Jasmine’s Hairband

About:

I loved Disney’s movie Aladdin and I always wanted Jasmine’s crown. This party craft will let the kids design their own crowns. It may take about 10 minutes for everyone to make their own crown and will need a lot of set up time for the adult. It may take the kids about ten minutes to design their crowns. The craft will vary in price depending on how many materials you need to buy and what you need. $32 is a conservative estimate of how much materials for a project with 4 packs of ribbon that cost $4 (for 12 girls), a pack of pom poms, a pack of velcro, and 2 different glitter glues would cost. Comment below to let me know if you’ve done it for less or more, how it came out, and what the kids thought about it.

Needed Materials:

  1. Tape measure, pencil, and pad
  2. Ribbon
    • Measure the size of your child’s head (and add an extra inch) for reference of how many ribbons you will need to buy. Keep in mind that 1 yard is 36 inches and that different ribbons come in different sizes.
    • Multiply your child’s reference number size by how many kids are expected to show up. Use the conversion above in a proporation to figure out how many yards of ribbon you will need. You should always buy enough to do three more than expected.
  3. stick-on velcro
  4. glue
  5. Decorations
    1. stick-on rhinestones
    2. glitter glue
    3. fabric markers
    4. pom poms
    5. some sort of large pendant

Instructions:

As the kids wait for the party to start and do other party activities, call one child over at a time to measure her head. Mark the measurement down on a piece of paper.

Start cutting the ribbon an inch larger than each child’s measurement. Write each child’s name on the inside (least pretty side) of the ribbon. Attach the velcro at each end and make sure that no sticky velcro is showing that would stick to a little girl’s head.

Set up a table with the craft in advance and give each kid her own crown. Have each kid talk about why she designed her crown a certain way in order to add 15 minutes to the activity.

Floating House Challenge

About:

If you’ve seen the movie Up, then you’ve seen the iconic scene when Carl escapes the city in his house using of thousands of balloons. You will have your guests try to guess how many balloons it will take to lift the birdhouse in this activity. You can make the birdhouse a prize for correctly guessing how many balloons it will take to lift the birdhouse if you like. This is a fun activity for any party. It’s a new take on the how many gum balls in the glass jar activity. It may cost about $60 and the party activity will take about 15 to 20 minutes to take place.

Materials Needed:

  1. Birdhouse
  2. baby pink paint
  3. baby blue paint
  4. canary yellow paint
  5. lime green paint
  6. light orange-pink paint
  7. slate colored paint
  8. pencil
  9. ruler
  10. hook
  11. a bowl of some sort to record guesses
  12. helium filled balloons with strings

Painting Instructions

Put old newspaper over the crafting area. Put some paint on a palette. You should have either bought acrylic paint or some other sort of paint that will be able to survive the harsh outdoors. Use pencil markings to draw lines on your birdhouse that will divide it into 5 sections. Divide the birdhouse in a straight line that divides it into left and right. Next, divide your right hand side into two sections. Next, measure about three to four fingers from the roof. Mark it and then use your ruler to draw a straight line across. Use the image below for inspiration:

pixar-s-up-house-by-jarrod-joachim-dribbble-vshyrn-clipart

Paint the roof of the birdhouse first with the slate paint. Let it dry for some time and then paint the 4 quadrants. Wait for that to dry and then carefully paint the windows as you see fit. If you have the extra time and the inclination, then buy some white paint and paint on the trim.

The sides of the house are painted one of the four colors in the front of the house. Go crazy.

Once all of the paint has dried, then you should screw in a hook at the top of the birdhouse unless it already comes with one.

A normal party balloon may be able to about 4.8 grams or 0.17 ounces. One of the unfinished bird houses that I saw on Amazon weighs about 1.6 ounces. If we assume that adding the paint and hook adds enough weight to get it up to 2 ounces, then it should take a little over 12 standard party balloons to lift the bird house, but don’t share this information with your child or party guests. The fun is in guessing how many balloons it will take to lift the house.

When the party activity occurs, tie a balloon onto the hook one to two at a time as the crowd cheers on. Stop once the birdhouse has been clearly lifted off of the ground. Announce the winner at the end.

