Dora the Explorer -3yr- Dora Crafts
Shelley in Dallas, Georgia USA
We just did a DORA THE EXPLORER party for my daughter, Mackenzie, who turned 3 years old. I sent out the store-bought "Dora" invitations fist but left the Location blank and filled it in as "MAP to follow". About 3 days after the first invitation went out, I sent out a Dora "backpack" and "Map" to each child.
I bought purple paper bags (lunch bags) from Walmart - they were 4 for $1.00. I cut them in half, about 1/2 way down and used markers to draw on BACKPACK's face. With the leftover bag, I cut 2 strips for the backpack straps, 2 rectangles for the side pockets and one large rectangle for the top flap. I taped all the pieces on, leaving room on one of the side pockets for the MAP. It sounds like a lot of work, but it really only took me about 30 minutes to do 10 "backpacks." Then, I used Publisher on my computer to make The Map.
I put a large picture of MAP in the top left corner - this will be important later. I used other clipart from the internet & pretty much came up with my own adventure. We used Cupcake Mountain, Birthday Present Forest & then Mackenzie's Party. On the back of the MAP, I put the real driving directions for the parents. Once completed, I rolled up the MAP, making sure that the face of MAP was facing out, then tied a ribbon around it. I put it in the side pocket of the "backpack" I made & it was ADORABLE!
I put tissue paper inside to help the "backpack" hold it's shape and a 2 pieces of candy (for the kids). It was definitely a hit with all of the kids because I got a call from each parent the day after they received them. Everyone commented on how their child LOVED opening the package & getting their "own backpack, just like Dora's". For the party, I bought all of the DORA plates, napkins, tableclothes, etc from Walmart. They were the cheapest I found. I did buy the party favors online @ partydec-o-rama.com.
They had Backpack bubbles, Dora wristbands/bracelets (just like the one Dora wears), Dora The Explorer Whistles, and "Dora" figurines. At the time, I had not seen any of these favors at my local stores. However, just a few weeks ago, I did see some of these at PartyCity. I used all of these favors & 1 sheet of stickers in the favor bags for the children. Another thing I did was go to NickJr.com and printed out 2 different activity/coloring pages. I printed them up for each child & put them under each place setting.
I placed crayons on the table so that they could color if they wanted to, or they could take them home. I also bought a Dora cakepan, Dora Make-a-Face Cookie Kit, Dora Cupcake Pics, a Dora Candle, and Dora cupcake cups at Birthdaydirect.com. I also ordered the Dora Icing Color Kit (for the cake) at CandylandCrafts.com. This is a MUST if you want the colors to be perfect for your DORA cake. The cookies turned about GREAT & were so easy to make. I had someone make the Dora cake for me and it turned out wonderful as well.
The GREATEST thing I got for my daugther was a personalized Dora The Explorer Video from kideo.com. I just came across it one day while I was searching for Dora stuff. They use your child's picture and insert it into an actual Dora episode. They also say your child's name several times. It was the most expensive thing we did - $80.00 - but it was WELL worth it. My daughter is still watching it & it was the hit of the party. They have a clip of the video on their website - I would definitely check it out! Lastly, here are my party details…… I decorated based upon the MAP that I sent out. (1) First was cupcake mountain: I used my daughters plastic slide from outside. I cut "cupcake" shapes out of cardboard boxes & hot glued the "icing" at the top. For the icing, I bought that snowy-looking Christmas tree skirt from the dollar store.
They had them 2 for $1.00. Most of the skirts had glitter in them, so it really made the cupcakes look good. I painted the bottom part - where the cup would be - with lines to make it look more "real." I made 3 different sizes and then duck-taped them to the plastic slide. The children had to climb up "Cupcake Mountain" & go down the slide as they came into the party. They loved it! (2) Second was Birthday Present Forest: I used those fake ficus trees (decorating trees) from my church. I had about 12 of them and kind of zig-zagged them, making a path. Then I wrapped small boxes for the faux birthday presents & tied them in the trees. You can use kleenex, jewelry, and even tampon boxes!
I made sure to hide swiper in the trees too - because swiper LOVES to swipe birthday presents! :o) I had my daughter's party in my church gym. Cupcake Mountain was located in the foyer as the guests arrived. The Forest was in the doorway in-between the foyer & the gym - so the guest had to wind their way through to the party. The party had balloons everywhere & DORA music playing. My husband downloaded the Dora theme songs off of the internet & made a continuous CD for me. It played the Opening theme, the Map song, the backpack song, and the "We did it" theme. It was really great & added to the atmosphere.
For food, I served the children…Dora Fruit Snacks by Nabico, Dora Graham Crackers (I'm not sure who makes them), Dora Cupcakes, Dora Cookies, and Capri Suns. For the adults….Taco Salad (very easy to make), store-bought bean dip, chili-cheese dip, salsa, chips, and cokes.
The DORA cake was the desert. We also rented a moonwalk - which was a huge hit! The kids jumped on the moonwalk for the first 30 minutes as guests were arriving. Then, everyone came to the tables & we watched the Personalized Dora The Explorer Video (about 30 minutes). At the end of the video, Dora sings Happy Birthday to your child & presents a cake in which your child is supposed to blow out the candles.
This was the perfect time to bring the actual birthday cake out & have my daughter blow out her candles. It was such a picture-perfect moment! Everyone was singing & she loved it! Plus, it was like Dora was actually there! We then cut the cake & everyone snacked. Afterwards, Mackenzie opened her presents & some kids watched…others jumped in the moonwalk. All the children guests received their goody bags on the way out. It was a blast! Thanks & Adios!
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