Penguin theme party makes little feet happy
Penguins are my 5-year-old's favorite animal. He is also addicted to the movie Happy Feet. So, of course his 5th Birthday Party had to have a penguin theme.
- black 8x11 cardstock
- white paper
- orange 8x11 or scrap cardstock
The invite was made to look like a penguin. It looks great, but is really simple. First, type out the information about the party to fit a postcard size, or 1/4 of the sheet of paper, and print as many as you'll need. Cut the information into an oval shape. This will become the penguin's belly.
Then, fold a plain sheet of paper in half and draw the outline of a penguin. The outline is a big oval with the bottom flattened, a circle on top for the head, and then a beak sticking out one side.
Cut out the template. Fold the sheets of black cardstock in half and tape the template to the cardstock. This makes the invites consistent without creating outines on the edges.
To make feet, I used a heart hole punch I had, but those who don't have a heart hole punch cand easily cut heart shapes in the orange cardstock.
Last, put all the pieces together with glue. We hand-delivered all the invites, but the invites will fit in 5x7 envelopes available at office supply stores.
Even though Happy Feet Two seems to be a new release, there were no party supplies related to the movie in local party stores. There weren't even Penguins of Madagascar supplies. Oriental Trading's website does have Happy Feet merchandise, as well as general penguin items.
To compensate, I purchased a few items online (cups, bouncy balls for favors, thank you notes) and got the rest locally in the black, white, light blue and orange colors. Balloons were white for snow.
For the favors, I found Penguins of Madagascar fruit snacks by Betty Crocker in the grocery store, as well as Swedish Fish and Oreo cookies that I separated into snack size baggies. Stickers in the craft store were a little girly for my boy, so we got a Happy Feet activity book which included stickers and cut up the sticker sheet for his friends.
The activity book also doubled as "waiting" activities during the party. I photocopied two pages for the kids to work on at the table as they waited for cake. For the waiting for everyone to arrive activity, I printed out an Emperor Penguin coloring page from National Geographic's Little Kids site.
For snacks during the party, I got a pretzel Goldfish and made Berry Blue Jello with a Swedish Fish "swimming" inside.
This was probably the simplest cake I've ever made. Okay, actually they were cupcakes. I dyed white frosting the light blue color and piped it around the edge to simulate water. Then, just before serving, scooped cookies'n'cream ice cream on top. I told the kids the ice cream was an iceberg and the black spots were penguins.
They got it.
They loved it.
My son even incredously described the cupcakes to his far away grandparents on the phone.
After all the children arrived, my oldest son wanted to teach the kids about penguins by reading the National Geographic Kids Penguins! book by Anne Schreiber. (It probably would have been better if I had read it, because the 4- & 5-year-olds were getting a little ansty, and I would have known how to speed things up.)
After storytime, we lined up and marched outside to the backyard where we pretended to be penguins. First, we huddled together, taking turns moving to the outside of the circle, so the children could see the difference in warmth even just with their small group.
Then, we grabbed balloons and pretended they were eggs. The children practiced waddling around with the "eggs" between their legs, then attempted to race each other.
After some free time, we went back inside for Jello.
Next, we played freeze dance to music from Happy Feet. Once the kids tired of showing off their dance moves, they headed to the table for the activity sheets as I scooped out the ice cream for their cupcakes.
After opening presents, the children played with my son's toys for a little bit before going home. We realized shortly after the party that we forgot that we were going to play the Wii Fit penguin game if there was time at the end, as there was.
Nevertheless, the little one was happy with his party, and tap danced to show his approval.