Neverland Party -3yr- Pin The X on Treasure
Amy in Saint Amant, La USA
My son loves the movie peter pan, I knew we had to have a peter pan inspired party for his 3rd birthday this year.
Invitations. The outside of the invite was fashioned to look like a treasure chest that folded closed and when you opened it the inside had a treasure map of neverland (I found the picture on the internet and copied it to my computer). I put a red X over Hangman's Tree. Above the map was a sky background with Peter pan and tinker bell and the text read Please join (my son's name) in Neverland and then there was a cloud with the text second star to the left and straight on till morning under Peter pan. Over the treasure map of neverland (which I lightened the color of so the text would stand out more) I had the text to celebrate his 3rd Birthday (the date and time) @ Hangman's Tree (and then my address in parentheses). At the bottom of the invite it read Password: Happy Birthday. I addressed them on the treasure chest side and mailed them like a postcard (I still had to have regular postage because they were folded but it did save on envelopes).
Decorations. I used clipart of a pirate flag, I printed three to a page and reversed the direction of one of them, so once printed I could stick two together and make them double sided. I then put contact paper over them and strung them together with fishing string. The dinning room was Pirates Cove so I strung the flags around the table from the ceiling. I also used a clipart picture of pirate smiley faces and did the same as with the flags, printed two of each, one of which was reversed, and then contact papered them together so they were double sided. These hung above the table which had my usual red and white checkered table cloth, I put two tables together and used a red plastic table cloth to cover what mine did not. I used red and white balloons in the dinning room; I stuck pirate stickers to them and tied them onto the chairs. I printed the map of neverland I had used on the invites on cardstock and contact papered them to use as placemats.
I had a sign on the door of Peter pan and Tinkerbelle (the same picture I used inside the invitation) printed poster sized and contact papered over. I taped some cardstock that I cut to look like a text bubble and wrote Happy Birthday to (my son's name). I filled the living room with green balloons (I wanted to tape green crate paper to them but could not find any in green anywhere!). The playroom was Hangman's Tree so I cut out a basic tree shape from brown paper and stuck to the door. Outside was Mermaid Lagoon, I tied up blue balloons and left some loose on the ground (without helium) and laid a blue tablecloth on the ground. I had their loot bags sitting on the table in the dinning room waiting for them, I let my son decorate these with money and pirate stickers, and then I wrote their names on them. My son also decorated the plain red cups he had picked out (dollar store) with pirate stickers and we put a name on each and set next to their bag.
Costumes. I made my son a Peter pan costume and my daughter a tinker bell one to wear for the party and had some captain hook accessories for other kids to take turns being captain hook.
Games/Activities. As kids arrived we welcomed them to Neverland and told them they could explore for a while. My husband had a chair set up in the corner of the dinning room as a tattoo station where they could get their free pirate tattoo for signing up to be a pirate. This helped kill time till everyone got there. Once all the kids arrived I escorted them outside to my son's playhouse where I had a clipart picture of Captain Hook (that I had contact papered of course) taped to a board that was leaning against the playhouse. My husband filled up some purple (I wanted black but couldn't find any) water balloons and the kids took turns getting Captain Hook with the cannon balls.
I told them we needed to get his treasure map so we could find the buried treasure later. Originally I planned to name a winner based on who could hit C.H. the most but the water balloons just bounced off him and broke on the ground, which prompted most the kids to just throw them on the ground and at each other's feet. They had so much fun with this until the balloons were all gone. The problem was the board was too smooth of a surface, so I recommend using some sort of texture over the picture if you try this. I had a small prize for all the players (mini pullback racers from Rhode Island Novelty) and I just held onto the big prize reserved for the winner (a 30pc Art set from Rhode Island Novelty).
We then went to the dinning room.. aka Pirates Cove and played pin the x on the treasure map (that we had stolen from C.H.). I again used the same map picture from the invites and placemats and printed it poster sized and contact papered it. I typed in the different areas on the map since when you blow up the picture the writing becomes a bit blurry. There was Hangman's Tree, Pirates Cove, Mermaid Lagoon, Indian Camp, and Neverland Forest. Each child got a large red X (which I printed and contact papered then wrote their names on) and was asked to put the X where they thought the treasure might be buried. I had printed an extra map that had a large X already pinned over Mermaid Lagoon so I unrolled that to show where the treasure was buried. My son actually won but another kid was also close so since I had not used one of the big prizes yet I gave one to my son and one (a die cast pullback racecar from Rhode Island Novelty) to the other child.
All the players received a small prize (pirate drawing boards from Rhode Island Novelty). While the kids were playing the pin the x game I had my husband take the treasure to mermaid lagoon (outside). I had two treasure chest, one small cardboard one (Rhode Island novelty, it came filled with 36 prizes) and one large plastic one (also Rhode Island novelty, I purchased it to keep in the playroom as a toy box after the party). I put the large prizes (an assortment of things like soft balls, hackey sacs, boomerangs, ribbon twillers, and paddle balls) inside the plastic box and my husband put it under the playhouse (which is 3ft off the ground). The small cardboard box was filled with money stickers, pirate stickers, pirate pencils, and metallic beads (all from Rhode Island Novelty) and was placed on the other side of the yard on top of the blue table cloth.
We took them out the back door and let them search for the treasure and put it inside their loot bags. We had a couple adults helping to encourage kids not to take too many things and to allow the smaller kids a chance to get stuff. This went over really well, we had 10 kids at the party and because the two treasure chests were spread out there wasn't a big fuss over sharing the treasure. The favors were the prizes and treasure they received during the party and placed in their loot bags.
The Food and the Cake. I scheduled the party for 3pm so I did not serve lunch, just simple snacks and Kool-Aid with chips, dip, and soft drinks for the adults. The cake was made by my sister in law; it was a banana cake with peanut butter icing that looked like a pirate ship. I purchased a figurine set from eBay with peter pan, a lost boy, captain hook, smead and the crocodile that she positioned on the cake. Peter Pan was flying above the ship (hanging from the sails) and the lost boy was walking the plank. She covered the sheet that the cake sat on top of with blue icing and used extra cake to make two rocks sticking out the water and the crocodile was sticking out from the water below captain hook. The cake was amazing, and very tasty.
My son had a great time and so did I, this was the first year he was really a part of the planning and decorating, he picked out all the prizes and treasure and he helped pick out and put together most of the decorations. Everyone had a good time, most of the kids said the water balloons were their favorite part. I spent a total of $150 on everything (the cake was free as part of my son's present) and approx. 10 hours prepping for the party.
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