Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (3-5yr) Movie Book
Nancy in Atkinson, NE USA
I have a 5 year old and and 3 year old that have birthday's one week apart. (Sept 25th and Oct 3rd) So we have always done a family party on the weekend that falls between their birthdays. Fall is one my favorite times of year, so always like to incorporate that into the party. This year we picked out a book and are using that as our theme. "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown."
For the invitations, I went onto the Peanuts website and used Peanuts coloring books to get images of the peanuts gang and after coloring them in, we pasted them on green construction paper and used Pumpkin stickers to place them into the pumpkin patch. We folded the paper in half to look like a card. On the inside, I pasted a photo of the kids out in the pumpkin patch (photo was from last year). And then I typed up all the details (time, place, reason, etc) and used an autumn leaf border when printing them off. I then cut them out with some scrapbooking scissors and pasted that inside the card also. I decided to make a special day for them at their Daycare. We have the movie "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" and we are going to take it so the kids can watch. We also are going to provide lunch for them. I found a recipe for chicken pot pie that you put into little sugar pumpkins and bake that way. We are going to serve that along with an apple salad and a vegetable.
For the Birthday Cake, I just made a 9x13 chocolate cake. Will frost it with green frosting on the sides and chocolate frosting on the top. I'm going to use popsicle sticks and make a fence in one corner of the cake. I found different size pumpkins at Hobby Lobby that will fit nicely on the cake and make it look like a pumpkin patch. I will pipe some green vines around them. I couldn't find any Peanuts characters to put on the cake, so am again using the coloring pages and reducing the characters, coloring them in and glueing them on a popsicle sticks. I have searched and searched for small little pumpkin candles, but with no luck. I thought that would be a cute touch. I will also take apple juice boxes for them to drink while they eat the cake. For treats to hand out to the daycare kids, I purchased some pumpkin cups and pumpkin shaped playing cards through Oriental trading (Don't remember the exact price, but were very reasonable). We made three different kinds of bite sized cookies that we are going to wrap in cellophane and put inside the cups, along with the playing cards. My 5 year old attends preschool, so on her actual birthday, I have arranged with the teacher to bring some treats. We also have the Book, "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" and the teacher has agreed to let me come and read the book to the kids. Instead of a cake, I made pumpkin shaped sugar cookies and will decorate them appropriately to use as treats. (Along with Apple Juice Boxes.)
For take home treats, we will use the same pumpkin cups with the bite size cookies that we use at the Day Care Party, but I purchased some gift size books of "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" to give to the kids at Preschool. (Those were a bigger expense than I had intended - I believe they were $3.95 a piece at Barnes and Noble and I bought 10 of them - but they are so cute and I think the kids will enjoy them. They have a ribbon attached to use as a bookmark with a small pumpkin on the end!!) Now for the family party, we just invite Grandparents and four Uncles and two Aunts and 4 cousins (aged 15, 12, 2 and 6 months), so not a big party, but we try to have fun with it. I plan on decorating the house with all my fall decorations, and various pumpkins of course. I'm going to bring some in from the garden and pile them around the living room. We will have the movie to watch as well as the book sitting out for everyone to read.
In the kitchen, I plan on sitting up a table with the food. I also have a recipe that is a hambuger, rice, water chestnut mixture that cooks inside a large pumkin. I'm also going to serve hash brown potatoes, veggie tray, fuit tray and dinner rolls. I have some bite size zucchini muffins to set out, and a peanut and candy corn mixture that is fun. I am also going to put some pumpkin shaped candy and some autumn colored M&M's out. I have a large tin container that I'm going to fill with ice and place Apple juice boxes and some soft drinks in. I will have tea and water available for those that don't want the sweet drinks. I've purchased various pails, and leaf shaped plates to use as serving dishes and plan on setting the buffet table in an autumn setting. In one part of the living room, I'm going to set up another table with different size pumpkins and different ribbons, silk leaves or material, so that we can decorate some pumpkins (Probably not going to do any carving, as I'm trying to stay away from the Jack-O-Lantern/Halloween thing) and give us something to tinker away with during the afternoon.
The cake will be another one like the Day Care Pary Cake, with the pumpkin patch and the Peanuts Characters. Will serve with Ice Cream. I'm hoping to get a picture of everyone at all three "parties" and I have ordered (again through Oriental Trading) some foam photo frames in the shape of - yes, you guessed it - pumpkins. We plan on using these as our thank yous and putting everyone's picture in the frame and writing a thank you note to send with it.