Winnie-the-Pooh -7yr- Eeyore's Tic-Tac-Toe
Jo-Ann in Clovis, CA, USA
A Children's Winnie-the-Pooh Themed Fair for My 7-year Old
A child's 7th birthday is one of the most important celebration for a Filipino child. Thus, my youngest girl, Frann, looked forward to her birthday celebration as early as January. This was about the time I started working on her party. She had 40 classmates,several relatives and friends to invite so we needed a lot of time. She would turn 7 by June. Winnie-the-Pooh is her favorite character but she wanted a fair theme for her party with yellow (her favorite, too) as the main color. So I decided it would be a combination of all.(Special Note:This party would not have been a success without the valuable ideas I found in this site. My sincere thanks to all those who have shared their ideas, originality and creativity in making a carnival and fair party wonderful.)
INVITATIONS. Pooh and the the color yellow had to be the center of everything with the fair theme so I decided to use a picture of a ferris wheel for the invitations. I found one in a coloring book. First, I traced the outline of the ferris wheel and the stand on bond paper separately. Then, for each seat, I prepared a character. There were 5 seats so I had Pooh, Tigger, Rabbit, Eeyore and Roo.I cut out these characters from wrapping paper. I traced their shapes on top of the seats of the ferris wheel, making them look like they were in it. I made sure that there was about 1/2 inch left from the bottom of each charater that went 'into' the seat.Now the wheel had the outline of each character on each seat. I scanned both the wheel and the stand separately. I used MSWord to put in the details of the party. On each seat of the ferriswheel, I typed in the labels:Place, Time, Date, Frann's Signature, and the Entrance Stub which can be detached. On the traced outline figures of Poof and friends, I put in the details making sure that there was at least 1/2 inch left from the top. I asked my daughter to sign on the seat for her signature. The wheel was printed on stiff white paper. After that, I allowed Frann and her older sister to color the rest of the wheel instructing them NOT to color the space inside the outlined shapes where the details were printed. After the girls have colored the wheel, I slit in an opening on the seat (on top of the labels. )This is where I inserted the bottom part of each character. Then, I used double adhesive tape on the 1/2 inch on top to tape in the characters on their shapes making sure that I was not covering the details with tape. This completed the wheel. So it looked like the characters were riding the wheel. The details would be found once they were lifted from the seat. On the body of the stand, I typed in the different games that the kids will have in the party-Owl's Eggs, Tigger's Loops, Eeyore's Tic-Tac-Toe, Kangga's Surprise, Pooh's Treasure Map, Rabbit's Garden Patch, Guess-the Honey Pot Surprise, Plus surprises for Mom and Dad.(Each one will be described later.)On the base of the stand I typed in "Welcome to Frann's Fairgrounds." I added a reminder to bring the entrance stub for the game tickets that can be found under Pooh's seat. When I was ready to print out the stand, I made sure that the document was in landscape format; the stand on the right side - just enough for the wheel to be inside the paper once the wheel is attached to it. On the left side, I scanned and pasted a picture of Frann 'operating' the controls of the wheel. I asked a friend to draw the control machine for the wheel. I printed the whole thing on stiff yellow paper. I attached the wheel using a single fastener at the center and on top of the stand. This way, the wheel could really move like a ferris wheel. I finished the invitation with shiny confetti balloons all over. I included a sketch to the party place so the guests won't miss the affair. I made the envelopes from the same wrapping paper I used for the characters. Frann wrote the names of her guests using flourescent yellow stickers which were placed on the envelopes.
ATTIRE OF PARTY COMMITTEE: In any event, usually, all the people involved in the affair would wear a uniform. So I decided to have white t-shirts made with a Pooh bear design on the upper right chest. The words 'Frann's 7th Birthday Party Committee' was printed underneath. This way, guests would know whom to ask or approach during the affair. At the same time, the members of the family (who were members of the committee as well) won't have to worry about what to wear. The same pooh bear design was made into a lifesize drawing by a friend. This lifesize drawing will be used for the party itself.
WAY TO THE PARTY PLACE: I wanted to make sure that the guests will find the place easily with the map, but I wanted to offer additional help. The clubhouse was inside the neighborhood, so what I did was to attach 2 yellow balloons on the post at the entrance of the community. Underneath the balloons, I printed a sign that said: Frann's FairGrounds. I added an arrow pointing to the direction they would have to take. There were about 5 corners to turn and in each corner, I had 2 balloons with the same sign and arrow pointing at the right direction. The guests appreciated the additional help.
