Idea No.


Handy Manny Party -5yr- Choose a Tool Belt



March 2008


Marcella in Seattle, WA USA

Special Mention

Handy Manny Party

My daughter requested a Handy Manny party for her 5th birthday.  She loves Habdy Manny and all the tools so there was question was her theme was going to be.  Because there were no Handy Manny decorations or party ware we had to be creative.  Playhouse Disney has some very helpful Handy Manny party suggestions and planning ideas on their website, and we did use some of those.  They also have printable invitations and decorations. 

INVITATION:  For the cover, we used a picture of Manny and his tools in their workshop.  Inside, we used tool stickers to attach the preprinted details that we created using a fun font.  Our invitation read: Come on friends; we have a job to do /celebrate with Handy Manny & the tools, too/ it's Taylor-Corrine's birthday, you see/ help us to make it the best it can be/ be ready for games, painting and lots of fun/ you're sure to be messy when your shift is all done/job date: Saturday, august 11th 2007/work hours: 2-5:30 p.m./job site:  Handy Manny's repair shop /Our Address/r.s.v.p.: our phone number and e-mail address.  At the bottom we included a note for the parents that said to make sure the kids wore clothes they wouldn't mind getting messy.  On the very back, we inserted out favorite most recent picture of our daughter and beneath that it said Taylor-Corrine's 5th Birthday and the date. 

DECORATIONS/PARTY FAVORS:  We bought small traffic cones and taped pictures of each character to each cone, and then we tied a balloon to each one.  These were the centerpieces. I drew out each character on poster board and painted them.  These we hung on the back wall of the fence.  I bought plastic drop cloths from the dollar store and a friend draped them from the roof of our house, so that it looked like the house was under construction.  We taped and wound yellow caution tape on and around anything we could  trees, handrails, tables.  We had six party tables.  Each table had a different brightly colored table cloth.  The gift table also held the party favors. 

We found a plastic wheelbarrow and filled it with a variety of plastic tools that we found at the dollar store. As each guest arrived, they were asked to choose a tool belt that my daughter and I made using felt.  We started with a long rectangular shape.  From there we cut smaller rectangles from each side, so there were straps to attach the belt to each person's waist.  We hot glued pockets onto the front of each belt so the kids could add the tools they earned by playing each game.  The kids also received a yellow hard hat, a notebook, a pencil that had ruler markings on it, and a tool shaped pencil sharpener (all purchased from Oriental Trading Company) to start with.   

GAMES/ENTERTAINMENT: Next, we planned to play three games and a have few other activities to keep everyone entertained.  We usually rent a bouncy house, but didn't this year because our daughter broke her arm a few weeks before her birthday.  Instead of a one bag with party favors, the kids received something after each game they played.  From the Disney website, we used the game idea for Handy Manny says, which is like Simon Says. We did things like Handy Manny says hammer a nail, paint a house, hug your neighbor (the boys all said Yuck! When I threw this one in.). 

The second game was Tall Tower in which the kids were going to use building blocks to build the tallest tower in a 30 second time frame.  Last was the Handy Manny relay.  This was by far the best and most fun.  The kids formed two lines and the two at the front had to put on loads of handyman gear as fast as they could.  They had to put on goggles, a hard hat, a tool belt with three tools, and workman gloves.  The first to finish won, but each child received a toy tool after they played.  This was hilarious and everyone cheered for all the kids. 

I was able to get 3 huge appliance boxes from Lowe's, which we were going to paint to look like Sheetrock Hills where Handy Manny and the tools live.  The kids had so much fun just playing with the boxes that we never got to it.  A few of the parents said they were going to just have plain appliance boxes at their children's next parties since the kids enjoyed them so much.  We had to literally pull some of then away to east lunch.  We also had a pinata filled with candy, stickers, and little toys.  As everyone left they received a large toy tool that was filled with candy. 

FOOD:  We were originally going to pack a lunch for each child, but our daughter decided she didn't want to do that.  She wanted buffet style.  We had hot dogs, hot links and polish sausages, chips, watermelon and fresh veggies.  Everything was served in new paint trays.  We put the utensils in new paint cans that we created labels for that included Handy Manny and the tools.  I was lucky enough to find a few three compartment serving dishes that we used to hold mustard, ketchup and relish.  I created labels that looked like pieces of wood that said what each condiment was.  Mustard was yellow paint, ketchup was red paint, and relish was spackle.  The fun part was that everyone used mini paintbrushes to paint the mustard and ketchup on their hot dogs.  The kids all said they loved doing this. 

CAKE:  We ordered the cake from Safeway.  In their book, they have a Father's Day cake that is shaped like a toolbox holding 3 or 4 tools.  We asked the bakery to make it into a birthday cake instead.  The baker was wonderful.  Using a picture we provided for her, she made the toolbox look like the one Handy Manny uses and she made all the tools look like Manny's tools.  It was fabulous! 

For the kids who were able to stay longer, we did finally break out the paint and they were able to spend the rest of the party painting whatever they wanted to on big piece of cardstock.  They were thrilled to tale their masterpieces home with them.  This was a really fun party to do and was relatively inexpensive.  We had about 25-30 guests (including parents) and everyone told us what a great time they had.  My daughter had a wonderful time and we were able to work together to do nearly all of the decorations and party favors, which made it even more fun for both of us.

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