Ancient Egypt -9yr- Tunic Costumes
Kathy in Glenview IL
December 2012 Winner
For my daughter's ninth birthday she requested a theme of Ancient Egypt. This was a great theme that appealed to all types because it had gold, jewels, and glitter, and also dead bodies and curses! We held the party in a park district field house (which is basically just a big open meeting room with a kitchen at one end). There were about 15 children ages 4-10, plus two junior-high neighbors who acted as helpers."
INVITATIONS: I searched online and found an outline drawing (like a coloring book page) of a mummy case. My daughter colored it in using the "paint" program on the computer and we printed up a bunch of copies. She chose gold red and turquoise as the colors. We bought blank cards in a shimmery brown color at Micheal's and trimmed them to a sarcophagus shape. Then we cut out the colored mummy cases and glued one onto the front of each sarcophagus card. Inside the card we put a separate mummy shape cut out of white cardstock. The birthday girl and her sister drew a silly face on each mummy using black Sharpie.
We printed out the text of the invitation cut up the text into narrow strips and glued them end to end so the whole text was one long continuous strip. Then we wrapped the strip of text around and around the white mummy shape text side inwards blank side outward so that the text strip was like the bandaging on the mummy. We glued the wrapped mummy into the card with the glue only attaching the bottom edge of the mummy so that the whole thing would not fall out but it was still able to be bent outwards (like a pop-up card). The guests had to "unwrap the mummy" to read the party information!(Just to make sure this would be obvious I hand-wrote "unwrap me!" on each mummy.) The text said "A royal banquet to celebrate the 9th year of the reign of the Pharaoh (Name).and then the date time etc." We used sandy-colored envelopes and Christmas stamps that showed Mary and Joseph traveling across the desert on a camel.
DECORATIONS: I got a couple of large plastic trays in the shape of skulls at Dollar Tree and sprayed them gold --then the birthday girl and her sister decorated them with glitter glue. One of the skulls ended up decorated as a great combination of bloody veins and a hair bow and long eyelashes! These were hanging on the front and back doors of the field house (inside the room). On the outside of the front door was a big poster from Office Depot with a scroll on it --we wrote "Welcome to ___'s Party --Enter if you Dare --Beware the Curse of the Pharaohs!" There were four big windows in the main part of the room and in each window we hung alternating strands of red streamers light blue streamers and strings of gold beads (cheap Mardi Gras necklaces which I cut to make one long string instead of a loop). The gift bags were arranged along the windowsills four to each window. The birthday girl traced her sister on big sheet of brown paper and they colored in this outline to make a big "Egyptian person" paper doll which we hung on the wall.
There was also a poster of the Sphinx that my daughter painted which was used for a game later. We had a few balloons hanging up in our theme colors (red light blue gold) but not too many because we ran out of time. There was a fireplace at one end of the room. We didn't have a fire but I used the fireplace as a focal point for more decorations. I hung a piece of gold cloth over the fire screen and placed a bench in front of it. The gold cloth was a gold satin sheet that I got at Salvation Army for $5. I covered the bench with a big scarf that I had with a peacock print on it. I got a fake coffin with a skeleton in it from Halloween, sprayed the coffin gold and my girls decorated it with fake jewels. I propped up the coffin standing on the bench against the gold fabric background. On the mantel I propped up our Mummy Case Pinata to be a decoration until it was time to use it and I also lined up all of the Egyptian-themed stuffed animals that I could find in my girls' collection (crocodile peacock monkey parrot flamingo cockatoo cat with a gold hoop earring). I happened to have some large peacock plumes so I added those too.
COSTUMES: Every child who wanted to could have a costume. My junior-high "assistants" helped the kids to get dressed. I had some white fabric and I got more by buying a few sheets at the Salvation Army (cheaper than getting it by the yard at the fabric store). I cut out very simple tunics just a rectangle with a hole for the head. No hemming --I used pinking shears. These tunics were held on with belts made of yellow ribbon which I already had. As part of the craft projects for the party the kids could make a collar and headband (see below). Anyone who wanted could have their eyes outlined in "kohl." My junior high assistants again armed with eyeliner wipes and a mirror!
