Idea No.

5313

Dora the Explora -4yr- Backpack Favors

Award

Date

Sept 2002

From

Liz in Hollister, California USA

Runner-Up

Dora The Explorer Party

The theme of my daughter's 4th birthday party was Dora the Explorer.  It's an interactive show on Nick Jr. that incorporates Spanish and preschool concepts.  My daughter's party was set up like an episode from the show.  "the show came alive"  It was a blast!!! 

We decorated the party as a fiesta theme.  My children and I made bright tissue flowers, used bright streamers, balloons, a fiesta jumpy house, blow up palm trees, pictures of Dora and other characters , and even used Dora music. (Nick Jr. CD I found at Target) When the kids arrived, they were asked to find several items:  A palm tree, Boots the monkey, Map, Swiper, and the Piñata.  ( most of these items are characters from the show.)  The items were placed very visibly in the front room.  I let the kids search and play until all the guests arrived.  Right before I called the kids to the front room, I hid the piñata without anyone noticing.  Swiper the fox was left in its place. ( I used a talking stuffed animal I found at a toy store.  I debated on using someone dressed up as swiper but opted for the stuffed version.) 

I then called the kids to the front room to start our adventure.   I reviewed and showed them pictures of characters on the show in case anyone wasn't familiar with the show.  I then went over the items they searched for.  They found all of them except of course the piñata.  I asked them what they thought happened to the piñata and they said "Swiper took it."  I pressed Swipers tummy and he said "Your too late, You'll never find it now."  (  this could have been also done with any stuffed fox and a hidden baby monitor)  I then told the kids that we would have to go on a journey to find the piñata.  I asked them what would we need to bring with us on our journey that Dora always takes?  They yelled "backpack".  I then played the backpack music song and my sister walked in with backpacks I had decorated with faces for all the children. 

The backpacks were brightly colored drawstring bags I bought at "Oriental Trading Co."  I then used paint markers to create a face exactly like the face on backpack on the show.  They really looked great and the kids loved them.  They were the kids large goody bags that they used through the journey on their backs.  They were filled with a binocular, Dora gummys, compass, bracelet like Doras, map, bag for piñata loot, and hand made swiper masks.   I then asked the kids "who can we ask for help when we don't know where we're going?"  Just like the show the kids yelled "Map".  I then played the Map music and had the kids pull out maps out of their backpacks.( I copied the map from the Nick jr. web site, did a little cut & paste, and tailored it too the party)  We looked at the map and found out we needed to go up blueberry hill, across turtle path, and into the little bird House. We chanted "hill, path, little bird house". Blueberry hill was our staircase.  I found some vines and wrapped around the staircase and placed a little red bucket at the start of the stairs.

When the children went to the stairs they found the Grumpy Ole Troll ,Who usually lives under the bridge, guarding it.  The troll was my sister. The troll told the children someone swiped his blueberries and no one could enter without a blueberry.  The children said Swiper did it.  I told them I had seen blueberries on the front lawn.  I told them they could put on their swiper masks to swipe the blueberries back.(the blueberries were blue painted wooden balls.  I made sure to let the children know they could not be eaten and were not real blueberries.)  The kids loved the masks which were very easy to make.  ( Blue material cut into large triangles, eyes cut out, and they tied in the back like a bandana)  Each child found one blueberry and was allowed to go up the hill(stairs). 

When we arrived upstairs, we found the turtles(foam turtles with numbers printed on them) were not where they should be.  Instead they were in a circle in my room.  I asked the children to stand on a turtle.  I played some music from Nick Jr. CD "the face Mombo" and had the kids walk or dance on the turtles.  When the music stopped I would call out numbers and if they were on a turtle with that number they could place it on the path to the little bird's house.  They liked this game. 

We then walked across the turtles to my daughters room which was the little birds room. Little bird's room had many stuffed birds and pictures of birds.  Streamers were coming down from the ceiling also.  The children came in and sat down.  A stuffed Toucan played the part of "Senior toucan".  I pretended it could talk to me.  Senior toucan wanted them to say happy birthday to my daughter in Spanish.(He only speaks Spanish)  I taught the kids how to say "Feliz Compleanos".  Senior toucan told me there was something in the closet.  A magic Piñata stick and a new map.  I told the children it was time for lunch and then we would continue the journey.  We had a Mexican feast and then continued.

The new map said we had to go over crocodile lake, across puzzle bridge, and into the spooky forest.  Again we chanted but this time "lake, bridge, spooky forest."  crocodile lake was outside under our play ground structure.  The children went across the monkey bars (most sitting on my shoulders).  Under the monkey bars was a blue tarp with a large stuffed crocodile.  When the children got to the other side of the monkey bars there were shapes with each child's name on them taped along the wood structure. (these were puzzle pieces)  An adult helped them find their names and they then placed their puzzle pieces into puzzle bridge.  (puzzle bridge   was a large piece of butcher paper that my children painted.  It had shapes cut out of it which were the shapes the children had.)  We then walked over puzzle bridge and entered the spooky forest. (garage) 

The garage had a tree, stuffed animals, and streamers coming down from the ceiling.  The piñata was there and we sang the "We did it" song.  We proceeded with the piñata, opened gifts, and later had Dora cake and ice cream.  The kids had so much fun and left with their backpack goody bags.  I would recommend this theme for Pre-schoolars.  You really can do a lot with this theme.  Nick jr. had some great ideas on their web site along with this cite,  Birthday ideas. Com .  I debated on changing the theme "Dora the Explorer" to My daughters' name the Portuguese Explorer" .  This would expose the children to our personal ethnic culture, but we opted other wise.  I think that would have been a fun party too though.  Thanks so much for this great website, and I hope this will help anyone planning a Dora Party.

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