Mad Tea Party 5yr - Rabbit Hole Entrance
Lorna in Newbury Park, CA, USA
For my daughter's 5th birthday party we had an "Alice in Wonderland Mad Tea Party." I found a TON of ideas on this web site, in fact, which I incorporated with my own.
First of all, I made invitations on the computer using clipart I found on the internet. Inside each invitation was the following verse: Don't Be Late! For a Very Important Date "name"'s Birthday Party If you're feeling quite MAD We'll make you right GLAD On the date that is given below. Come in foolish Attire For all to admire.
My husband decided to build a "rabbit hole" down the side of our house, through which each child entered to get to the mad tea party (held in our backyard). He built this using plywood purchased at the local hardware store, and painted each board black on the inside. He used a staple gun to attach greenery and vines over the front opening. He also added a fog machine for effect!
Outside of the "rabbit hole" were signs with funny sayings just like in the movie, such as "This Way," "That Way," "Over There," etc. The signs inside the rabbit hole were painted with fluorescent paint, and "glowed" inside the black-painted boards (my husband also put a blacklight lamp inside the hole).
After walking through the "rabbit hole," the party guests entered "Wonderland" (ie. Our backyard). We had a long table set up for the mad tea party, with plastic tea cups, plates, etc. On each plastic teacup was a tag (made on the computer) with the instructions "DRINK ME." The table was set up on our patio, with chinese lanterns hanging around -- just like in the movie! (I got the chinese lanterns from Oriental Trading).
The backyard was decorated, too! I had found some giant plastic flowers at a local garden shop which were stuck into the grass around our yard. On one gate, we had a giant Cheshire Cat that I projected and drew onto posterboard for the guests to play "Pin the Smile on the Cheshire Cat." We also had a child's croquet set (I found it on Ebay). In another area, the children could "Paint the Roses Red" on giant butcher paper. We also had an arts & crafts table set up where the guests could decorate their own "Mad Hatter" hats with sequins, beads, ribbon, etc. (the hats were plastic hats from Oriental Trading).
The \*best\* part of our yard was the giant caterpillar inflatable jumper, available from www.jumpforfun.com. The children LOVED this (and so did their parents!). Did I also mention that we had "Alice in Wonderland" characters roaming around? Our whole family got into character (really, they had no choice because I forced them to!) My daughter, of course, was dressed as Alice (I made her a dress using a Simplicity pattern). My husband was the "Mad Hatter" (he wore a Disneyland Mad Hatter hat which I found on Ebay, with a really tacky & obnoxious looking jacket I found at a thrift shop!).
My sister was the "Queen of Hearts" (I made her costume, too, after looking everywhere unsuccessfully for an authentic one!), and went around chasing the guests saying "Off with your head!" She also handed out chocolate red roses (which I had made using candy supplies). I was dressed in black with two giant playing cards hanging from my shoulders (I purchased these online somewhere, but can't remember the site...just do an internet search).
The grandparents were also dressed as cards, except for one grandpa who dressed as the "White Rabbit" (he had a Roger Rabbit costume for some reason…he wore that with a cardboard made pocket watch hanging from his waistcoat). This party was a BLAST! The children had a wonderful time…and their parents were all amazed at all the details we had incorporated! This was definitely a memorable party, which was the whole idea. The party was sort of a "celebration" for our daughter after a very hard year due to my illness & treatment (…but I'm okay now!)
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