Peter Pan -6yr- Lost Boys Obstacle Course
Moira in Fort Walton Beach, FL
Peter Pan/Treasure Hunt Party - For my daughter's sixth birthday, I planned a Peter Pan/Treasure Hunt theme party. For invitations, I used the Treasure Hunt invitations by Colors by Design (bought on sale at our local stationery store), and imported a small clipart of Tinker Bell (from www.tinksnook.com) to help create the Never Land theme. The invitation read: Come to Never Land to Celebrate (daughter’s) 6th Birthday! Peter Pan has hidden Captain Hook’s treasure and we need your help to find it! The pertinent info read, Enchantment Day: Saturday, Month, Day, 2002. Second Star to the right: At (our address). Straight on 'till morning (plus a few hours): 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Then I paraphrase a few lines from the "You Can Fly" song to set the mood: Think of the happiest things, it’s the same as having wings. Bring your faith and your trust, and we will supply the pixie dust.
Decorations: For the craft activity, the dining room table was decorated with a tablecloth from the Pirate’s Cove partyware line, a Playmobil pirate ship, and small Peter Pan characters purchased from The Disney catalog (I hung Peter Pan from the chandelier by a string so he was flying over Captain Hook’s ship). My husband converted my daughter’s playset, already furnished with a climbing rope ladder, into a pirate ship by taking two 1x2 boards to make a mast, stapling an old sheet to the crossbeam, and topping it with a pirate flag to create a sail (he secured it to the playset post with duct tape). Around the base of the sandbox, he constructed a ship by using old wardrobe boxes. To make a plank, he placed a 1’x8’ board on the bottom ladder step (just a few inches off the ground) and placed a sturdy toolbox on the other end; underneath I placed blue plastic tablecloths for a water effect. Finally, he built a simple teepee by tying three 1x2 boards together and covering them with an old blanket. For the birthday table, I used a white tablecloth, sprinkled it with iridescent star confetti, and decorated it with Tinker Bell partyware and a coordinating balloon bouquet for the centerpiece.
Treasure boxes: While waiting for all the guests to arrive, I had the children decorate little treasure boxes purchased at Oriental Trading Company, which I had spray painted gold a few days before the party. I had all the materials waiting for them on a plastic plate with their names written on them for easy identification when it was time to go home (plus it made it easier for them to carry). If you think ahead, you can purchase individual bottles of glue for only $0.20 each during the back to school sales.
Peter Pan Shadows: I got this idea while visiting a children’s museum. As we may remember from the Peter Pan book or movie, Peter has lost his shadow in the Darling’s nursery. To help our guests find their shadows, I painted a small (2’x4’) board with non-toxic phosphorescent paint (purchased from www.dickblick.com). We tied string to the board and hung it from a wreath holder so it was just a few inches off the floor. In a darkened hallway, we had the children strike a pose against the board; then we turned off the lights and for 10-15 seconds shined a bright light (we used a halogen lamp) at the child (you may have the child either face towards the board or have them shut their eyes). The paint on the portion of the board blocked by the child’s body will not absorb the light and it will result in a shadow of the child. This was a real hit, and the kids still ask to play with the board (it was very popular at a recent Halloween party). Total cost was about $10.
Flying Lessons: We couldn’t find any pixie dust, so we had to invent an alternative. My husband came up with this idea from his Air Force altitude chamber testing days. We had a child sit with legs crisscrossed in a swivel chair (with arms for safety). With child leaning their head on one of their arms, my husband spun the chair around about a dozen times. When the chair stopped, he told the child to sit up straight, and doing so gave them a sensation of falling. The children had a blast doing this activity and asked to do it over and over again.
Mermaid Madness: Instead of a traditional potato sack relay race, the children wore mermaid tails (turquoise sequined material with aqua tulle for fins) my sister sewed. They played to win Indian headdresses, purchased for about $1.00 a piece at Party411.com (everyone was a winner).
Lost Boys’ Obstacle Course: On their way to the Indian village John, Michael and the Lost Boys played follow the leader. I made several recordings of the Follow the Leader song from the movie soundtrack, and had the birthday girl lead her friends (all wearing their Indian headdresses) around the yard and through several obstacles, like climbing up the slide to the playset and down the ladder, walking the plank, and crawling through our Play Hut cubes and tunnels. They also flew around the yard like Tinker Bell and danced like Indians. I bought my daughter a top hat to wear, like John’s, but she preferred to wear her Indian headdress.
Indian Pow-Wow: The children worked up quiet an appetite, and it was time for ice cream and cake. The cake was decorated with a Tinker Bell figurine. Treasure Hunt: The highlight of the party was the treasure hunt. Since the children’s ages ranged from 4 to 6, most were just beginning to read, so I created 12 rebus (or picture) clues using clipart. For example, I had a picture of some envelopes and a box (mailbox), telephone and a book (phonebook). I wished I made up more clues because the children just loved figuring out these clues (after all, they were raised watching Blue’s Clues). The last clue led the children to the toy box, where hidden in a small treasure chest where eight bags, one for each child, filled with chocolate coins, ring pops and candy necklaces. I made labels using more clipart from Tink’s Nook and put each child’s name on it so there was no arguing over the bags.
Goodie Bags: The children received their goodie bags so they would have something to play with while my daughter opened her presents. I decorated gift bags with a label using more clipart from Tink's Nook (showing Peter Pan and the Darling children flying over London), and secured the handles closed with iridescent star garland. They received a Peter Pan book (only $1.50 from Doverpublications.com), a pirate telescope (on sale at smarterkids.com), a Tinker Bell stadium cup, pixie straws, sparklers (with a strict warning that they could be used only under direct adult supervision), and a few more candy rings and necklaces. The children also took home their treasure chests and Indian headdresses.
Battling the Pirates: Finally, it was time to battle Captain Hook. I found a pirate ship piñata at our local party store. At Toys ‘R Us, I bought a crocodile puppet that growled when you closed its mouth, and tied it to the end of a piñata stick. When the children hit the pirate ship, the crocodile would growl at Captain Hook. I recorded, but forgot to play, the crocodile theme (the tick-tock song) from the soundtrack it would have been very appropriate to play while the children batted at the piñata! Next year it will be hard for me to top this party!
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