Idea No.


Tupperware Party 8yr



November 2006


Joshua in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Special Mention


I am going to claim a world first for our family today: my daughter became the first 8 year old to host a Tupperware Party. Now, before you say "what the ..." I might have to provide some background.  Tupperware holds a place of high esteem in our family. My daughter's mother is an engineer. Now while that usually tends to drive her preferences against things that are, shall we say, 'housewifey,' Tupperware is the exception. She and a whole group of her women engineering friends have been obsessed with Tupperware from years. They held a very successful series of combined Babylon 5/Tupperware parties in the 90s and never looked back. And as we started to accumulate children, there was no force that could hold back Tupperware purchases now that they were actually likely to be of use. (This could all by plastics related given our other obsession of Lego; giving us a substantial collection of the two greatest retail plastics brands).  Near as I can tell, we have the entire Tupperware range. Our entire pantry has been Tupperwared and if you haven't seen such things, it is an amazing site. We have held a stream of Tupperware parties that, near as I can tell, have been extraordinarily successful. Moreover, we have routines dedicated to keeping the Tupperware itself in order. Sets together, lids in one place, other things in another. And I thought the Tupperware was to help us order other stuff. The folks at Tupperware need to develop a new meta-Tupperware range to help us keep the Tupperware in order. Our current use of non-Tupperware means is a travesty.  Now my daughter, whose preferences are not, shall we say 'girly,' has inherited her mother's love of Tupperware. She has stayed up late and participated in the parties. She has learnt the lore of Tupperware. I discovered today that she knows that vegetables can breathe and can tell you what setting to put broccoli on. This is all the more surprising given that she would never eat broccoli but is willing to tolerate it in the house as we clearly have a container for it!  So when we asked her this year what type of birthday party she wanted, it should have not come as a surprise when she said she wanted a Tupperware Party.  Now here is how I know this is a world first. I googled 'Tupperware' and variants of 'kids party' and found nothing. This is despite the wealth of other kids parties. Take a look at, for example. There are space parties, Dora the Explorer parties, Star Wars, you name it. One of the most amazing is this Wizard of Oz idea complete with yellow brick road through the house. But there are no Tupperware parties. So I am claiming this for us.  Unfortunately, our pioneering ways meant that we had to work out "what exactly is a Tupperware party for kids?" By the way, that very same question was asked by every single parent of the twelve children we invited. And, in the end, the answer was: a cooking party.  That idea came from our Tupperware dealer. I call her a dealer because she feeds the habit. It turns out our Tupperware dealer had thought about how to extend the franchise to a younger clientelle. Like all dealers, you have to get them young. She had long desired to morph her business into one where she gave cooking classes for kids. And so we were the opportunity she was waiting for to try out her ideas.  Now, of course, my daughter wanted a real Tupperware party and so we had the display and the everyone sitting and looking very adult on chairs around the display. (By the way, half of them were boys and it is clear that, unlike our home where Tupperware is all inclusive, this was a new world for them; something they had for so long desired to see the inside of. They were not disappointed when the shroud of Tupperware was revealed). Then our dealer asked questions, what do you think you would use this for? What can you put in this square container? (I said, square fruit and, by the way, that turned out to be correct.) They played guessing games but sadly not the popular auction where Tupperware cult members bid for little bits and pieces of plastic.  Then we moved onto the games where the children had to sort the 13 shapes into the spherical Tupperware standard shape-sorter. (And when the audience was asked who had these when they were a child. We ALL put up our hands. Of course, my son pointed to his 2 year old sister and said "she is a child and she does have it now." Now you can't get that answer at other Tupperware parties).  It was then asked if anyone knew how "Tupperware" got its name. This drew blank looks. So I chimed in. My first attempt was that it was originally actually plastic clothing. And I demonstrated how a "Bake 2 Basics Sweet Keeper" could be used as a nice hat for Cup Day. This lead to a flurry of activity as the children tried on the Tupperware. Again something that doesn't happen at normal parties.  Apparently, I was wrong on that one. So I gave it another shot. I argued that when he was a child Mr Tupper lived in a time where the fridge was unordered. People used to just toss all of their fruit, vegetables, meat and cheese into the fridge. Then they would ask their children to find various things when they needed it. Mr Tupper's mother would should out "Tupper where's the beans?" or "Tupper where's the sirlion." So Mr Tupper had the idea that this would all be easier if he used plastic containers and based on his mother's catch-phrase decided to call it "Tupperware." This drew the response from my daughter "is that true?" Well, I guess not, but it turns out there was a Mr Tupper -- Earl Tupper. Who knew?  Then came the cooking which involved making melon traffic lights with a melon ball scooper (that they each got to take home as a momento) and then cutting pizza dough into mini-pizzas with another Tupperware device (and another momento). The winning team got some prize Tupperware key-rings (like the one above). The food was cooked, eaten and they were ready to go home.  Well, they may have been ready to go home but Round 2 in our dealer's -- now nakedly transparent plan -- kicked in. Various parents came by to pick the children up. Now you wouldn't think plastic would have a distinctive smell, but it does. The flocked to the display and half an hour later had in vast numbers dutifully placed their order. The order take was so large that my daughter earned about $100 in Tupperware 'gifts' as a reward. She didn't choose the broccoli thing but now has her very own collection. And as she pointed out "it has the distinctive feature of a life-time guarantee and I have a lot of life left." You didn't think of that did you, Tupperware people?  You might like to know about the cake and I am sure you would have expected it to have been cooked in the Tupperware way. Alas no. My daughter wanted a Battlestar Galactica ice cream cake and, by the Lords of Kobol, there is no way to do that with Tupperware -- they need to get a distinctive Galactica mould. So that was ordered but you will be pleased to know that it was dished out with the stock-standard Tupperware ice cream scooper. Let me tell you, it is one effective scooper.  In summary, I can highly recommend Tupperware parties for 8 year olds. For starters, they satisfy a deep need from children to do things that seem adult. But more critically, it is really cost effective. How many kids parties have you run that turn a profit?

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