Finding Nemo Search Game

About:

That was a good movie, wasn’t it? Clownfish look a lot a like though. Would the children be able to find Nemo in a shoal of clownfish let alone guess how many clown fish are hanging around the yard? Setting up for these 2 games should cost around $35 and the kids will enjoy both games a total of 30 minutes or so.

Materials Needed:

  1. old newsprint
  2. an egg carton
  3. orange spray paint for plastic
  4. white acrylic paint
  5. black acrylic paint or sharpie
  6. 2 dozen or so ping pong balls
  7. optional: glass vase
  8. optional: paper to write down guesses on
  9. optional: a bowl to put the guesses in

Instructions:

Place old newspaper down as a cover on the ground. Depending on the wind, you may want to secure it down with either tape or heavy rocks. Next, put the 2 dozen ping pong balls in the egg containers. Spray paint a couple of coats of orange paint and then wait about 15 minutes (or longer depending on the paint) to turn them over and coat the other side. The ping pong balls should have a nice, smooth, and orange finish.

When those are done drying, paint two imperfect, but bold white stripes on each of the clownfish. Make sure that you’ll have room to draw a fin in between the lines later. It may be a good idea to paint the top side of each of the ping pong balls in all of the cartons before painting the bottom so that the paint will have hopefully dried by then.Here is some inspiration from the plush tsum tsum version of Nemo:

winking-nemo-tsum-tsum-preview

Once those stripes are dry, it’s time to give your clownfish personality. Give all but one of your ping pong ball fish equally sized fins. Save the last ping pong ball to be Nemo (so that your life is easier. It is essential that this fish has one fin smaller than the other. Let them dry and then draw a face on them. Simplistic is better. Then draw one, big curved line on the opposite side from where you drew the face to be the tail. Once that’s done, you can outline the 2 white stripes with the black pen/paint and draw the dorsal fin. This should look like a sideways B that isn’t filled in (kind of like the lazy, line way to draw birds in the distance). Once that’s dry, finish outlining the white on the bottom of the fish.

You can either leave it at that or you can write the name of each fish on the bottom so that there is no confusion about who found Nemo. If you want to play a joke on the kids or the kids know the movie well, you should name one fish Marlin, one fish Nemo, one fish Coral (Nemo’s mom), 11 fish named Coral Jr. and 10 fish named Marlin Jr.

There are 2 games that you can play with these fish. One is to have the guests try to figure out how many fish are in a jar and the other is to spread them around the house or yard to have the kids find the fish. The games should be played in the order above.

Story:

Game 1: There are a lot of clown fish in here. Can you guys guess how many there are total?

Game 2: Nemo, Marlin, and their extended clownfish family have moved in nearby. Everyone should grab any clownfish that they find and bring it over here. There will be a prize for whomever can find Nemo.

Wild Palace Party

About:

“Aladdin” inspired this Wild Palace Party game, but characters and music can be mixed around to match other themes. It’s a version of freeze dance and will work well for kids 5+. This game’ll probably run its course in 15-20 minutes and should cost about $6 to buy 3 songs for the game on itunes.

Materials Needed:

  1. A stereo or system that plays music
  2. Middle Eastern music (classic or modern) to play and set the mood.

Instructions:

Choose one child to be the sultan to begin with. You, the parent, will be in charge of the speaker. When you turn the music off, the sultan will come in. Encourage the sultan to say or do funny things that will make the other kids laugh and move. When a child moves, they become part of the palace guard whose job it is to catch the other children that move. Only one kid should be taken out at a time.

Story:

You (children) have snuck into the palace without the sultan knowing to have a wild dance party with (the birthday child). Fortunately, he/she found a genie and made a wish that you’ll become invisible so long as you don’t move or make a sound when the music goes off. When the music goes off and the sultan comes to check on what’s going on, you can’t make a move or sound. If you do the sultan will take you away and you will become a palace guard whose job is to make the others laugh.

