"Who wants to grow up?" "Not me!" crow the boys from Neverland.
And so begins the love affair children around the globe have with Peter Pan. Whether they've read the book or just seen the Disney movie, this is a great theme for a birthday party because it holds interest for both boys and girls.
I threw a Peter Pan party for my daughter's 5th birthday and you can review some of my party plans plus a few new ideas below. Looking back at the pictures as I wrote this article brought back fond memories of that fun dress-up party -- oh how fast they grow!
Remember, moms and dads have to dress up too...yes that means you!
Send your invite as a message in a bottle. Simply print out party info on buff colored paper and carefully singe the edges for an aged look. Roll up invite and stick in an empty (and dry) 9 ounce water bottle along with a little sand and some shells (check your craft store). Screw on cap tightly, secure with some tape, slap on an address label and stamps and send to the post office.
Instruct everyone to come dressed in their pajamas and bring their favorite teddy bear (just like Michael), or come dressed as their favorite Peter Pan character.
Sign on front door that says "This Way to Neverland."
Hang cut out glittery stars from the ceiling with clear fishing line in a pathway from the entrance of the house to the backyard party area.
Mix and match Pirate and Fairy paper goods from your local party store.
Pizza Clock - use pepperoni for numbers and pieces of black licorice for the hands.
Fish Sticks - Pirates eat only fish when at sea.
Steak Plank Fries - Why walk the plank when you can eat it!
Melon (Cannon) balls
Pirate's Juice - grape or apple juice boxes
Buy a Peter Pan Playset ($16.75) and arrange pieces on top of cake.
Make Your Own Treasure Chest
Have kids decorate shoe boxes using glue, rhinestones, stickers, markers and any other fun items you can find around the house to create a treasure chest.
Green, black and red washable markers
Magnet strips cut into small pieces
Have kids create their own crocodiles by coloring a clothes pin with markers and adding googley eyes on top. Attach a magnet strip on the bottom and you have a cute refrigerator magnet.
Make Your Own Chalk Shadow
Using sidewalk chalk, draw an outline of each child on your back patio. Then hand over the chalk and let them add the details to their very own "shadow".
ACTIVITIES & GAMES
Kids of all ages love tatoos, so set up a station where guests can get the markings of a "real" pirate with Pirate Tattoos.
Walk The Plank
Using bricks and wood boards purchased at your local Home and Garden center, set up a series of balance beams for the kids to practice walking the plank without falling off into the "dangerous" grass below. Lay wood planks just one brick off the ground (for safety). You can also have a relay race where each team must walk the plank without falling off, pick up a bucket and walk back across the plank.
Hook It Up
Purchase a few Pirate Hooks and have the kids use them to scoop up trinkets from a water filled kiddie pool. Before the party starts, add a wire loop to each trinket. Kids each get a turn "fishing" for a prize. Add a blindfold for older kids and a bigger challenge.
Pin the Clock on the Croc
Cut out hand drawn pictures of a clock, attach a piece of tape and have blindfolded kids try their hand at pinning the timepiece on a blow-up or hand drawn crocodile. Puts a pirate spin on this classic party game.
For the last game of the party, hide gold coins all around the yard and then set the kids loose to find them. Have each child use their decorated Treasure chest to collect the coins. Explain that they must turn in five gold coins to collect their party favor.
PARTY FAVOR IDEAS
Choose a few items pictured at right and wrap up in a
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