Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Welcome to Narnia

We were all so excited for the kids' birthday party. We started thinking about another good gender neutral theme and Narnia seemed like a perfect fit for our family. Hubby had read all of the books to the kids in the past year and they loved them. We had watched all of the movies that had come out and G loved listening to the soundtrack music all the time. So we started thinking about what our Narnia party would include.

Decorations: There aren't any official Narnia party decorations available anymore so we had to get creative with what we used. We looked around our house for stuff we already had and brought our framed map of Narnia and the little toy Narnia figures that were from McDonald's that we'd purchased from eBay.

We went with a black and gold color scheme and used plastic tablecloths to cover the food tables and used black and gold throughout with plates, napkins, balloons and streamers.

Part of our main 'decorations' were our family's costumes. I looked around for fabric I might use to make something for the kids. I found a burgundy skirt with an organza overlay at the Goodwill store for $4 (probably the bottom to a bridesmaids dress). I bought that thinking I might make something for A out of it. Later I was out shopping at a consignment shop and found this gorgeous princess dress. It was perfect and only $10. I knew I couldn't make something for less than that. The owner heard me talking about Narnia and asked if I'd seen their boy's Narnia costume and I was thrilled. I knew G would LOVE it and he did, he wore it almost every day and still wears it around the house.

We mentioned our party to our friends who are in theater and costume design. They helped us by loaning me a top from a play and even made Hubby a tunic to wear over the real chain-mail they loaned us. It was about 30 pounds but he looked great.

We also brought dress up costumes for the guests to wear if they wanted. We had a box of dress up crowns, swords and shields we'd borrowed from our church.

Games: Our first game was a 'Dufflepud' race. Each child had their legs tied together so they could pretend they were the one footed Dufflepuds in Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Our second game was White Witch freeze tag. The person with the wand was the White Witch and had to try and freeze everyone. To unfreeze a friend you had to breathe on them like Aslan did to all the Narnian statues.

Our third game was a 'weapons training' where we taught the kids how to use a sword and shield. I showed the girls how to use a bow and arrow and they got to practice their aim.

Goodie Bags: I found the perfect armor and swords at the dollar store and instead of goodie bags we sent each boy home with a sword and a piece of armor. So the boys were set for $2 each. For the girls I had looked everywhere to find something Narnian that they could have to take home. The day before the party I stopped by a Dollar General store and looked through the clearance bin and saw one bow and arrow set. I figured I'd use that for the archery practice and the kids could take turns. Then I went down the regular toy aisle and they had about 10 more of the sets for only $3 each. I thought, 'I wonder if these are on clearance too?' I was going to buy them even if they weren't because they'd be the perfect gift for the girls since Susan used a bow and arrow in the book. Sure enough they were all on sale too so I snapped them up for 60 cents each. That was my favorite deal of the party.

Food:  We served Animal crackers, pretzels, crackers and fruit but we knew we had to have some Turkish Delight like in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. I made it but no one at the party liked it including me!

Cake: For the cupcakes I got gold cupcake liners and made a batch of vanilla frosted yellow with black sprinkles and chocolate frosted with yellow sprinkles. Then I topped them with pictures of Narnian characters and logos.

 Here's a printable 8.5x11 that I created to print out.

Gifts: After our games, snacks and cupcakes we put together Operation Christmas Child boxes. Instead of bringing gifts to our kids we invited guests to bring gifts to donate to our boxes. I explained what the boxes are for and how Father Christmas had given gifts to the Pevensie children in the Narnia books.

We made about twenty boxes using the donations the guests had brought and things I'd purchased or collected throughout the year.

After the party was over and we were back home the kids opened their gifts from us and from family. They miss getting lots of gifts from their friends but being able to give to children around the world and share the joy that we have is worth so much more. The whole party day went well and our kids and the guests had a lot of fun.

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