Across the Memory Bridge

About:

Remember that scene from “Inside Out” when Joy was holding the core memories as she tried to balance on a tightrope-looking bridge back to head quarters? This game mimics that, but the kids get to the other side and back, unlike Joy. We also cut down on the emotions to just 2 colors- blue and yellow. The estimated cost is about $30. It’ll last

Materials Needed:

  1. blue balloons-(About $3 for a pack of 15)
  2. yellow balloons- (About $3 for a pack of 15)
  3. 2 bins in which you’ll label one yellow and one blue ($10.00 per)
  4. 2 pool noodles ($7.00) or a long, narrow plank

Instructions:

Lie the pool noodles flat against the ground. Use a piece of paper to measure out a foot’s width between the pool noodles and tape them that distance apart on each end. The kids should try to walk heel to toe. Put your 2 bins that’ll represent where the yellow balloons go and where the blue balloons go on one side of the pool noodle bridge.

Air-inflate the balloons rather than using helium and scatter the balloons across the room. The amount of balloons that you get should be able to fit into your bins without tumbling out, but make some concession for inevitably popped balloons.

You can break this up into a team game and give each kid a color to be on that team or let them play all together. They are only allowed to carry one color of balloon at a time and only only person can cross the bridge at a time.

Story:

Joy and Sadness need everyone’s help to get these memories sorted.

Disney Trivia

About:

Having an adult Disney party of some sort? It’s fun to exercise your knowledge (or guessing skills) with friends. Trivia has been a staple of college town entertainment for years. Bring the fun home in hosting your own trivia party. You can ask the questions however you want, but I wrote the questions in the fashion that my favorite trivia place, Trident Book Store on Newbury Street in Boston, MA, does. They make the trivia questions multiple choice. This may entertain guests for about 45 minutes to an hour and should cost $5 for a prize plus whatever the cost of ink and paper is.

Materials Needed:

  1. printed trivia questions on a sheet
  2. a possible prize
  3. optional: trivia fill in sheets
  4. pens

Instructions:

I’m going to instruct this is the same way as my favorite trivia place. You can play how ever you want, but this is the explanation for the bookstore’s method. Pick 5 of the following trivia topics and 5 questions about that trivia topic. Copy and paste your choice them onto a Word Doc, Google Doc, or something similar. We made the right answer in bold italics.

Next copy and paste the following answer sheet onto another document:

TEAM NAME:

1:

2:

3:

4:

5:

Have your friends divide themselves evenly into a groups. Explain that this is a multiple choice trivia game and that the group that wins will win a prize of some sort. As the host who is planning the activity, you should not play and merely direct others how to play because you’ve seen the answers.

When you start a themed section of trivia questions, let everyone know what the theme is. Read one question at a time and read the same question twice.

Sample Trivia Questions:

Frozen

1. Which Hand Christian Anderson Story is Frozen inspired by?

A) The Ice Maiden

B) Through the Picture Frame

C) The Snow Queen

D) The Angel

2. What is the design of Anna and Elsa’s family crest?

A) a gold flower over a purple and green banner

B) a knight’s helmet over over a white and blue banner

C) an orange bird over a green banner

D) a red flower over a purple and pink banner

3. How many salad plates do Anna and Elsa own?

A) 100

B) 1,000

C) 8,000

D) 10,000

4. How does the Duke of Weselton describe his dancing style?

A) like an agile peacock

B) like a chicken with the face of a monkey

C) the little dipper

D) all of the above

5.What is the name of the snowman built to protect Elsa’s ice palace?

A) Bob

B) Fredrick

C) Snowball

D) Marshmallow

The Lion King

1. What does Rafiki mean in Swahili?

A) Wise

B) Friend

C) Monkey

D) Strange

2. Which of the William Shakespeare’s works is the Lion King supposed based off of?

A) Hamlet

B) MacBeth

C) The Tempest

D) King Leer

3. What was the lion king’s original title?

A) A Lion Tale

B) Pride Rock

C) King of the Jungle

D) Simba

4. What does the opening line of the circle of life mean when translated into English?

A) “the sun rises over pride rock”

B) “we are all connected, we are all a circle”

C) “we await the arrival of the king”

D) “here comes a lion, father, oh, yes it’s a lion”

