Ladybug Party -3yr- Hot Potato Ladybug
Jen in Pompton Plains, NJ USA
Ladybug Party (3 year old) kids ranged in age from 3-6.
The invitation was the classic ladybug invitation, googled it and there were pictures of finished invite -supplies needed were black poster board, red poster board, little googly eyes, black pipe cleaner, small silver circle brads, scissors and glue. Cut the black poster board in shape of ladybug, circle with roundish head. Cut the red poster board in shape of circle that is slightly bigger than the black, then cut the red circle in half, attach to black with brad - this allows the wings to open.
I printed out the invitation saying on white paper and glued to the black so you could see it when the wings opened. It read "Come be Spotted at 'daughter's name' Ladybug Birthday Party! Date, time, place and Buzz us at phone number" This was in black & red font and I used fancy scissors to give it a more appealing border. Antennaes were added w/ pipe cleaners, twirled around a pencil and stuck in little holes at the top of the head. Googly eyes and drew a mouth and nose.
Craft: as the children arrived I had them begin making and decorating their ladybug lodge (ordered from Oriental Trading Corp OTC). I pre-assembled them and the kids decorated with ladybug stickers, bug stickers (from OTC), markers and bug stamps (OTC). I collected them when they were finished and put to the side.
We then ate - I like getting the kids fed right away so we have happy campers during the party!
The first game was simply Hot Potato - but with ladybug bean bags (OTC). In the middle of the game a Ladybug visited the group from the sky (a ladybug kite - Toy's R Us), she had a secret message/note attached which read: "Ladybugs are lucky and so are you, today it's important to follow each clue! If you can do this with the help of Mrs. Hardie, I'll send my ladybug friends to visit 'daughter's name' party" I then explained that the ladybug was telling us that we had to find clues, do what the clues said and then if we did this - real ladybugs would visit us at the end of the party! I instructed all the kids to look for the next clue (each clue was hidden right before the search - I didn't want them finding future clues out of order)
I printed each clue on bright paper and rolled in a scroll and secured w/ ladybug sticker. The 2nd clue read "If you're a ladybug it's important to fly, so I want you to give it a try, find a leaf place it on the ground, turn on the music and fly around!" I had cut bright green leaves from foam pad (Michael's) each w/ ladybug sticker and hung them thoughout the backyard (doubled as decorations). Each kid grabbed one and put it on the ground, then we basically played musical chairs, but with kids flying as ladybugs, when the music stopped they had to find a leaf to land on - they looked gorgeous! Again I told the kids great job and let's find the next clue, which read "Ladybugs love to eat aphids on green leaves, see if you can land one on one with a big heave!"
The kids lined up and each one had some tries at throwing a ladybug bean bag onto one of the green leaves. Each child won a ladybug cookie (simple ladybug shaped cookie w/ red icing) - kids were to decorate their cookie w/ candy, black licorice, sprinkles, etc. and then eat. We then looked for the next clue, which read "Ladybugs need to search high and low for food to eat, see if you're a good bug finder, look down by your feet!" I had ordered plastic bugs from OTC and hid them in a bale of hay which I broke up and scattered throughout my garden (also good to do this on a tarp - easier for cleanup). Each child went into the garden and hunted for 5 bugs each. We searched for the next clue, which read "All good ladybugs have spots that are black, help my friend put hers back!".
For this game I had made a larger version of the invitation out of stiff felt and hung her on a tree. I had cut small black circles of felt and stuffed one each into a red or black balloon - then I blew up the balloons and hung them as decorations throughout the back yard (on my deck, trees, fence, etc.) The kids each grabbed one balloon, popped it and then grabbed the black felt spot they found inside. They took this spot to my big felt ladybug and each hung one on her big red wings (you could also play pin the spot on the ladybug by blindfolding the kids here, but I was running out of time).
After she was all spotted up we found the next clue - "Spiders are ladybugs enemy, help wash them out to set me free". I had drawn a spider on a chalkboard easle. All the kids were lined up and given one water balloon which they were to throw at the chalk drawn spider - when it hit, it splashed and washed the spider out - the kids loved this! Last clue was found "You've solved all the clues - you've done really great! But before my friends visit, let's sing and eat cake"
We served classic ladybug cake w/ licorice antennaes, oreos for spots, I googled and found great picture of it. After cake we did a quick pinata (OTC) and then the ladybugs arrived. I pre-ordered 400 ladybugs from a website, we had them in an old hermit crab tank for all the kids to see, but my husband put a few into each child's ladybug lodge. So the kids could take some home and then release them there. Other goody bag/take home items included, ladybug garden gloves (Target), and from OTC - ladybug beanbags, bug tongs, ladybug tape gum and the plastic bugs they found. I had a blast and we had over 20 kids attend this party and each one followed through with all the games and activities. Total party time was 1-1/2 hours, but 2 may be needed. Most of my ideas came from this site - which I LOVE! Good luck and have fun!
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