Curious George -1yr- Pin Monkey on the Palm
Amy in Winston-Salem, NC USA
Curious George - For my son, Declan's 1st birthday, we chose a Curious George theme. There is a story about George eating a puzzle piece. The Man in the Yellow Hat made a puzzle with a picture of George on it. He was going to give it to him as a gift, but George finds it first and eats a piece, not knowing what it is. I used this story as kind of a theme in a theme for my invitations and cake.
Invitations: I scanned a picture from this story onto my computer. The picture is of TMiYH and CG looking at the completed puzzle. Below the picture, the story says, "Finally, the puzzle was finished - well, almost finished. One piece was missing." Below that, I typed in, "We hope YOU won't be missing from OUR MONKEY'S party! We're celebrating Declan's first birthday on Sunday, April 13th at 1:00 p.m. To be held at the Mooney Jungle." The font was brown and green to match the palm tree border that I added to the page. I printed them out on regular 8 1/2 x 11 printer paper. I then cut the page up into puzzle pieces. When the guests got the envelope in the mail, it was a bunch of puzzle pieces that they had to put together to see the invitation.
Cake: I sent the same scanned picture to my local baker and asked her to make a cake that looked just like the puzzle. She used black frosting to pipe puzzle lines all over the cake. She even left the "missing" piece white to look missing. We cut the cake into puzzle pieces (as best we could) so that everyone was doing just what CG did…eating a puzzle piece. We also served frozen banana pops (recipe all over internet) to keep ALL the monkeys happy.
Decorations: We had lots of CG books and stuffed animals around. Instead of purchasing a cheap plastic disposable tablecloth for $5, I bought CG fabric at Wal-Mart. It was very cute and colorful. It costs a few $ more this way, but someday I hope to make a quilt square from it and make a whole quilt from special material from all my children's childhood. I bought palm tree leaves (Michael's) and brown streamers. We have a ceiling fan light over our table, so we attached the leaves to the paddles of the fan.
We cut long strips of brown streamers and taped them to the light and had them drape down to the table. We taped them to the table which made the bottom flare out a little, like a real palm tree would. It looked amazing. We bought bunches of mini-bananas and tied those to the fan with jute. On the table were regular bunches of bananas and coconuts. We had a good sized CG stuffed animal sitting in the high chair in the corner. He was holding balloons (like in the story where he floats away). Declan wore a little monkey suit, but apparently monkey suits don't last long on 1 year olds. He ditched that quick!
We got CG paper products online. They are very bright and colorful and all alone would make a very cute party. They are a little hard to find, but you can get them here: www.birthdayinabox.com ; www.babyheirlooms.com ; www.1stforparties.com. In CG Takes a Job, CG ends up in a pot of spaghetti. I printed out this picture and below it, I put, "Please use a plate!!!" I put it in one of those clear acrylic frames and stuck the frame between OUR plates and pot of spaghetti. (It worked. Nobody ended up in the pot of spaghetti!) By the soda, we had "cocktail monkeys" to hang from the glasses and cups. They are little plastic monkeys that hang on the rim of the cup or glass by the monkey's tail. Www.monkeygoods.com
Games/Activities: Most of the children at this party were pretty young, so we only did a couple games. We first played "Pin the Monkey on The Palm Tree" (also from Monkey Goods).
The other game we played was CG Bingo. I took several images from the stories and made up Bingo charts with the pictures. The children weren't old enough to read, but could still play without assistance b/c it was all pictures. I would ask the question, "Do you see CG riding his bike backwards? Do you see CG letting the pigs out of the pen? Do you see CG washing windows?" If they had the right image they could cross it out. It plays just like regular Bingo, so I don't probably need to give the rest of the details. It took a long time to make these charts, b/c each chart had to be a different configuration. I saved it in a Word document on a disk. I still have it and would be willing to forward it by e-mail if someone would like it and if this website allows that. My address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
For game prizes, I picked up some CG paperbacks for $2.50 on www.bn.com. We have a couple CG movies that we just kind of had playing in the background. We also read the story of CG eating the puzzle piece, so the kids (and adults) understood how it all tied together.
Loot bags: For the loot bags, I had tried to find the classic red and white striped popcorn boxes to put their loot in. It seemed to fit since CG was always in a park, in a zoo, in the city, etc. But I couldn't find them in time. They do have paper popcorn bags at Oriental Trading, so if you like that idea, you could go with paper. I ended up getting red glossy bags. After filling them, I folded down the top, punched holes, threaded curling ribbon through, and tied it off. I made name labels on the computer and added a CG picture to the label…that added a lot of color and went well with the red.
Here is what I put inside the bag, aside from the never disappointing candy. I found adorable Mardi Gras bead necklaces online that had bananas and monkeys all over them. They were not a feminine jewelry style necklace. They were Mardi Gras beads and didn't look silly for boys to have. The boys loved them as much as the girls.
At the local grocery, I got Brach's CG Fruit Snacks. Some stores have them, some don't. I'm sure I'm forgetting something. Here are a couple other websites that might help. Www.wordsworth.com They have a lot of bigger ticket items that you would get for the birthday child, not necessarily for loot bags or game prizes. But www.rinovelty.com has a lot of CG loot bag items like bouncy balls and chalk.
I had a blast with this theme and will probably do it again for another child. CG is so cute, you can't go wrong!!!
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