Our twins and their big brother all have birthdays within a week, The celebrations lasted about a month! So much fun! They included a Mermaid/Pirate pool party, an all out bash at a local indoor playground/arcade/crazy place, and finally a family party at home. They had a lot of discussion trying to choose a theme for the at home party and decided to make it all about their favorite stuffed animals – Pink Bunny, Blue Dog, and Reglar Sheepy (the favorite among a slew of sheep, spelling of Regular is intentional! Others are Flat Sheepy, Nana Sheepy, Lavender Sheepy… can’t remember them all!)
We started out by following animal footprints as our guests entered the house, and completed an obstacle course.
I planned a game, a craft and a step by step drawing activity for each animal. Here are the drawings:
The first game we played was Pet Shop Escape. I used clipart to make necklaces, either a sheep, dog or bunny. Each child chose one and sat on a colored foam square that were placed in a circle. If any of you remember a very old game called Fruit Basket Tip Over – this game was a variation of that. We called out 2 animals, for example “bunny and sheep.” All the children wearing either of those necklaces got up and changed places. Sometimes we called only one animal at a time. When we said “Pet Shop Escape” all the kids got up and scrambled for a different colored square.
The next game was Bunny and Carrot. I cut out a felt carrot and glued a picture of a bunny (on cardstock) onto a popsicle stick. The kids sat in a circle. I chose Lily – my bunny lover – to go first. She took the bunny and went around a corner where she couldn’t see. I gave the carrot to one child and we all hid our hands in our laps so she wouldn’t see who was holding the carrot. We called her back by this chant:
“Bunny, Bunny! Come and see! Who has the carrot? Is it me?”
She came back and guessed one person. We told her if she was hot (close to the person) or cold (far away.) She had 3 guesses. Then the person who had been hiding the carrot became the bunny and the previous bunny chose who would hide the carrot. We did it again and again until everyone had a turn.
The final game was “Who Let the Dogs Out?”
This was a take off on musical chairs. I didn’t want anyone to get eliminated so everyone sat in a circle and passed a bag (decorated with a dog) around as we played the song Who Let the Dogs Out on an ipod. When the music stopped the child holding the bag opened it and took out a candy kiss. I planned to put small toys in the bag but realized it would take them a long time to reach in and choose – the same candy for everyone made it fast and simple.
Here are the pictures I used for the Bunny/Carrot game and the dog on the bag.
For the Sheep project the kids used a straw to blow bubbles into a small container of water, dish soap and a small amount of paint. I put the container into a disposable pie pan to catch the overflow.
Next they gently pressed a paper containing a large cloud shaped sheep body onto the bubbles. They repeated blowing and pressing until the body was filled with bubble prints.
Then they cut out the body and a pre-printed head, and cut 4 legs for their sheep; and glued it all together. They added fiberfill for a tail and cottony top of the head.
Here are the sheep heads we used. At school I would have the kids cut and create their own heads but our group included several preschoolers so I printed them.
We used a melting tray for the Bunny project. I got this warming tray as a wedding gift in 1972. Never used it until I found out what a great tool it is for melting crayons when I started teaching Kindergarten. Easily found at garage sales now!
I guess it has seen better days but still works fine. These trays are electric and meant to keep food warm at a buffet. I always caution children not to touch the surface and use it with supervision, it gets quite warm but would not cause a serious burn – and they love it!
I peel crayons ahead of time (this goes fast if you slit the paper with an Exacto knife.) I usually turn up a corner of the paper for the kids to hold onto so the paper doesn’t move while they are coloring. They need to begin coloring a little slowly until the crayon starts to melt. It makes a neat effect, looks like wet paint, but it hardens immediately when you remove it from the warming tray. I printed off a selection of bunny pictures for them to color. At school I sometimes covered the tray with foil and let the kids draw on the foil, then laid a paper onto the foil to make a print.
Here are the bunny picture choices:
Our dog project was a puppet on a popsicle stick.
I found the idea on Pinterest – they used a paper plate, but I know it can be tricky to glue stuff onto the ruffled edge of a paper plate so I cut out circles from cardstock instead. I made a sample dog and they were free to create any kind and color of dog they liked.
Of course every Birthday party needs cake so I made Dog and Sheep cupcakes and Bunny shaped brownies. They were a hit!
We went outside for a little parachute play – including bouncing and tossing stuffed dogs, bunnies and sheep! Another fun day playing with my grandchildren!!