5. What is one of Pumba’s titles in the movie?

A) your excellency

B) supreme warthog

C) Mr. Pig

D) Sir

Snow White

1. How does the queen address the mirror when she wants to know who’s the fairest of them all?

A) mirror, mirror on the wall

B) Magic mirror on the wall (It’s one of the most famous quotes from a Disney movie and often misquoted)

C) mirror, mirror come to life

D) mirror, magic come to life

2. What’s the only thing that can revive Snow White according to the Queen’s spell?

A) true love’s kiss

B) love’s first kiss

C) a prince’s kiss

D) true love’s first kiss

3. What kind of pie was Snow White baking for the dwarves when the old hag appears?

A) apple

B) pumpkin

C) gooseberry

D) elderberry

4. How did the voice actress for the old hag achieve the voice that we heard?

A) the actress whispered slowly, but loudly instead of talking

B) the actress removed her dentures

C) the actress had bronchitis will recording the old hag

D) that’s what she always sounds like

5. How long did it take Walt Disney studios to create “Snow White”?

A) 1 year

B) 2 years, 5 days, and 4 hours

C) 5 years

D) 10 years

Aladdin

1. What is Jafar’s Official Title?

A) Majordomo

B) Royal Vizier

C) Royal Advisor

D) Grand Duke

2. What pattern can be found on Prince Achmed’s underwear after Rajah rips off his pants?

A) Diamonds

B) Hearts

C) Dots

D) Plaid

3. What does Aladdin give Jasmine during “A Whole New World”?

A) an apple

B) a swan

C) a necklace

D) a ring

4. What actor was Aladdin’s looks based off of?

A) Tom Cruise

B) Tom Hanks

C) Michael J. Fox

D) John Stamos

Walt Disney World

5. Which celebrity does Genie not transform into?

A) Regis Philbin

B) Jack Nicholson

C) Arnold Schwarzenegger

D) Ed Sullivan

Disneyworld Trivia

1. What is the name of the miles of tunnel under Walt Disney world?

A) utilidors

B) mouse holes

C) the underpass

D) bunny burrows

2.After which Disney ride closed did Disney give the ride a tombstone at the haunted mansion?

A) Mike Fink Keelboats

B) Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

C) Snow White’s Scary Adventure

D) The “Extra Terrestrial” Encounter

3. What was the cost of Adult Admission when Disney World first opened?

A) $10

B) $8.75

C) $3.50

D) $0.10

4. Which attraction isn’t original?

A) Dumbo the Flying Elephant

B) Enchanted Tiki Room

C) Thunder Mountain

D) Jungle Cruise

5. What food item is not sold in any park?

A) gum

B) alcohol

C) gummy bears

D) meatball subs

Disneyland

1.  Which actor bought the old Disneyland park marquee?

A) Johnny Depp

B) Tim Allen

C) Michael Jackson

D) John Stamos

2. Where did Walt Disney originally want to put Disneyland?

A) West Covina

B) Burbank

C) Sacramento

D) San Jose

3. Which Princess lives in Disneyland, CA?

A) Sleeping Beauty

B) Snow White

C) Cinderella

D) Fairy Godmother

4. Which of these is not a Disneyland hotel?

A) Californian Hotel & Spa

B) Disneyland Hotel

C) Disneyland Gardens Hotel

D) Paradise Pier Hotel

5. Which of these isn’t an attraction at Disneyland?

A) Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters

B) Hakuna Matata River

C) Francis’ Ladybug Boogie

D) Pinocchio’d Daring Journey

EuroDisney

1.What Americana experience can you have at Euro Disneyland Paris’ Disney village?

A) Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show

B) Yosemite Valley 3D Film Experience

C) Old Orleans Bike Tour

D) Harlem Jazz Festival

2. Which Princess’ castle is at Euro Disney?

A) Sleeping Beauty

B) Snow White

C) Belle

D) Elsa

3. Which of these is not an attraction at Walt Disney Studios Park?

A) High School Musical

B) Stitch Live!

C) Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

D) Donald Duck’s Battle Boats

4. Which of these is a hotel owned by Disney that you can stay at?

A) Davey Crockett Ranch

B) Agrabah Resort

C) Storybook Woods

D) Côte de la Souris

5.Which of these is not a restaurant in the parks?

