Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Teddy Bear's Picnic Party

Walking into your typical party supply store and buying everything you could possibly need for a Disney Princess themed birthday party is amazingly simple (and expensive!). That or supplies for a Dora party, Sesame Street, Mickey Mouse, Cars, Yo Gabba Gabba, Diego...pretty much any popular kids television show or movie that you can think of. Other than a few generic birthday supplies thrown in at the end of the party favor isle, you're out of luck if you're looking for something other than the commercialized crap (sorry). This is what I discovered when I went in search for a few last minute teddy bear themed items for Tyler's second birthday party.This frustrated me, but made me much more sad than anything. Other than the three mins it takes to clip his nails each week when we distract him with Sesame Street (I don't even like that...), Tyler doesn't even know who these characters are. Not every kid watches television and I don't judge those who let their kids do it, but it seems that it's almost expected.

Though I feel a vent/rant coming on, I'm not going to get into the topic of commercialization and children. Instead I will share with you our party ideas as Tyler and our guests had a really fun time!

Tyler loves his teddy bears and teddy bear songs, so a party planned around the book (and song) "Teddy Beat's Picnic" seemed like something he would really enjoy. If you're not familiar with it, the song generally talks about all of he teddies in the world getting together in the woods one day to have a picnic and play together. In the book, the illustrator shows humans dressing up like teddy bears to join the picnic and spy on the bear's festivities. There are several versions of the book, but I highly recommend the one by Jimmy Kennedy and Alexandra Day, linked above.

We held the picnic at our favorite park and luckily had a hot but beautiful day for it. In the invitations, we asked our little friends to bring along their favorite teddy bears. We set teddies in a circle on a blanket with party hats to make it look like they were having their own picnic. Several teddy bear related songs played on a loop. Upon arriving each child was given a party hat for themselves as well as their teddy.

When everyone arrived we sat on the blanket with our teddies and had teddy grahams and fruit and veggie juice while I read "The Teddy Bear's Picnic" book aloud to the group.

Next came the teddy bear cupcakes! I was nervous about making these but I thought they turned out pretty cute. Tyler got a huge smile on his face when he saw them and the kids loved them. I used mini Nila Wafers and M&M's to make the faces. A slightly older child could certainly help make these!

After cupcakes we simply played with balls, enjoyed the toddler and older children's playgrounds, and cooled off in the splash fountain. At his age, playing organized games didn't seem appropriate or worth the effort. I felt that it was difficult enough to get all of the children on the blanket at once to read the story! The park is so lovely that nothing fancy was really required anyway. Running, playing...that's all anyone needed to have a great time!

Afterwards we opened presents, played more and handed out goodie bags. It was difficult to find teddy bear related items to put inside the bags, though I did find three different kinds of Teddy Bear Dover sticker books on Amazon (puzzle, paper doll and easy stickers depending on the age of each child).

This week Ty and I will work on thank you cards for his gifts. This seems like an old-fashioned thing to do these days as I've never received one after giving anything other than maybe a wedding gift, but I believe it's important to show gratitude for what you're given as well as to express how the gift is being used and enjoyed. This is certainly a little Montessori "grace and courtesy" lesson as well!

In a future post I plan to talk about how we celebrated Tyler's birthday as a family, as well as to do some product reviews around some of the gifts we, and others, purchased for him. I always find it helpful to find out about great (or not so great) products and perhaps you do as well!

1 comment:

  1. Happy Birthday Tyler! You did a great job on having a party for the kids that they enjoyed! :)