Fairy Tale Party -6yr- Gingerbread Houses
Kathy in Glenview, IL
June 2011 Winner
For my daughter's sixth birthday we had a Fairy Tale party. We had about 24 children with an age range of 3-13 (but most were in the 5-8 age range). The three oldest girls were my party assistants."
INVITATIONS: The invitations had the text in the middle and little pictures of fairy tales all around the edges. We scanned the pictures from a book of fairy tales and then sized them to fit around the border of the paper and printed it out (in color) on old-fashioned looking parchment paper. The fairy tales pictured were Cinderella the Frog Prince Hansel and Gretel Jack and the Beanstalk Rapunzel Red Riding Hood and Snow White. The text was in a swirly princessy script and read "Once upon a time there was a fair maiden who was turning six! Please join us for an afternoon of princes and princesses giants and witches wolves and frogs at ____'s Fairy Tale birthday!" The invitations were rolled up like a scroll tied with ribbons (in the theme colors purple or gold) and hand-delivered.
DECORATIONS: The party was held in a Park District field house near our home. Hanging from the ceiling we had purple banners with gold crowns on them that I borrowed from a theater group that I am involved with. (I made them myself for the theater so I decided I should get double use out of them!!) They gave the place a very festive air. We also had a lot of decorations on the food buffet (see below).
CRAFTS: We had three crafts: crowns puppets and gingerbread houses. For the crowns we used prismatic gold "bulletin board edging" strips from the teacher store. These are straight on one side and scalloped on the other and you just fit them around the head cut off the extra length and staple. They could decorate their crowns with foam stickers and stick-on jewels. For the puppets I bought lots of cheap $1 gloves cut off the fingers and sealed the raw edges with "fray stop" from the fabric store (but clear nail polish would work just as well). The kids could make finger puppets by gluing on fabric scraps ribbon yarn hair wiggly eyes etc. When they were done they put their finger puppets in a small ziploc bag with their name on it to take home. For the gingerbread houses (like in Hansel and Gretel) I saved up small milk/cream cartons which were thoroughly washed and dried and then stapled closed again. The kids could cover their carton with graham crackers (stuck on with frosting) and then add the candy! I had lots of different kinds such as M'nM's Skittles gummy bears peppermints etc. These went on small paper plates and then into a labeled gallon ziploc to take home. While they were making their gingerbread houses I was wearing a witch's hat and talking to them about Hansel and Gretel.
GAMES: First of all to divide the kids into two teams we played Cinderella's Shoe. Everyone had to remove one shoe and put them in a big pile. My husband scrambled up the shoes and divided them into two piles. Everyone whose shoe was in pile #1 was on a team together and everyone whose shoe was in pile #2 was on a team together. Then we divided up. One team played Pin Jack on the Beanstalk. The birthday girl and her sister had made a big posterboard "beanstalk" and castle and my husband scanned and printed out lots of little copies of a picture of Jack. As we were playing I told them the story and said I wonder which one of you would be the tastiest! (because the giant eats people).
While one team was playing Pin Jack on the Beanstalk the other group was playing Kiss the Frog. They went outside and stood around a little blue wading pool which was the "well." In the middle of the well was a rubber frog (a bath toy). I had three yellow rubber balls which were the "golden balls and the kids had to toss them back and forth to each other across the well without letting them fall in. If a golden ball dropped in the well, then the child who dropped it had to either go sit in the dungeon" (the picnic table) for one minute or else kiss the rubber frog! (Some kids thought this was hilarious and kept dropping the ball on purpose so they could kiss the frog again.) While they were playing my husband told them the story of the Frog Prince.
Next we brought the two teams together outside for Rapunzel Tug of War. I had made a very long thick braid of multiple layers of yellow yarn with a bow on each end. The two teams were the Witches and the Princes and they had to see who could pull Rapunzel's hair over the line! In the first round the braid broke (right in the middle) but my husband tied it together again and the second time it held strong and the game could continue. Our last game was Wolf Tag where the first tagger was the Big Bad Wolf and the runners could be Red Riding Hoods or Little Pigs (their choice). As kids were tagged they had to become a Wolf and join the taggers until only one child was left uncaught.
FOOD: The theme colors were purple and gold (this was decided because I already had those crown banners in those colors). The tablecloths were purple and the plates flatware and napkins were gold. The flatware and napkins were made into rolls tied with a piece of purple ribbon. My daughter made these herself and she was very impressed --she said that it was just like in a fancy restaurant!
For the cups each child had a plastic wine glass (6 for a dollar at Dollar Tree). Each goblet was decorated with beads. I got a package of metal key rings at Dollar Tree and for each one my daughter selected three sparkly beads and I slid them onto the key ring. Then as the cups were being assembled (they come in two parts the top and the stem separately) we could just slip a jeweled ring onto the stem of each glass and it rested against the "foot" of the glass. When I was clearing up the glasses after the party I saved these beaded rings. I plan to enclose them with the Thank You cards --they are the kind of thing that kids like to attach to their backpack zippers. I laid out a buffet of snacks along the kitchen counter.
