Wiggles Party - Wiggles Recording Session
Laura in Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Wiggles birthday party The Wiggles Recording Session
The invitation is made to look like a studio recording contract Using computer paper with a musical note border, it is written in "official" business-letter style. Dear (child's name) of The Wiggles, I am writing to inform you of your rock video recording session on (date of party). Kindly confirm with us (birthday children's parent's names) at (telephone # and email) by (date). Sincerely, (my name), Producer Superstar Studios Ltd. On a smaller note is the following: Please join us on ___'s birthday for some Wiggly, musical fun. Join us at the park (address and directions, and time) to meet Dorothy, Henrietta, Captain Feathersword and Wags, then we will drive our "big red cars" (walk) back to our house for some more fun and food. If you wish, wear the colours of your favourite Wiggles band member.
We invited 5 kids; if you invite more kids you'll want to break it into groups for the recording session. The kids meet at the park a few doors down. We'll have brought the cars (see below), a wagon, the treasure chest (filled with drinks for the kids), a Dorothy cut out (made from a sheet of cardboard with the mouth cut out), several plastic roses, feather swords (coloured ostrich feathers glued to rolled up corrugated cardboard handles), bone shaped hard dog treats (to be buried in the sand), a skipping rope, a Henrietta octopus puppet, and a Wags the dog puppet. (Henrietta was hand made from fabric scraps; Wags from a dog puppet we already had).
These are part of an obstacle courseThe kids will need to throw a rose into Dorothy's mouth, jump over Henrietta's arms four times (adult spins skipping rope around on the ground), dig out a bone from a sandbox and feed to Wags (puppet held by an adult helper), then kids have to walk the plank and jump (from the imaginary pirate ship of Captain Feathersword), wake up Jeff (run and get a feathersword and tickle adult helper Jeff awake) and can get juice form the treasure chest when they're done. We expect they will do this a few times. When it winds down (or too far up!), we'll pull out the cars and load the wagon while they take a driving lesson around the part (with Jeff). Once they have learned to handle their cars, we'll "drive" back to the house.
For the cars: Use cardboard boxes saved by grocer from paper products, or from a bookstore. Open out all of the flaps and cut them off. Save them for detailing. Paint cars red with poster paint (do that part first); add outside details as desired (wheels can be made from painted paper plated glued on). Use heavy paper plates for steering wheels (or large plastic ice cream container lids) use two, add a small bead with a large hole that will accommodate the stem of the brad (brass fastener), or add a couple of small corrugated circles so that the steering wheel sits out a bit from the body of the ca) small circles of paperboard on either side, insert a brad into the centre and push it through the cardboard box to make a wheel that really turns; use squeakers purchased form a craft store for horns; make shoulder straps from newspaper baling straps crossed over from one side to the other (so looking down from the top it looks like a loose x); staple these in place. Add two foil tart shells to the front for headlights. If desired, add speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge, etc. Alternately, you can use an appliance box and decorate one large car for all of the guests. It's probably best if this kind stays in one place.
The house is decorated with the toy instruments we'll be using as well as backdrop made using a paper tablecloth and the Wiggles logo hand drawn (enlarge using an overhead projector and trace, or freehand it) and painted in Wiggles colours with a bunch of Wiggles coloured balloons on either side. The tableware is our own permanent dishes, but we're using our plastic cups that are in the Wiggles colours, and a red tablecloth from our Christmas decorations. I've cut out musical note and clef shapes from black construction paper and arranged them randomly on the walls. I'll also hang some old cd's (think AOL) from the ceiling using fishing line. We've also made three coloured spotlights from clip-on desk lamps with compact florescent bulbs (they don't get as hot as incandescent) and primary-coloured "filters" made from clear coloured acetate sheets we had from an earlier craft project (try craft or office supply stores, they aren't easy to find!). Depending on how hot they get in our trial run, we'll either let the kids aim and move them around, or clip them high on a wooden strut supported by the bookcases in the room. At the house we'll play Wiggles cd's and Jeff will lead the kids in freeze dancing while the food is served (see below for the food).
After the food we'll need to make instruments for the recording session. The kids will make drums. I've collected coffee cans with plastic lids for drums. I've glued on plain paper and have kids decorate with markers, stickers and glitter glue. The kids can then add a small scoop of rice to the inside to help make the snare sound, and tape or glue gun the lid shut with an adult helper. The drumstick will be a wooden spoon with the handle cut short and with a square of fabric wrapped around the spoon part and kept in place with an elastic. I'll also have some Wiggles colouring sheets available for those who finish early. You can add more different kinds of instruments if you have more time. Our reserve craft is straw pan flutes. These are made by standing up 6 non-bendy drinking straws and taping them together as they lie flat on the table. Then the bottoms are trimmed. #6 straw is 1 cm shorter than #5, which is 1 cm shorter than #4, etc. When finished, the kids play them by blowing air across the tops of the straws. Maracas and are also easy to make from a variety of materials.
Once they are finished, we'll introduce a simple rule: when my hand goes up, you stop playing and stand quiet and ready to listen. We'll then distribute echo mics from $ store, and inflatable guitars (which were used to decorate the walls until now), as well as our own children's instruments to play. As a surprise, we've arranged for a neighbour who plays drums to come over with his set and give a quick lesson to the children. Each child will be recorded playing on the set, one at a time, during the drum making and musical instrument play.
After everyone has had a turn, the kids will make their rock video. We'll use the birthday boy's favourite Wiggles song, and he can be the first to choose his instrument (we suspect he'll want the drum set); then we'll draw names for the others to choose. We'll count it down as if it were a real studio session, then record their antics to the song. We'll send a video of it as a thank you to each child, along with a clip of their drum session.
After the recording session comes cake, and we'll watch the uneditted video together while we eat. Then comes present time and home time. As much as possible, the food matches the songs. We'll have fruit salad, baked mini potatoes (hot potatoes), banana bread (mashed bananas), and a cheese (with stringing sheese to make "cold spaghetti") and cracker tray. The drinks will be naturally red cranberry juice, naturally yellow apple juice, concord grape juice and blueberry punch to match the Wiggles colours. If I get to it, I may make layered agar (vegetarian gelatine) parfaits in layered Wiggle colours.
The cake is a guitar cake, as found on this site. Make a rectangular cake and freeze. Off one short end, cut a strip about 2" and reserve to use as the neck. Going diagonally, cut out a guitar body shape, and attach the neck to the body. Ice it with butterscotch icing, escept for the sound hole and neck, which are iced in dark chocolate. Use small chocolate covered lady finger biscuits for the bridge and licorice strings for the strings. Use wrapped gold or silver kisses point-end in for the tuning knobs. You can get fancy and add silver ball cake decorations for the bridgepins, and adding decorative piping around the sound hole and along the fret lines on the neck before adding the strings. To make a pick guard shape, melt chocolate chips, pour onto a chilled cookie sheet lined with waxed paper, and cutting to shape. Let harden and carefully lift and transfer onto cake.
Individual cupcakes can be decorated to look like drums using a fondant icing (Wilton has an excellent easy pour-on recipe on their website). Let harden, and decorate using candy clay or melted coloured chocolate wafers. The favours are the craft drums, one of the red cars to take home, a feathersword, plus the mics and later a copy of the video. If you aren't opposed to adding candy, m&ms, smarties or skittles in a box make good maracas (if you're talented, the empty boxes make good whistles too), and match most of the Wiggles colours.