PARTY PLACE: For banderitas, I used leftover white paper plates from previous parties which the girls and I painted. There was no pattern to follow; I told the girls to make them colorful and lively, like what is seen in a fair. So, they splashed paint all over the leftover paper plates. I had a lot which I did not feel like using (as plates)any longer. Then, I divided each plate into 4 parts. I rounded the edges so that they won't be sharp and dangerous. On the narrow tip that was formerly the center of the plate, I punched a hole and this was where we let the string run through. To make sure that they did not crowd in one place, we used tape to hold them in place. We were able to cover the ceiling of the party place using this. On some pieces, I pasted a picture of Pooh or the other characters, those that were left over from the invitations and the envelopes. On the tables, I prepared little 'gardens' (like little 100-acre-woods) from recycled ice cream pint plastic container. I used yellow and orange flowers and stems from plants in the garden arranged in florist foam. Prior to arranging the flowers and leaves, I soaked the foam for a day to make sure that it was well saturated with water. This kept the flowers fresh. I soaked the flowers and leaves too before aranging them in the containers. Then, I made bear balloon sculptures which were attached to a stick and stuck into the arrangements.
On the table were party confetti that popped when the string was pulled. There were 8 in a plastic bag with the label: TO BE USED AFTER FRANN BLOWS THE BIRTHDAY CANDLES ON THE BIG CAKE. For table cloths, I used tracing paper. I photocopied activities like puzzles, coloring pages, mazes, etc. and put a collection on each table. There were crayons and pencils, too. I cut the pencils in half so that 2 kids can use one. This way, the kids can work on the puzzles and pages if they don't feel like playing. And they can draw on the 'table cloth-paper' too. I prepared a corner away from the game area which I called "Pooh's Cinema." Using the interlocking rubber squares that the girls had, I made a comfortable place where the children can just relax and watch. I added some throw pillows too. I used pillow covers with Pooh designs. I made a sign that said: Shoes off please. Closest to the wall, I set up a TV and DVD player. I prepared Pooh dvds. This will be playing the whole time so that those who feel like watching may do so. While the guests arrived, I played pre-recorded carnival and fair music. The uniqueness of this tape was that in-between songs, I asked my daughter to tape this message: 'Hi, this is Frann. Welcome to my party. The fun will start in a few minutes. Just sit back and relax. You can work on the puzzles on the table. Thank you.' This was played over and over while the guests arrived.
AT THE ENTRANCE BOOTH:There was a table where I stayed with my sister and Frann. The entrance had the welcome sign. I was lucky to find Pooh alphabet in a website. This was what I used to make the Welcome sign. All the balloons were in this area. I used a 2 inches x 2 inches x 36 inches wood made into a stand where I drilled in holes at several places. The stand had a cross base and the wood stood at the center.This was where the Pooh balloons were stuck. It looked like a Pooh Tree Balloon. In front of the balloon stand, I put in a lifesized pooh, which I asked asked a friend to draw (the same design on our t-shirts), about the height of my daughter. I made this Pooh drawing stand by attaching thin wood at the back and making a cross stand at the bottom. At the bottom of Pooh, I made a small garden by using plastic fences from my garden and flower arrangements, using the same kind of flowers on the table. I had a small water pump which I used to make a small waterfalls beside the garden. When the guests arrived, they presented the entance stub. They were given game tickets which I bought in a party store. They were instructed that should they need more, they can always come back.
Then, the kids were given name tags made from sticker paper with a Pooh Bear design. My sister gave each kid a loot bag where she printed their name. The children were given yellow visors which I made from thin rubber foam. Wearing the visors will be easy to identify the kids from the party. There was an open backyard and once the children ran out, it may be difficult to find them. Then, the guests were made to stand beside the lifesize Pooh for a picture with Frann. She was wearing a Pooh badge that had a flashing light that said "Birthday Girl." She wore a Pooh bear shirt with yellow pants. After the party, these pictures were developed and I asked Frann to write 'Thank you' at the back. She signed each one too. Then, I laminated each picture and attached a magnet. This way, the picture can be used as a refrigerator magnet as well. I had a plastic wheel barrow set beside the place with the lifesize Pooh. This was where the gifts were placed.
MAIN PARTY: After all the guests have arrived, there was a small program. I prepared a special cake table. She did not have 1 cake; she had 8! 1 big 2-tiered cake which was the main cake with Pooh and Friends in the 100-acre-wood arranged with a carnival setting and a ferris wheel. The other 7 cakes were small round ones with about a 4" diameter. I arranged these small ones in an ascending formation; like a staircase. I used 7 cans with different heights for this purpose. I covered the whole thing with a Pooh tablecloth. Each small cake has sugar flowers similar to the fresh ones on the table. Then on top of each one was a pooh character. I found the small figurines in a toy store. I prepared each one by attaching a popsickle stick at the back longer than the character. This was what went into the cake and what made the figurine stand.
Then I printed out pics of Frann for each year which I placed on top of each cake. In front of the cake, I cut out #s from 1 - 7. So each small cake is a year in her life. The first part of the program was the 7 candles. Seven persons in our family gave her a special wish and lighted a candle one at a time until all 7 have been lighted on the small cake and the big one as well (me, her dad, my mom and dad,my sister, her sister, her dad's mom). Then, she blew out each candle on the small cakes. Before she blew out the 7 candles on the main cake (These had to be extinguised in one blow),we reminded her make a wish. Then, after that she blew them all out at once. The guests were reminded to pull the strings of the party poppers which were on the table.
