Country Bear Party -5yr- Carnival & Jamboree
Jennifer in Houston, TX USA
My son's favorite movie is Disney's The Country Bears. About 6 months before his 5th birthday he told me he wanted a Country Bears party. This was going to be a challenge because Disney did not produce any promotional items on the market at all for this movie. So we came up with a really fun idea. We had a Country Bears Carnival and Jamboree. Everyone loves a carnival, but this one had a Country Bears Twist.
Invitations: I went to to the Disney website and found the home page for the Country Bears Movie. There were lots of pics that could be copied and put into powerpoint. For the invitations, I made carnival tickets for each child. I was able to put 4 on each page, then took them to be color copied on glossy cardstock and cut out. On the left of the ticket I used the graphic of the movie poster. Under the logo of the Country Bears, I added the words Carnival and Jamboree. On the right side of the ticket I put: Disney's the Country Bears presents Matt's 5th Birthday Carnival and Jamboree. Where: Country Bear Hall and put the date and time.
Then I wrote: The "bearer" of this ticket is admitted. Please be prepared to have more fun than you can "bear". I perforated each ticket using a sewing machine without thread. I purchased some red and white striped popcorn bags from oriental trading. Inside the bag, I filled it with popped popcorn. I used an air popper so there wouldn't be any oil spots on the bags. Inside the popcorn, I inserted the ticket, then folded down the top of the bag. I printed the child's name on labels. I used the label to keep the bag closed. I printed the country bears logo on sticker sheets and attached that to the outside of the bag. Under that was "You are invited to the Country Bears Carnival and Jamboree. You're event ticket is enclosed". We hand delivered most of these, but some we mailed. For those that we mailed, we didn't put popcorn inside - just folded flat and put the address directly on the popcorn bag.
Decorations: It was a carnival, so we had TONS of balloons. We bought every color and every size of balloon and used up a big helium tank blowing them up. Balloons were everywhere!!! Above our gate leading to our backyard, we hung a wooden sign that read "Country Bear Hall". We had a boom box playing the country bears soundtrack cd throughout the party. Also hanging off our play fort was a 4 X 6 foot vinyl banner of the Country Bear Movie that I purchased on ebay. This was once hung in a movie theater. It's huge. It really added to the theme. And since this was a carnival, we had carnival games. At each game we had a huge striped umbrella covering the game. The purpose was three fold - to distinguish where each game was, to add lots of fun color to the decorations and to shade my wonderful friends who volunteered to man each game booth.
Activities: As the children arrived, they each received a brown kraft paper handled bag. On it was a sticker with the logo on it (from the computer) and their name. Also attached to the bag were 10 homemade tickets with each activity printed on them, plus the food tickets. We had 5 games plus a tattoo booth. We made most of the games and borrowed one. At each game, I used the graphics from the website to download pictures of each character. Then I printed up a sign for each game and attached it to the umbrellas. The games were as follows:
1) "Beary's" Bumper Car. This was a game where the kids push a car on a track and "bump" it off one end then bounce back to the other end and it "bumps" back and forth. Where it lands would determine the prize. The prizes at this booth were just miscellaneous trinkets and such from oriental trading.
2) Trixie's Toss a Ball. This was a game where the kids threw a wiffle ball onto the game board that had 49 3" holes drilled into the plywood. The whole thing was painted white, but several of the holes were outlined with a different color. If the ball landed on a colored hole, they won the prize. The prizes at this game were the country bears stuffed toys that McDonalds gave away. I began collecting them early on - found a lot of them on ebay.
3) Fred's Fish Toss. This game was a piece of plywood that had fish painted on it with openings at their mouths. The kids threw fish shaped bean bags into the mouths. The prize was a real harmonica (Fred played the harmonica in the movie). I bought those at oriental trading.
4) Dexter's Duck pond. This was a baby pool with weighted ducks. The kids picked a duck. If they picked the one with a star, they won a prize. The prizes here were movie pins. I found these on ebay. I believe these were used at video stores when the movie was released. The pins were rectangle shaped with a miniature movie poster on them. They were cute and the kids loved them.
5) Tennessee's Treasure Chest (my favorite). This was a huge treasure box with the big lock on the front. We had a cup of keys. 4 good ones and 4 bad ones. The kid pulled out a key and tried to unlock the chest. If they did, they one a prize inside. The prizes here were inflatable guitars (oriental trading). Most of the bears played guitars in the movie.
6) And the last booth was Ted's Tattoo Parlor. We had a large assortment of temporary tattoos that the kids could pick from. I had volunteers at each game. The kids could play the game once to win the main prize and after that play as many times as they wanted for smaller trinket prizes.
Food: Since this was a carnival, we basically had carnival food. We had a popcorn machine, a sno cone machine, and a cotton candy machine. We served sodas, bottled water and juice boxes.
Both the birthday boy and my oldest son wore Country Bear T-shirts I found on ebay. They had the logo on the front and the "hybernation tour schedule" on the back. The kids had the ultimate time. There were about 20 in all on this very hot June day in Texas.
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