Dr Seuss -7yr- Pajama Brunch
Kathy in Glenview, IL
June 2012 Winner
LOCATION: In the back yard, with about 15 children ranging from age 4 to two junior-high helpers." Most children were ages 6 to 8.
INVITATIONS: I made color copies of a picture of the Cat in the Hat holding the cake (with the toy ship sunk in it). These were printed on white paper and mounted on a background of either red or turquoise cardstock. On the back was mounted a printout with the party information as follows printed in "Dr. Soos" font which you can download free: You can come from near or far You can get here in a car.You can come from down the street You can get here on your feet.You can get here any way For Name's special party day! Please join us for a Dr. Seuss Pajama Brunch to celebrate Name's 7th birthday. (And then there was the party info.)
The text part included little inserted pictures of a Dr. Seuss car (the one with the goat in it from Green Eggs and Ham) and the Fox in Socks (because of the feet). The red invitations were mailed in turquoise envelopes and the turquoise ones in red envelopes. The birthday girl decorated the backs of the envelopes with Dr. Seuss stickers which I got at the teacher store (you can also get them at Michael's).
DECORATIONS: We made big Dr. Seuss characters by taping sheets of corrugated cardboard on the wall projecting the images of the characters using our projector to enlarge them and tracing the outlines. Then we cut out the tracings and the birthday girl and her sister filled them in with paint by hand. We did the Cat in the Hat Thing One and Thing Two a Star Bellied Sneetch Sam I Am holding the tray of green eggs and ham the Lorax a Barbaloot Fox in Socks and the Red Fish and Blue Fish.
We had these propped all around the back yard some standing and a couple of the smaller ones ( the two Fish) dangling from a hanging plant. We made a big Truffula Tree by taking a big heavy cardboard tube painting it brown and adding a wooden frame at the bottom so it could stand up (weighted down with bricks). The top of the tree was a big bunch of helium balloons in different colors with long strings --the strings went down through the center of the tube and were tied to a piece of wire that was at the bottom. At the end of the party each child got a balloon to take home.
COSTUMES: Guests wore pajamas. I really wanted to dress up the birthday girl and her sister as Thing One and Thing Two using red T-shirts decorated with iron-on transfers (available online). I was planning to muss up their hair (but not actually spike it up with gel) and spray it blue with temporary spray-on color. But the birthday girl didn't want to do it so they just wore pajamas too. I found yellow One Fish Two Fish print pajama bottoms in the men's dept. at Target and used that as fabric to cut out and sew pajama bottoms for the birthday girl to wear. Sister had a different Dr. Seuss T-shirt Dad had a Thing Three T-shirt Mom had a Cat in the Hat hat and Grandpa had both the hat and the bow tie --all found at garage sales.
ACTIVITIES: BIRTHDAY BOOK: I had a card table set up with a copy of Dr. Seuss' book Happy Birthday to You. There was a cup of markers and a sign which said, "Please come in and take a look And write your name in my Birthday Book!" so all of my daughter's friends could sign it for her on the inside front cover.
ONE FISH TWO FISH COOKIE DECORATING: I made sugar cookies cut with a fish shaped cookie cutter. The children could decorate these using red or blue icing and candies/sprinkles/etc. Each child put his or her cookies on a small paper plate and into a ziploc bag (labeled in advance with the name) to go home. They did this activity at two tables set up under the tree in our yard under the hanging fish --I had two layers of plastic tablecloths so that when the cookie decorating was finished I could just whisk off the top cloth and there was a clean cloth for eating brunch on.
FOX IN SOCKS DECORATING: I bought cheap cotton socks and fabric paints. The pairs of socks were laid out on paper plates (with a rectangle of cardboard inserted in each sock so the paint would not soak through). Then the plates with socks went into gallon ziploc bags to go home. We did this activity sitting on the driveway with the Fox in Socks character propped up.
STAR BELLY SNEETCH TAG: We had a "Sharks and Minnows" kind of tag game. All of the people who were tagged got a blue star cut out of sticky-backed felt stuck on to their belly and then they became taggers too. The last person to be tagged and get a star was the winner. Then we had another round where the people who were tagged had their stars taken off and the last person to still have a star was the winner.
