Corduroy Bear 5yr - Pin a Button on the Bear
Kathy in Glenview, IL
December 2008 Winner
CORDUROY BEAR 5TH BIRTHDAY I based my daughter's 5th birthday on the book Corduroy" by Don Freeman. She wanted a pajama party but since she's only 5 we did it as a morning pajama party with brunch not a sleepover.
INVITATIONS: I used pre-cut red cards and red envelopes from the craft store. I chose red because that's the color of the book cover. For the Corduroy Bear design I traced and cut out brown scrapbook paper in teddy bear shapes using a cookie cutter for the shape. Then I made paper overalls for them using dark green scrapbook paper. The green paper was ridged so it looked like the overalls were made of corduroy. My daughter drew the faces with a black marker. For the buttons on the overall straps we used little tiny colored brads also from the scrapbooking section. The party info. On the back of the cards read "This must be a birthday party! I've always wanted to have a birthday party!" which was modeled after some text from the book. The guests were instructed to wear their PJ's and bring a favorite teddy bear or other stuffed animal.
DECORATIONS: The theme colors were teddy bear brown dark green (the color of Corduroy's overalls) and red (the color of the book cover). We had balloons in those three colors and I made a bunch of posters labeling the different activity areas using white poster boards and red green and brown markers. There was also a sign on the door which my daughter made saying "Corduroy and Sophia's Department Store and a big poster of Corduroy which we used for a game later.
ACTIVITIES: As the guests arrived, I put a label with their name on their stuffed animal that they brought, to avoid mix-ups. I was glad of that later, because sure enough, one stuffed animal did get left behind! Then they could go to different activity centers, which our slightly older neighbor girls helped me run so that every activity was supervised. At the Teddy Bear Spa in one corner of the living room, the kids could get a set of ears (felt ears, hot-glued on a plastic headband) and a nose (eyeliner pencil). At the Teddy Bear Library in another corner of the living room, there was a teddy bear blanket on the floor, teddy bear books, and dress-the-teddy-bear puzzles.
At the Teddy Bear Bakery in the dining room, the kids could frost and decorate a teddy bear shaped sugar cookie to take home (we put the cookies on a small paper plate and then put the plate in a ziploc bag with the kid's name on it). At the Teddy Bear Pillow Shop, which was located in our home office, the kids could decorate and stuff a little pillow for their teddy bear. We made the pillow cases in advance, on the sewing machine, but leaving about half of one edge unsewn. The kids could decorate the flat, unstuffed case with markers and stick-on felt shapes, and then stuff their pillow. Then they stuck on a label with their name, and after the party we finished sewing the open half-seam and brought or sent the finished pillows to their owners.
Finally, at the Teddy Bear Playland upstairs in the bedroom, I had set up a bunch of doll furniture for free play. Some of it was our own, and some I borrowed from friends. We had a play kitchen with play food and a tea set, a doll high chair, a play veterinarian center with doctor tools, a doll baby bathtub complete with towel, washcloth, and rubber ducky, and a whole row of doll cradles or baskets with doll blankets. The kids LOVED the playland. Some of them could have stayed there all day! My goal was to have one open-ended activity that they could play in when they were waiting for their turn to do their cookie and pillow, or after they finished.
STORY: After about 45 minutes of the activities, my party helper (12 year old neighbor) read the story of Corduroy, using a big book" version from the library so that the kids could all see better. Then she led them in a little action rhyme. I based the rhyme on the game "Teddy bear teddy bear turn around teddy bear teddy bear touch the ground only instead of teddy bear" we said "Corduroy Corduroy turn around etc.
BRUNCH: The food table had a dark green cloth, red plates and cups, green forks and spoons, and brown napkins. For brunch we served fruit, mini pancakes, mini waffles, doughnut holes, mini muffins, sausages, orange juice, and cocoa with marshmallows. They could top their pancakes and waffles with raisins, chocolate chips, maple syrup, chocolate syrup, or honey. The honey was in a plastic honey bear and I also put the maple syrup and chocolate syrup in plastic honey bears that I had saved and washed. I had also bought whipped cream (the squirt can kind), but I forgot to put it out. Probably just as well! The kids had to eat on the living room floor (I spread out red plastic tablecloths on the floor), but amazingly there was only one spill!
GAMES: First we played Pin the Button on Corduroy, using a big poster of Corduroy. I found an image online and we used the projector to enlarge it onto a posterboard taped to the wall, and trace it. Then my daughter colored it in. It came out very well. The kids each had a button which was a circle of colored paper with two little holes punched in it with a hole puncher, to look like the place where the thread goes through. We put a piece of tape on each button" and they had to see who could get their button closest to Corduroy's shoulder strap. Next we played Pass the Corduroy using a stuffed Corduroy Bear. They had to pass it around the circle without using their hands. They could use elbows chins knees etc. Of course a couple of them solved the problem by using their teeth! Finally we played Hot Potato only using the stuffed bear.
CAKE: I made the cake to look like the book cover. The base was a full sheet size one layer rectangular cake frosted all in red. On top of that I put a teddy bear cake which I made using the Wilton Teddy Bear pan. The teddy bear was frosted in a medium brown chocolate icing with a lighter chocolate muzzle. For the eyes I used white icing and then Junior Mints for the centers. I used another Junior Mint for the nose and the mouth was a row of mini chocolate chips. Then I made the overalls with dark green frosting piped on in rows to look like corduroy fabric. The final touch was the buttons made of M'nM's. After the teddy bear had been placed on the red background I used yellow icing to put the "title" on the book only instead of CORDUROY I wrote SOPHIA. It was very cute! With the cake we served ice cream cups decorated with Teddy Grahams and pink lemonade.
FAVORS: The favors were dark green gift bags. Each bag had two paper "buttons" glued on it to make it look like the overalls. In each bag were a keychain flashlight (because in the book the night watchman in the store searches for Corduroy with a flashlight) a small bag of Teddy Grahams a candy stick some gummy bears some button candy (the kind with rows of candy buttons stuck on a paper) and some teddy bear stickers. Each child also got to choose from an assortment of small teddy bears which I had collected from the dollar store. Besides their bag and teddy bear they also got to take home their teddy bear ears on the headband their decorated cookie and their teddy bear pillow. All the kids had a great time doing all the activities and I couldn't believe that a party with 15 little kids could go so smoothly! They really loved being there in their pajamas too."