CRAFTS: We had lots of craft projects available and the kids could pick and choose. Hieroglyphs. Materials: printouts of the hieroglyph alphabet cardstock cut into the long oval "cartouche" shape and punched with a hole yarn and markers. The kids could write their name in hieroglyphics and wear it as a necklace. Collars: I printed out Egyptian collars from daniellesplace.com. The kids could color them with markers and then use the hole punch and yarn to tie them around their necks. Headbands: Ribbon (red or turquoise) with fake jewels that the kids could attach with glue dots. Then the headband is worn tied around the forehead. Bracelets. The kids could make bracelets out of gold pipe cleaners and red and turquoise (light blue) pony beads. Amulets. We had some pictures of sample amulets (good luck charms in the shape of scarab beetles anhks and the Eye of Horus). The children could make one out of modeling clay. Some children did make ankhs but some just wanted to do their own thing like making little pots etc. Mummy cases. I bought little wooden "coffins" for $1 each at Michael's when it was Halloween time and saved them for the party. The kids could paint them however they wanted and decorate them with fake jewels (attached with glue dots). These were very popular!
GAMES: Mummy Wrap --the classic game using toilet paper. Pin the Nose on Sphinx --the birthday girl painted the Sphinx poster (it even had real sand glued on the bottom) and cut out the "noses." Musical Pyramids --just like musical chairs only we used "pyramids" cut out of sheets of brown construction paper with the bricks drawn on in Sharpie. The music was Middle Eastern music. Cross the Nile --the birthday girl and her sister really wanted this game which they learned in their gym class at school (where it is called Cross the River). It is a relay race where each team has some kind of stepping stones which they have to keep laying down in front of them to step on. The stepping stones have to keep getting moved up the line and laid down again and if anyone steps on the floor they are OUT. In this case instead of stepping stones we had "lily pads" made of green posterboard decorated with pink paper flowers. We also had some plastic alligators which we put out on the floor during this game. Beanbag Toss --My husband made a wooden beanbag toss with a pyramid painted on it and a hole cut in the top of the pyramid. The kids had to toss "bags of gold" (yellow fabric bags stuffed with dried beans) into the pyramid.
TABLE SETTING: The tables were covered with white cloths and sprinkled with gold and red confetti (I could not find turquoise). We had gold paper plates and gold napkins and red and turquoise forks and spoons. If I had been buying the plastic flatware I might have bought gold but I happened to already have the red and turquoise ones left over from another party. The fork and spoon were rolled up in the napkin and tied with red and turquoise ribbon. We had gold-colored plastic wine glasses. My girls helped me decorate split key rings with red and turquoise beads and we slipped one of these onto the stem of each wine glass as it was being assembled (they come in two parts that have to be put together). After the party we saved these beaded keyrings and sent them out with the thank-you notes --the kids can use them as backpack decorations. The kids were seated at three tables and on each table was a set of four "canopic jars" as a centerpiece. These were gold paper cups topped with " heads" that the girls drew on cardstock colored and cut out. The four heads are Falcon Jackal King and Baboon. Then the jars were filled with candy to represent the body parts that go in canopic jars. There was the jar of "livers" (red Laffy Taffy) the jar of "intestines" (red string licorice) the jar of "stomachs" (peachy-red colored peach flavored gummy candies) and the jar of "lungs" (pink marshmallows).
FOOD: The food was served on gold platters from the dollar store laid out on a counter like a buffet. We served a "Banquet" of mini chicken kebabs on toothpicks white rice yellow rice pita bread pita chips and hummus. To make the hummus easier we prepared individual servings in gold foil muffin cups. We also had a fruit tray with cantaloupe and grapes a bowl of raisins and dried apricots and a vegetable tray with cucumbers celery radishes and olives. All of these were chosen to be what was actually eaten in Ancient Egypt. Of course I did point out to my daughter that only RICH Egyptians ate these things and that if we were going to be really authentic I should serve gritty bread lentil soup and porridge. :-) The Egyptians also had watermelon so we served the Watermelon Brain which you can see in the Family Fun website Halloween section. Basically it is a small whole watermelon carved to look like a brain. We served ours with a crochet hook stuck in it to represent how the Egyptians pulled the brain out through the nose when they were making the mummy. Yum! To drink really the most authentic thing would be beer. But somehow I thought the parents of the guests might object. So we served sparkling grape juice which was fun in the plastic wineglasses. We also had plain white grape juice and water because some children don't like sparkling fizzy drinks. But most of the guests really loved the fizzy juice!
