Freddi Fish -5yr- Pin the Crown on King Crab
Christie in San Bernardino, CA, USA
My son likes to play the Freddi Fish computer games, and he begged for a birthday party of that theme. I couldn't find any party supplies that were specific to Freddi Fish, but there were plenty of generic fish and tropical party supplies.
I found some Freddi Fish pictures online and used the clipart to decorate my invitations. I supposed that most kids who were invited had never heard of the Freddi Fish computer games, but the party was for my son, and he knew. He was the important one. The other kids might have thought it was just a fish party, but as long as my son recognized Freddi Fish, it was fine.
First, we served lunch, which was easy pizza and fresh strawberries. I put tropical umbrella toothpicks in the strawberries for fun. To drink, we had Ocean Floats, which consisted of blue cream soda and pineapple sherbet.
I had gone to the craft store and bought some fish foam sticker cutouts in a big tub. I used a Sharpie and put letters on each fish. For instance, if the kid's name was Kenneth, I put a K on one fish, an E on another, and so on (using 7 different fish for that particular name). I had prepared this beforehand ind put them in baggies, but I had extras in case I misspelled a name or a surprise showed up. The kids peeled the backing off and stuck them on their shirts. One kid put them on his hair, and another spelled his name down his arm. I also had fish pictures for the kids to color and put stickers on so those who showed up early would have something to do while we waited for the latenicks.
When everyone had eaten, I announced, We are playing a live Freddi Fish computer game we will get a trophy." The magic fish was actually a fish bulletin board puzzle that I got from a school supply store. There were 32 pieces in the fish puzzle and before the party I put them together and wrote "Happy Birthday Steven" across the fish. As the kdis participated in the games they got puzzle pieces and those who won got two pieces. The bulletin board fish puzzle actually had holes I guess for the teacher to put student pictures but I ignored the holes and noone asked me why there was a hole in each puzzle piece. I suppose if you wanted to do this and couldn't find a fish puzzle you could go to the dollar store and find a cheap fish poster or picture or something of that sort and cut it into pieces to make your own puzzle.
To start the games we had the Horsefeathers Seahorse Obstacle course (Horsefeathers is a character in the game). One of the kids attending has orthopedic disabilities and walks with braces and a walker so I designed this course to be challenging for him but also challenging for the able-bodied children. I put lids from Rubbermade boxes on the grass (I had seven of them) and had the kids hop from lid to lid. They had to stop on the middle one (it was a different color) and spell their names. The disabled child could walk in the grass next to the lids. Then they had to pull a wagon filled with water about 15 feet to a rock. On the rock there were 5 pennies (the birthday boy was turning 5) and they had to drop the pennies into the water in the wagon trying to get them into a submerged bowl. I had two large cookie tins on the ground and the kids had to play the "drums" by pounding on them for 5 seconds. Then they had to sit in a strategically placed chair and throw 5 purple sea urchins (large purple pom pon balls from the craft store) into a bucket. The kids enjoyed this so much they wanted to run it again and again. They got a magic fish puzzle piece just for completing the course and a second one if they did a really fast or good job (with the age range it wasn't really fair to have them race the clock)
Then we played "Pin the Crown on King Crab" (King Crab is a character in the game). I had painted my best rendition of the character King Crab minus his crown. I cut crowns out of yellow construction paper and used a donut of scotch tape on the back of each one to play this game just like pin the tail on the donkey. Then we had the Octopus Ring Toss game which I had bought from Oriental Trading Co. After that they had to make their own fish suncatcher (also from Oriental Trading and using my own markers). The kids really liked this activity and it gave me a breather because all of them were quiet and engaged in it for at least 10 minutes.
After this we did Freddi's Frenzy Hula. I made hula skirts from tropical table fringe. I used two packages of table skirt fringe and cut them with enough length to go around the average kid's waist. I ended up with eight hula skirts and a larger one for me. I did trim the bottoms of some of the skirts before the party because some of the kids were short but going this route was much much cheaper than purchasing individual hula skirts. I'm not actually a hula dancer so my apologies to people who actually know this interesting and wonderful dance style. For the party I told them that when I say "Pineapple they were to sway their hips to the left, and when I say, Coconut they were to sway their hips to the right. I added moves for mango and papaya. At first, I went in order...Pineapple coconut mango papaya pineapple coconut..." Then I started mixing it up a little bit. The kids giggled whenever they missed the correct move.
Finally I had some of the kids volunteer to lead so they would say the names of the fruits and everyone would have to follow sort of like Simon Says but everyone was having so much fun nobody was "out" when a mistake happened. I had some upbeat hula music playing and they danced and danced. I gave out the remaining fish puzzle pieces saying "Now who can dance the fastest? Who can dance the silliest?" Then the kids worked together to put the puzzle together. When they put together the puzzle I said "You've found the magic fish! You win a trophy!" The trophy was actually a pinata shaped like a trophy and filled with candy and plastic fish.
After the pinata we had cake (I had made a cake shaped like a fish and I used yellow and orange frosting because Freddi Fish has a yellow body and orange fins. I don't think the other kids knew it was supposed to be Freddi Fish because they weren't really familiar with the game. To them it was just a fish cake which was fine. To my son he recognized it as Freddi Fish right away.) We opened presents and I gave each guest a pair of sunglasses and a kite with a fish on it from the dollar store. It was a really fun party. Although it was for a 5 year old we had kids ranging from 4 to 11 at the party including one who was orthopedically disabled and all of them had a great time. I had enough diverse activities that everyone found something that he or she really liked to do. The party lasted about 2 1/2 hours but about 1 hour of that was eating and waiting for kids to show up. Without serving lunch this party could be done in about 1 1/2 or 2 hours. "
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