Mexican symbol) and color appropriately. Write the message on the back, using a sprinkling of Spanish words, something like:

“Holá, Amigos! Come to our casa on (date) at (time) for una fiesta buena, Southwestern-style. We’ll have a supper buffet, then a piñata for the children, so bring the whole familia and celebrate for a Feliz Navidad!”

This is designed as sort of a block party, but you could invite relatives, co-workers and their families or friends from church as well. The idea is basically that it be for families.

MATERIALS FOR ACTIVITIES: A piñata filled with candies and small toys; ceiling hook and string; blindfold; plastic baseball or whiffleball bat; small paper sacks; parting gifts of food or crafts, wrapped or in decorative tins, jars or baskets.

FOOD: Some ideas for the Southwestern buffet might be salsa with flour tortilla and blue corn chips, chicken enchiladas,  Black Beans, and tamales. The best beverage might just be ice water or seltzer, to help combat the spiciness, or perhaps some sparkling apple cider or grape juice. For dessert, try cinnamon crispas, Mexican Wedding Cakes, Three Kings Ring, or oranges with peppermints stuck in them.  Serve this help-yourself buffet in rustic pottery with colorful Southwestern fabric as a backdrop.

DECORATIONS: Line the walk to your door with luminarias. These can be purchased or made out of paper sacks 1/3 filled with sand. Cut out a design in the sacks, if desired. Place votive candles in the sand and light.

Inside, have everything very colorful and festive. Be sure to have poinsettias about, but out of reach of small children. You could use a decorating motif like the Three Kings, creches or poinsettias. Hang colorful streamers and balloons in the large clear area where the piñata will be broken. The piñata itself may be purchased or made using strips of newspaper and wheat paste to cover a large, inflated balloon or other shape framed with wire, newspaper and masking tape. When the paper maché is dry, cut a hole on the top just large enough for putting the candy and toys in. Fill, then tape the cover back over the hole. Decorate with paint and/or crepe paper.

BLOW-BY-BLOW:  When the neighbors arrive, you (the hostess) take their coats and hand them plates to fill up at the buffet. After dinner, give each of the children small paper sacks to take into the piñata room. The piñata is hung on a string, run through the ceiling hook. Stand back, holding the other end of the string so you may raise and lower the piñata at will. Blindfold the youngest child first and give her the bat. Everyone stands well out of the way as the child gets five chances to break the piñata. If she doesn’t break it, then the next youngest tries and so forth until the oldest gets unlimited chances. When the piñata breaks, everyone cries ” Olé!” and the children scramble to fill their sacks. As the guests leave, give each family a homemade parting gift, such as a jar of jam or a crafted decoration.

Variations and Comments: We remember our parents giving a party similar to this for the neighborhood when we were small. For the piñata, we covered a large balloon with papier maché, then painted a Santa Claus face on it when it dried. We added a cotton ball beard and a red paper hat, and the result was charming and original.

* * *


Favorite Game Type Poll

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 11 other followers

Categories

Archives

Post Calendar

October 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jul    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  
%d bloggers like this: