Parable About the King 7yr - Hot Slipper
Jodi in Ringgold, GA USA
July 2006 Winner
Parable About the King Party (Princess/Prince/Knight)- 7 yr. old This party was based on the book, "A Parable About The King", by Beth Moore. It's a children's book about a princess who decides she doesn't want to be told what to do anymore, so she runs away. The children she hangs out with do bad things, including throwing spitballs at the king, her father. She is afraid to go back home, but when she does, she finds that the king forgives her, as she is always his child.
DECORATIONS: We rented out the church gym for this party since there were going to be quite a few children invited. We bought plastic with the stone design on it, and covered partitions the church already had with it to look like castle walls. We put "cinderella blue" tablecloths on the tables, sprinkled some glitter and had little home made castle centerpieces. Basically, we drew the shape of a castle out of cardboard, cut out 2 identical pieces, cut a slit up the center of each one, fit them together, and spray painted it silver, added a little bit of red wire garland around each one, and put one on each table. We used more of the stone plastic to cover big pieces of cardboard (we got them from a car parts store, they were used for car hoods, so they were huge), and made a castle backdrop. We added a stuffed chair in the middle to look like a throne, and painted a gold clock at the top of the castle tower, set for 5:07, the time the birthday girl was born. We used fishing wire, and attached small helium balloons all up and down it and tied it to anywhere there were castle towers, so that we made our own balloon arches. We also had light blue and white balloons just floating all over.
FOOD: We hot glued some clear plastic plates to some plastic thimbles, and made our own tiers for putting cupcakes on, and on the top plate we put a castle we carved from parts of pound cake. Ice cream cones, placed upside down and iced and glittered made the castle towers on the cake. All the food was put out on the tables and given little placecards that we made from silver sparkly cardstock. Cheese puffs were called "Prince Charming Puffs", we had "princess punch", "tasty tiaras" (pb & j sandwiches cut out with a crown cookie cutter) - we also had some ham & cheese for the adults. Magic Wands were pretzel sticks, dipped in light blue melting chocolate with sprinkles. One of the guests owned a pizza shop, so they brought about 10 pizzas along.
EVENTS: When the children first arrived, we had them come into the gym and wait by the two entrance towers. A family friend who plays the trumpet, stood in the doorway and blew the trumpet call and then announced their names as they entered the gym. The children then went to a table where they gave the Queen & King (family friends who dressed up) their names. The king & queen were writing the children's names onto sashes, which were basically cut to a long length and had "prince" and "princess" pre-written on them beforehand, so all we had to do was write their name, and put it on them. The King also kept a running list of all the names for some certificates that we would need later on. After getting their sash, each little prince or princess went to a table to guess how many green m&m's were in a jar. We used green so we could use the "princess and the pea" theme. There was also a place for their parents to write their names and put them in a jar for a book drawing. We bought 20 of the books that the party was themed after, and gave them away during the party.
Once every prince and princess had a sash, I called them all into the center of the gym for a game of "hot slipper" - basically hot potato except we used a clear plastic Cinderella slipper. This gave the kids a chance to giggle a little bit and get used to each other since not everyone knew each other. Every time a child was "out", we gave them a tiny bag of pastel colored Skittles, wrapped in pink netting and tied with a bow (like you would use for birdseed at a wedding) so that being "out" wasn't a bad thing. We had kids holding the slipper extra long because they wanted to get the candy. When hot slipper was over, we had set up cookies on each place setting at the tables. The kids were allowed to go and decorate their cookies. Since we didn't want to spend a fortune on icing, we had a couple little tubes, but also bought some plain vanilla icing, tinted it different colors, and put them into snack sized baggies, with a tiny point cut off of one end of the bag so they could use them as icing bags. The cookies were in the shape of crowns, frogs, and Cinderella slippers. Then we sang Happy Birthday to the birthday girl, and the kids and adults were given time to eat.
Once eating was over, I made an announcement for the parents not to forget to register for a book, and called all the kids back to the center of the gym where we played a ring relay game. The kids were divided into two teams. We had a bowl full of plastic gem rings for each team, and gave the first person in line a chopstick. They had to get the ring onto the chopstick and run down to a bowl at the other end of the gym and drop their ring in the bowl, then run back and give their stick to the next person in line. Once the game was over, each child got to pick a ring to keep, and then were sent over to the castle with the stuffed throne chair to hear a story. We had chairs set up at the castle, and put big purple bows on the backs of them. The children listened while Princess Tami (a school teacher and friend who dressed up) read them the story of The Parable About the King. We had all the lights out in the gym for the story time except for the one over Princess Tami, and some white christmas lights that were hung on the plants and trees around her.
