Idea No.


Special Agent Oso Party 5yr



May 2010


Lisa in San Jose, CA, USA

Runner Up


Special Agent Oso 5th birthday party  For the second year in a row, my twins picked a non-traditional theme for their birthday party Special Agent Oso, one of Disney's newer characters. His approach to three special tips and the design activities around exploration made for a very flexible theme. The color theme for the party was lime green, medium blue, and white.   INVITATIONS --- The 5th birthday invitations were mailed out in bubble envelopes that had a smaller manila envelopes inside. Each inner envelope had Special Agent and the child's name on it; each letter was cut out of a magazine like you might see on a ransom note. The invitation itself was made from a picture of Special Agent Oso I found on Google images. I printed it on a 5x8 sheet of paper and then mounted it on a  piece of lime green cardstock. One section of the card had a window, so on the window I mounted the following invitation wording in a 5 point font: Special Alert! Special Alert! Special Agent Oso and friends want you to see how fun K & L's 5th birthday can be! Your secret mission is to join in the fun, Building structures and prints in the sun. Special Agent Oso loves science and art. Come join us and play a part. All agents report to: Secret Agent Central on Saturday, May 1st, 2010 from 3-5 pm. should you choose to accept your mission. This message will self-destruct on April 25th. The invitations included magnifying glasses used to help the parents (and children) see where and when.  DECORATIONS --- Three dozen lime green, blue, and white balloons were tied in groups of three all over the driveway and into the backyard. Many of the balloon bouquets were tied to small colored cones (left over from a prior party). Streamers of the same colors were hanging all over the back yard. Tables were covered with lime green or blue plastic tablecloths, and the food table had a white one with a blue tablecloth that went down the center of the table for a little more color. One of the activities was to paint large boxes, so we got the idea at the last minute to stack the dozen large boxes into 2 arches in the driveway that children had to walk through to get into the backyard and main party location. Each large box had been painted the night before using white primer and a paint roller. The two arches had balloon bouquets in front of them and the words Welcome Special Agents. I made the letters out of lime green and blue cardstock, having used my Cricut to cut them out.   WELCOME  ---  When each child arrived, s/he was given a nametag with Special Agent (child's name) on each. They were made from recycled nametag holders that I had accumulated over the years at conferences and workshops. Again, I used Google images to find another picture of Agent Oso and printed it. I then either used pictures of the children that parents emailed me or used pictures from Facebook and printed a small headshot for each child. As a result, each child's head was affixed to the body of Agent Oso with a name on the side. The nametags were clipped to a long ribbon that was inside the entrance to our home.   For the party, there were 5 activities planned, each of which came in a white paper bag with Agent Oso's special three special steps written on them. This made organization easier as I was able to bag up each activity and have things well-organized as we needed them. Special Agent Oso's show is based on 3 special steps in the work he does, whether activities in the home (like brushing teeth) or in doing activities around the neighborhood. For our activities, each had 3 special steps to stay consistent with the theme of the show.   ACTIVITIES ----  Activity #1  Steve Spangler Science carries color changing ultraviolet beads that change colors when exposed to the sun. I picked black pipe cleaners as they show the nice contrast to the white beads. The supplies needed for this activity included: 1 pipe cleaner for each child and 250 beads split up in 4 different bowls.    The 3 special steps for this activity were done inside our house: (1) Put beads on the pipe cleaner, (2) Twist off the end of the pipe cleaner so the beads won't fall off, and (3) March single file into the front yard. The kids were so busy marching that they didn't realize what was happening: the beads changed into bright colors green, yellow, blue, red, purple, and orange! The hoots and hollers were quite notable from the front yard to the back where most parents were waiting. The children ran screaming into the back yard, so excited to share their new colored bracelets. I ended this activity by letting them know that their special agent powers had just been activated and they were ready for more activities.   Activity #2 --- Special Agent Oso is really skilled at construction and building structures in outer space, so we altered that to have the children construct buildings. Supplies for this activity were gallon Ziploc bags, 3 bags of large marshmallows, 3 boxes of straws, and 3 pounds of gumdrops. Each child received a Ziploc bag that contained 10 large marshmallows, 20 different sized colored straws (found at a discount store for $2), and 1 cup of large gumdrops.  The 3 special steps for this activity were: (1) Place your building base on a table; (2) Get one ziploc bag of supplies; and (3) Use as many of the supplies as possible to design a building.    The children had about 10 minutes to create their building. When done, we had all the children walk around the table to look at everyone's buildings. Two parents had been selected to judge the buildings. I had premade Special Agent Oso Digi Medals, the template of which I downloaded from the website. Each paper medal was put into a plastic medal and its attached ribbon that I found at Oriental Trading Company. The medals can be worn around each child's neck. Examples of the awards included: Most Creative Building, Most Colorful Building, Silliest Building, Most Likely to Withstand an Earthquake, Most Innovative Building Tallest Building, Shortest Building, Building Most Like the Empire State Building, and the ever-popular Best Building Collapse (one of my twins won this one when her building fell down right as we started walking around). All of the children were so proud of their special awards and the parents thought it creative that the awards were preplanned and really did match the buildings that the children made.   