The cartoon “Planes” couldn’t be more timely: planes – a perfect theme for our 5 year old party! It is fun, exciting, and… even educational!!!
In my previous post I discussed some key features of every great party: theme, cliffhanger, the special element. The special element, the “oooooh” and “aaaaaah” moment for the kids, something out of this world for a party about planes had to be.. of course a plane. Or better yet: a plane for every participant.
That involved some advanced preparation. In the end, making those planes wasn’t hard at all. We simplified those directions, measured how much foil we needed when we built the first plane, cut many strips to speed up the process, and had a whole “esquadrilla” ready for the party.
Other dress up accessories can be used: aviator goggles or just swimming goggles, scarves. I had a whole bunch of clear sunglasses for the kids… but I forgot to use them. Oh, well, it was probably much easier without them after all.
Now that we had all this stuff, we were ready to soar into the sky and have some fun! Here is my cheat-sheet for the party:
Cliff-hanger: my birthday boy’s favorite toy went to see the plane races and never came back…
Plan: We’ve got to find and save the poor little critter! Head for the airport, where the plane races start. We go “around the world” in our planes. Arriving at every destination, we point where we are going on a large map, hanging on the wall (optional, but I LOVE the educational element, and kids LOVE taking turns poking their fingers at the map).
Note: we were “flying” to each of the destinations.
Poking at the map and grabbing our planes for a quick circle around the room was the best part. After the flight, the planes were parked at the side to let the aviators participate in the exciting activity awaiting for them in a “new place”.
- Decorate your plane
Supplies: various party crafts; star stickers, flower stickers for the girls, multicolored duck tape for everyone
- Flight school
Everyone flies in the circle. Fly fast, slow, high up, low, make a turn
Music: fast (like Beatles, “Roll Over Beethoven”)
- No sight of the critter here! Let’s fly all around the world with a plane race and search for him along the way.
Supplies: Big map. Just like in a cartoon, we started in New York, so we pointed to the North America and decided to go south, to South America.
- South America: sort out the animals that live in a rain forest.
Supplies: big box of stuffed animals (you can borrow some from your friends, if you don’t have enough variety, or print out some pictures).
- Australia: red light-green light at the coral reef. Help the clown fish and his friends get passed the big shark.
Supplies: toy shark? We had a toy dolphin, but kids imaginations are terrific.
- Antarctic: encounter the penguins… and, join their locomotion dance! Everyone forms a train and walks in line like a penguin, jumps, crawls, kicks feet sideways, waves hands, flaps wings, runs, flies like a seagull, swims like a whale…
- Africa: Animal charades. Split up into teams, each team decides what African animal they want to show and the whole team starts acting that animal out, while the opposing team guesses!
- Asia: head to Russia for Olympic Games! We chose hockey. Each team got one hockey stick and a ball. It is actually a race: lead the ball, kick it to your net, return the hockey stick to the next team-member in line. Everybody wins, no losers in our games!
Supplies: 2 hockey sticks, two balls, two nets (or boxes, or pillows to hit with a ball)
Music: Fast, active
- Europe: Freeze dance. Head to UK, the land of Winnie The Pooh, Peter Pan, Mary Poppins… and English Queen! Everyone is getting invited to the ball, puts on a beautiful cape (colorful scarves), gets to hold his partner’s hand in a beautiful processions into the imaginary throne room, and joins the special dance. When there is music, everyone is dancing, once the music stops, so do the dancers! Again, no losers, no winners, just fun!
Supplies: scarves tied as capes and skirts (optional)
Music: Anything your kids like to dance to. Ricky Martin’s “La Vida Loca” worked great!
- Crossing Atlantic Ocean: parachute. It was fun to get to fly in a colorful plane from country to country, but this last flight was absolutely spectacular: they’ve got to fly over the “waves” of the parachute (thanks for other parents for help)
Supplies: parachute (if you don’t have one – a large curtain)
- North America – Obstacle Course Race to New York! To navigate, we gave each kid a radar: a ball that starts blinking when you kick or throw it. Turned down the lights.
- fly around the circle
- fly high, low, slow, fast
- fly in between the skyscrapers (other parents were utilized again – this time they were the long line of obstacles-skyscrapers and planes had to maneuver between them to reach to the other side)
- The best: in a tunnel – under a parachute, throwing “radar”- ball ahead, to light up our way through
Supplies: other parents, parachute, radar.
- Finish Line! Tied to a toy plane, the lost critter “flies” into the room.
- Honorary celebration for all the winners in our race: every pilot gets a trophy for winning the race and a pilot licence for navigating his plane so well!
Now, it’s cake and candles time
To do list afterwards:
1. Pick a perfect gift for 5 year old on the website
2. Pat yourself on the back for a job well-done