Monday, 27 January 2014

Explore, rescue, protect! An Octonauts party ...

Justin was five a few weeks ago and he wanted an Octonauts party.

I managed to get the invitations out before Christmas: I found a cute picture of the front of an Octonauts book and fiddled a little to come up with something I was happy with.
I was very late in organising the actual party (for me) and only sat down and planned the games the day before the party, although I had sourced the party bag goodies and party plates before Christmas (as I learnt to do after his very first birthday when I left it until after Christmas and snow meant the things didn't arrive in time!) 

Justin had 10 friends and the party was held at our local community centre (where we've held previous parties). I bought a blue net and some inflatable fish to decorate the room and we made some jelly fish out of plastic food cartons and plastic carrier bags.
We started the party with an Octonauts Creature Hunt. I was "forced" to play some of the Octonauts games on the BBC website to win some creature cards, which I saved and printed out. These were then hidden around the room  and each child was given a creature chart at the start of the games. Once they spotted the creature they then went to Sophie and her friends (the helpful big girls) to get the creature stamped off with a froggy stamp (the closest stamped we had to a sea creature!).
Next game was Fish Egg and Spoon Race. We have a great set of egg and spoons from Early Learning Centre and the children had fun running up and down the hall trying not to drop the eggs!
After that the children played Ball Pool Creature Rescue. I filled a giant bucket with ball pool balls and dropped in selection of sea creature bath toys. The children then had to reach into the bucket and pull out one of the sea creatures (without looking).

The next game was Musical Islands. We laid out large pieces of paper (the packaging saved from a recent Amazon delivery!) - one for each child. The children danced around the islands until the music stopped - they then had to stand on an island. An island was removed after each round and the child not on an island was out of the game. The last one on an island won.

This was followed with Calico Jack’s Treasure Hunt. I have been saving the plastic eggs from Kinder eggs for a very long time and I put a haribo sweet into each egg and hid them around the hall. There were enough for each child to find three eggs and two of these were large ones with a mini-packet of Haribos in.

The final game before the food was served was Octonauts in the Sea (this was a variation of fishes in the sea). The proper game works like this: set up a circle of chairs facing outwards and each child sits on a seat and is named either Captain Barnacles, Kwazi or Peso. A caller calls out one of the names and the children with that name get up and walk around the outside of the circle. The caller then calls different things:
- the sea is getting rough = the children start running
- tide turn = the children change direction
- shark coming = the children run back to their chair.
The last child to return to their chair is out and turns the chair facing inwards; they can play a version in the middle of the circle for fun.

In reality this proved a bit too tricky for 4/5 year olds and Mr Snowballs just got them all up at the same time and got them to run or change direction or return to their seats as per the game rules. They all had lots of fun.

I also set up a table with some Octonauts colouring as a quiet activity for those children who didn't want to take part in every game.

The party bags were just simple paper bags with a label for each child in the Octonauts logo. I found a font that is similar to the Octonauts font and used this (see here). They each got an inflatable fish, a magic fortune teller fish (remember those from your childhood?), an Octonauts colouring book (I saved the images from the BBC website and then printed them four to a page and stapled them into a booklet), and some sweeties.
Mr Snowballs excelled himself this year with running the games and all the children had a fantastic time - even the shy ones were joining in by the end of the party. And with all the help I got from my family (who are amazing) the party was a real pleasure to organise and run.

Next up, the cake ...

© 2014 Nicola Noble: Please observe the rules of copyright and blog etiquette. If you use my ideas or images, please link back to my blog. And do let me know - I'd love to take a look.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Christmas craft fair - more Christmas decorations

I haven't had a chance to write a blog post for a little while and although Christmas seems such a long time ago, I wanted to share the last of the Christmas related crafts we made for our school Craft Fair.

We had some plain white tiles which we made into Christmas decorations. I added the letters NOEL in red glitter paper and silver sparkl snowflakes to some ...
... and I decorated others with Christmas trees in pink and green glitter foam.
I painted the edges of the tiles to give a neat finish: cream on the Noel tiles and green on the Christmas tree tiles.

I was inspired once again by something I found on Pinterest: a simple tree made by folding a semicircle of card. I used the large scallop Bigz die which I then cut in half. It took me a few attempts to get the fold just right but once I had a template, the folding was very quick and easy. I added a glittery star to the top of each tree to finish it off.
I then punched two small holes at the top of each tree and threaded the trees onto some bakers twine for simple bunting. I found it was neater to add the star after the tree had been threaded (see the two pictures above for the difference).
I also cut some letters out in matching paper, punched two small holes into the top of each letter and threaded onto the twine. The only one that caused me problems was the A as I couldn't get the two holes next to each other - making the letter slightly lopsided!
I also made a simple Christmas card with the folded tree, although I didn't make any to sell at the fair. 

The last Christmas thing we made was some cute reindeer food. Some muesli and edible glitter was put into small bags then sealed using the Top Note die folded in half and stapled over the top of the bag. A red glitter circle for Rudolph's nose, white circle eyes with a black dot in the middle and some leafy antlers and it was ready to go. All finished off with a cute poem found via Pinterest! These were incredibly popular at the Fair and we even had people asking for some afterwards ...
We did make lots of other things for the fair (not Christmas related) and I'll be posting details of these soon! 

© 2014 Nicola Noble: Please observe the rules of copyright and blog etiquette. If you use my ideas or images, please link back to my blog. And do let me know - I'd love to take a look.