Dorothy's Magical Adventure 7yr - Emerald City
Raelynn in Columbus, GA USA
November 2000 Winner
DOROTHY'S MAGICAL BIRTHDAY ADVENTURE For my daughter's 7th birthday, we chose a Wizard of Oz theme. (Wish I had known about this site then; I wouldn't have had to invent the wheel!) 'Wiz'-themed invitations (bought at a birthday supply) suggested guests come in costume. My daughter was attired in a Dorothy outfit (from the same shop). We added a basket and a stuffed Toto.
When the munchkins arrived, they were greeted by a sign on the front door which read, "Welcome to Dorothy's Magical Birthday Adventure." We made two related crafts at the dining room table as guests arrived. While they worked, I sneaked off to don an old evening dress. I also wore a crown and carried a scepter, both of which I had made form cardboard and foil. I reentered the dining room, much to the astonishment and delight of my daughter and her friends. In a high pitched, angelic voice, I introduced myself as Linda, the Good Witch of the Southeast. "Dorothy," I said, "It's wonderful that all your friends have come to help celebrate your birthday, but how will we get them HOME? Maybe we should go to OZ and ask the WIZARD to help." In excited agreement, they followed me out the front door singing "We're off to see the Wizard!" (The neighbors and some moms watched the with smiles from the street.)
I led them around to the backyard and up our elevated deck where we discovered A Tin Man! (I had enlarged him from a photo on the cover of The 'Wiz' soundtrack, which I bought at a Warner Brothers store. Since, I have seen the CDs in their catalogue and there is probably a site on the net as well) Next, I painted him with silver metallic paint and mounted him to a board. He was almost the same size as the girls. "Alas," I said, "The Tin Man has no heart! Shall we give him one?" We then blind-folded the girls, one by one, and let them play "Give the Tin Man a Heart"(our 'Wiz' version of "Pin the Tail on the Donkey.) The hearts were stickers I found at a craft store. A prize was won by the child getting her heart closest to its appropriate locale.
Next we descended the steps of the deck to discover, hanging from the A-frame, which HAD held the backyard swing, A Scarecrow! A piñata scarecrow. "But he doesn't have a brain," I said. "Do you think there might be some help for him INSIDE the pinata?" Using the same blindfold from the Tin Man game and a plastic bat, they excitedly took turns bopping the scarecrow until all the candy AND a tiny diploma (signifying his intelligence) fell out. The child finding the diploma won a prize and the kids were given paper bags to hold their candy. The journey to OZ continued.
Next, we rounded the house to its woodsy side and the children were warned to be careful. We were, after all, in the deep, dark forest. They were told that The Wicked Witch of the West had hidden poppies which would put us to sleep, thereby preventing our arrival at OZ. (Earlier my husband had hidden small, red artificial flowers I had bought in a bunch and cut into single stems) As they searched for the hidden 'poppies', little did they suspect, that the Wicked Witch herself was lurking nearby. I had persuaded one of the kid's moms to play the part. Costumed and green-faced, she ran from her hiding place shrieking "Who's stealing MY poppies!?" Delightedly, the kids ran screaming back around to the front door. (Our journey had taken us completely around the perimeter of our house.)
A new sign was now on the front door. It read, "EMERALD CITY". "Dorothy", I said. "Knock on the door and see if they will let us see the Wizard. We've simply got to get these kids HOME." The birthday girl did just that, only to find herself face-to-face with the brusque gatekeeper of OZ ( my husband wrapped in a green blanket wearing a green hula skirt on his head.) "NO ONE SEES THE GREAT OZ, NO ONE!", he shouted. The kids were playing their parts by this time. "Please let us in," they begged. "But sir," I protested, she's wearing The Ruby Slippers!" "Well why didn't you say so Come on in!" said the gatekeeper.
To the utter delight of the children, the dining room, where they had previously made crafts, was now transformed to the Emerald City green tablecloth, green balloons and green crepe paper. On the table was a big, green castle constructed from cubes of lime green Jell-O. A miniature figurine of Dorothy and her friends stood at the castle's door. On their lime green plates, the squealing kids discovered GREEN hot dogs and GREEN fries. (Yes, I had immersed the frozen fries and cold weenies in green food coloring the day before.) Gator aid was served in lime green plastic cups. While they ate, opened presents, and devoured birthday cake with lime sherbert, I sneaked out and changed into a shiny, emerald green jump suit from the 70's. (Accidentally discovering this jumpsuit in a closet the week before had inspired many of the birthday party's ideas.) On my head, I wore a sequined, emerald leaf (part of my daughter's dancing recital outfit.)
With the biggest, booming voice I could muster, I bounded into the dining room and thundered, "I AM THE GREAT WIZARD OF OZ!!!!JUST WHO WANTS TO SEE ME AND WHAT DO YOU WANT!!!" Talk about having the COMPLETE attention of the 8 kids in attendance… I did! My daughter was astounded and completely thrilled. "Dorothy, am I to help get these children home? Well, just HOW have you kids PROVEN yourselves on this Magical Birthday Adventure?" I assisted with their answers. "Let's see.. You've proven you are kind by giving the Tin Man a Heart. You've proven you are resourceful by supplying the Scarecrow with a diploma. And you've proven you are brave by confronting the Wicked Witch in the deep, dark forest. But did everyone win a prize along the way?" Several of the kids shook their heads. "NO ONE LEAVES OZ WITHOUT A PRIZE!
Come with me." I led them into the great room where I had fashioned a yellow brick road on the floor.(I used wide, yellow crepe paper, black tape, and a wide-tipped, black felt marker.)The road made an oval and was petitioned off in sections, each bearing a number. (This was our 'Wiz' version of a Cake Walk.) Playing "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" from the previously mentioned soundtrack made a fun game. Anyone who had not yet won a prize miraculously landed on a prize-winning number when the music stopped.
Still in character as the Wizard I said," Dorothy, I will help you send your friends home. But YOU had the secret all the time. Stand in the center of the Yellow Brick Road and tap your Ruby Slippers together 3 times. Come on kids, help her." Everyone chanted "There's no place like home, there's no place like home." And then HOME THEY WENT! Obviously, you will need to recruit a helper or 2 to assist in this effort, since you can't very well be leading the pack AND redecorating the dining room and serving food at the same time. But this is NOT a costly party. Favors were the crafts we did early on, their prizes and candy. (In her thank-you notes, the birthday girl sent them each a photo of the occasion) I always allow only 2 hours for a birthday party. This one fit the time frame beautifully.
For my daughter, who is theatrical, BECOMING her favorite movie character and stepping into an adventure complete with characters, was quite a thrill. I'll have a hard time topping this one next year! Add your own creative touches and have fun with this!