Mulan Party -5yr- Party Name Tags
Christine in Virginia Beach, VA USA
Mulan Party (age 5) It can be challenging to base a party on a character that is past the peak of its popularity, but with creativity and planning, it can be done! For my daughter's 5th birthday, she chose to have a Princess Mulan party (as opposed to Warrior Mulan) and invite her girl friends. We are big fans of the Disney movie, so I tried to implement as many movie elements as I could! We used a lot of pink (from the lotus blossom tree in the movie) and purple (Mulan's matchmaker dress) throughout the party.
For the invitations, I borrowed my daughter's rubber stamp of Mulan (in her matchmaker dress) and created invitations that said, "It would bring our family honor. To have you as our guest!" along with all the important party details. Princess attire was optional, through I knew most of the girls would enjoy the opportunity to dress up.
For décor, I had lot of pink and purple balloons around the house and outside to welcome our guests. It was very hard to find Mulan paper products and decorations, but I was fortunate to win some on eBay. We chose our theme a few months before the party, so I had a lot of time to look. However, if I was unsuccessful, I planned to continue the pink and purple theme with paper goods as well. For a tablecloth, I would have used roll paper and stamped Mulan & friends randomly throughout.
A friend of mine was my party assistant, and since she did not know all of the girls attending, I made nametags. The nametags were printed on sticky computer shipping labels and said "Princess (Name)". I also tried to find the Chinese symbols for each guest, but some of the names were too modern to find, and since I didn't want leave anyone out, I decided against adding that to the nametags. I borrowed more of my daughter's stamps to add Mulan, Mushu, etc. around the border of the nametag. As the girls arrived, I welcomed them to our home with a bow and presented them with their nametag and also a flower comb (purchased at Oriental Traders) for their hair. I had a white oriental fan for each girl at the kitchen table, along with markers and crayons, so they could design their own fan as we waited for all the guests to arrive. One by one each girl was asked to join the birthday girl (dressed as Mulan) for a photo.
Once everyone arrived, we also did a group photo. Each girl was given a personalized pink gift bag that they would keep throughout the party for their crafts, prizes, etc., including the fan they just finished. Our first game was "Find the Fortune" -- before the guests arrived, I hid fortune cookies around the house! Then it was craft time -- I wanted to do all the craft first to allow time to dry. I wanted each guest to have a special keepsake, so we made photo frames with pre-cut pink and purple floral foam shapes. Once the party photos were printed (which my husband did while the girls created their frames), each guest had a hand-crafted photo memory of the party!
Then it was time for our next craft -- sand jars. We did this craft on our back porch to minimize clean-up and used baby food jars and colored sand to create one-of-a-kind keepsakes. The girls scooped sand into their jars and when finished, I put cotton on top before gluing on the lid to prevent to sand from shifting/settling. We added metallic gold ribbon and tied "shrinky-dink" Mulan charms (made from the same Mulan stamp as the invitation) to each jar. Beautiful! After so much crafting, the girls were ready for some games! They played Freeze Dance to the Mulan soundtrack.
Then we played "Pass the Mushu" -- like hot potato, the girls passed a stuffed Mushu around the circle and whoever had him when the song ended was out.
We also played "Slip the Slipper on Cinderella" -- OK, it's not Mulan, but she's a Disney princess and the girls didn't seem to mind. Like Pin the Tail on the Donkey, the girls were blindfolded and tried to get the Glass Slipper sticker onto Cinderella's bare foot.
Then the girls practiced their ability to use chopsticks! My husband and I used rubber bands and some folded slips of paper to make the chopsticks easier for 5 year olds to use, and they got the hang of it quickly! I placed some candy in the center of the table and gave each girl a plate. Any candy they could get on their plate with the chopsticks, they could keep. After each game, I had inexpensive prizes for each player -- Mulan stickers, pencils, bracelets, etc. They enjoyed getting prizes and it eased the sting of being "out" early.
Next it was time for the cake. I was fortunate to find the paper goods on eBay, but no luck on cake decorations. Then I found a website that could turn a photo into a sugar picture for a cake! We visited Disney recently and had a great photo of our daughter with Mulan, so I sent that in and had my cake photo within a week. It came out great and was so easy to use! I added some pink candy flowers to the cake and the girls were very impressed!
After cake and presents, we played Musical Mats (instead of chairs) to the Mulan soundtrack until parents arrived. My daughter was absolutely THRILLED with the party, and all the girls really enjoyed themselves. My party assistant suggested I submit my ideas to this site since the party went so smoothly!
I am very pleased with the party but would recommend to anyone with a theme that is not a current trend to allow additional time to find all the goodies you might need. Adapt games to fit your theme (i.e. Pass the Mushu) and have a common element (in my case, pink and purple) to bring it all together.