WHAT TIME IS IT MR. CAT? The kids played a version of the game "It's Midnight Mr. Fox" where the tagger was called Mr. Cat and wore the Cat in the Hat hat. The other children had to call out What time is it Mr. Cat? If Mr. Cat said "three o'clock" they had to take three steps forward if Mr. Cat said "six o'clock" they had to take six steps forward etc. But instead of the part in the original game where Mr. Fox says "it's midnight!" and everyone tries to run back to base instead I had Mr. Cat say "Your mother's coming!"
THING ONE AND THING TWO TOSS: I made Thing beanbags out of red socks stuffed with dry rice and sealed with a rubber band. The rubber band closure was covered over with a piece of blue plush hair which I got by cutting up a blue plush hat I found at Dollar Tree --I just cut out the lining deconstructed the hat and cut the plush up into smaller pieces. Then each beanbag also got two wiggly eyes. The hair and eyes were attached with hot glue. The children pitched these beanbags into our neighbor's baseball pitching practice net which we had decorated with our Thing One and Thing Two cutouts and a couple of butterfly nets from Dollar Tree. (I bet with my net I can get those Things yet.) But you could just toss them into a basket if you don't have the special baseball net.
LORAX BALLOON GAME: I saw this game idea where the kids are supposed to have a (non-helium) balloon tied to their ankle and the way they get "tagged out" is that the tagger has to stomp on their balloon and pop it. I thought we could play this and call the balloons Truffula Fruits and the tagger the Once-ler. But the game did not work at ALL. It was too difficult to "catch" the balloons to stomp on them; instead they just popped on the grass. So that was a dud. But maybe the idea of using balloons as Truffula Fruits could be adapted somehow for some different balloon game.
GREEN EGG AND HAM HUNT: While the party was going on in the back yard we hid a bunch of green plastic Easter eggs full of candy in the front yard plus crazy straws wrapped in pink paper to be the "hams." (I bought lots of packages of plastic eggs right after Easter when they were on sale and pulled out all the green ones. I gave all the blue ones to my friend to be Robin Eggs for her daughter's Nature Party and I plan to donate all the ones that aren't green or blue to our church for next Easter.) When it was time for the Green Egg Hunt we handed out the empty gift bags and they could use those for collecting.
GIFT BAGSThe gift bags were from Target --half had turquoise on the front and back and red on the sides and the other half had red on the front and back and turquoise on the sides. I was really lucky to find these bags --they were just perfect --otherwise I was just going to use plain red. Each bag had a cutout of the Cat's red and white striped hat glued on it. I found these cutouts at the teacher store (they are meant to be bulletin board decorations). The children's names were written on the hat brims in Sharpie. I had the bags lined up on the porch ready to hand out for the egg hunt. The bags were pre-filled with a small bouncy ball a Thing One Thing Two pencil (see below) and a package of flower seeds with a label that read "Up with the Lorax! Down with the Thneeds! Nice flower seeds are what the Earth needs." To these items the kids could add their eggs and "ham" that they collected. They also got to take home their decorated cookies and socks and a balloon from the "Truffula Tree." The tree had a sign on it saying: Please take a balloon from the Truffula TreeThank you for sharing my birthday with me!
THING ONE THING TWO PENCILS To make these take a red pencil (painted red --the lead can be regular). Cut a piece of turquoise blue fake shag fur. I got lucky and found my fur on a pair of turquoise shag slipper booties which were on clearance at Payless for $7 --then it turned out that since I was buying other shoes the booties got reduced to $3. I just cut off the rubber soles and the green lining cut up the turquoise shag to make flat pieces then cut in into smaller pieces to go on each pencil.Then wrap the fur around the eraser end of the pencil with the fur pointing up and fasten with hot glue. Now glue on two googly eyes. If you twirl these pencils in your hand the hair will puff out --then you smooth the hair back up into a spike with your hand and do it again! Just like those Troll Pencils or Worry Pencils that were the fad in the 1970's. If you don't get so lucky at Payless you can order the turquoise fur from Fabric.com. It's $20/yard with a minimum order of half a yard --so that is $10 --plus $5 shipping makes $15. Half a yard of fur will make an awful lot of pencils. But it might be worth it if you want to make pencils for the whole school for Dr. Seuss Day or if you want to use some to make wigs for a costume. You can sometimes find turquoise plush other places (for example the hat I found at Dollar Tree which I cut up to make beanbags with.) But plush will not do that trick where the hair spins out. Only the real shag fur will do that. Or you can get white shag fur easily at Joanne Fabric for much cheaper plus the minimum there is one-eighth yard. I read a suggestion that you can use the white fur and spray it turquoise with fabric spray paint available at Michael's --but when I tried this I had trouble making the fur stay soft and supple enough to do the spinning trick --the spray made it too stiff and gloppy. Anyway the pencils were really adorable and the kids loved spinning them and giving Thing One and Thing Two a "bad hair day."
