Curious George -3yr- Book Title Play Area Themes
Julie in Richmond, VA
For my daughter's 3rd birthday she chose a Curious George theme. With the movie having just been released on DVD and the new cartoon airing on PBS this adorable little monkey was the current craze in our house. Two months before the party we moved into a new house, a much larger house, and conveniently had a large living room with nothing to fill it. With this blank canvas to work with it was quickly decided we would host the party in our new home.
INVITATIONS** for the invitations I kept it pretty simple, but cute. I created the card myself using Microsoft Publisher. The front had a picture of Curious George making a cake that I got off of the PBS site and edited it to look like C.G. was writing my daughter's name on the cake. Under the picture was Are you a little curious?" In the inside I used a picture of C.G. peaking out from under the yellow hat and under it it said "If you're a little curious about [birthday girl's name] party swing on over for lunch cake and lots of curious fun!" Then below that was date time place and RSVP information. I printed them out in black and white and let the kids help me color them for that child's touch.
DECORATIONS** We used the banana bundled balloon weights in several areas around the kitchen and dining room. We had lots of other balloons throughout the house and back yard as well. I borrowed a projector from my office and brought home and blew up C.G. coloring sheets and traced onto 20x24 poster board and had my ds help color. We had 8 in all and hung them around the house to highlight the different play areas. I also used a plain red/yellow/green/blue birthday banner over the present opening area.
ACTIVITIES** A party for 13 1-7 year olds with most of that group in the 2-4 range doesn't make for an easy structured theme party. So instead of providing a lot of structure to the party I chose to set it up as a fun Curious George free play party. Two weeks in advance I began checking out Curious George books from the library. The kids helped me gather up their corresponding toys to the stories and we set out to create play centers throughout the first floor of our house as well as the backyard. On the party day we tied a balloon onto each book and set in the appropriate play center area.
The big station that the kids went nuts over was a wall in the empty living room that I covered with poster paper and set out crayons and markers. I put the "Curious George Movie" book there as C.G. paints on the walls of the apartment in that book I wasn't brave enough to pull out finger paints but they had a blast coloring on the walls!
Other book stations included "C.G. and the Puppies" where my kids piled up all their dog stuffed animals for the kids to play with. "C.G. and the dinosaurs" went with tons of dinosaurs my son has had for years. "C.G. goes to a Costume Party" here I bought a small garmet rack and we hung up all their dress up clothes and setup an adorable corner with boxes of shoes and accessories that the girls in particular went nuts over. "C.G. Rides a Bike" we had all the bikes and ride on toys out on the back patio. "C.G. Goes Camping" we setup 2 tents in the backyard and the kids had a ball playing in them. "C.G. Plays Baseball" we setup the teeball stand and baseball stuff that the older kids in particular liked. "C.G. Flies a Kite" - this station was our craft/activity station.
Leading to the backyard we have a small sunroom that has been turned into the kids craft room. I purchased color-your-own kite kits from Oriental Trading and we had those set out there for the kids to decorate. "C.G. Goes to the Movies" I set this one out next to the TV in the den where we had the Curious George movie playing throughout the party. This was a great quiet area especially for the littlest ones who got a little freaked out when the squeals of excitement got a bit too loud. Just for fun I also had "C.G. goes to the Aquarium" over our fish tank.
FOOD & CAKE** We had a few munchies set out during the party veggies fruit chips banana pudding and monkey food (trail mix) and then at lunch served pizza. Instead of cake I did cupcakes. I used the Wilton's cupcake stand to show them off. They were very basic red/yellow/blue/green icing on the tops baked in balloon cups. The very top one was purple at my daughter's request and a little plastic Curious George sat way on top. The funny thing is that the C.G. figure was a bit heavy and the first 2 times we placed him on top he fell over and all the way down the cupcake stand hitting various cupcakes on the way so down the front of the cupcake stand various cupcakes had splashes of different colors on them and C.G. was covered in every color. He looked so cute like he did when he was finger painting that we didn't even wash him off just stuck him back up there!
Everyone thought it was a clever idea that we did on purpose. LOL We used the bananas from the decorations to make banana splits instead of plain ice cream and had a big selection of different toppings they could add. That made for a nice monkey themed twist to the usual cake and ice cream. I did purchase the C.G. themed tablecloth and napkins but then did the plates bowls silverware and cups in solid redgreenblue and yellow.
PARTY DAY** On the day of the party the kids arrived and headed into the den where we immediately started the movie and tried to keep them settled until everyone got there. When all the kids were there we paused the movie and in came my brother-in-law dressed as the man in the yellow hat to read them the original Curious George book that I had from when I was a little girl. The kids got really excited about that and at the end of the story he told them there were lots of other adventures that Curious George had and they could have them too by going around to the different stations and playing the activities.
If they wanted to hear the book just ask any of the adults would gladly read it to them. Pretty much all the parents stayed since it was mostly family and close friends and at first they took their kids around to ooh and aah and check everything out and then eventually all the kids were off and running and having a ball. When it came time for lunch the "man in the yellow hat" read the kids "Curious George and the Pizza Parlor" before serving pizza. Then they played a bit longer and we ended with cupcakes and banana splits followed by presents.
TREAT BAGS** I kept treat bags very simple with C.G. fruit chews and stickers in little baggies and they also took home the kites they designed. Overall it was a great very simple and easy party! And since I borrowed the books from the library we made our own decorations and used toys we already owned it was one very cheap party to throw! The only thing I didn't do that we had originally planned was get a bounce house. I had planned on getting a balloon bounce house to go with C.G. flying across the city. Would have been fun but we had quite a bit of rain leading up to the party and I chickened out and cancelled it fearing our backyard wouldn't dry out in time. They had tons of fun without it though! "
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