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Tinker Bell Party Ideas

Updated on November 3, 2011

Does Your Tinker Bell Party Need A Little Fairy Dust Sprinkled On It?

Tinker Bell themed parties have been a classic favorite for many years. And it's no wonder why! The idea of a mischievous little pixie leaving a trail of fairy dust behind her as she zips here and there, telling secrets, starting trouble, and spreading fun, is just too good to pass up!

The world of Tinker Bell is a world on the cusp of reality; a place where you can dare to imagine that you can fly, you can soar, and you can be a child forever!

The concept of Tinker Bell, and the world she comes from (Neverland), is a fantastic theme for a party. Whether it be a Halloween party, a birthday party, or an "I just feel like throwing a party" party, Tink can spread her magic fairy dust and make your party enjoyable--for children and adults alike!

First Off, What Is A Fairy?

There are many definitions and many concepts attached to the word "fairy". To put it as simply as possible (and for our purposes), a fairy is some sort of small spirit, usually depicted with a human-like appearance with wings and pointed ears, who has a direct link or connection the nature. They tend to be childlike and mischievous, full of emotion, and although it may seem like they have the best of intentions, they are known to cause trouble.

Not everyone can see fairies--one has to be willing to see them and has to believe in their existence. Much of the earlier folklore depicted fairies in a negative light, urging us to steer clear of them. More modern depictions of fairies are much nicer, portraying fairies as helpful...yet still troublesome at times!

In addition to being able to fly themselves, fairies can sprinkle fairy dust on us non-flying creatures to enable us to fly. But the fairies choose who to give this ability to, and they can be pretty stubborn at times!

Brian Froud's version of Tinker Bell
Brian Froud's version of Tinker Bell

Where Did Tinker Bell Come From?

The origins of Tinker Bell date back over 100 years. Her character was created by J.M. Barrie who was a Scottish author and playwright. He wrote the play Peter and Wendy in 1904 (and subsequent book in 1911). Barrie was one of the first authors to portray fairies in a nicer way, and because of this and Tinker Bell's popularity, fairies have (for the most part) been portrayed positively since then.

Barrie's play was received very well and quickly became a classic. Disney's adaptation of the play into their 1953 animated movie, Peter Pan, helped solidified the fairy's good nature into the history books. Barrie wrote of where fairies came from: The first time a baby laughed, their laughter broke into a million different pieces. These pieces went skipping about, and thus, fairies were created.

What a neat idea, right? The thought that fairies were born of a baby's laughter? How could fairies NOT be perceived as good with that creation story in mind?!

In the original play, Barrie's character, Tinker Bell, did not have any dialogue and was not actually portrayed by an actor. Rather, she was portrayed by small light created with mirrors. This light would dart around the stage and the actors would speak to it, letting the audience understand that this light was a fairy, Tinker Bell. In later plays, books, and movies, Tinker Bell did earn a voice, but in the beginning, she was known only by bells, chimes, and other "tinkering" noises.

The Emotions Of A Fairy

Tinker Bell (In Particular!)

Barrie's idea of a fairy's emotions drew a direct connection the the fairy's size. He felt that because Tinker Bell was so small, she was only capable of feeling one emotion at a time. This is very cool idea, and one that helps explain why fairies can tend to cause trouble without meaning to do so.

Rather than completely dismissing the old folklore that fairies could do evil, Barrie portrayed fairies as creatures who sometimes couldn't help themselves from doing evil, vindictive things--they were overwhelmed by their emotions! Because there was no way for them to counterbalance what they were feeling, and think of things from a mature, responsible perspective, they could find themselves wishing harm, causing trouble, and downright creating mischief without meaning to.

Tinker Bell, in particular, convinced the Lost Boys to shoot arrows at Wendy. Tinker Bell is not mean in nature, but at that moment her feelings of jealousy and envy were so great, that she couldn't control herself! She of course felt terrible and ashamed afterwords, seeing how she had hurt Peter.

This is an example of Tinker Bell's childlike character. When we were children, it took us time and experience with our emotions to learn to think of others. Eventually, we learned to deal with multiple emotions at once; we learned to counterbalance our feelings. Tinker Bell, however, has a child's mind and will never have anything other than that, so she will always feel her emotions strongly, intensely, and without reasoning.

To many of us, this is appealing. We can identify with this childlike nature and understand (to a degree) where Tinker Bell is coming from and why she does what she does. The flip-side of this is, of course, that when Tinker Bell feels love, joy, or any type of elation, she feels it to a degree that we, as adults, cannot feel it. This is also appealing to us because we can look up to Tinker Bell as a symbol of what it is to embrace happy feelings and enjoy them to their fullest extent.

Disney's Take On Tinker Bell

Following the success of Disney's full feature animated film, Peter Pan, Disney picked-up on the fact that audiences really enjoyed Tinkerbell. Of all the characters, she has become one of the most memorable and most identifiable. Children liked her because they could relate to her and adults liked her because she personified a forgotten youth.

Disney began using Tinker Bell in their marketing campaigns, portraying her sprinkling fairy dust over the classic Disney World castle image, having her "introduce" the show in the opening credits of many of their live-action televised events, and eventually branding her on items people could purchase--from tee-shirts, to purses, to dolls, etc.

Recently she has become one of the characters featured in Disney's Fairies franchise and will be a main character in 5 direct to DVD animated movies. The first of the five, Tinker Bell, was released in 2008.

