Tinkerbell & Peter Pan 4yr - Cardboard Ship
Tiffany in Plano, Texas, USA
April 2002 Winner.
Pirate/Tinkerbell/Peter Pan Party Four Year-Old My daughter ADORES Tinkerbell and with the new Peter Pan movie out there was no question what kind of birthday party we'd be throwing this year! The Invitation I used the cover of the original Peter Pan video for the design. I pulled the paper cover out of the video box and taped it to a window. I held a piece of typing paper over the cover and traced the figures of Peter Pan, Wendy, John, Michael, the pirate ship, and Tinkerbell in two different poses. Then I listened to the We Can Fly song over and over to get the lyrics I wanted; I typed the lyrics and party information and printed them on the computer. Then I cut out the different blocks of lyrics/words and the traced figures and pasted them together to make a simple folded invitation. The front of the invitation was Peter and Wendy flying over the verse that begins: "When there's a smile in your heart" and ends: "You can fly, you can fly, you can fly!" The inside top of the invitation was a small picture of Tinkerbell with the words Think of the happiest things, it’s the same as having wings. The inside bottom of the invitation had pictures of John, Michael, Tinkerbell and the pirate ship with the party information. On the bottom I wrote Bring your faith and trust, we'll supply the pixie dust. I copied the invitation and spent WAY too long hand coloring each invitation with colored pencils. I rolled up the invitation and secured them with a piece of semi-long gold ribbon. I purchased small water bottles at the store. My children helped me to pour out the water, remove the labels, and fill each bottle with about a half an inch of sand box sand, and some pixie dust glitter. We stuffed each bottle with an invitation and left an end of ribbon hanging out for easy removal.
The DECORATIONS: We planned to hold the party outside but were faced with a day that called for floods! If you look at the maps of Neverland you'll see rainbows everywhere. I made rainbows out of streamers on the walls in the family room (main parents area) and put rainbow streamers on the door coming into the party, and the doors leading to the different rooms. In the hallway I suspended glow in the dark stars and Christmas lights on gold ribbon that I pinned into the ceiling with push pins. Since I knew we'd be having about twenty-five children at the party I was concerned about traffic flow and having too many children in one place at one time. We decided to divide the children into two groups: Lost Boys/Girls and Pirates.
1. For the Pirate Area I constructed a pirate ship out of boxes and packing tape. It sounds - and actually - looked elaborate but was really simple to do. I scrounged a large wardrobe-sized box from a friend and cut it open. The box had four sides, so it had three folds in the card board. I left three of the sides of the box on the ground to be the base or main area of the ship. I cut the top and bottom flaps off the fourth side of the box and used them as supports; I taped the supports to the fourth side of the box to make it perpendicular to the bottom. This was the ship's prow. Next my husband and I collected six printer paper box tops from school and work. I taped three to each side of the ship from the prow the rear. I then got two pieces of poster board and taped them to the prow to make it larger. I cut them to mirror the curved design of Hook's ship, but it actually looked fine squared off too. Three cans of spray paint turned the ship brown. I happened to have some gold paint lying around and spent about fifteen minutes painting windows on the prow and along the sides and some simple curlicues at the top of the prow. Easy, easy. The final touch was the ship's mast. We used a fitted red and white striped sheet that belongs to my son and simply fitted it around a large dowel. We had an old broken vertical lamp in the garbage pile and quickly salvaged it. My husband cut off the cord and used more packing tape to secure the dowel across the top of the lamp, where the light used to sit. I was worried that the ship wouldn't survive the party, but it was sturdier than it looked and is sitting in the garage now. The biggest challenge was getting it into and through the house. The final touch to the pirate area was about a dozen black and purple balloons floating over the ship.
2. For the Lost Boys/Girls we wanted to make a hideout similar to Peter Pan's. We completely cleared out our downstairs toy room and put up our large camping tent. As we couldn't stake it to anything we got all the poles up and tied them to the curtain rods and door for support. Again, we worried that it wouldn't last the party, but it did fine. I filled the tent floor with a package of blown-up balloons and put a dozen light and dark green helium balloons in as well.
3. Back in the main room I pulled in our baby pool and filled it with half-blown up orange balloons that looked like little fish. I also threw in any nautical-themed Beanie baby or stuffed animal I could find. My son refused to wear an adorable alligator costume on Halloween. I dressed a large bear in a long-sleeved green T-shirt and then put him in the alligator suit. He kept court in the baby pool as well. I taped a long board over the pool for walking the plank. This was actually the least sturdy thing the sides of the pool began to cave in as the party wore on.
4. The final area was our breakfast room and sun porch. On the sun porch I placed our child's table, borrowed kid's chairs, and two borrowed picnic tables. By these I hung posters of Captain Hook and Peter Pan that I drew. On our main food table I used a Pan-green table cloth with green and white napkins. This was the Mermaid Cove. I cut two posters in half and drew several of the mermaids. I taped these to the table front and the walls. I used blue and green streamers and blue balloons to create the effect of water coming down over the table. Between the foods I put some little green clothespin crocodiles I made. I bought a $1 package of clothespins and spray painted them green. I colored their mouths with white crayon, to give the effect of teeth, and glued on tiny googly eyes. These were ADORABLE.
