My Secret Vanilla Life

My Secret Vanilla Life: March 2013

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Lion King Birthday Party

      Is there an echo in here? The girls loved last year's Jungle party so much that they wanted their 5th birthday party to be JUST like it, except this time, specifically a "Lion King" party.

I did my best to transform the living room into a jungle again, but this time without a bajillion balloons.
This is vinyl tablecloth (it came in a roll of over 50 ft.) and brown streamers
Learning from previous years, this year, the party started at 2pm. No early arrival, no lunch and I told the parents to DROP OFF their kids, to help with crowd control. I still had plenty of chaperones/helpers and each was "assigned" to an activity station. I designated my dad as the photographer, which he was more than happy to do. The backyard was set up with various activity stations. Of course, we still have the playground set in the backyard with the swings and slide.

1. Pin the tail on Pumbaa
I had to do some photoshop work on this and have a poster printed and a few posters of tails printed to cut out. After that, I just had to hang it up and pass out tails. No problem.

2. Pin the scar on Scar
Same concept and work as Pumbaa, but this time with eye's and scars instead of tails. The kids thought it was hilarious putting eyes all over Scar's face.

3. Color with Rafiki
I freaking painted this mural! Projector and paint - boom. The paper was a ginormous roll (probably 100 ft?) from Home Depot for $10. I hung about 20-30 feet on the fence. The kiddos used chalk to color on it. Good fun.

4. Make a lion mane mask
Easy peasy. I cut circles out of the middle of orange paper plates, attached elastic to the sides and cut strips of yellow and orange crepe paper/streamers.

5. Bowling for Buzzards
Printed buzzards on card stock and taped them to a cheap bowling set.

6. Stampede Race
We blasted the soundtrack for the stampede and did a few relay races and "Red Light, Green Light".

To gather the kids up before going inside, we called them all up to the porch.

7. Feed the chickens
Why not? We have a chicken coop now and all the kids wanted to check them out. My husband passed out handfuls of oats to toss from the porch to the chickens.

After about an hour and half of backyard activities, we all came inside for the traditional game of freeze dance and a few other dance games. This time we decided to change things up and learn simple movements to parts of the songs. We also did a conga line and freestyle dance. I put different colored masking tape on the floor to show where we would all go for the circle, to avoid weird crowding.
See that awesome Lion King Sunset mural in the background? Yeah, I painted that, too. :)

 Then, all the good little children sat down on the pre-marked lines on the floor to sing Happy Birthday to both girls, once for each of course.

Finally, we started the Lion King movie and passed out the "dirt" cupcakes. Same as last year... except this time, they were gluten-free. That didn't go over as well as I had hoped. Several of the kids rejected them. :( I'm still on the hunt for a good tasting gluten free chocolate cake.

The girls opened presents while the movie was still on so kids could either watch them or watch the movie as parents arrived for pick up. Everything went just like clock work. Perfect! No mistakes to list this time! I was able to direct the kids like it was a day at camp while enjoying everything. I think I've got this party thing down!

Here are the tips from this party:

  • Do EVERYTHING in advance. I had all of the crafts printed, cut labeled several days in advance. 
  • Little details that made the party go smoothly: I used colored masking tape on the carpet to make a giant circle to avoid craziness during the conga line. I know these kids. I also made a different set of lines for them to sit and watch the movie and watch the girls open presents. I've done 2 giant parties before and I know these kids will crowd and be crazy if things are set up in advance.
  • Have a written schedule prepared. I had everything planned down to the minute. It was a 3 hour party. I knew how long it would take to do each activity station and how long it would take for cake and how long each song was for the freeze dances. This helped immensely because everything went perfectly and I didn't have 20something kids to entertain for who knows how long until their parents came to get them.
  • Designate helpers - I had about 4 parent volunteers stay to help and they actually did! My dad was in charge of photography - that was his main job. My MIL stayed by the craft tables and helped the kids make the masks (She was great since she used to be a preschool teacher.) My mom did the "pin the tail" games. She loved it. The other helpers volunteered for things that they enjoyed. Meanwhile, my job was to host, but I also got to be by my twins' side the whole time and have fun with them.