Fablehaven Party -7yr- Review of The Story First
Jill in Spanish Fork UT USA
My daughter is a huge fan of the Fablehaven books by Brandon Mull, so that's the theme she wanted for her 7th birthday. There are very few resources to draw from, so we had to get creative.
INVITATIONS: on regular printer paper I printed Dear Miss __ It has come to our attention that the Society of the Evening Star is after the magical artifact hidden here on the Fablehaven preserve. We can not let it fall into their hands as it will endanger the safety of the entire world! Therefore you have been summoned to an urgent meeting with the Knights of the Dawn to be held here at the Fablehaven Preserve (address date and time).If you have not previously been knighted this ceremony will be performed by (name of birthday child).Our agenda will be as follows: 4:00 arrival of guests. Knighting ceremony and initiation. 4:30-5:00--Potion making with Tanu 5:00-6:00 The search for the artifact 6:00 Dinner provided by the Fablehaven brownies 6:30-7:00-Other birthday festivities 7:00 departure of our guests Only tell those you absolutely trust! The Sphinx is on top of our every move. To enter Fablehaven use the password: Wyrmroost secrets.To commit to this meeting contact (my name and number)." I rolled them up like a scroll and secured it with a 1" piece of embossed brown cardstock and attached the guests' names with twine on a separate piece of paper I had ripped in an oval shape.
DECORATIONS: We made several dozen butterflies out of cardstock and pipecleaners and hung them all over the front porch (the fairies appear to be huge butterflies to the innocent); I hung up several wind chimes; I lined the front walk to the door with signs I copied from Book 1 such as No Trespassing Trespassers will be persecuted beware of trolls Private Property and Certain Death Awaits; I made fairy lights from a strand of white Christmas lights white and sage green tulle 3 colors of ribbon and silk flowers that I strung over the door. (encase the lights with the tulle and ribbon and tie it together every foot or so with the trio of ribbons.Snip off silk flowers and insert light tips into centers): I also put a bubble blower on the front porch but forgot to turn it on! I made huge black hinges out of posterboard for our front door. I found a picture on a hinges site online and freehanded it onto black posterboard. Then I punched small circles out of hammered metal paper that my husband found online and printed out to resemble the nails in the hinges. From the road it looked like we had a big old door with old hinges. We also made fairies using the model found in Family Fun Magazine. We used wooden beads for the head pipe cleaners for the body and wings silk flowers for the skirt and feathers for wings also. These we hung in the backyard.
ACTIVITIES: My husband and I dressed up like Stan and Ruth Sorenson the caretakers of Fablehaven and welcomed our guests as such. I asked the girls who had read Fablehaven of which only 3 had so I told them a synopsis of the story and told them we were going to pretend while at the party that we are in the story making sure they knew that nothing we saw or did was real (part of the book can be scary for little kids and some of our guests were under 7). I had my daughter knight them using the oath in Book 3. I then gave them some "magic milk" to drink (so they could see the creatures on the preserve). I used canned milk so they wouldn't recognize it as it's supposed to be sweeter since it comes from a magic cow. None of the girls liked it and several needed a drink of water afterwards so if I were to do this again I'd use sweetened condensed milk instead. I then told the kids that we had to recover the magical artifact that was hidden on Fablehaven and recently found by Vanessa so we could keep it hidden from the Sphinx (bad guy). She was kidnapped by the bad people but she left us a secret message that she wrote in Umite wax which we could read if we had the right potion. Luckily Tanu (the Potions Master) had come to help us mix potions for our trek.
Then I led the kids out to our garage where I had set up a table with an odd assortment of bottles I labeled with things like Umite Honey Brownie Candy Apples Naiad pond water Wizard slime and Dragon tears. Most of the bottles I filled with different colors of Kool Aid and some red hots for the candy apples. I had one of the bottles filled with water from boiling a red cabbage which we used to decipher the secret message from Vanessa. I had tried writing with lemon juice like I found online instructions for but it didn't really show up very well and crinkled the paper. So I wrote the message from Vanessa in white crayon on white printer paper and brushed the cabbage water over it to reveal the hidden words. It worked really well. WE did that last.
