We had a really fun time this past week having a Raggedy Ann party for my daughter. It was a unique theme that I had never seen any kids her age have, and that made it very special. It wasn't her birthday, though you could easily turn it into a birthday party by adding a little time to unwrap gifts. This was just a 'get to know you' party we had so I could meet her new kindergarten friends.
Who wouldn't want to come to a party if you found one of these in your backpack when you came home from school? Here is how I made them.
Since we always have a pinata to go with our parties, we were sure to include it here. My kids usually come up with the way they want it to look, and I do my best to match it up to their hopes. This design was an easy to choose and to prepare. Here's how.
Making our home festive and inviting is so much fun for me. I like to imagine how it must look through the eyes of the children, and hope that they will think the room looks as special as I do. I stuck with Blue, Red, and White as my color palate, since that is what Raggedy and Andy wear. I ended up finding the effect absolutely charming.
I started off by making this banner. I just loved it! I hung it in the kitchen where they would be having their treats.
I did the math, and it turns out it is cheaper per balloon to buy one of those small helium tanks at Walmart and fill up your own balloons at home, than to go to the dollar store and buy helium-filled balloons individually. Little tip for you there! I filled up about a dozen or so, and had them in a few clumps scattered around.
Tissue Paper Puffs! I love how big and full they are, and they dress up any area in a flash.
I also used a red and white gingham cloth on the table, and had borrowed all the Raggedy Anns and Andys I could find and had them sitting around on the top of the piano, bookshelves, and any other ledges I could find. It looked so sweet.
The Treat Bags!
These were a snap. I found the image online, and loved that Ann and Andy looked like they were headed back home with their wagon. It seemed perfect as a goodbye; Ann is even waving! I printed them out, mounted them on creamy card stock, and with a pen I added the words and 'stitching' around the edges. I got the bags at Michaels for a dollar, and tied the handles with some ribbon scraps I had left after making the banner and invites.
Raggedy Ann and Andy cookies. I am not an icing artist, but they turned out okay. I used my usual sugar cookie recipe and my gingerbread man and gingerbread girl cookie cutters. Then I did my best to frost them to look like the dolls. They weren't perfect, but our little party guests loved them.
These cupcakes were, in fact, the reason for the party theme. A friend gave me those perfect faces of Ann and Andy made from royal icing, and something that adorable needs to be featured at a celebration.
I found these red and white whirly pops at a local candy shop, and tied them with blue ribbons. They were so cute that way, I had to display them before they got added to the gift bags. I took two Styrofoam rectangles, wrapped them in blue gift wrap, and tied the whole thing up with a red bow. When I stuck them in, they held up really well, and worked as a cute decoration too.
Candy! We went to a bulk store where you can buy things individually so we could pick out treats that were red, blue and white. We put salt water taffy into a clear bag, tied it up with a red ribbon, and displayed the bags on a white cake platter. Red gum balls were put in a glass container and dressed up with polka-dot ribbon, and these cookies n' cream kisses were put in a glass jar and tied with red. It might just be me, but I think everything tastes better if it is served as prettily as possible.
We began our party by reading a Raggedy Ann and Andy Story. This was good, because a few of the girls really didn't know about Ann and Andy and their adventures. This gave them a bit of a background to go from for the rest of the day, and they loved the story!
To make a regular party into a themed one, it is fun to alter traditional games to suit. For example, I painted a picture of Ann and left off her nose. Then we played Pin the Nose on Raggedy Ann. Who needs a donkey, after all?
We had a relay race where the kids had to transfer Ann and Andy across the playroom without touching them with their hands. Some kids chose to crab-walk, like my own girl, but others tried balancing them on their heads, holding them between their ankles, etc. They were very creative with it.
Out of breath, we took a break to color some Raggedy Ann pictures. I found lots of free printable coloring sheets on line, but here's where I found my favorites.
More games! This one was 'Ring Around the Andy.' We changed the regular words of the song to "Ring Around the Andy, Pocket full of candy. Husha, husha, we all fall down." This was a smash hit, which surprised me a little. They sang and danced around Andy over and over and over!
This was so fun. It was Musical Dolls. It was like musical chairs, but we piled all our Anns and Andys into the center and the children ran and danced in a circle until our music stopped. Then they had to grab a doll out of the pile and hug it tight. The child with no doll was out, and we continued until we had a winner.
Back down in the playroom, where there is more room to run a bit, we had a three-legged-race, because Ann and Andy are always right together. I tied the children in pairs with red or blue bandannas and when I called out 'Go!' they were off. The winner was the group who made it clear across the playroom and grabbed Raggedy Ann off the toy box.
We also played a game of Hot and Cold to find hidden Raggedy Ann dolls, but I have no great picture of that.
Then it was time to crack open the pinata, load candy into treat bags and say a tearful goodbye when mommies came to claim their own little dolls. It was a perfect party, all the children had fun, and I got a chance to get to know the people my girl is spending her mornings with at school.