Toy Story Party -4yr- Decorate Mr. Potato Head
Karen in Huntersville, NC USA
We had our son's 4th bday party at the house. He has been a Toy Story fan for a long time, but with the new Toy Story 3 movie being released soon, he has become even more of a fan! We were fortunate to have a lot of the toys already so we didn't have to shell out much for any of the party flair. The stores are packed with the stuff now though because of the movie.
INVITATION: We had simple invitations printed on cardstock with a large picture of Woody on one side, Buzz on the other, and some LGMs (Little Green Men) all over it saying Come Join Woody & Buzz as we celebrate Jack's 4th Birthday" with the details in the middle. Stores now carry the preprinted fill-in-the-blank invites though as another much easier option. We are going that route for the thank you cards.
DECORATIONS: We decorated the house with Toy Story decorations (in stores now because of the movie) tablecloths paper products and coordinating balloons. Then we added the toy flair: we put out and propped up several toys from the movie. We had Cowboy Woody Buzz Lightyear Cowgirl Jesse Rex the Dinosaur & Mr. Potato Head propped up as centerpieces on different tables. Wooden blocks were stacked up and spelled out Jacks Birthday and little Green Army Soldiers were stationed around it like they were using it as a barricade for an attack. Barbie was driving a corvette Etch-A-Sketch spelled out Happy Birthday (my husband managed to draw that!) and the Barrel of Monkeys appeared as though they spilled out next to the bowl of chips and were climbing their way up into them. I also added some other vintage toys that we had (monkey playing drums with cymbals on his head wooden airplane etc..). I think any toys would do but we just happened to have a lot of movie-specific ones anyway or were able to borrow from friends. Nothing was purchased for this.
ACTIVITES: (1) We had a table with pictures of a blank Mr. Potato Head and I pre-cut shapes of ears eyes noses arms mouth feet hats etc. for them to glue on to make their very own Mr. or Mrs. Potato head. They got to take this home.
(2) I also had a table with Toy Story Tattoos that they could put on with their mom's help. I had a bowl of water with a small sponge and a towel all spread out so they could do that when they wanted.
(3) lots of Color Pages from the Disney website
(4) Outside I had a huge stuffed Bulls Eye from many years ago next to a GIANT horseshoe game in the backyard that kids could play on their own. It was hollow & plastic so no one could get hurt. I got it at Wal-Mart for $5 in the outdoor toy section. I put a sign out that said Bullseye's Giant Horseshoe Toss with a picture of Bullseye on it. The dollar store also had horseshoe sets but this was an oversize set which I thought was cuter for easier aim and young kids.
(5) I also had one of those bouncy horses on springs with a cowboy hat and red bandana hanging on it with a sign that had Woody on it shouting Woody's Li'l Cowboy & Cowgirl Training.. Saddle Up!. The kids really had a lot of fun just playing on that and it was a cute photo-op for parents.
(6) I had a Velcro ball dart-like board from Party City attached to a tree for them to play at free will and
(7) it was outside in our backyard with the play set so that always filled in for anyone who just wanted to play and run around.
GAMES: (1) We had a terrible thunderstorm right before the party so we weren't even sure if we were going to be able to go outside or not (which is what I planned) so the kids arrived inside to do their coming-in activities (tattoos make your own Mr. Potato Heads & color pages). But it dried up in time and I told the kids that all that thunder was really Buzz Lightyear crash landing and hitting the moon on his way down. I had already planned a Moonrock Hunt in the backyard and this just worked its way into the setup. I told the kids that when he crashed lots of Moonrocks fell from the sky and landed in our backyard and we had to go clean them up. So they all went looking out the window and saw them (large balls of aluminum foil that we hid before they arrived like an Easter Egg Hunt). I handed out medium sized Tin Toy Story Buckets (leftover Easter Buckets on clearance) for each child to use during the hunt and off they went. Each child got about 10 rocks. Once they were done I told them that they were very special rocks and we should carefully see what was inside Before the party I had wrapped up toys inside from the dollar store (bouncy balls mini dinosaurs mardi gras necklaces confetti poppers bracelets rings harmonicas kaleidoscopes etc no candy though just little toys wrapped loosely in aluminum foil so they were about the size of my fist and looked like rocks). The kids loved running around the yard looking for them and especially loved opening them! We then took all the foil to make a giant moon rock and recycled it.
