Knights and Princesses 4yr
Colleen in Vancouver, WA, USA
INVITATION: I created my own personalized invitations on the computer, using castle, princess, and knight clip art. The border looked like an unrolled scroll. The front cover was individualized for each guest, saying something like: Hear Ye Duchess of Dancing You Are Hereby Invited..." Inside the invitation said "Come one come all ye knights and princesses!" Along with the party details we added: "Attire for Knights and Princesses will be provided at the party but if you are a princess with a favorite gown of your own you are encouraged to wear it provided it can be crawled around in and spilled upon by your highness). Bring your footman or lady in waiting (aka parent) and join Princess T for a fun-filled afternoon designing new crowns for all the guests exploring the castle playing regal games acquiring royal treasure and enjoying noble cake!" DECORATIONS: We rented a basketball gym at a health club for a modest fee and they provided tables chairs tablecloths balloons etc. and let us borrow soccer balls cones and hula hoops for our games. We brought our own homemade castle designed out of large cardboard boxes and surrounded with cobblestone corrugated paper that we ordered from Shidigz. The main castle "room" was two large boxes creating a 4'x 8' space (about 4' high) with double arched doors and two windows. It had a tunnel leading to a taller 4 ' x 4' dungeon (about 6' high) with a barred window and "secret" back door. The kids loved it. Finally a family member loaned us some cardboard castle blocks that the kids could use to construct their own 3 or 4-foot high castle room. The kids LOVED the castle! COSTUMES: As each kid arrived he/she got to decorate a foam crown with foam stickers featuring letters shapes castle themes etc. Then we made costumes for each "knight." Each knight got a tunic (made out of 2-foot strips of flannel with a hole cut into them for the head and gold ribbon belts tied on each side. I used gold felt to put a medieval cross on the chest of each one. Then I made swords cut out of foam board and wrapped in tin foil and made shields using templates purchased from Oriental Trading and decorated with castle-theme templates found on the FamilyFun website with its "knight" party idea. As it turned out each princess had her own gown (but we had miscellaneous dress-up stuff collected just in case). After each crown was finished we took a photo of each guest in front of the castle in all his/her finery and included in inside the thank you cards. GAMES: GHOST GAME. We had an old wooden ghost with a hole for a mouth. We pretended it was the ghost haunting the castle and the kids through bean bags through the mouth to "feed" it and make it go away. FROG GAME. Then we played "stick the lips on the frog prince" (a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey variation). I made the frog and lips out of poster board and just used poster putty to stick the lips on. Each kid got a chocolate Hershey's "kiss" from the frog. DRAGON EGG GAME. Each kid got a soccer ball. The goal was to get the soccer ball across the gym without using their hands and without the "dragon" (aka dad) getting it. If the dragon turned around the kids had to sit on their eggs to keep them safe before the dragon got there. That one was a big favorite. TREASURE HUNT. We set up an obstacle course treasure hunt. The kids had to walk through "backwards land" and crawl through a tunnel and leap over cones and across the moat on hula-hoop-lily pads. Finally they balanced the invisible fairy elves on cushions on top of their heads (just used bean bags) until they got to me (the queen dressed in cloak and tiara) and I gave them each a locked treasure chest. I got little 3-inch treasure chests and filled them with chocolate gold coins both purchased from Oriental Trading. Then the kids were instructed to take their chests to the food table to get their keys. CAKE: When the guests were seated at the food table I read them a story featuring a "princess" and pink cupcakes (Pinkalicious). Then I served up pink cupcakes with a crown-shaped sugar cookie on top of each one. The kids each received the key to open their treasure chest and a royal trumpet (trumpet-shaped blower). Then we sang happy birthday and the kids were able to have free play time until they had to leave. I had miscellaneous beverages and fruit and veggie trays and pretzels put out on what used to be the craft table for the parents and guests to enjoy after the initial craft was done. FAVORS (THANK YOUS): Each child got a castle-themed goodie bag with dollar store trinkets. The knights kept their costumes and each princess got a wand. Then we made our own thank you notes. My daughter wrote "Thank You" in her own handwriting in different colors. I scanned her "thank you" into the computer and used castle clip art again to create a card for each guest added their photo and had my daughter sign her name to the note I wrote on her behalf. All in all it turned out to be a lot of fun and did not break the budget!"
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