Back to School -5yr- Hand Wreathes
Amy in Westbrook, CT USA
BACK TO SCHOOL BIRTHDAY PARTY As it was back to school time and my sons 5th birthday, we thought it would be perfect to combine the two. We had 14 children for an "indoor" party in our house as it was raining outside most of the day.
When each child arrived, they were given a name tag which we made from a cutout (from AC Moore for only 50 cents each) in the shape of a bus. We had painted them yellow and found tiny pieces of particle board we painted grey for the windows, glued those on, and wrote each childs name on them. We drilled holes in the top and put string on them so they became school bus necklaces which all the kids loved (and we heard most wore them on their first day of school!).
We decorated the first floor of our house in yellow, black and red balloons and in our dining room we put yellow and red tablecloths on 2 long tables we brought in to emulate a school cafeteria. There were also balloons around this room too. Other decorations included Alphabet and number posters we picked up for under $2 each at an education supply store in our local mall.
For lunch we gave each child a "brown bag" lunch. Each child was given a brown paper bag which had a peanut butter & jelly sandwich (parents were called in advance to find out about allergies) with the crusts cut off and cut into squares and triangles; also in the bag were various sandwich bags filled with baby carrots and cut up green grapes, a juice box, a little bag of potatoe chips, a small box of raisins, and an oatmeal raisin cookie or chocolate chip cookie for dessert. The kids loved these. We had decorated the bags with stickers and put each childs name on them.
After lunch, we cleared the tables and it was time for an art project. We made "hand wreathes". (We got the idea from Playhouse Disney). The kids were given prepacked (which we did the night before) sandwich bags which had 6 pieces of colored construction paper, crayons, stickers, and kid friendly scissors, a piece of string and a small paper plate with a hole punched in it. They traced their hands, cut them out, glued them around the plate and decorated the plate, and tied the string. This was good to help the children learn to make knots with the string and to learn to use scissors. The children seemed to really enjoy this.
After doing this craft, the children had "free play" for a little while to play with some of the toys we had in our house and then we sang familiar songs in "circle time" just like they do in school. The children at this point were talking about how excited they were to go back to schoool because they had forgotten how fun it could be. While all the children were in 'circle time" we brought out a cake for my sons birthday which was made to look like a school bus. We put a picture of my son as the driver. We used sparklers as candles which brought a little more excitement from the kids.
After cake, the rain had stopped and we let the children go outside for "recess". When it was time to go, each child was given a book (we got them from the dollar store) and some decorated pencils and erasers. My son and all the children seemed to have a wonderful time and we will probably repeat this theme again next year! (oh, one more thing was that for the parents that stayed, we had prepared a cold cut platter along with different salads and breads - they were thrilled! and when each child brought a gift for my sons birthday, we had them put it in a big box we had decororated to look like a school bus (done with tempura paint)).
I hope this gives someone else the thought to even do this as a regular back to school party rather than a birthday party combo too if they don't have a birthday to celebrate. It was a great way to get my child excited for kindergarten.