FOOD: The buffet table was lined with colored poster board in different sections for the different menu items. There was a turquoise section with Star Belly pancakes the Sneetch book and a sign saying "All of the pancakes had stars upon thars." I bought frozen pancakes and thawed them. I made a stencil out of a sheet of thin cardboard big enough to completely cover up the pancake with a star-shaped hole cut in it. I held the stencil over each pancake and sprayed it carefully with blue cake decorating spray (the kind that you can spray on top of icing) to make a blue star. I let these dry and then for the party I re-heated them in a low oven. I was careful not to let them get too hot because I wanted them to stay golden yellow not brown! These were served in a blue star shaped plastic dish from Dollar Tree (4th of July section).
Next there was an orange section with green scrambled eggs green deviled eggs ham slices the Green Eggs and Ham book and an sign saying "I do! I like them Sam I Am!" These were served on green plastic plates/egg trays from Dollar Tree (luau section). Then a lime green section with two Truffula Fruit trees --these were plastic "gumdrop trees" from Christmas with cubes of different colored fruits spiked on instead of gumdrops. This section had the Lorax book and a light green sign saying "Hungry little Barbaloots please enjoy the Truffula Fruits." I also had just a bowl of fruit salad because the gumdrop trees don't really hold a lot. We used watermelon fresh pineapple blueberries and green grapes. Grapes blueberries and pineapple stayed spiked on very well --watermelon was a little tricky. And finally a yellow section with jello jiggler red fish and blue fish the One Fish Two Fish book and a sign saying "One Jello Two Jello Red Jello Blue Jello." We had white tablecloths from Dollar Tree and white paper plates/napkins with multi-colored dots on them (from Target). The forks were turquoise from Dollar Tree.
CANDY DISHESAt the teacher store I found stickers showing the book covers of different Dr. Seuss books. I stuck some of these onto popsicle sticks and taped the other end of the sticks to bowls to make book-themed candy dishes for the tables. I had Green Eggs and Ham (green foil-wrapped mini chocolate eggs from Easter and pink Starbursts for the hams) Cat in the Hat (red and white striped peppermints) One Fish Two Fish (red Swedish fish and blue gummy sharks) and for the Lorax I added the words "Truffula Seeds" to the book cover sticker and the candy was candy coated sunflower seeds.
CAKE: The cake table had a red cloth. I made red velvet cupcakes in red liners with turquoise frosting and Hat toppers (see below). These were displayed on a tiered cupcake stand. On the very top was one cupcake with no hat --that one had the candles instead. I used red and blue twisty spiral candles from Target. This table also held the cups (clear plastic Dollar Tree). We also served lemonade with blue star-shaped ice cubes (star shaped ice cube trays from the dollar section at Target and blue food coloring in the water) and red-white-and-blue popsicles from Target.
THE CAT'S HAT CUPCAKE TOPPERS To make the toppers you need marshmallows red candy melts and white candy melts. Melt some red and drop round blobs of it on wax paper to be the hat brims. So the blob should be larger in diameter than the end of the marshmallow. Now hold the marshmallows and brush the melted white chocolate around the sides (not on the two ends). Let cool on a separate wax-paper lined tray (not the one with the hat brims on it). Now dip one end of each marshmallow in red and let harden again. Finally hold the marshmallow carefully by the red end and dip the other end in red leaving a white band around the middle. While the second red-dipped end is still soft stick the marshmallow down onto the red brim.
THANK-YOU NOTES: The thank you notes were written on Cat in the Hat themed paper from Michael's with red envelopes and more Dr. Seuss stickers."
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