Ratatouille Party -5yr- Sewer Crawl Maze
Michelle in Machesney Park, IL USA
My daughter loved the movie Ratatouille so it wasn't a surprise when she wanted that theme for her fifth birthday. There are many good ideas for a Ratatouille party on the internet and it was very fun planning and hosting this one.
Invitations: For the invitations I took some large recipe cards. On the back I put the title, You're Invited!" Then I printed up some large and small pictures of scenes from the movie off the internet. I put one of the larger pictures under the words "You're Invited!" On the other side in the section that said recipe for I wrote (my daughter's name) 5th birthday party! Next I put Ingredients: A bunch of frineds a pinch of fun and games a dash of cake blend with the Ratatouille movie makes (my daughter's name) party! Of course the rest had the date and time of the party and the RSVP. Last in the corner of the recipe card there was originally pictures of a pie. I covered it with a small Ratatouille picture. These turned out really cute and I received many compliments for them. Also it was nice to be able to be creative and still have something that was easy to send through the mail.
Decorations: I used a combination of items I purchased and things I made. First I took three heavy posters boards and drew one with Linguine holding a spoon while Remy the rat sat on his head under his chefs hat. The second poster showed the food critic Ego ready to sample his next meal. The last one showed Remy's hero Auguste Gusteau floating as he did in Remy's imagination.
I attached these posters to some wooden stakes and had them lining the front walkway to greet the guests when they arrived. I made other signs for the party as well. For in the house I used regular poster boards. The first sign had the title "Welcome all little chefs!" I drew a picture of Remy making a pot of soup and Colette and Linguine were in the background wearing their chefs attire. This sign I hung on the front door. Another sign was of Gusteau's cookbook "Anyone Can Cook!" with Remy standing beside it. This one was placed over the dining room table.
The next sign said "The Little Rat's Room" and had pictures of Remy his brother Emile and their father. Of course this one was hung on the bathroom door. The final sign was of the movie's antagonist Skinner with the title "I smell a Rat!" This one I put on the fireplace mantal since the fireplace was in the main room of the party. For all of these signs I used a Ratatouille coloring book as my guide and used a large variety of markers to get the colors just right. I admit these signs took awhile to make but the end result was worth it.
Other decorations I found at a party supply store off the internet. In the entrance way to the main party room I hung a Ratatouille birthday banner. I covered the table with a Ratatouille plastic tablecloth. For the centerpiece I put my daughter's stuffed rats Remy Emile and their dad. From the light fixture over the table I hung hanging decorations of Remy Emile and Linguine dangling from blue and white ribbons. Next I hung a large picture banner of Linguine standing in the kitchen with Remy on his head from the mantel. Beside the banner I put a Ratatouille balloon and finally I spread a dozen helium filled blue and green balloons across the ceiling of the party room.
Food: We decided that since rats don't use utensils we would serve finger food. Of course we had to have a cheese and fruit tray. We also had chicken fingers chips and dip a taco dip and corn chips and some crispex mix. To drink we had the usual soda and lemonade but I also had some sparkling apple cider in plasic champagne glasses. (Faux french champagne) I know the whole point of the movie is that Remy makes ratatouille for the food critic at the end. However it doesn't make the best party food. Instead I took a box and covered it with tissue paper and filled it with fresh vegetables from my uncle's garden. Eggplant zucchini grren pepper and tomatoes. Sticking out of the top of the box was a card with the recipe for Ratatouille written on it. I put the box on the buffet table next to the other food and yes I did prepare the Ratatouille later.
Cake: I decided to make a cake looking like a wheel of cheese. First I baked and frosted a chocoate sheet cake. (This was supposed to be the cutting board the cheese sat on.) Next I baked a yellow round cake and frosted it with white frosting I dyed yellow with food coloring. I placed the round cake in the center of the sheet cake. To make the wheel look like swiss cheese I took some mini oreos and placed them over the round cake to look like holes. Lastly I took some of my daughter's little plasic Ratatouille figures from the Disney store and placed them on the cake. The figures were of Remy Emile and their dad. It looked like they were about to help themselves to some cheese. This cake was fairly easy to make but it turned out so cute!
Craft: I admit I did think of having the children cook something but with having such a variety of ages I didn't think it would be such a good idea. Instead I purchased some aprons from Oriental trading company and had the kids decorate them with fabric paint. The kids enjoyed doing this but the paint pens were a little hard to get the paint out so we had to assist them. Also it took forever for the paint to dry and we put the aprons out in the August sun to dry. Still the kids had fun and I suppose that's all that matters.
Games: Planning the games for this party was fun. First we played pin the chef hat on Remmy. I drew a picture of Remy standing on a table beside a bottle of olive oil and a tomato. The kids were then blindfolded and took turns trying to get the chef hats I made out of white paper and tape on Remy's head. The closest won a prize. Then we played feed Emile. I drew a picture of Emile on some thick poster board and stapled it to a box with a hole in it we had from previous parties. I cut a hole in the poster board where Emile's mouth would be. Then I made bean bags out of felt and dried beans. I used green felt to make bags that looked like grapes and yellow and black felt to make wedges of cheese. The child who threw the most bags into Emile's mouth won a prize.
Next we had a Ratatouille pinata. (from the internet). Then we played "what's that smell?" This is because Remy has such an amazing sense of smell. I took large baby food jars and placed a cotton ball in each. Next I filled the jars with different smells. I had lemon garlic peppermint coffee vanilla lavender and chocolate. The kids just laughed at how stinky the jars were but the adults at the party really got into the game. It was really interesting to see that some people have a good sense of smell and others don't. Another game both the kids and adults played was the guess jar. I simply filled a jar with tootsie rolls and the one who guessed closest won the jar. (By the way the reason for tootsie rolls was because my husband always calls them mouse turds. Rat was close enough. I know kind of sick but the kids thought it was funny.
The grand finale was having the kids crawl through the sewers. My husband made a maze using black plastic and our swing set as a base. As the kids crawled through I had made small signs on poster board attached to wooden stakes of Remy and Emile. The kids crawled through the maze went through the tunnel hanging over the half rock wall. (The tunnel was made out of black plastic hanging over ropes tied to the swing set and our fence.) To the top of the set where a poster of all three rats were waiting to cheer them on and then down the slide. We timed each child and the one with the fastest run won a prize. The maze was a huge hit and the kids ran through it until the party was over and then we kept it up for a few days since they wanted to keep playing in it.
Prizes: For prizes I had found a Ratatouille coloring book a Ratatouille paint set Remy and Emile pezs and some Ratatouille stickers. For the party my daughter wore a Ratatouille tee-shirt I had found at the Disney store. Also my husband and my gift to her was a huge Emile stuffed bean bag. We put him in the party room to great gueats when they came in. Everyone loved him and many had their picture taken with him and the birthday girl.
Favors: Each child received a paper chef hat with the Ratatouille logo on it. Also I filled plastic Ratatouille favor bags with yoyos that looked like a wheel of cheese and a cookie cutter I found at the dollar store. I took my family's favorite sugar recipe and called it "Remy's Stupendous Sugar Cookies." I attached a copy of the recipe to each cookie cutter with a ribbon. It turned out to be a great day and I received many compliments and praise. The only problem is my daughter's friends are already asking what are we going to have next year. "