Then, there were 7 yellow roses to be given to her by 7 male cousins and friends. She did a small waltz with each one when the rose was handed to her. All roses were placed ina vase which was part of the buffet table arrangement. After this, my mom said grace , and the growups approached the main table. Children were served. All plates, cups and napkins were Pooh designed stuff. The kids had fried chicken, spaghetti, hot dogs, cake. The grow-ups had a wide variety of food to choose from - baked chicken, roasted pork, noodles, rice, meat, etc. Close to the game area, I rented a popcorn machine, cotton candy machine, ice cream cart, and a cart that cooked french fries. Anyone can come over and get their share. There were operators for each machine. We had a water dispenser too with small Pohh cups. This way, cold water was available to everyone anytime. Juice was in a cooler beside the water dispenser. A trashbag was close by too.
GAME AREA: I roped off the game area and each game. This way, we tried to have some order. I used the same cut out paper plates for roping off the area. There were general rules posted all around the place. Each game had the rules posted so that children can be guided. My cousins and friends were a big help because they manned the booths. The children could play anywhere they wanted to as long as they had game stubs.
Here were the games:
Game #1: Owl's Eggs: We used the girls' inflatable pool and attached strips of tulle in between the floating plastic eggs. There was a prize in each egg. The kids tried to use real fishing rods to get an egg. Only 6 players were allowed to play so that the fish lines won't get tangled.
Game #2, Tigger's Loops: Using recycled soda bottles with Pooh characters pasted in front, the kids were given 3 loops. If they got one in, they win a prize.
Game #3: Eeyore's Tic-Tac-Toe: There were 9 Pooh bowls arranged 3 x 3. The player was given 5 chips. He/she will try to score a tic-tac-toe by making 3 chips land in 3 bowls close to each other; just like in a tic tac toe game.
Game #4: Kangga's Surprise: There were 4 Pooh glasses for girls and 4 for boys. The objective was to land a chip in any glass and they win the prize inside the cup. They were given 2 tries.
Game #5: Pooh's Treasure Map: I prepared a treasure map with different portions. If a chip lands in a certain place, they win the prize indicated in that area. Only 1 try was given.
Game #6: Rabbit's Garden Patch: There was a big garden basket that had different cardboard pics of veggies inside (I used a teacher's flash card deck for this). The child was made to reach in a pull out a card. Each veggie has a prize written underneath. Junk food won no prize. Only 1 try.
Game #7: Guess-the Honey Pot Surprise: The guests were given strips of papers where they would guess how much Pooh candies were in the honey Pots. I prepared 3. The one who guessed correctly won the pot.
Games # 8 and 9:Surprises for Mom and Dad. Using a wide side from hard cardboard from delivery boxes, I painted Pooh's face. Then, hanging this from the back with the face looking down on the participants, the fathers and mothers were made to stand underneath. Along the outline of Pooh's face, I had little circles with honey pots drawn. The game was for the mothers or fathers to get as many noney pots as they can when the face was brought down. This was fun to watch. Then, they presented the honey pots that they have gathered to me. The ones with an 'F' on them won a prize. The prizes we gave to the parents were Pooh picture frames. For the kids, they got stickers, pencils, erasers, small pads, coin banks, etc. Some kids had to ask for more loot bags.
PARTY TOKENS: Finally, Frann had to give her tokens for the party. For these, I used the same material for the pillow cases in the 'cinema.' I made small pouch bags which the kids can use later on. Inside each pouch, was a personalized Pooh coloring book with Frann narrating the story. There were crayons, a ruler, more pencils and laminated bookmarks, and Pooh notebooks. The items here were not given as prizes for the games. There was another token bag where I used a Pooh bear plastic loot bag for chocs and candies with Pooh wrappers. We distributed the balloons as well. For grown ups, I made blocks measuring 3"x3"x3" and colored them yellow. Then I measured 12"m of soft wire and twisted one end into a honeypot shape with a loop at the center and left about 4 inches at the bottom part. I drilled a hole at the center of the block and stuck the end of the wire here. The honey pot was the top where the loop could be used for holding messages. The first message it held was a 'Thank you' note from Frann in her own handwriting. I scanned this message and printed it with a picture of Frann with the lifesized Pooh. I pasted felt paper at the bottom. I made a special package for this usung still the same wrapping paper I used for the envelopes.
CLEANING UP: Some guests asked for the small flower arrangements on the table which I gladly gave away. We gave the some of the small cakes to the operators of the cotton candy and other machines as a bonus for staying through out the party. Before we ended, there was a 'committee picture taking' where everyone was in the white PARTY t-shirt -including Frann. This was the last attire she had for the day. She had changed 2x- one for welcoming, then for the candle blowing. She wore pooh shirts and matching pants.
PS: The laminated pics taken with Frann and the guests with lifesize Pooh were given the following Monday when they got back at school. Friends and family received them within the week. True, the party was a lot of work; but the smiles and laughter that it brought to everyone- specially Frann- was well-worth the effort. I think the most important thing is that for a party like this, a long-ranged plan should be made with minimal changes. I hope my ideas would be helpful to someone. Thank you.