Princess & Frogs Party -4yr- The Cardboard Castle
Claudia in Albuquerque, NM USA
For my daughter’s 4th birthday, she wanted a princess theme. Since many of her friends were boys, I didn’t want to exclude them from the fun, so the theme was Princess and Frogs theme. This is a great way to have a boys and girls theme, because neither feels excluded. We had quite a few friends to invite, so we decided to make it an open house party, but it can be adapted to be a 2 hour party or an open house.
Invitations consisted of a scroll of paper which I bought at the craft store and printed on my computer. It stated something like, Here Ye! Here Ye! The Honor of your noble company Is hereby requested (date), there will be an Open Castle (a Royal Gathering) to celebrate the fourth birthday of the honorable Princess (Child’s Name) The Royal Gates will open as the clock strikes eleven to begin the Royal Celebration, and they will close precisely at the Nineteenth Hour. Please stop by anytime between these hours to play some games, eat great food, and have fun. Our Castle (address) Please state your intent in coming to Her Royal Highness Queen (my name) (contact info). I added some clip art to have an attention getter for the kids.
The main attraction was a cardboard castle built in the garage. It took up ¾ of the garage and the other ¼ was used for tables for activities. The castle was built from 4 refrigerator boxes (donated from some stores) that served as towers, and were connected with other refrigerator boxes doors as tunnels, all of which was surrounded by cardboard walls to make it into a little plaza. I had play clothes for them to wear, and bought scraps of fabric (at a garage sale), which were great to have and work on their imagination, I ended up having ninjas, princesses, and mummies. We used stickers and markers from the dollar store to decorate the castle. Since it was a LONG party, I had one activity every 30 minutes. Some kids would be done with the activities in less than 10 minuts, while others took their sweet time. That gave the kids that were faster, the chance to go and play in the castle.
Activities were: Storytime, I read to them the shorter version of the classical tale The Princess Frog, which I checked out at the local library. Of course, reading was done, inside the castle. Kiss the Frog, my version of pin the tale on the donkey. On a cardboard sheet, I drew a picture of a frog, printed little kisses and had double sided tape on the back. Covered the kid’s eyes with either a pink or green handkerchief, and let them put their kiss on the frog.
Craft time consisted of boys and girls painting or creating little crafts found in the store (craft or dollar) with princess and frog themes. T-shirt Decorating- bought pink and green shirts (asked before what size they wear) and stamped them with princess and frog stamps using t-shirt paint. Matching Shoes: I printed out one set of several types of shoes, each kid got one piece, and had to find the matching piece which I had hidden prior to the party. The one to get his or her set first is the winner. Fishing in the Moat: in the dollar store I found a little game that had magnet little fishes, and the fishing pole. I used the little water table or a wading pool for this activity. All kids love water, so be prepared for them to get a little wet.
Cookie Decorating: Prior to the party, I baked crowns and frogs for them to decorate with sprinkles, frosting, plenty of plastic knives, and anything you can image that would go great on a cookie. Tea Time came at 4 pm, and I served them some Chamomile tea (can be water) in little tea cups. They got to eat the cookies they had decorated. It can be as fancy as your little girl wants.
Catch the Frog: My version of hot potato game with a stuffed frog toy. The kids make a circle and pass the frog with music in the background, when the music no longer is playing the person who is holding the frog is out of the game. Royal Scavenger Hunt: I separated the children from the parents (that’s if you invited them and they stayed along) and I would ask for them to bring me something they might have (credit card, driver’s license, cell phone, car keys), and the first one to bring it won a prize.
Royal Bingo: play bingo, just call it royal, you might want to add little pictures to match with the theme.
Decorations consisted of anything castle, royal, princess, or frogs. Pink and Green all over. Red carpet to announce the arrival of guests can be used with plastic red tablecloths, or red paper. Plates and napkins, varied in color from any tone of green to any tone of pink. These are complimentary colors so it looks very bright and cheerful. The cardboard castle was very inexpensive and everyone loved the idea of having a huge castle in the garage. Have dad or grandpa announce the arrival of the royal guests to all the household, good way of introducing people that don’t know each other.
Costumes can be as elaborated or as simple as you want. The birthday child can elect to be a princess, a prince, or dress in green. Mom and Dad can play the roles of Queen and King, as well as all the members of the family. It’s open to your imagination. Snacks and Party Food: I bought little plastic trays to make chocolate frogs, and I made them out of green chocolate (all of these sold in craft stores), and used these to decorate chocolate frosted cupcakes with the frogs on top.
For the princess themed cupcakes, I printed out little princess pictures and taped them to a toothpick to decorate chocolate frosted cupcakes. I had green and pink themed cupcakes, and since everyone was coming and going at different times, nobody had to wait for the cake to be cut. A friend knew about my theme and brought over a chocolate cake decorated with a froggy ice pack (I’ve seen it at the dollar store), and with rose petals. It was also beautiful.
For food, you can always make little sandwiches, and finger food. Have some frog food, and make celery stick with peanut butter and put some raisins on top to resemble flies. With green and red (to make it pink) food coloring, anything will go along with the decorations (pink or green lemonade, pink or green frosting).
For favors: I stocked up on prizes that I could find having to do with frogs or princesses. Dollar stores and crafts stores are great places for these. When a kid won a game they would get to pick from the stash of prizes. If you are doing the t-shirt decorating, that’s a nice favor to give, as are the crafts. Another option would be to give the girls tiaras and the boys toy swords.
For the thank you cards, I used the clip art that I had on the invitation, and printed out: Thank you from the (Last Name) Castle. Whether you do an all day party (it was a lot of work, but people are still telling how much fun it was), or a two hour party, it’s the imagination of the children what makes this fun, you just have to play along with them.