“I lead a Montessori playgroup. Of course the children are going to have work to do at a birthday party!” I have a new level of expectation on me, and I hope I lived up to it for the mini-ions Very Mickey birthday party.
Walking in to the party was a chalk board (which I never remembered to photograph) welcoming our guests to the party. We utilized one of those helium tanks for $20 to blow up balloons, attach to tees and push in to the ground to have a “lollipop” walkway into the party. I had Mickey Mouse Clubhouse colored balloons, but unfortunately I never told Dear Husband, who was in charge of the walkway. But the helium tank included balloons, so Dear Husband used those available balloons.
We have a ridiculous amount of toys, so I asked everyone to not bring gifts, and if they needed to bring something, bring a donation of a used toy or household item I can donate to our church for the church’s annual yard sale. While so many people gave a ton of great donations, they snuck in some gifts too (including a donation made to their favorite charity and coupons for them to take us out for ice cream! – what great ideas!).
As our friends gave us their donation, I gave them one of these little shopping bags that I glued two white dots on, to resemble Mickey Mouse’s buttons on his pants. The dots were SUPER easy to do with a giant hole punch and then glued on with a glue stick (because we have 700 of them). My architect husband may tell me that was not the right glue for the job, but it seems to have worked out pretty well.
When I gave each child a shopping bag, I instructed them to go find the 221 Easter eggs I had hidden around the yard. Each Easter egg had a Mickey Mouse sticker in it. Yes, I really did cut out 221 stickers and I really did stuff one sticker in each egg. I had help from Mini-ion #1 and his friend hiding the eggs around the yard. Mini-ion #2 was not helpful as she sat in the box of eggs to be hidden while opening each egg and taking the sticker out. Eventually, I took the last 35 or so eggs and threw them up in the air to land where they may.
Luckily, Mini-ion #1 seemed to have forgotten where he hid all the eggs, because once he was allowed to go back and hunt for them, he did with gusto. I allocated about 5-6 eggs per child, which in retrospect, was hard for them to keep to.
After they were finished gathering eggs, they had a job to do! They went to the tables and on the tables were small black picture frames and glitter glue pens. They had to open all of their eggs, take the stickers out and decorate their picture frame with the glue pens and stickers. Yes, I made them create their own favor (and I would do it again in an instant!!).
Some were rather artistic, ours were quite gloppy. But, it gave them a chance to create and make use of the stickers they had just collected. And, as we had Mickey Mouse come a little later, they would have a picture to put into their newly, Mickey decorated picture frames.
As they finished decorating the frames, I had bins set up (ok, recycled spinach containers) with a sign of what color egg was supposed to go in what bin, so they could put away their eggs and have one more fun task, color sorting. I got teased for being a little neurotic, but for some of the younger children, this was one of their favorite parts!
We had a lot of fun, and this was a great way to ease the children into the party. They could hunt, decorate and sort, then go play on the playground set, throw beach balls in the air or play in the sand box. We also had chalk and bubbles out for them to use. With 25 children, you have to have a lot of options!