Activity #3 --- Science supply stores carry papers that make sun prints. They are sun-sensitive papers that need to be kept in a cool, dark place until use but make quick shadow prints when placed in the sun. I had the children walk around our front and backyard to pick three different leaves to use for this activity. Each child started with a sheet of cardboard and the back of each sun-sensitive paper was taped down to it from behind.  The 3 special steps for this activity were: (1) Pick 3 different leaves that can fit on your sheet of paper; (2) Place the 3 leaves on the paper and put in the sun; and (3) Remove the objects and soak the paper in water for 1 minute. I had the children predict what would happen during a two minute segment of time while we made predictions as to what would happen with the paper. Also handy was a bucket of water, as well as clothesline and clothespins ready to hang the new sun prints. Some figured it out quickly as the paper starts turning from blue to white almost immediately when it comes in contact with the sun.  The children were all amazed at their new creations, as all special agents should be able to use secret paper to hide the messages while on secret missions.    Activity #4 --- Special agents should be well versed in designing gifts for others, and with Mother's Day around the corner, this activity really worked. Supplies needed: aprons/paint smocks for each child, small bowls, very large coffee filters, bottles of the watercolors in those you want, plastic pipettes, the same buckets of water that was used in the previous activity, and recycled toilet paper or paper towel (cut in half) cylinders that I had painted white. The 3 special tips for this activity were (1) Fold the coffee filter as small as you can; (2) Dip it in a bucket of water and wring it out; and (3) Use the pipette to drop color (green or blue are what we had) onto the still-folded filter. I reminded the children not to saturate the wet folded filter and to leave some white spaces. When they were done, we carefully opened the wet filters, so as not to tear them, and hung them from the clothesline. The bright colors and designs were very different and nicely decorated the backyard. After we finished dessert they were done and we pulled the center of the of the filter through the toilet paper cylinders and the beautiful flowers were ready for mom.  Activity #5 --- Special agents are able to transform items from one shape to another, so the little agents helped me quickly change the box arches into a driveway of buildings.  Supplies needed for this activity included 12 large appliance sized boxes that are painted white, paint or paint markers (can be purchased at teacher supply stores), and baby wipes. I called a few different appliance stores to get the boxes a few days ahead of time. The 3 special tips for this activity (1) Select a marker; (2) Pick a location where you can work near others, and (3) Decorate the boxes with different markers and paints. The children used different two sided paint markers and decorated the boxes with different pictures and designs, although at age 5, scribbling was also an effective way to use the markers and be able to color a really large surface. Baby wipes were a must to clean hands.   PARTY SNACKS/CAKE  ---- We decided to go simple on foods: grapes, bananas cut in half, cheese cubes, salami, a veggie tray, and crackers. We also had pretzels that were shaped like bears (the same character that Special Agent Oso is). Drinks were 100% juice boxes and water for the kids, with adult offerings for the big people. Dessert was the big deal this year. First, a trip to our favorite grocery store resulted in a cupcake cake that I had them custom make. The cupcakes were assorted chocolate and vanilla and the base icing was white. The accents on the sides were lime green and blue, and the each side of the cake read Happy Birthday (name) one for each of the twins. To personalize the cake, I had downloaded pictures of Special Agent Oso that and put the girls heads on them again and glued those to short skewers cut in half. I also used the other Special Agent Oso pictures and had them on skewers as well. Then we brought out 3 additional dessert specials. I took three gallon sized terracota pots and washed them out. Inside I put the green florist foam and covered that with lime green shredded ribbon to give it some depth. I had more Special Agent Oso pictures, digi medals, and happy birthday signs on small 2-3 inch pieces of cardstock that had been cut out and attached to more skewers, and inserted those at different heights into the foam. Each pot had 4-5 items sticking out. And then I added strawberries and rice krispie squares that had both been dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with 10 different types of colored sprinkles. The parents especially liked these more adult sized desserts. Since there were plenty of the chocolate covered fruits, I overheard many parents telling their children that three or four were enough.   PARTY FAVORS  ---  It drives me crazy when my children come home from parties with little items that break, get under foot, and are really not very useful. I purchased tubs of chalk that can be used on driveways and chalkboards, and each had a large 3 x 4 sticker that I designed with a picture of Special Agent Oso and a note that said, K & L just want to say, thank you for joining their special day. Each tub was personalized for each child with a luggage tag that I ordered online. After much searching, I found ones that were clear that business cards could be slid into. Using the same pictures of the children that I used for their nametags, I again put the picture of their faces on the body of Special Agent Oso. The back of each business-sized piece of cardstock had each child's names with the same ransom note type letter cutouts. The parents really appreciated items that had a usefulness back home. Over the next few days, I saw the luggage tags attached to backpacks and lunch bags at preschool, and the kids loved that they were officially Special Agents!  All in all, it was another successful party and the pressure is on to outdo this theme next year.

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