Willy Wonka -8yr- Wonka Ring Toss
Joan in Langhorne, PA USA
My daughter picked a Willy Wonka theme for her eighth birthday, so we incorporated aspects of both movies into her party.
I sent out golden ticket invitations, made from laser printed gold paper I purchased at Michael's.
The party was held at a local legion hall I rented for the afternoon. Music from both movies played constantly all afternoon. Since there is not much available with the Willy Wonka theme, almost all of the decorations were homemade. I made eight large lollipops (about 3 feet tall) using cake board circles hot glued to dowels. After they were colored (each was a 5-color swirl lollipop), I wrapped the tops in cellophane and tied them with ribbon. Two of these were placed outside at the front door and the rest were used to decorate inside. I found large candy canes at the dollar store and placed two of them outside by the front door too. I also made many different types of candy out of colored poster board and construction paper (the birthday girl was thrilled to help - she painted paper gumdrops with iridescent glitter glue to make them look sugary and sparkly). These were used to decorate the walls. I wrapped 4 inch Styrofoam balls in colored cellophane and these looked great placed on a ledge that ran the length of the walls. My dad helped me make large silver "kisses" by cutting and bending paper plates into a pyramid shape and then taping them and covering them with foil. The extra golden tickets not used as invitations also served as decorations.
The main color theme of the party was purple and gold. Tablecloths, plates, napkins, forks, spoons etc. were all in these colors. There were 7 tables for the adults and 3 tables (set up in a "u" shape) for the kids. Table covers alternated between purple and gold for each table. I made a centerpiece for each consisting of a 4 inch clay flowerpot (painted either purple or yellow). I purchased large multicolored swirled lollipops and stuck them into foam in the pot. Then either yellow or purple paper shred covered the top of the pot. The purple pots went on the yellow table cloths, and the yellow pots went on the purple tablecloths. Assorted candies were then scattered around the pots. Someone at each table won the centerpiece at the end of the party (they had a sticker on their chair). I purchased a dozen paper lanterns that looked like round mints from Oriental Trading, and they hung from the ceiling. Also, I made a large poster that said "Willy asks: Did you know" under which was listed many interesting trivia facts about candy. I got these facts at candyusa.com. I created and printed my own Willy Wonka word searches for the kids to work on when they arrived, and I also printed some coloring pages I found online.
Each child had a goodie bag at their place that included a large flat stick of taffy, a yo-yo that looked like a mint, a colorful bouncing rubber "knot" ball that we called gobstoppers, a twisted lollipop, a toothbrush, a Wonka bar and assorted other Wonka candy. I was fortunate enough to find Wonka bars at a local supermarket 6 for $1.
The kids had 5 activities. One was "gumball guess" where everyone (adults included) could guess how many gumballs were in the jar. The winner got the gumballs. There were 750 (yes I really counted them!!).
Another game was "pass the hat". I found a hat that used to belong to my grandfather that looked just like a Hershey kiss. The kids stood in a circle and when we played movie music, the kids took turns putting the hat on their heads. When the music stopped, whoever had the hat was out.
We also played "pin the Wonka bar on Charlie". I printed out pictures of Wonka bars, and also a picture of Freddie Highmore's head (he was Charlie in the newer movie). I glued his head on a large piece of poster board and drew the rest of his body with his hand up. The kids took turns trying to "pin" the wonka bars on his hand.
Another game was "Good egg/bad egg". I announced the good news that our goose had laid golden eggs and the kids each got to take a golden egg (cut from gold poster board) out of a basket. All but two of them had red x's on the back. Two had green check marks. I announced that the red x's were bad eggs but the ones who had green checks were good eggs and could come to the prize box. Every time a child won a game they could pick a prize (dollar store prizes) out of the box. I made sure every child had a prize by the end of the party.
The fifth game was ring toss. I made the ring toss game starting with a slab of Styrofoam (about three feet long, two feet wide). I covered the ends in foil and wrapped brown fabric around the middle. I wrote "chocolate" with a silver pen on the fabric so it ended up looking like a big chocolate bar. I found a large metal candy cane ornament at a craft store, and stuck that in at one end. At the other end, I painted a stack of 6 Styrofoam balls to look like multicolored gumballs. I ran some strong wire through them for stability, and stuck them in at the other end. In the middle, toward the back I stuck a lollipop made of a painted Styrofoam ball pushed onto a dowel and wrapped in cellophane. I hot glued everything for extra strength. Each of these three things had a different point value and each child got three throws. Whoever had the most points at the end was the winner.
We had normal party food: hot dogs, mac & cheese, pbj's, veggie sticks with dip, etc. By far the highlights of our food table were the two fountains: we had a fountain of dark chocolate into which we dipped strawberries, marshmallows, bananas and peanut butter cookies. The other was a beverage fountain into which we poured chocolate milk. It was our "chocolate waterfall" and the kids (and adults too) had fun holding their cups under the "waterfall".
Finally, the cake. None of my local bakeries had Wonka themed cakes, so I got brave and made it myself. I made a two layer vanilla cake out of four 9x13 cakes. To decorate, I used green icing for "grass" and diagonally down the middle was dark chocolate icing for the river. I melted the icing and poured it on so it looked like it flowed rather than being spread on. Then I pushed clusters of dum dum lollipops in and placed mini candy canes all along the banks of the river. Finally I found sprigs of colored beads on brown stems at the craft store and I cut and bent them to look like candy trees. It turned out very well and I was proud of my first attempt at a large cake.
None of us wore costumes, but many of us (guests included) wore chocolate brown colored clothes. It was a great party and the birthday girl and her friends had a great time.
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