Oriental Party -12yr- Fortune Cookie Cracking
Lisa in Durham, NC USA
Oriental Theme Party 12 year olds Our daughter loves her aunt's Koi pond, so we decided upon an Oriental theme for her 12th birthday party.
We ordered most of our party supplies from Oriental Trading including the following: kimono invitations, paper fans, 1 parasol, paper lanterns, poster cutouts of dragons and Chinese writing, Chinese door poster, kimono notepads, Chinese dinner mints, fortune cookie craft, and bracelets with Chinese charms. We didn't have to do anything creative with the invitations because they looked great as ordered. We decorated our house inside and out with red and yellow balloons, crepe paper, red carpet up the steps outside, and all the decorations from Oriental Trading.
We started the party off with the bracelet craft to give all the guests time to arrive. After that, we used face paint and dressed all the girls up as Geisha girls including a Geisha wig from Party City, kimonos, wooden platform shoes, Chinese fan, and a red parasol. They looked lovely! We took a group photo and even persuaded her dad and brother to pose as Geishas too. The girls loved that!
Next, we cleared the den to create a sumo wrestling area and stuffed pillows up oversized shirts to make our sumo wrestlers complete with a gong to start each match. As you can imagine, we got some great photos here too. After sumo wrestling, we had a Japanese tea party with real Orange Mandarin Tea (with lots of sugar and cream) and fortune cookies. We added small tables and blankets so they could sit on the floor and share their fortunes with each other.
After that, we had a wasabi Trivia contest about Oriental culture with 15 questions about Japan and China to make the party a little educational. We gave each girl a kimono notepad and pencil and had them write the answer to each question down and showed their answers like they do on Survivor. If they got the question wrong, they had to either take a wasabi hit, a hot tamale (candy), or a red cinnamon hot. They loved this too!
Next, we had the girls write their name in Japanese on cute little signs to mark their sushi after they made it for dinner to be able to distinguish their sushi from others.
After that, we gave each girl a Ziploc bag with Scrabble tiles and a fortune to be deciphered as Fortune Code cracking. We typed up the spaces for words on the computer and gave them a few letters in each word, but it didn't take them long to crack the code. We based the fortunes on Oriental values such as Wealth, Happiness, Love, Courage, Kindness, Health, Joy, and Wisdom and we did fortunes like To be wise, listen often.
After the Fortune cracking activity, we had them play a Lucky Cricket game where we found 9 green crickets and 1 brown lucky cricket from Party City and we tried to toss them into a cricket cage we found at Joanne's Craft store. This gave the parents time to get out all the trimmings for sushi making including salmon, crab, cream cheese, avocado, carrots, cucumbers, and shrimp. We showed each girl how to make sushi and they all had a great time! They thought it was the best sushi they have ever eaten and commented on how good it tastes when you make it yourself.
Next, we opened presents before eating cake. The cake included a wooden Japanese pagoda house that I found at TJ Maxx and painted it red and black complete with a welcoming mat and flip flops outside. I decorated the house with Japanese paper lanterns made out of ping pong balls drilled with Christmas lights inside, sharpie pens to draw the lines on the balls, and then covered them with red and yellow crepe paper. They turned out great!
Next, I made bonsai plants out of Styrofoam balls and green paint with clay pots painted brown and purchased some plastic flowers to make the Japanese garden. The house led to a Japanese garden (half made out of chocolate cake and the other half made out of vanilla cake) complete with a Buddha on a pedestal, Japanese flowers, bonsai plants, a chocolate rock path leading to a REAL Japanese Koi pond with actual gold fish inside a Tupperware container painted blue cut into the middle of the cake. The live fish were so exciting and thankfully, they stayed in the bowl and never splashed on the cake.
For the last touch, I had a 10 paper dragon cutout that I mounted onto a moving small train that circled the Japanese garden. Between the circling dragon and the live fish, the kids were blown away! For party favors, we found red Chinese take out boxes (from Party City) that we filled with Chinese mints, a fortune cookie ornament craft (from Oriental trading), paper drink umbrellas, Asian candy, Chinese necklaces (from Oriental Trading), and kimono notepads.
The party was a blast and everyone commented on how much fun they had all evening.