A) Billy Bob’s Country Western Saloon

B) Bistrot chez Rémy

C) Black Forest Café

D) California Grill

Who am I Greek Classics

About:

This is a fun game to play with children who have studied the Greek gods and goddesses in school. Even Persy Jackson fans will know the characters. When kids learn about the classics differs from school to school. I’ve seen it taught in fifth grade, sixth grade, and nineth grade at different schools, so the only prerequisite is that the kids have knowledge about the Greek gods and goddesses. Thus, this game is good for ages 12+.

Materials Needed:

  1. notecards
  2. a thick marker or sharpie
  3. any tape

Instructions:

The night before the party, write down a Greek classical figure’s name on each card. Make sure that your child can recognize these figures or that they have often appeared in your child’s homework on the subject. I’ve attached a list of some commonly learned about figures in the classics.

Once you’ve had about 5 kids arrive at the party, you can begin the game while the group waits for the party to start. As more kids arrive explain that that this is a human guess who game about Greek gods and goddesses. You’ll stick a notecard that they can’t see and no one is allowed to tell them who their character is. They have to correctly guess who they are based on the hints that the other kids give them.

The game is over when everyone correctly guesses who they are. Then, you can direct everyone’s attention to a different party activity or game.

Greek Classics Who am I Characters:

  1. Zeus
  2. Hera
  3. Poseidon
  4. Hercules
  5. Athena
  6. Apollo
  7. Aphrodite
  8.  Dionysus
  9. Hermes
  10. Achilles
  11. Odysseus
  12. Icarus
  13. Orpheus
  14. Ares
  15. Artemis
  16. Demeter
  17. Hades
  18. Hestia
  19. Hephaestus
  20. Helen (of Troy)
  21. Socrates
  22. Plato
  23. Aristotle
  24. Nike
  25. Prometheus
  26. Calypso
  27. Circe
  28. Gaea
  29. Adonis
  30. Cupid

Finding Dory Riddle Hunt

About:

I saw “Finding Dory” with my friend last month. I’ll admit it: I almost cried a couple of times. Thank you, Pixar. Just like Dory was on a search for her parents, we’ll send the kids on the search for the missing school of fish. They should be able to each take a fish home at the end of the party. The estimated cost is about $22 assuming that you have a printer at home and this activity may take 5-15 minutes to play. This game will work well for kids 6+ who can read. You should still watch over them to make sure that they can follow the clues correctly.

Optional: You can put little trinkets or candies at the bottom of poem as a reward for finding the next clue. 

Materials Needed:

  1. Plush fish. I found a dozen rainbow clownfish for $17, but I also found a dozen less expensive fish on the same website. Expect to pay at least $1.00 per plush fish
  2. tape to put up the rhymes (consider using painter’s tape to hang the images and rhymes on the walls when playing indoors).
  3. a printer to print out the rhymes
  4. a bucket or basket to put all of the fish in once found ~ $5

Instructions:

Print out the clues with their images and tape them around the house. They should follow logically (ex clue x, clue y, and clue z) rather than randomly placing the clues around the house so that the kids have to back track over old clue spots.

Each child should go home with a plush fish at the end of the riddle hunt.

Story:

Dory’s friends are missing. They were all in school when she last saw them and they may still be schooling. Do you think we can help her? (Wait for a cheer from the children) More enthusiasm! Do you think we can help her? (Get a louder cheer out of the kids before starting to read the first clue).

Our first clue is from Dory who wrote: “I can’t remember much about my fishy friends/ I remember that one of their names is Ben or is it Ken?/  Bruce knows a lot of fish in this sea / Can you please ask him where they are for me?”

Clues and answers:

1: Dory: “I can’t remember much about my fishy friends/ I remember that one of their names is Ben or is it Ken?/  Bruce, the shark, knows a lot of fish in this sea / Can you please ask him where they are for me?”

