P Bear is a huge fan of the Kratt Bros. He started out watching old episodes of Zaboomafoo and when we discovered The Wild Kratts on PBS his whole world turned right side up. We've both loved the show for a couple years now so when it came time to pick a theme for this year's throw down, it was a no brainer. We had to go wild, wild, Wild Kratts!
Like most families, we have more wiggle room in our time budget than our everything else budget so DIY'ing is our general MO. Not to mention, the Kratt brothers are kind of amazing and are more focused on teaching kids than marketing a bunch of hoo ha. I really love that about them! They even posted a link on their FB page and the PBS Kids website to a DIY Wild Kratt party complete with free down-loadables. Here it is: Wild Kratt Party See how awesome sauce they are?
So after a truckload of late night "pinning", middle of the night jolts of creative thought-juice forcing me to shoot up in bed and make notes on my iPad, and multiple chats with the big guy and little guy a game plan was set. We were going to have a super groovy awesome fun party!
I made invitations in Pages on my Mac and then printed them out on card stock. P and I giggled and giggled about what they said and we sang it over and over again;
"On adventure with the coolest creatures from ocean to the trees
Your buddy Pax is turning 5, come party with us please!
On April 4th at our house, 1:30 is the hour
Gonna have an awesome birthday with Creature Power!"
Now that he and his friends are older they are far more interested in "doing" than just being, so we knew we wanted to play games. There are so many fun and silly ideas out there we could have had a grillion and two things to do, but we chose 6 games and activities to keep the party grooving.
Following the lead of several fantastic moms on the interwebs, we made Creature Power Suits. They are kind of easy to make, but I will tell you they are time consuming. I do not suggest trying to make them the night before the party. We started about 2 weeks out. My biggest helpful hint is when cutting the sleeves off the t-shirts, find the surged seam inside the sleeve and cut so the seam stays on the shirt. This way you'll have a nice finished edge. Otherwise it can start to look a little "Larry the Cable Guy", if you know what I mean. We used felt for the colored bits and went "no-sew" by attaching them with Tacky fabric glue. It worked really well. We also went the velcro route for attaching the Power Discs. (There are so many tutorials out there in Google Land, I don't think I need to post another one here)
The whole idea was to have the kids take part in an activity to earn their Power Discs. The discs and activities were:
Firefly - they had to construct a firefly out of a plastic easter egg, a pipe cleaner and cut out paper wings. (I traced my glasses on card stock to make the wing template!) They were encouraged to color/decorate the wings before attaching them and the plastic eggs each held a battery powered tea light to light up the firefly's backside. Super cute and the kids really dug it.
Bass - we have a fun bass toy that swims around and when he eats a magnet he tries to get away and pulls. It's pretty fun! Not only did we use the fishing pole that came with the toy, but we also made poles out of wood dowels, hemp rope and little magnet circles. This was a huge hit and "the pond" was occupied the whole party!
Beaver - each kid had to build a beaver dam using peanut butter, chocolate chips and pretzel sticks. Cute and yummy!
Giraffe - we tied powdered donuts to a tree and the kids had to use their prehensile tongues to eat it. No hands! This was so fun the grownups wanted to play!
Platypus - the little Kratt Kids had to get eggs from Gourmand's boiling pot back to the platypus nest by carrying them on spoons. Not as big a hit as I thought it would be, but kinda fun.
Cheetah - (the hit of the party!) We made cheetah tails (cheetah fabric cut into strips and then Tacky glued to grosgrain ribbon - I did add a little brown yarn tail tip too) and each kid put them on, then they all chased a gazelle (the world's greatest daddy ever wearing reindeer antlers!) around the yard until they caught him and brought him down. It was hilarious and the kids giggled and giggled and ran and ran and burned off a little of the sugar they had been consuming.
All the kiddos got to take home their Creature Power Suits, the discs they earned, a little plastic disc holder, their cheetah tails and an adorable animal cookie made by the bestest pal a gal could have.
We kept the food pretty simple since there was so much going on; a couple of snacks (chips, dip and veggies) lemonade and pizza in honor of Jimmy Z! The world's greatest daddy ever kept his tradition of making the birthday cake. This year we used an edible printing. It was awesome!!! Get one here!
The decorating was really fun! I made my traditional "no-sew" fabric birthday banner. Super simple and makes such a nice touch to our party area. Basically I cut large triangles out of fabric, string up some hemp rope and then tacky glue the triangle across. It really is that simple! Depending on the size of your banner, you can get away with about a half yard of each fabric. I usually go ahead and get the full yard so I can use squares and scraps as decorative fillers here and there. The Kratt power symbol is the easiest thing in the world to replicate out of poster board!!! Just circles! I hung them in two different places and then made a power disc banner from the previously mentioned downloadables at PBSkids.org. P Bear brought down several of his stuffed animals and strategically placed them in front of the Kratt power symbols. We used some of his Kratt toys on and around the cake and of course Zaboo came to hang out! We bought blue and green plates, cups, and utensils and found green napkins with blue paw prints on them at Party City. They were perfect! We also found some hilarious "Pick Your Nose" cups here. My oil cloth table covers came in handy once again. I just layered them to fit the color scheme - blue and green with a touch of Aviva yellow. Since helium is a finite resource and is much better used for medical equipment like MRI's, we only blew up a couple of balloons by mouth and tied them to dowels to line the walkway leading to the party. I had planned on hanging a bunch of balloons from the ceiling, but I ran out of time (and breath!) Insert singing "Let It Go!" here.
All in all it was a super groovy awesome fun success! Pax had a great time with his great friends and their great parents. Big love to all who came and celebrated his most recent revolution around the sun!! Now get out and get creature adventuring!!!