Idea No.

5127

Rainbow ABC Party -4yr- Rainbow Face Paint

Award

Date

Oct 2002

From

Robyn in Niceville, FL,  USA

Special Mention

Rainbow Party

I wanted my daughter to help come up with the "theme" for her 4th birthday party as she has the past two years, but this year she had my head spinning!  She asked to have a "Rainbow-ABC Party".  After trying (unsuccessfully)to get her to choose just one of those themes, it occurred to me that it might not be too hard after all.  Because letters and colors are such an integral part of three and four year olds' learning anyway, I found a lot of things fit right into the party theme.   First, I made invitiations by finding clip art of a rainbow with a pot of gold at the end.  I then took small alphabet stickers and stuck them in, on and around the pot, so it looked like it was a rainbow with a pot of rainbow colored letters at the end of it.  I came up with a poem that included the request that every child come dressed in their favorite color of the rainbow.  I had color copies made of the invites (2 per page). 

Also, we gave our daughter the option to invite about 8 friends who could all bring gifts or to invite all the friends she knew (preschool, playgroup, neighborhood, Sunday School) but only receive gifts from family.  She opted for the latter and I was thrilled since she has so many toys already!  We asked that in lieu of a gift each child bring a wrapped copy of their favorite storybook for a book exchange.  When friends began to RSVP, I was sure to ask the child's favorite color and make a note of it.  There were so many great favors to be found, especially at the Dollar-type stores.  We found packs of interchangeable crayon-pencils, rainbow slinkies, wooden or plastic magnetic letters (each child received his/her own initials), crayon shaped bubble gum, alphabet stickers, iron-on patches in each child's initial, colored crazy straws, and the one store even had Little People and Richard Scarry alphabet and color books in a bin, 2/$1.00!!  I purchased small gift unhandled gift bags in each child's favotire color and used alphabet stickers to write each name on the front.  Then I filled each with all the loot. 

At the party, we had lots of bunches of helium ballons in the colors of the rainbow (remember Roy G Biv?!...red-orange-yellow-green-blue-violet)all over the backyard.  I went to the parent/teacher resource center and used the die-cut machine to make hundreds of rainbow colored letters, which we taped all over the backyard, on the fence, swingset, etc.  That can take a lot of time but it looked so pretty!  We created a rainbow with crepe paper and placed a large black, plastic witch's cauldren at the end of it.  You can find them for about $5 around Halloween, less if you wait for the clearance sales afterward!  When each child arrived, we asked them to place their wrapped book in the potat the end of the rainbow.  Everyone looked so bright and colorful, too!  Our babysitter came and painted the children's faces with either a rainbow or an "ABC" which was a big hit!  We had a craft table where children could make any of the following: 

1. ID bracelets using plastic colored and alphabet beads.  I seperated the packs of letter beads into small baby food jars and labeled each accordingly.  The elastic was precut and pre-knotted.  Moms needed to help, but just minimally. 

2.  Rainbow tissue paper candle jar mosaics.  Pre-torn primary colors of tissue paper brushed onto large baby food jars with watered down glue (like decopauge) and a votive candle included. 

3.  Rainbow pictures.  Fruit Loops seperated by colors in bowls, mini marshmallows, glus and construction paper.  Chilren glue the cereal onto the paper to creat a rainbow and glue marshmallows on as clouds.  The crafts were a big hit, especially the bracelets.  Some Moms with smaller children also used the Fruit Loops to help the babies make safer, edible bracelets! 

The food included:  Jello Jigglers cut with alphabet cookie cutters in primary colors, rainbow ABC snack mix (M&M's, broken pretzel sticks, p-nuts, golden raisins, Alphabits cereal mixed together), peanut butter & jelly sandwiches cut out with alphabet cookie cutters, bowls of fresh fruit (red apples, oranges, yellow bananas, green grapes, purple grapes), samll rainbow cookies I found in a kids cookie book, small bags of chips, cookie pops (sugar cookies cut with the same ABC cutters, baked with lollipop sticks inseted in them and decorated with various colors of frostings and sprinkles.  I was sure that every child would have their own first initial to eat!We had a rainbow pinata which was a big hit.  Be sure to provide the children with a baggie so that they have something to collect the pinata loot in when it breaks. 

I decorated a large round cake with cookie pops spelling our my daughters name and placed a few of the small rainbow shaped cookies on top, too, as wel as rainbow sprinkles.  After cake and ice cream, we had the children sit in a big circle with the pot of books in the center.   Each child was handed the book they brought and then we played music and they had to pass their books to the person on the right unti the music stopped.  This ensured no one would get the book they brought.  Then we let them all open their book gifts. 

The kids and the moms loved this part. At the very end, each child also took home their goody bag in their favorite color and a balloon in their favorite color.  It was so cute to see, for example, a little girl all dressed in red, with her red goody bag and red ballon walking away!  It was a party that made a big impression but did not cost too much for all we were able to do. 

For a party of 22 children, plus almost twice as many adults, it cost right around $100. And because our daughter got to open a book with everyone else and she had already opened her gifts from family members before the party began, she never once said a word about not getting more presents.  We were glad that she understood what we truly believe:  That a party is a gift that you give to your friends.  We were all there to clebrate four wonderful years of our daughter's life, but it was also important to thank those we love for being such a vital part of her growing and learning experience.

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