The ACTIVITY When guests arrived they walked back through Neverland to the picnic tables. There they decorated treasure chests. We purchased $1-each wooden chests and spray painted them gold. The kids glued on jewels. We had butterscotch candies to fill them with, but most of the chests were too wet and messy to fill. I had some toilet-roll telescopes ready to decorate with stickers, but didn't need them. After they finished their craft they got to select a tattoo to put on. They then chose to be a Lost Boy or Pirate. For the Lost Boys we had brown paper ears and brown paper head bands. For the pirates we used skull-covered fabric I found on clearance to make bandanas. The children then explored and played in the pirate ship and Lost Boy's tent for about a half an hour. It was fun to see the fantasies they created.
When things began to calm down a bit we passed out Dollar-Store-purchased feather dusters that we used as feather swords. This was the best part of the party hands down! What a hoot to watch the children chasing each other and their mothers around the house with the feather swords some serious tickling went on, I assure you! We had planned to have Pin the Feather on Captain Hook/Peter Pan (two different posters), Walk the Plank, and a Hot Potato game, but the children were having so much fun in their imaginative play that we decided not to interrupt things. We took a break from the action to have our cake. We then put on a Peter Pan video for the children to watch while my daughter opened her presents.
The final group activity was a treasure hunt. We told everyone that Peter Pan had hidden Captain Hook's treasure somewhere in the house and we needed their help to find it. To further the rainbow decorating theme we used color clues, such as In the place where Peter Pan goes to bed, you'll find a clue that is RED. The clues were shaped like Hook's foot prints. In the movie the treasure is hidden inside of cave at Hangman's Cove. I made a poster of a large skull and taped it to the table our TV K2863sits on. Under the table we hid the treasure chest our large cedar toy chest. When my daughter opened the chest rainbow-colored helium balloons flew up to the ceiling it looked really neat. The chest was filled with gold fabric, goodie bags, and all of our dress-up beads and jewels, for effect.
The FOOD For the children I put together grab bags of goldfish crackers, animal crackers, teddy grahams, pretzels, and M&Ms. We distributed the bags while the children were just beginning to play on the ship and in the tent about half and hour into the party. I'm a big believer in having mom food, so I made a spinach and artichoke dip with garlic toast, a cold bean-tomato-avocado dip with tortilla chips, mini-quiche squares, and some delicious crunchy chicken nuggets (recipe at end) with a mustard dipping sauce. We served the usual juice boxes, iced tea, bottled water, and soft drinks. I made two cakes because we had so many people. The first was a chocolate treasure chest cake that I found on Birthday Party Express it was at the same time the easiest AND the neatest looking cake I've ever made. For the second cake my daughter wanted Tinkerbell. I drew a picture of her on a 9x13 piece of paper and cut it out. I made two 9x13 box cakes and put them together with frosting. After letting them chill for several hours in the refrigerator I put the Tinkerbell template on top of the cakes and simply cut around the template. I frosted the whole cake white and let it chill again. Then I mixed icing colors and frosted the cake the basic colors of Tinkerbell (peach skin, leaf green dress and shoes, pale blue wings, yellow hair). I came back in with dark chocolate frosting to draw in lines. I put blue sugar on her wings to make them sparkly and used pink and blue sprinkles to create her eyes and mouth. The finishing touch was rainbow M&Ms up and down the sides of the cake. I was really unsure how this cake would turn out, but VERY please with the result.
The FAVORS The children went home with: their tattoos, their Lost Boy or Pirate costume gear; the treasure boxes they decorated and filled at the beginning of the party; their feather swords; and a goodie bag. For the bags, we spray painted regular lunch bags silver. We filled the goodie bags with several kinds of candy, a handful of tattoos, some glow-in-the-dark stars, a clothespin crocodile, and a package of flower seeds to plant at home. Everything was purchased at the Dollar Store.
The FAMILY the whole family was in on this party. The birthday girl, of course, got to be Tinkerbell. She dressed up in her Tinkerbell dress-up gown from Halloween with fancy hair, face paint, and glitter all over. My husband was Captain Hook we lined up a hook, red fancy coat, the works, but at the last minute he decided to wear dark shorts and a red shirt. I was Peter Pan, decked out in green and brown. My oldest daughter couldn't decide if she wanted to be Wendy or Jane (from the new movie). She dressed in a long pink nightgown similar to both girls style. My son and youngest daughter were John and Michael. We had a men's white shirt lined up for John, but it ended up being too long to walk in. Our one-year-old wore her pink pajamas, just like Michael's.
TIME and COST: We started planning the party about three weeks ahead of time. The decorations took about a week to put together a couple of hours a night. Setting up the house took most of Friday night and Saturday morning because we cleared so many things out and set up the tent. Putting up the actual decorations took about two hours. The food and cakes took about two days to prepare. We spent about $100 on the party total.
REACTION Total hit! People are still talking about it weeks later. But the best was when the birthday girl came in to see the decorations for the first time (the children spent the morning with Grandma while I worked). She was SO EXCITED and said, Mom, this is the best part EVER! That made every minute of the work worthwhile.
CHICKEN NUGGET RECIPE You'll need: 1 package chicken breast strips, cleaned; about 1 regular box of cheddar cheese Goldfish crackers; 1/3 cup slivered almonds; 1/3 cup parmesan cheese; Italian spice to taste (basil, oregano, etc); 1 egg; 1 stick butter. Preheat oven to 350. Melt the butter in a 9x13 pan in the oven. Cut chicken into large nuggets. Finely crush the crackers in a food processor or with a rolling pin over the bag. Finely chop the almonds. Mix crackers, almonds, cheese, and herbs together. Beat the egg in a bowl. Dip large handfuls of the chicken into the egg and then into the cracker-mixture. Place coated chicken in the buttered baking pan. When all the chicken is coated, sprinkle any remaining cracker mix into the pan. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, until crackers are slightly browned.
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