Each snack was themed and had a little decoration by it and a tag labeling it (my kids drew the tags). At the beginning of the buffet by the plates I had a Red Riding Hood doll (just a little doll wrapped in a piece of red fabric) a wolf puppet that we already had and two little fake pine trees (Christmas decorations) to make the "forest." Then there were "Royal Trumpets" (Bugles chips) decorated with a plastic trumpet (a Christmas ornament). Next "Rapunzel Braids" (homemade soft pretzels made in braided shape) decorated with a plastic tower (a piece of a friends' toy castle) with a long yarn braid dangling from it. Then there were "Snow White's Poison Apples" decorated with a plastic Snow White doll and "Poison Apple Sandwiches" decorated with a garden gnome (dwarf).
For the sandwiches I cut out the bread with an apple cookie cutter and spread the apple shapes with sunflower seed butter (because of kids having peanut allergies). Then for the top piece of bread I made some of the apple shapes with white bread and some with whole wheat and cut each shape in half. I stuck on one white half and one brown half on each sandwich (so the top of the sandwich was in two pieces but the bottom was solid otherwise the sandwich would fall apart). This made two-tone sandwiches. I wonder which half was the poisoned half? Next on the buffet we had Cinderella's Mouse Cheese (cheddar cheese cubes laid out on a round tray with some celery sticks at the top to make it look like a pumpkin).
Next was Jack's Magic Beans (sugar snap pea pods) decorated with a little plastic harp which came in a set of princess toys. Finally we had Frog Prince Jello. I made green Jello Jigglers and cut them out with a frog cookie cutter. Each frog had blue eyes and a red mouth piped on with frosting. The frogs were on a glass tray decorated with a ceramic frog garden statue. These were very popular! But surprisingly so were the apples and pea pods. The kids were having lots of fun "dropping dead" (because they ate the wrong half of apple!) and saying that they were going to take home their pea pods to plant and grow a magic beanstalk. To drink we had pink lemonade served in those fancy beaded glasses. It was kind of a dark pink and I heard one child explaining that it was really Witch's Blood!
CAKE: For the cake I made the Jack O'Lantern Cake from the Family Fun website except instead of making the pumpkin look like a jack-o-lantern I made it look like Cinderella's Carriage. I made two fluted bundt cakes. The original recipe was pumpkin spice cake but I just made yellow cake and dyed it orange with food coloring. Then the bundt cakes were leveled off with a knife and stuck together with one upside down and the other on top right side up to make a big pumpkin shape.
The cake was frosted orange all over and then I piped over the "ridges" of the pumpkin in darker orange to highlight them. (It was a fluted bundt pan but by the time the cake was frosted you couldn't really see the fluting very well.) I piped on a "door" and a "window" on each side using dark green frosting and stuck on orange Skittles for the "door handles." I filled in some of the other blank space around the sides by piping on curly scrolls in green and orange. I stuck on four small chocolate Hostess doughnuts for the wheels.
For the top I made a fat stem three leaves and a vine out of green-tinted gum paste. The stem was propped up with a pieces of paper towel tube stuck in the hole in the middle of the cake. I put the leaves around the stem and the vine trailing down the side and onto the cake platter. For the candles I had six dark-yellow birthday candles in yellow and white plastic candleholders --the kind with a ruffled edge around the candle and then a spike that you are supposed to stick down into the cake. But instead of sticking them into the cake I enlisted my husband to twist a bit of stiff green wire around each candleholder.
This way the end of the wire could be pushed into the sides of the cake and the candles could be sticking up like torches on the carriage (three on each side). The cake platter was decorated with some Brach's mallowcreme pumpkin candies a plastic Cinderella doll and two stuffed mice. The cake was a bit hit! I had wanted to also make Ice Cream Dwarfs like those Baskin Robbins ice cream clowns only I thought they could be frosted to look like dwarfs instead with beards. I got the ice cream scoops cone hats and candy eyes just fine but then when I was trying to pipe on the beards I could not get the frosting to stick to the ice cream! I don't know how Baskin Robbins does it. Anyway we ended up serving just plain ice cream cones and that was fine.
GIFT BAGS: I used purple paper bags (the ones that are like lunch bags with no handle). Each one had a gold paper crown glued on it and the guest's name written in gold paint pen. Inside each bag was a note (like a smaller version of the invitation with the pictures around the border) that said "Inside this bag you will find: Cinderella's pumpkins (your Fairy Godmother can help you turn them into carriages) a Golden Egg laid by the goose that Jack took from the top of the beanstalk and some gold coins a candy jewel from the mine where the Seven Dwarfs work a homemade cookie from Red Riding Hood's basket and some frogs to kiss.
Thank you for coming to my party!" The Cinderella pumpkins were Brach's mellowcreme (I had to order them specially online since it wasn't Halloween!). The Golden Eggs were gold plastic Easter eggs filled with gold foil-wrapped chocolate eggs and gold foil chocolate coins. The candy jewel was a piece of rock candy. The cookies were chocolate chip baked by the birthday girl's grandma. The frogs were gummy frogs from the candy store. When the bags were filled I folded over the tops and sealed them with a round gold sticker.
THANK YOU NOTES: For the thank you cards I have bought green frog paper cutouts (from the teacher store) and we plan to glue them to a lighter green paper background and then paint on a red mouth and a gold crown."
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