Willy Wonka -8yr- Wonka Bucks Candy Store
Jennifer in Richmond Hill, Ontario Canada
My son was celebrating his 8th birthday and wanted a Willy Wonka theme. There is next to nothing out there for this so I had to create my own things. I looked over this website and utilized a few ideas to go along with my own. First, we blocked off our driveway with crepe streamers so that no one could cross the line until Willy Wonka (my husband) appeared at the appointed time.
Of course, for the invitations, we sent out chocolate bars that I made myself using a bar mold, the Wonka bar label printed on the computer and a golden ticket also made on the computer. I must say the golden tickets are difficult to recreate, I was able to get some gold paper at Michaels (arts and craft store), I made one good copy and then made color copies of the gold since the ink didn't dry well on the gold paper. This worked great! I arranged for my son's teacher to show the movie before handing out the invitations, which worked wonderfully! I had 31 children!
So, with family and friends helping out (and dressed as Oompa Loompas with black pants, green hair and orange t-shirts that were cris-crossed with white duct tape) I set up activity and game stations.
When the ribbon in the driveway was cut, the children walked up a felt red carpet to a huge "contract" on the garage. We gave each child a brightly decorated marker to sign it. They were then given empty loot bags (small canvas bags that I had ironed on a Willy Wonka picture). Willy Wonka explained that they were to use their canvas loot bags to hold their "wonka bucks" which would be won during the party and spent later on. At first, the whole group of kids played pass the parcel until a golden egg was revealed. Every few layers, we put a surprise Wonka buck. The golden egg held $10 wonka bucks!
Next, the kids were divided into manageable groups and went off to play various games. We had the Fizzy lifting drink (with clear cream soda and Sprite with the labels changed) burping contest. I held this in a room where our bubble machine would really make it feel like the room in the movie. The winner won $5 wonka bucks and all contestants got $1 wonka buck for playing.
We had "Fish Augustus Gloop out of the Chocolate River". We printed out pictures of Augustus on the computer and had them laminated to make them waterproof. Using cocoa powder, we made the water in a large storage container look chocolatey and floated a dozen Gloop pictures on top. The pictures had large holes and the kids had to fish out one of them with a simple plastic fishing rod. On the backs of the pictures were various wonka buck amounts so every child won at least $1.
Next, the kids went on to the Violet Beauregard Blueberry squeezing. Using Royal Blue balloons taped to a board, the kids had to choose and pop a balloon (all of which had different wonka bucks inside). Any child with enough courage to actually squeeze the blueberry balloon with their hands got an extra $2!
What would be a Wonka party without a Gobstopper throw? We made several holes in a big piece of cardboard and painted different colors around each hole. Each color represented a different amount of Wonka bucks. We used hi-bounce rubber balls as the gobstoppers.
For activities, the kids visited the chocolate waterfall. I set up a long draping brown fabric from my ceiling, down over my dining room table to represent the waterfall and river. In the middle of my table (on the brown fabric) I put my chocolate fountain. The kids enjoyed making various candy and fruit kabobs for dipping!.
At another station we had "Lickable Wonka Bowties". Using different color drink crystals and runny icing, the kids decorated the big bow ties with "edible sand art". Using sand art containers would also be a great alternative to the icing and cardstock. The kids loved it though, using their fingers (they each got their own little cup of icing) they spread the icing on and then sprinkled different color "sand" (drink crystals) to decorate.
I made sure that I had an Oompa Loompa barbequeing hotdogs so that the kids didn't get overloaded with too much sweets. Before they had a chance to spend all their hard earned wonka bucks, we had them do the Everlasting Gobstopper piñata. I made it with my sons class using paper maché. It turned out fantastic. I only put small novelties and toys in it though because except for the chocolate fountain and bowties, I wanted all the sweets at the end.
After some hotdogs and more fizzy lifting drink, we told the kids they could spend all their wonka bucks! We created a play money template and made $1, $2, $5 and $10 Wonka bucks. Starting with the little ones, we allowed 3 children (and their parents if they were there) in our Wonka store!! It was the grand finale of our party! We set up our sun room as a Candy store. We had LOTS of cases of candy of different kinds as well as Jars of candy. We made sure it looked just like a candy store. My daughter ran the Candy store wearing an apron and matching candy store hat. We had a cash register (toy) and on every shelf, window and table there was candy and toys that related to candy! We had Candyland Activity books (which I got at liquidated prices), Toy Candy clocks and cell phones, Candy lemon drop mugs that were filled with goodies (those were $10 wonka bucks!) and candy of every color, shape and flavor. The kids filled their loot bags with the candy they wanted using their wonka bucks.
OH! For decorations we had 14 HUGE cellophane wrapped lollipops which lined our "red carpet" and then were later transferred to the backyard. We cut big circles out of Styrofoam and used doweling to create the lollipops. With the leftover Styrofoam pieces, we wrapped them in cellophane also and made "bon bons" and hung them using fishing line from the ceiling. I was able to get several "peppermint" and gumball machine Mylar balloons on eBay and had them scattered throughout the house and backyard along with brightly colored plastic wind spinners (that looked like the candy twists in the movie). To prevent the kids from going into our small tomato garden in the corner of our yard, we created wonka plants. Using branches from a tree in our yard (we had to trim it anyway) I glued real gumballs all over the branches and stuck them in very brightly colored pots with Easter grass. I did this also with richly wrapped toffee and also a tree of bon bons. I made two other lollipop plants that looked like we were growing different kinds of suckers. I placed them around our tomato plants (with all the colors of the gumballs, suckers and toffee, it looked magical!!) and placed a "Please, NO STEPPING in Willy Wonkas Garden" sign. For any doors that we didn't want them going in, we placed "top secret, oopma loompas only" signs. I had large paintings of candies and banners that said "Andrew and the Chocolate Factory" everywhere.
For the cake we had Andrew's 8th Birthday and Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory centered around a cartoon pic of Willy Wonka scanned and placed on the cake, it looked great!.
There was so much going on that I'm sure I missed listing some of it here, but needless to say, all the work was worth it, the kids LOVED it and the parents were impressed and I got tons of pictures to last a lifetime! Whew!!