Barbie Princess Party - 4yr - Pass-the-Magic-Wand
Anne in Landenberg, PA USA
My daughter wanted a Barbie theme for her 4th BD party, but of the 10 kids coming (3 being my own), 5 were boys and I didn't know how they'd feel about attending a Barbie party. What we ended up doing was having a Barbie princess party and WHAT a success it was! I couldn't have done it without this website, either.
Here's how it went: For decorations I had about 2 dozen helium balloons in pearlized pink, lavender and silver. I had cardboard stars of different sizes and colors tied to the balloons, so they floated at varying heights, and one was tied to each chair. I taped pink and lavender streamers from the top of the doorframe hanging down so the kids had to walk through them (like "Hippie Beads"). And as luck would have it, my oldest son had a knight party several years ago, and I had made a castle wall/doorway out of a big cardboard box that I put in the doorway between the DR and LR. The door is made to look like a drawbridge and cut on 3 sides so it opens up like one, so the kids could walk over the drawbridge to pass from room to room.
As the kids arrived, they joined in a game of Pass-the-Magic-Wand (like hot potato, only with a wand being passed around). As each girl was "out" they were given a tiara, wand, and pink tulle (?sp) skirt. The skirts I made by folding in half a length of tulle and sewing a simple running stitch across the top, then gathering it and tying it with a wire ribbon (one size fits all). For an added romantic flair, I threw a handful of pink and white artificial flower petals inside each skirt down along the fold (they're open on the sides). They really looked beautiful and the girls just felt like little princesses wearing them. As each boy was "out" he was given a crown and a tunic. The tunics were purple pillowcases with holes cut out for the neck and arms and tied around the waist with silver rope from a craft store. The crowns were made from foil board (craft store) that I cut in the shape of a crown and later stapled to fit.
After each child was dressed up, they were seated at the table to decorate their crowns, tiaras, and wands by gluing "jewels" from a craft store on with tacky glue. All the kids were able to do this by themselves and they really seemed to enjoy it. As each child finished the craft, I face-painted roses on the girls and swords on the boys. I had decorated a chair like a throne by covering it in an old white sheet and tying a big pink bow on it with the left-over tulle. I had each child sit in it (in front of the "castle") for a picture, which will be sent out with the thank you notes. Next we played Pin-the-crown-on-Barbie. I had drawn a Princess Barbie on poster board and made crowns out of foil board but you could also just use any Barbie poster.
After that was "The Surprise"! Barbie called (it was my sister who couldn't make it to the party)! She had Nutcracker music playing in the background and put on a "Barbie" voice. She wished my dtr a happy birthday, then informed her that the Royal Treasure had been stolen by a green monster. She asked if Bonnie and her friends could find the treasure and get it back for her and that if they did, they could all share the treasure. She said the treasure was in a special chest that had been given to her by a handsome prince from a far-away land, and she just really wanted the chest back. But she warned them to be very careful of the green monster, as he was very dangerous!
Once she hung up the phone (and yes, the kids really thought it was Barbie!), they followed the monster's footprints (cut out of green felt) to the kitchen table, where my husband was hiding dressed in monster gear (a $10 Ikea find from years ago). He jumped out at them and they started screaming and running; it was SO funny! Then I gave them all cardboard wrapping paper tubes as swords and they beat the monster into submission (my poor husband :-) )! I then took the treasure chest and emptied it out onto the floor so they could all fill up their goodie bags full of dollar store trinkets (necklaces, sunglasses, little notebooks and pens, stickers, candy jewelry, bubblegum, chocolate gold coins, etc). I had also found a big bag of gold buttons at a craft store for a couple bucks, so I had thrown them in as well to really make it look like treasure.
Next was cake, which was just a homemade cake with some store-bought Barbie cake decorations. We also had ice cream, and to make it a little fancier, punch! Wasn't sure if the kids would like it but they did, and there were also milk and apple juice on hand for those who didn't like it.
After presents were opened the kids went home with their goody bags filled with "loot", plus their costumes, a craft foam castle frame with a magnet on the back that I had made (to hold the pictures I'll send them later) and a balloon. They all had a BLAST and the parents that stayed seemed to enjoy themselves as well! A friend of mine just told me the other day that her dtr is still talking about it weeks later! And my dtr tells everybody about Barbie calling and about chasing the monster!
As far as cost, you could buy more things and it would be more expensive but less of your time, or you could make more of the things and have it a little cheaper but more time-consuming. I was probably somewhere in the middle and I think I spent a little over $100 for a party for 10 kids, which I didn't think was too bad. I think she'll remember this party for a long, long time!