The last 100 years, with the alternative spin on fairies created by Barrie, and with the help of Disney making Tinker Bell one of their number one mascots, the concept of fairies has changed for the better. Tinker Bell's universal appeal to both a younger and older audience have helped make her (and her fairy world) a favorite theme for parties.

Who says fairies aren't real? By Princessashley/Flickr
Who says fairies aren't real? By Princessashley/Flickr

Are You Ready To Throw A Fairy Inspired Party?!

Now that you know all about Tinker Bell, it's time to get you're party on! What's great about a Tinker Bell themed party is that you can throw it any time of the year and you can adapt the theme for children and adults alike. For our purposes, let's assume you're planning on throwing a child's party.

Who Should Be Invited?

Everyone can relate to and appreciate a little magic in their life! The first question you may be asking is, should boys be allowed? The answer is completely up to you, but I would encourage you to include them.

Although the party can be Tinker Bell themed, we can't forget that Tink is just one character in a cast of characters which included Peter Pan and the Lost Boys. There are plenty of characters from the play/book/movie that little boys can relate to as well. So, yes, invite the boys! Encourage the kids to come dressed in costume as their favorite character - a Tinkerbell dress can even simply be a nice green outfit. It'll make things interesting and much more enjoyable for all involved!

How To Decorate:

Because Tinker Bell is very in touch with nature (being a fairy and all!), and because the world of Neverland is set in an outdoor environment, you'll want to think "green" when decorating for your party! Try to recreate a forest in your home, or if the weather permits, throw the party outdoors. Use leaves, flowers, and vines to give a jungle/forest feel. If you

have a pool with a diving board, you're lucky!--What a perfect setting for the kids to have to "walk the plank"!

There are plenty of Tinker Bell and Peter Pan decorations available to you to spread throughout the party area from window decals, to posters, pinatas, fairy figurines, and balloons. You'll definitely want to purchase a Tinker Bell party supply kit including all of your cups, plates, napkins, silverware, and other supplies.

Now, the real question is, fairy dust or no fairy dust? If the party is outside, I'd say go for it. If the party is inside, I'd steer clear of the sparkly stuff. Giving children access to fairy dust inside your home will mean you're home will sparkle for years to come. I personally love the stuff and am attracted to glitter like a mermaid to shiny objects, but I don't know if I'd want it to be a permanent decoration in my home!

What Can You Do To Entertain The Little Ones?

  • A costume judging competition! Let all the guests know beforehand to dress as their favorite character and then have a contest. Be sure to award each child so no one feels left out. "Most Imaginative", "Most Colorful", "Most Accurate", "Most Sparkly", "Most Scary" (for those who dress like Hook!), are all different ideas for how to award the children.
  • An archery contest with toy bow and arrows or a sword fighting competition with toy swords will definitely entertain the children! Set it up so that as the children are eliminated, they have to walk the plank!
  • If you end up throwing an all girls party, you can have craft time with them. Have the girls dress-up as Tinker Bell when they come to the party, but tell them not to bring wings. Then you can purchase blank sets of wings, paint and painting supplies, and lots of glitter and have the girls design they're own set of wings!
  • And if it is an all girls party, what little girl doesn't like getting pretty for the day?! You can have the girls do each others nails, hair, an maybe even put on some play make-up. They can top it all off with a sprinkle of glittery fairy dust!

What To Feed The Hungry Fairies:

Finger foods for your pixies will be the best choice. Fresh fruits and veggies will be healthy and will go along with the nature theme. Finger sandwiches will be easy enough for them to eat and won't make a mess.

Because the setting is Neverland, a place of eternal youth, you want the kids to be able to "let loose" and enjoy themselves, so have sweets available--cookies, cupcakes, candies, and definitely a Tinker Bell decorated cake!

Other sites to find Tinker Bell Party Supplies and Costumes - These Helpful Links WIll Give You Some Great Online Resources

From Tinker Bell costumes for children and adults, to party supplies and decorations, click below for a little magical help!

Some Great Finds on eBay

Every now and then you can find a fantastic deal on eBay, so keep your eye out!

Tinker Bell Movies

Aside from the original Peter Pan, Disney has released (and is still releasing) various movies staring Tinker Bell and her fairy friends (and frienemies!)

Tinker Bell from Peter Pan

Clips from the original Tinker Bell

Who is the Real Tinker Bell? Duel it out!

While Disney's version of Tinker Bell is the overwhelming choice for many, she didn't start her life off that way.

Do You Prefer Disney's Version of Tinker Bell?

Yes, she has been an inspiration for generations of little girls.

Yes, she has been an inspiration for generations of little girls.

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    • NAIZA LM 5 years ago

      Definitely, I grew up loving Tinker Bell more than the cartoon character she portray.. She's an icon to every little girls throughout the generation.

    • themeaparty 5 years ago

      I prefer Disney, because without them Tinker Bell would likely have become obscure, languishing in an old workshop fixing pots and pans!

    No, she's been too commercialized and I prefer J. M. Barrie's version.

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      • anonymous 5 years ago

        The original, but I'm a cranky old lady who LOVES historic anything. So the "original" Tink is awesome in my book. But I do love them both. There's nothing Disney can't put a fun spin and some personality too. The Disney Tink kicked butt.

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          Jeanette 6 years ago from Australia

          Some very sweet idea =D

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          Benni 6 years ago

          Beautifully structured lens Chris. I loved reading all about Tinkerbell, she is always a firm favorite for our girls when it comes to a party theme.