(2) The kids grabbed their buckets and we were now on a hunt for a spaceship or UFO the Pinata!!! They sell Buzz Lightyear spaceship ones but those are pull-string ones and I wanted them to be able to whack it so we went with one that had cones sticking out in all directions and it looked like a satellite so we pretended it was a UFO that the kids took turns smashing. That was filled with all candy and they continued to fill their buckets that they got earlier. I bought those bags of pinata fillers (it had candy and toys). But I just put the candy in and actually used some of the toys for the moon rock game too. I also put in a whole bag of Green Army Soldiers who helped us to defeat the enemy that I got at the dollar store (90 soldiers for $1).
(3) Next we played Hot-Potato (but with a Mr.Potato Head of course!!). I had to explain the game to the kids and we did a practice round because a lot had never played before but then they got it. Originally I had the toy stuffed with candy so that even if a child got out he could reach inside and grab a candy and not feel so bad. But it was a hot day and since we were playing HOT potato.. I said they needed to cool off with a Popsicle and they got a Popsicle instead. No one ever argued if they got out that way.
(4) The last game was a Pin the Badge on Woody or Buzz game. Just like Pin the Tail on the Donkey but with Woody and Buzz on it. I got this in the party section at Wal-Mart too. The kids could choose which one they wanted to go for and they were blindfolded spun around and off they went. The winners of the last two games each got a Buzz Lightyear Bubble Wand toy from the dollar store to make them feel extra special.
PARTY SNACKS: (1) A movie-themed party is not complete without freshly popped buttery Popcorn from an official movie theatre popcorn maker (borrowed from a friend) and put into cute Popcorn bags from Oriental Trading (2) Toy Story Cheez-its with the characters actually on the Cheez-its (by Sunshine) (3) Potato Chips (4) Fruit/Veggies tray (4) a bowl of Kelloggs Toy Story Fruit Snack Packs etc.. Nothing major. It wasn't during any specific meal time. I debated about serving Pizza & pretending it came from Pizza Planet but opted to have it in between meals to save on cost. (5) We also had coolers stocked with Juice Water bottles and soda.
CAKE: Bakeries didn't have the Toy Story theme cake sets in stock b/c the movie hadn't hit the theatres just yet. I debated about doing a homemade cake like Andy's bed with fondant but just didn't have time to make it so I improvised I found a Frisbee with all the characters on it and had a local bakery set it into the center of a ½ sheet cake and decorate all around it so it didn't look like a Frisbee just landed on a cake. It looked amazing! I then placed some of the miniature character figurines that I found at Wal-Mart around it and some candles and the cake was a hit! Delicious and multi-functional!
FAVORS: The Toy Story tin bucket (mentioned earlier). In addition to the candy/toys from the hunt/pinata each child got a Toy Story Notepad two Toy Story double sided crayons Toy Story stickers Toy Story 3 Fruit Snacks by Kelloggs Toy Story Lollipop Rings and of course lots of green army men (from the dollar store). There were a sprinkling of older/younger siblings that I tailored the goodies for because of ages but the stores had so much now because of the movie coming out it wasn't hard to find stuff in the dollar store for younger kids (socks coloring books) or older kids (water bombs activity books) that were still Toy Story themed. It was a TOY-RRIFIC party!!
Mission Accomplished! Jack had a blast and the kids seemed to really enjoy themselves. It was scheduled for 90 minutes and would have been fine with that but because of the thunderstorm right before the party we got started a little late on the outdoor games. So we ended up being closer to 2 hours plenty of time for everything but never a dull moment! "
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