CAKE: The cake was on a separate counter which I covered with a piece of gold fabric that I had. The cake was a pyramid made of yellow pound cake cut and stacked and trimmed. It had creamy yellow vanilla frosting and gold sugar sprinkles. See the parenting. Com "desert oasis cake" for how to cut and assemble the pyramid shape. It makes a smaller "queen's pyramid" too which I had next to the big pyramid. The big and small pyramids were laid out on a tray sprinkled with "sand" made of a mix of Nilla Wafer crumbs and graham cracker crumbs. (Just one kind or the other would be fine only it happened that I had half a box of each lying around.) The birthday girl had a blast running the cookies and crackers through the food processor to make the crumbs! Vrrroom! Then we had gold mini-taper birthday candles stuck into Dots candy so they would stand upright to be "torches". These were placed on the tray around the pyramid. Besides the candles the cake was also decorated with little plastic Egyptian figures that I got in a set called "Egyptian Toob" at Michael's. Plus we borrowed a friend's Ancient Egypt Playmobil set to be another decoration. I was afraid to let 15 random kids actually play with it because it wasn't ours and those Playmobils are expensive! So I put it on the counter next to the cake just to look at.
Next to the cake tray we had the Jello Nile one of the birthday girl's favorite parts of the party. Google "jello boats" to see how to make the boats. Basically you hollow out half an orange or grapefruit use the peel as "bowl" to mold the Jello in and then cut into wedges with the peel still intact and the jello inside. Then you give each boat a sail made of a toothpick and paper. The Ancient Egyptians used square sails. I used grapefruits for the molds and apricot jello because that was the most authentically Egyptian flavor I could find and the color looked nice. Actually the Ancient Egyptians didn't have grapefruit. But then again they didn't have Jello either. We laid out the "boats" on a long sheet of foil with blue jello cubes sprinkled around them to be the river and a plastic palm tree. It looked really adorable. We also served a tray of homemade sugar cookies in the shape of camels and mummies. The camels had yellow sugar on them and currant eyes. The mummies were a gingerbread boy shape but made of sugar cookie dough not gingerbread dough. Then you squeeze on criss-cross stripes of white frosting to be the mummy's bandages and a couple of currants for the eyes. For ice cream we had fruit-flavored popsicles. The fruits were not all ones that were available in Ancient Egypt but at least it's the kind of thing that's popular in modern-day Egypt!
PINATA: After the food our final activity was the Mummy Case Pinata. We bought a juke box shaped pinata solely for its shape which was kind of similar to a tombstone and re-covered it with brown paper. The birthday girl painted a mummy on one side and a mummy case on the other the same as on her invitation and I glued on a bunch of fringe which I cut out of gold tissue paper. (We also considered a treasure chest shape which we would have painted gold or a human shape such as Elmo or Dora which we would have re-covered with white tissue to be a mummy.) We filled the pinata with a ton of Egypt-themed items: raisin boxes gold foil wrapped chocolate coins gold foil wrapped Hershey Kisses gold foil wrapped Rolo caramels Gummy Skeletons (saved from Halloween) foil wrapped chocolate eyeballs (also Halloween) Mardi Gras beads plastic snakes plastic lizards and plastic skeletons.
GIFT BAGS: Everyone got a brown paper gift bag decorated with another copy of the same mummy case that was on the invitation. These were used to collect the items from the Pinata. Plus each bag already contained some items which I did not want to put in the pinata because I thought they might be more breakable: a Ring Pop a glowstick a rubber "slingshot bug" which looked like a beetle (with a label saying that it was a scarab beetle) two tubes of scented lip gloss with a label on them saying how the Egyptians loved perfumes and makeup and an individually wrapped Fig Newton with a label saying how the Egyptians loved figs. Plus each bag also had an Ancient Egypt mobile kit from Oriental Trading.
THANK YOU NOTES: The Thank You notes were printed on paper with a picture of a scroll on it that I found at the FedEx copy store. "
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