A Gruffalo! Why, didn't you know?
He has knobbly knees and turned out toes and a poisonous wart at the end of his nose...
Go get the book to hear the rest of this darling story by Julia Donaldson. It originated in England and Nana Judie brought it back for the boys after her trip there a couple of years ago. It's been a favorite ever since. I love doing parties based on children's books. So easy to come up with fun and unique ideas (and by come up with ideas, of course I mean search Pinterest).
I used Picmonkey.com to create these. I have zero graphic design skills let alone any software to do it in. So this is my own way around that. Copy and paste images from google onto a white background, upload that to picmonkey and add whatever writing you want in one of their adorable fonts, then print it out onto cardstock. I know I'm reinventing the wheel here. I just have no clue how to do it any other way and this is pretty darn simple. (Please share if there's some kind of free site for this sort of thing!!)
Last year was the first year Bennett had a "friends" party and I asked you guys what in the world you do when you have lots of family in town and don't necessarily want to combine the two parties. Last year we did parties on two separate weekends but that was way too much work. This year I decided to have his friends over in the afternoon, leave an hour gap and then have our family over. It worked really well. I kept the first party to an hour and a half so we weren't totally burnt out by the end of the day.
We started the first party by letting them watch The Gruffalo on DVD. It's only about 35 min. so it was perfect and kept those crazies contained and quiet for a bit :) Have you had six 6 and 7 year old boys in your house at once before without their parents nearby? Holy cow. The volume was cranked and the potty jokes were rolling. I was thankful I only had to listen to them for an hour. (I used to think I would have made a great Elementary school teacher. This hour alone changed my mind on that. Ok...I'm mostly kidding. Mostly.)
This would all make a lot more sense to you if you've read the book, but nevertheless, Scrambled Snake cupcakes for the first party (made by Judie. That's a recurring theme here.) She and I did all the signs together.We got the fonts from picmonkey.com and then just copied and pasted everything in Microsoft Publisher and printed on cardstock. Email me if you want my ridiculous, figure-it-out-as-I-go-along step-by-step instructions. Or don't.
(similar idea here):
By the look on Bennett's face, you'd think this was a Rolex watch. Nope. A spinbrush. Score.
The thought of running organized games at a party makes me want to cry for some reason. So we stuck with craft time instead. Surprisingly, they got really in to the Gruffalo puppet making. (Phew...that was a risky choice with this bunch.)
"His eyes are orange, his tongue is black, he's got purple prickles all over his back..."
For the second party, we switched out the cupcakes for this adorable tree log cake (again, made by Judie):
We did dinner for the family party. In true British fashion, sausage rolls became our Scrambled Snake (idea from here):
My adorable niece, Piper, showing off the Owl Ice Cream:
We didn't watch the movie at the second party so Nana read the story to this enraptured bunch. I always do story time at their parties. Again, its my copout so I don't have to plan any games.
Aside from the candy (from here), it was a little difficult to come up with stuff for the goodie bags that fit the theme (at least that I could find at Target a couple days before...). So just go with it:
My niece, Quinn:
For past parties I've done, start here.