Theme parties are so fun! This Valentine’s Day I attempted my first one. We sent some invitations to our friends for a party with an Alice in Wonderland “Queen of Hearts” theme.
When the children walked in, they were invited to go through the rabbit hole (one of those collapsible play tunnels, wrapped in a brown sheet).
We decorated with red balloons…
and card garlands.
What trip to Wonderland would be complete without painting some roses red? I made white paper “roses” and set out red watercolor for the children.
Finished, they look lovely on our nature table. I think I will do this using coloured paper (or even watercolored paper) to create roses galore throughout the summer. You don’t really need the pipe cleaners. You can just slide the roses onto the tips of branches, but I wanted them to be extra sturdy for the little hands trying to paint them. I learned how to make the flowers (easy peasy!) from this blog.
We ate sandwiches composed of heart-shaped pieces (thanks Mama Nga for helping to prepare!).
( Don’t worry, there was no waste- we used the scrap nitrate-free ham, cheese, and tomato pieces in a salad, and I’m saving the scrap bread to make croutons with.)
After lunch, we enjoyed a scavenger hunt for a deck of cards hidden all around the house. Everyone brought their found cards to be counted up, and the cards’ value was calculated. The number was written on the front of paper crowns, and after receiving their crowns they picked a slip of paper from a “game” jar.
We played Alice-In-Wonderland-style croquet, using a felt flamingo and hedgehog I sewed.
For the hedgehog, I used this pattern (free download!). My sewing machine is out of commisson right now so he is all felt instead of the fabric/felt combo used in the tutorial. I created the flamingo pattern myself (so fun to get those creative juices flowing!). Both are stuffed with beans, and I used little felt ties and a felt covered dowel to make the croquet stick.
The children formed the hoops for whoever was trying to play croquet, just as the cards did in Alice in Wonderland.
We played “Out of Breath”, where everyone got a straw and raced to blow a little wad of paper across the floor…
…and “spotlight”, where one child held a wind-up flashlight and as music played, he would choose a child to shine it at. The spotlighted child had to try to do a silly dance and make the spotlight-holder laugh, and whoever made him laugh had the next turn spotlighting.
I love this attempt to *not* laugh:
After plenty of fun indoors, we headed outdoors. The children had a blast sliding down an enbankment near the frozen pond.
And then clambering back up!
Our kittens thought it looked like fun too…
We came back home to roll out dough and make heart-shaped cookies. During the ten minutes the cookies baked, we prepared hot chocolate. We enjoyed our snack, and the kids received bags of homemade red play-dough and red paper origami sailboats for favors, while the mamas each got a beeswax candle decorated with hearts. I forgot to take a picture of those, but they were similar to these that I made at Christmas, using Stockmar decorating wax.
There were so many other ideas I had- next time I will start planning a month ahead! I started six days before the party this time- enough time to have a good plan and make it fun. I learned that my daughter *loves* homemade stuffies- this was her reaction after I made the hedgehog:
Patting him to sleep!