Once story time was done, the kids came back to the center of the gym, where I announced to them that if they wanted to be a princess or prince like in the book, we had to go on a quest to prove their bravery and skill. A few of these ideas I got from other places on this site. The first one was for them to test their skill. We had two trees that we had made earlier in the week. We took a PVC pipe, wrapped brown butcher paper around it to make a trunk, and stuck it into a bucket full of sand. For the leaves, we made one leaf and traced it onto green paper, then used some wire hangers that we straightened to glue onto the backs of the leaves, to stick into the top of the pvc pipe. They were made to look like palm trees. Then we stapled balloons all up and down the trunks. We gave each child a "sword", which was a wooden skewer with a part of an egg carton hot glued to the other end to make the "hand cover" part of the sword. The kids were to WALK (important since we didn't want anyone falling with these!!!) to the balloon tree, pop a balloon, then give the sword to the next person in line.
Once they were done popping all the balloons, we had a jousting contest. I had two teenagers stand with hula hoops, and the kids had to throw pool noodles (spears) through the hoops. The last game was by far their favorite, it was the bravery test. I had a teenage boy wear a green shirt to the party, he was going to be my dragon. There is a great craft on Family Fun's website for a dragon hat. You basically take a bowl big enough to fit your head, and put it upside down on the table. Take newspaper sections and make them soaking wet, and lay them across the bowl. Do this with 10 pieces of newspaper. Let it dry over night. Take 2 dixie cups, glue them onto the front for eyes, and paint the entire thing green. When it was dry, I took construction paper and glued it onto the ends of the dixie cups to make the whites and pupils of the eyes. I then taped 2 white construction paper teeth to the underside of the hat, and a big long red construction paper tongue (curled with a pencil so it stands up, not hanging in your face). I also took another sheet of newspaper and folded it into a long point, taped it to the underside of the hat, also painted it green and added some yellow construction paper points down it for spikes. The teenager wore this on his head for the game. I told the kids that they had to steal treasure from the dragon. We got really lucky that our church had just gotten done with a treasure island themed vacation bible school, so we borrowed their treasure chests, and put some gold plastic coins, bead necklaces, and cardboard gems inside it. We gave the dragon some nerf balls, and the kids all had pool noodles for swords. They had to get by the dragon, get a treasure out of one of the chests, and come back and hand off their sword. Our dragon was great, he let the smaller kids get by him pretty easy, but the bigger kids got pelted with the nerf balls, and picked up and hung upside down, it was hilarious!
After this game was over, I sat all the kids down and told them they had all passed the tests, and were now official princes and princesses (or knights, as some of the boys wanted to be called). I had made up some certificates on my computer the night before that said "This is to certify that ______ is a princess (prince) of the King" and then put the verse from the end of the story, Matthew 25:34 - "Come, you who are blessed by my father, take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world" My Queen & King helpers with the sashes had filled in the names on the certificates when the kids arrived, rolled them up and tied them with ribbon, then also wrote the child's name on the outside of it so I could tell which one went to which child. As I called their names, I tapped them on their shoulder with the certificate and said "I dub thee, Princess Sarah" or "Prince Jon", they got their certificate.
Then they got to go to their castle to decorate either a crown (girls) or a sword and shield (boys). We had 2 areas partitioned off for decorating, one was marked "Prince" and one marked "Princess". We had round tables in each with markers, foam stickers, and crayons. The girls had white cardstock crowns from Oriental Trading to decorate. The boys had white cardstock swords and also some cardboard shields (we made them from cardboard, painted white). This was our last activity, so during this time, we found the parents who had won the books and announced the princess and the pea winner. We also had a dress up area for the kids who didn't wear costumes, if they wanted to dress up, they could. We had princess costumes, knight shirts, feather boas, beads, etc. Also, one of the mothers was standing by to do princess hair if any of the girls wanted theirs done. The kids did this until the parents came to pick them up. This was a very long party - we had the gym for 3 hours, so we were able to do a lot of things.