My husband changed COSTUMES and became Tanu. He wore a Hawaiian shirt (Tanu is Tongan) jeans and a short black wig. To save massive clean up he mixed the potions for the kids while explaining what he was doing and what it was for using info from the books. The kids made 2 potions a courage potion and a fire-proof potion. To save money I used the containers they gave me in NICU when our twins were there washed and sterilized for test tubes. From potions we went around to the back gate where I had put a sign saying "entering Fablehaven Preserve. Proceed at your own risk" I read them Vanessa's note which explained that they had to go to certain parts of Fablehaven to recover the clues she left and hopefully recover the artifact at the end. Her first message told us we had to go to the Forest of Dread and defeat the zombie there and he'd reveal the next clue.
Since our yard has no grown trees in it we hung doubled-over green plastic dollar store tablecloths from rope across a narrow part of the yard. We cut the cloths in strips leaving the center 6" intact. A neighbor kid played the zombie. The kids had to throw magic salt at him (which I also gave them during potions) until he fell down and remove the nail hung around his neck. I told the kids to drink their courage potion so they didn't get frozen by the magical fear from the zombie.
The next clue took them to the Fairy Queen's shrine. They had to cross Naiad pond to get there (3 blue tablecloths staked down with stepping stones across the width to resemble a pond). I told them to watch out for the water nymphs and not let them drag them into the pond. I hung a garage sale tulle bed canopy using shower rods across our raised porch. I told the girls only one whom the queen had chosen could enter her shrine to get the next clue and the magical pebbles needed to defeat Elphira our next obstacle. As each girl climbed the stairs someone hiding in the house blew a fog horn until my daughter tried last and bells were rung to signal her acceptance. She got a white rock for everyone and the next clue.
The next game was freeze tag. The girls had to get to the tree (our ficus tree from inside) and deposit their rocks at the base of it which would kill Elphira and allow us to get the next clue. My older daughter was Elphira; if she touched someone they'd be frozen until the birthday girl touched them. Elphira couldn't touch the birthday girl. The kids didn't get the concept so it only worked so-so. When Elphira was dead we had to defeat Navarog the dragon prince at Wyrmroost to get the dragon egg and the next clue. We made a big dragon's head from paper mache which we attached to our playhouse. 2 girls sat hidden behind it and blew a fog horn and silly string out the mouth to resemble fire. We told the kids they had to shoot the dragon with water guns to put out the fire and the dragon would release the egg. I made a paper mache egg from a balloon (like a pinata); painted it green and black and glitter-sprayed it. Before sealing the hole I inserted the last clue and a paper mache unicorn horn to unlock the disappearing chest. The kids had to break the egg to get the clue and unicorn horn.
Next we had to go to the dungeons (basement) to unlock the disappearing chest and retrieve the artifact. I told them the chest was only here 2 days out of the year and today was one of them. I put a locking chest at the bottom of our basement stairs. My daughter touched the unicorn horn to it and then opened it. Inside was the Chronometer from Book 3. I made it using a large styrofoam ball modge-podged gold tissue paper to cover it and put dates in a circle around a gold-painted popsicle stick spinner. More gold accents and beads added as décor. When my daughter spun the dial her dad appeared around a corner dressed in a cowboy hat khaki shirt and jeans on as Patton Burgess former Caretaker summoned here from the past to take the Chronometer and hide it from the Sphinx again. He thanked them for finding it and rewarded them with treat bags.
FAVORS: I sewed the treat bags from some heavy fabric I had and tied them shut with jute. Inside was some chocolate gold coins from Nero the troll; chocolate nuggets made with the magical milk; rock candy; and pixie pods which were green fortune cookies I made to look like pea pods. Recipe from Martha Stewart. I also included a printed explanation of each item.
PARTY SNACKS:After we left the "dungeon" we went outside for a celebration feast of pigs-in-a-blanket mini pizzas veggies and dip grapes and Kool Aid. The tables I decorated with fairy and butterfly stuff in greens and purple.
CAKE: I made pink-frosted calico cupcakes (using strawberry vanilla and chocolate cake mixes layered together since they were supposedly made by the Brownies who made calico bread in Book 1) and topped them with images from the book: fairies water nymphs dragons butterflies etc. that I glued to cardstock circles and attached to popsicle sticks.
This party went pretty well overall; I only spent maybe $75 and had a lot of fun with the creative aspect. It is very involved though and requires you to be a guide throughout which is my favorite part of birthday parties. I hoped I inspired some of the party guests to go home and read the books. "
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