Idea No.


Musical Party -4th- Maraca Making



November 2004


Michele in Severn, Maryland

Special Mention

Music Party

A Musical Party and Parade  For our daughter's fourth birthday, we wanted to plan something fabulous!  We also have a one-year old daughter and big sister wanted to be sure "her" baby was included in the fun and festivities.  So I began the search--to find a party theme that would be perfect for our oldest daughter and her friends (3-5 year olds) along with her baby sister. 

So, I found it!  A musical party and parade!  A perfect combination incorporating ideas that children of all young ages could enjoy!  We designed adorable invitations.  I printed all the details about the Musical Party and Parade on the computer, printed them, then my daughter and I glued them on bright-colored cardstock.  We attached a glittery musical paper horn to the invitation and mailed them in slightly oversized envelopes.  The invitees loved receiving a "big" package and the horns were a real hit! 

As the children arrived, we had set up three craft stations in our driveway.  We had 3 tables set up with posters indicating the following stations:  Maraca Making, Create Jingle Bell Necklaces, and Parade Flag Painting.  I purchased inexpensive wooden maracas from Oriental Trading.  The children painted faces on them, glued yarn "hair" on them and more.  The necklaces were simple craft kits with bells and beads on them.

The flags were also purchased from Oriental Trading.  The children decorated them in preparation to carry in the parade.  The children went from station to station at their leisure creating their masterpieces.  I enlisted family members to help at the stations.  The great thing about having 3 stations at once is that there were no back-ups or over-crowded tables.  When everyone completed their projects, I placed them on individual plates labeled with each guest's name.  That way, there would be no mix-ups in finding each work of art.   

After crafts, we went inside for lunch and cake.  I had set the birthday table up with everything revolving around music.  First, I laid a white plastic tablecloth covered it with real music paper that we copied.  The paper products were hot pink with piano keys around the edges.  The centerpiece included musical instruments and a sign welcoming guests to a Musical Party and Parade.  We had musical note confetti all over too! 

We served tacos (our daughter's favorite), taco "muffins", and chips and cheese for lunch.  I made the cake to look like a drum.  It was a double layer cake, frosted yellow on the sides and white on top.  We used M&M's to circle the top and the bottom.  We then used skinny pretzel sticks on the sides alternating up and down.  We included large pretzel rods topped with large marshmallows on top to mallots.  It was precious.  My daughter made her own mini drums for her guests by doing the similar project on cupcakes. 

Each guest received a goodie bag filled with all kinds of musical goodies from party harmonicas to whistle pops.  After cake, we played 2 games.  The first was Name That Tune.  I had pre-made a tape earlier with some of our daughter's favorite songs and television show introductions (Dora, Dragon Tales, etc.).  The children had fun guessing the songs by hearing the introductions only then the tape would reveal the answer.  Fun! 

Next, my husband read a birthday book.  We had given each guest a musical instrument.  We told them each time he mentioned something about a birthday party that they should play their instruments.  Everytime, my husband would mention words like "party, invitation, present, cake.." the children would play their music!    It was finally time for the big parade!!  We had created a parade path on the side of my house (large empty lot).  We purchased colorful fringy banners (100 feet long) from Oriental Trading. 

We attached them with pipe cleaners to dow rods to create a colorful path for the musical parade.  We also attached balloons and a big poster indicating that this was the entrance for the Musical Parade.  The parents lined up on both sides of the path.  My sister created little birthday flags for the parents to wave as the children marched.    I had found a great CD with kids parade music.  We gave each guest a birthday hat and a glittered baton for the parade.  Then they were able to choose an instrument to take. 

We had a bin of all kinds of instruments my daughters had and some inexpensive ones we purchased from the dollar store.  Some of the children chose to carry the flags (now dried) that they had painted earlier.  Everyone was excited!  We started the music and off they went.  My husband led the group and everyone was smiling!  The parents cheered and the children marched, and marched, and marched!!!  The parade lasted for about 15 minutes.  Our oldest daughter, all her friends, and even baby sister had a real blast at this fun event!

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