Idea No.

5713

Birdie Party -4yr- Musical Nests

Award

Date

Feb 2003

From

Amy in Puyallup, WA, USA

Special Mention

Safari Party

My son is still talking about his fourth birthday party, and he is now past five! He declared that he wanted a "birdie" birthday party, with all different birds.

I made invitations with a publishing program that said, "Fly on in, don't walk- Logan is turning 4! It'll be a hoot". After racking my brain on how to decorate, I found a number of tropical bird paper decorations at the party store in the luau section. I purchased a paper tablecloth and stamped it with bird craft stamps for the tablecover. I used yellow paper plates with  bird stickers on them and green napkins, my son's favorite colors. We also decorated with all of his bird toys placed around the house, since he has quite a collection.

For games, we started with each child standing on a chair and dropping plastic bugs into an open jar over which I had fitted an open-mouthed bird's head made of craft foam. Then we got out some small feathers and each child blew them in the air to see who could make them stay up the longest. We spread out the kids around a large bedsheet and bounced easter eggs around, trying to keep them on the sheet. I wrapped a round hatbox with a brown towel to look like a nest and they took turns throwing plastic easter eggs into the nest. I made a drawing of a cartoon-style chicken on a piece of yellow posterboard and then we played "pin the beak on the chicken."

I made a parrot-shaped no-break pinata. To do this, you make a square opening in the bottom of the pinata and fill it. Make a number of holes in the bottom, at least one for each child that is going to attend. Insert a string through each hole. Tie a knot at the end of one string on the inside of the opening. Tape the opening shut with 1-2 pieces of tape, just enough to keep it closed. Each child gets to pull on a string. When the string that is knotted on the other side is pulled on, the opening will come loose and release the candy. This is much better than breaking it, if you have spent the time to make it yourself.

I took a number of seat cushions (like those for dining room chairs) and covered them with burlap fabric. We then played "Musical Nests," using the cushions on the ground instead of chairs. I  had saved egg cartons and cut the bottom of each carton in half lengthwise. I then painted them green ahead of time. I made holes along the sides of each between each egg cup, and two holes on the front towards the top. I supplied pipe cleaners for legs and antennae (these go through the holes), pom-poms of various sizes and colors, beads, and wiggly eyeballs and each child got to glue on decorations and make their own caterpillar.

I also made tic-tac-toe boards and supplied bird and ladybug stickers to play tic-tac-toe with. We played "go birdie," like go fish, with game cards I made from cardstock paper and clipart of various birds on my computer (you could also use stickers.) You have to print out two sets, so that they can match pairs. My son and I later used these cards to play "Memory" with.   I collected leaves, moss, small rocks, and bark from the park (we live in the Northwest) and each child got a small box to glue these onto as their own "nature box" and put their prizes in. I gave out plastic insects, amphibians,and fish, sticky lizards that stick to the wall, bird stickers, bird water-whistles, and gummy worms and frogs in small bags.

For favors, I used blowers with bees on them, and no hats since my son does not like the party hats. He wore a little crown, though, so that he felt special.  For eats, I made birdhouse-shaped cookies. They got to frost their own cookies and the decorate their birdhouse with chocolate rocks, gummy worms, gummy frogs, and chocolate chips. I made an edible playdough from 2 cups peanut butter, 3/4 cup honey, and 1 cup powdered milk mixed together. I put out pretzel stick "twigs" and each child got to build their own edible nest from the dough and twigs. I put out goldfish crackers, pretzel stick "twigs", carrot sticks, raw broccoli "trees", and gummi worms, fish, and frogs.

For the "cake," I made Oreo dirt with gummi worms and frogs in it, with islands of  green sweet&sour candy straw bits for grass and chocolate rocks. I surrounded the pan with green construction paper and I cut along the top to look like grass. I had a jello mold for easter eggs that I made several "eggs" to sit out to eat. I made blue jello jigglers with worms and frogs inside to look like a pond. Don't use the gummy fish inside the jello- they turn into a slimy mess. You have to spray the pan first, and the secret to creating layers is to make 1/2 of the jello (using the jigglers recipe), chill for 15 minutes, and then add some worms & frogs.  Chill this until solid. Then prepare the other 1/2 of the jello (with the jigglers recipe) and chill it for 15 minutes in the bowl. Then pour it over the first half of the jello, and add more worms & frogs. Let it set in the fridge. Then you can cut it into circles and each child gets their own "pond."

He enjoyed his fourth birthday so much that he asked for the same theme for his fifth birthday. That's when you know it was all worth it!

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