2: Bruce: “Fish are friends, not food/ Sorry, kids, I’m not in the mood/ Ask Dory’s clownfish mate/ i think I’m sick after something I ate”

24297e7b00000578-0-image-a-11_1419023832559

3:Marlin: “Dory has too many friends/ Her list of friends never ends/ Nemo knows more than I/ And when you see him, tell him his dad says hi”

61fc90266caadaf30866486fd22e3897

4: Nemo and his friends: “Schooling is so much fun/ But when in school there’s work to be done/ we learn, eat, and play all day/ ask our teacher, the manta ray”

ef9ad1613adf660657c17d45d6b4d73ffinding-nemo-nemo-is-supposed-to-be-a-girl-721779

5: Manta Ray: “My class left at about two-thirty eight/ they said they all had to go to a playdate/ do you all know where the fish like to play?”

mr_ray

6: Reef: “Us fish who like to play all day/ Are sad because we have no where to stay/ Won’t you take us home with you/ and none of us will ever be blue!”

australiagreatbarrierreeftourfishandcoral

Movie Singalong

About:

You can frankly do this with any musical movie, but for the purpose of this post we’re going to talk about using “Frozen.” We all want the kiddies to let it go, but it’s kind of like having pizza day every day. It starts off great, but you never want to see it again after a full week of eating pizza. Frankly, this activity is so simple that you may have wondered why you didn’t think of it in the first place. This DVD costs about $17-26 to buy off of Amazon or see the budget-conscience plan below. The benefit of this is that the kids’ll be entertained for an hour and 50 minutes. The down side is that with a movie as popular as “Frozen” there will likely be fights over who gets to sing what. You can either let the children sing all of the songs together or make a sign up sheet so that each kid chooses one song to sing. You may also want to let the birthday child sing his or her favorite song solo.

If you like this idea, please let us know!

Materials Needed:

  1. The special sing-a-long version of the DVD
  2. a sign up sheet
  3. Optional stuff to make it awesome: inflatable or regular microphones (A dozen is about $8 off of Amazon)

Instructions:

Frozen has 7 songs (not including Christophe’s goofy song “Reindeer are Better than People”). The songs include: Frozen Heart, Do you Wanna Build a Snowman?, For the First Time in Forever, Love is an Open Door, Let it Go, In Summer, and Fixer Upper. Divide up the number of party guests so that there are 2-4 slots for every song. Let the party guests figure out what song they want to sing and write their names next to one of the songs. Keep in mind that it may be better for the kids and your sanity if you let younger kids sing all of the songs.

Start the DVD and pause it before each song. Call up the children that signed up to sing and hand them a microphone (if you bought them). Let them sing the lyrics that appear on screen. Pause the movie when they’re done and encourage applause.

Budget-conscience plan:

To save money, you can just gather the kids around a smart TV with Youtube access or a large computer with internet access. Use a youtube account to compile a playlist of “Frozen” songs (that come with lyrics) and use this instead of the DVD.

Octopus

About:

Another great pool party game that’ll entertain everyone. You’ll just need a pool (and we also recommend hiring a life guard if you’re going to be playing this in your own backyard). It’s a fun game for ages 6+, especially those that are good swimmers. Even the older kids may want join in at the family reunion around the pool. Other than paying the lifeguard your negotiated amount, this game costs nothing!

Note: In order to generate more interest amongst the children or to use this game for a Finding Dory party/Finding Nemo party, tell the kids that it’s Hank the Octopus’ favorite game. 

Materials Needed:

  1. pool
  2. possibly a life guard (you can always ask around the neighborhood, your religious institution i.e. church, or manager of the local town pool to find certified, teen life guards who’d be happy to watch and make sure that everyone stays safe).

Instructions:

Choose one child (or adult) or have the group elect someone to be the octopus. They’ll be “it” for the game, or you simply call them the octopus.

Like the game Sharks and Minnows (link), the people that aren’t it should line up at one end of the pool and all try to swim across at once. You can have the octopus say something to start the new round such as “All clear, no octopi here” or not. Anyone who swims across without being tagged is safe. Anyone who was tagged, must hold hands with the octopus in the center of the pool.

The kids should create more of a spiral than a line. The newly tagged now have the ability to tag the swimmers trying to get across.

The last one standing should become the new octopus if you decide to play the game again.