Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sesame Street Birthday - The Main Event

The invitations had been sent, the banner and the decorations were up, the hats waited patiently by the cake, and the treat bags were all filled and ready to be passed out.

It was time to party!

My son has really enjoyed playing the games on, and loves the music from the show, so I tried to model the games and activities from those. The first game we played was based on a Big Bird game on the Sesame website, where Big Bird matches letters to different objects.

We used the same basic idea, but to make it more of a party game, I turned it into a treasure hunt. I used the stuffy alphabet from our Joy School letters day, and I gathered toys that began with each letter. Then I hid groups of letters and toys around the house, and before they could get the clue for the next location, they had to figure out which letter went with each toy. The clues led us all over the house; from the living room to the basement to the kitchen to the bedrooms...everywhere. The kids were wild about running to the next spot and searching for more letters. It was great to see their enthusiasm.

At the end of the hunt, the treasure was a large plate full of warm chocolate chip cookies, (Cookie Monster's favourite). Each child got to choose one, and then we had a race to see who could gobble their cookie the fastest, just like Cookie Monster.

When they had finished up their treats, I pretended to be worried, because we had eaten up all of Cookie Monster's cookies! It was a good thing I had some more, 'right out of the oven.'

Then I pulled out this tray of felt cookies, a child's oven mitt, and a spatula from my daughter's play kitchen and we had a race to feed these cookies to Cookie Monster .

The kids all lined up and the first child had to put on the oven mitt, pick up the tray of cookies, and dash to the other side of the room.

Then, using the spatula, they had to scoop up one of the cookies from off the tray and feed it to Cookie. If they dropped it, they had to scoop it back up and try again until we all had a turn and Cookie's tummy was nice and full. Then they had to rush back and pass of the tray and mitt to the next child.
Our next game was with Ernie's favourite toys: Rubber Duckies!

I bought a new yellow ducky for each child at the dollar store, and came home and made a loop out of pipe-cleaners to go on each one . Just before the party I filled up the tub with water and set them floating.

At game time, the kids came into the bathroom, stood on the rubber ducky bathmat, and tried to catch one of the ducks. My husband engineered the fishing rod for me. He used a piece of doweling for the rod, a string for the line, and, this was the brilliant part, cut off the top of a wire hanger for the hook. It worked so well, and the hook was just the right size for the kids to maneuver to their ducks.

I borrowed an old-school metal garbage can for the party, since it looked just right next to Oscar, and we used it for a target toss game. I saved up some of my actual trash, washed it out of course, and then the kids threw the trash into the can. Loved it!

Our next game was Elmo Says, which is played exactly like Simon Says. But this way, it matched the theme! I was the first 'Elmo' and taught the kids how to play, and then we gave the Birthday Boy a turn. He had such fun with it. So much that I don't have a single in-focus picture of this game because the kids are stomping, jumping, and spinning so fast.

This last game was The Count's Number Guessing Game. Each jar (1/child) was filled with different candies, and I wrote the number of treats on the bottom of the jar. Then each child guessed how many were in each, and whoever was closest won that jar; We played it so that once you won, you were done and didn't win more than one jar so all the kids would get a prize. The kids had such funny answers! Some of them guessed tiny numbers like 3, or 5, and then others went straight to a billion-hundred-infinity-and-seven. Ha!
My guy was very happy to have won his favourites: Reese's Pieces!
One more fun thing we did during the games was to play a Sesame Street song that went with that game during each activity. For the treasure hunt, we played Big Bird's "ABC-DEF-GHI-" song, for the Cookie Monster race we played "C is for Cookie," for the ducks we listened to "Rubber Ducky, You're the One," (alternatively, we could have listened to 'Do De Duck') for Oscar's game it was "I Love Trash," Elmo says was "Elmo's Song" and the guessing game was "Lambada." Just a little touch to make it special. The rest of the party we just had the regular play list of Sesame Street songs going in the background.

After our games we moved on to treats. I made some character cupcakes that I thought turned out very cute indeed. I wish that I had a better picture since this one doesn't really show Big Bird's beak, which I made from yellow Mike and Ike candies. The other mouths were made by twisting open an Oreo and cutting the black cookie part in half.

While I was looking online for ideas for a cake, I saw one like this that I just loved, and I thought my version turned out pretty well. I would have liked to have used a little more red food colouring to darken it up a bit, but on the whole I was happy. I made the corkscrew curls of icing by rolling out the fondant and cutting it in thin strips, then wrapping it around a thin doweling rod and letting it get hard overnight. The yellow squares on the top layer were to add letters. You could write ABC, the child's intials, their name, whatever. Or you could just leave them blank and have them be simple like that.

I borrowed some little figurines that I put around the cake to make it more 'Sesame.'

After cake and ice cream, we moved to the basement to break open the Oscar pinata. I even got a picture right when the candy started to spill. Lucky! It seems like I never get the timing on that right.

Then while the guests munched on pinata treats, the Birthday Boy attacked this pile of gifts!

The guests (and their moms, I'm sure!) were very thoughtful, and there were many on-theme gifts, toys, cards and even wrapping paper that complimented the party and thrilled my boy.
It was a wonderful, happy party and he is so proud to be four. Happy Birthday, my dear!


  1. I absolutley love the pinata! (and everything else too)

  2. Awesome ideas for games! Thank you!


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