Dora the Explorer -2yr- Poppin Bubbles
Amanda in Griffith, Indiana
My daughter is the biggest Dora the Explorer fan ever - so of course that was the theme of her 2 year old party! I had a blast planning this party!
The invitations I had printed out on square cardstock with Dora clipart and all the information on one side and on the other side I taped a wallet sized picture of my daughter posing with a real life Dora (we got lucky - Dora came to the World of Wheels in Chicago a month beforehand so I got their picture taken together.) I used CD envelopes as the envelope to mail it in and faced the picture side of the invitation throught the clear window in the envelope - so that was the first thing people noticed about the invitation.
First I'll start with the decorations - all items were bought from Oriental Trading. I lined our entire yard with balloon sticks (simple white sticks you put into the ground) and attached assorted colors balloons to the tops. I bought bright tissue paper flowers and bright paper lanterns and decorated the house and hung them from tree branches. My tablecloth colors were orange, lime green, red, and purple. I purchased tissue paper sunflowers centerpieces and taped them in the middle of each table. I also used skinny colored single-flower faces (that I already had in my house) and placed a single pinwheel in them. I alternated the 2 centerpieces per table. I then scattered bright colored confetti along the middle of each table. All the plates and cups were bright assorted colors (I didn't actually buy any Dora decorations - it was so expensive! - and instead bought lots of bright decorations that goes with Dora's theme- belive me, I don’t think anybody had any problems figuring out the theme of our party - especially after the game!)
I had previously purchased a 4 foot inflatable Dora popping out of a birthday cake that says "Happy Birthday" - the kids loved that. I set up a bunch of my daughters toys outside - the swing and slide set, a picnic table, an inflatable playhouse, a ball pit, a rocking horse, sit -n- spin, etc. to keep the kids entertained while we waited for all the guests to arrive - and I played the Dora CD as background music. Once all the children were there (I think we had about a dozen) I started the game.
I had previously set up several different stations starting at the back of the house and leading around to the front - we were going to have our very own real life Dora adventure - each scenario is really from a Dora episode! My father-in-law DJ'ed the music - I had him play a different Dora song each time we got to a new station. I gave each child a Dora plastic treat bag to hold as we went through the game. We started at "Bubble Bridge." This was several wooden 2x4's placed side by side to make a "bridge", I had a bubble machine that I turned on and we played "Poppin Bubbles" music while each child had to make it all the way over bubble bridge while popping the bubbles. As each child completed this, they got some bubbles to put into their bags.
Next, we had the "mean storm cloud" - this was my husband hiding on top of the garage roof with a big box of blue balloons! I made him a dark blue posterboard cut into a cloud and drew an angry face on it. I pointed on the mean storm cloud to the children and everyone had to sing 'rain, rain, go away'. My husband then dumped the box of blue balloons and each child had to catch a "raindrop" (balloon) and pop it (by sitting on it) - inside was an assortment of Dora tattoos to put into the gift bag. We rounded the corner to my house where I had Isa's garden set up. This was gorgeous!
We played "Fiarytale Land" during this. Please email me for any pix you would like! I bought 2 multi-colored flower garlands and made an aisle by lining them up and holding them down with pinwheels. I then placed about a dozen pinwheels blocking the pathway through the "garden." The pinwheels were multi-colored and had a smiley face in the center. Each child had to get a pinwheel so we could get through the garden.
After the all grabbed one, I told them they had to form a small circle and hold their pinwheels in the air - once they all touched pinwheels together in the center they would get a super special birthday surprise! I then sprayed them all with colored silly string - they all really got a kick out of that. They put their pinwheels into their bags and as they began to go to the spooky forest - the "Reach up and catch the stars" song started. They all turned around and on the front awning of the garage I had taped colorful stars (attached to clear fishing line). It was awesome because the light wind was actually making the stars on the lines move around. I had even printed out a couple of the Explorer stars off Nick Jr.com. Each child grabbed a star and after doing so, they were rewarded with their very own star cookie with bright colored frosting and their name written on it. (I had previously put these in ziploc bags - so they could immedietaly put them in their gift bags.)
They moved on to the "Spooky Forest" which was a green tablecloth - each corner was taped to a sawhorses, but you could use anything that is at a low height - I also had taped a ton of short green streamers to the tablecloth so that when set up properly, the children would have to crawl underneath and search through streamers (meant to be trees) until they found one of the "lost" animals in the forest. For the stuffed animals, I just used ones my daughter previously had - she has so many stuffed animals that are brand new sitting in a basket so I grabbed about a dozen of the smaller sized ones and used those. Then each child got to take that as a gift too. The song playing was "Lets all move like the animals do!" Next, we rounded our SUV to finally see the Dora pinata! We played "We Did It!" then "Feliz Cumpleanos" as each child pulled a string on the pinata.
After each child had collected their pinata goodies, I passed out homemade Dora coloring books (printed out from Nick Jr.com) and a 4 pack of crayons to take home as well. Then we all headed to the backyard for some Dora cake, ice cream and presents.
Everyone loved it - the funniest thing was we had about 50 people total and all the adults were so interested in the game that we had about 40 people crowded around each station trying to see what was planned next - the party was a huge success and everyone is still talking about it - almost 6 months later! It will be one that no one forgets - and that was my goal! Please let me know if you'd like pix - I'd be more than happy to supply you with them!
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