The Toy Story movies are about friendship, loyalty and the joy of playing with toys--themes that can come to life when a child decides to have a Toy Story party on his or her birthday.
But how do you begin the party planning? What should the invitations look like? How should you decorate? And what food should you serve?
Keep reading if you're looking for answers to those questions and more ideas for a memorable Toy Story party.
Toy Story Invitations
Set the tone for the party with invitations that match the theme. Official Toy Story party supplies--invitations included--are available online and in most party-supply stores, but you could save some money and flex your creative muscles by making your own.
- Using brown cardstock or construction paper, create a toy trunk with a lid the folds down. Make them so when you open the lid, the party details are revealed.
- Take a photo of your birthday kid's favorite toys. Using a page-design program on your computer, write the party details somewhere on the photo, then print enough copies for each attendee. Mail them off in envelopes or as postcards.
- Choose one of the Toy Story characters, and build the look of the invitations around it.
For Woody, for instance, the invitations could be shaped like a rope or cowboy hat.
For Buzz Lightyear, the inside of the card could be yellow and the front could be black with small holes punched in it, replicating a sky full of stars. Somewhere on that card, Buzz's catchphrase ("To infinity and beyond") should be written.
To make a Slinky Dog invitation, cut out the face and front paws of a dog from brown and tan construction paper. Also cut out a tail and hind legs. Separately, assemble the dog's front and the dog's back pieces with glue. Then, cut a spiral from a circle of paper and glue the inner circle of the spiral to the back side of the dog's face and the outer circle to the dog's rear end, so that (after the glue dries) the dog's body stretches out when the spiral is pulled apart. Write the party details either on the dog's front or back ends or along the spiral so the information can be read when the dog is stretched out.
Here's the most important thing to remember about the Toy Story invitations: somewhere in the wording, instruct the guests to bring their favorite toy to the party.
Toy Story Decorations
The colors most often associated with Toy Story are blue, yellow and red. They appear in the movie's logo, and you could easily implement that color scheme by using blue, yellow and red streamers, balloons, plates, cups, napkins and other party supplies.
Brown is also an important color in the movie because of the character Woody's hat and costume. Buzz Lightyear's costume is white with bright green accents. You could play with Buzz and Woody's friendship/rivalry by decorating half of your dining table with brown supplies (including straw cowboy hats-compare prices) and the other half with white and green ones. Then, let the kids decide which side to sit on.
In addition to setting the main food table for the kids, set up a small dining table for the guests' toys (perhaps a child's art table), and have the children put their stuffed animals and other friends at a place setting when they arrive. You could find out the names of the toys ahead of time and make placecards for them.
Instead of traditional pointed party hats, place plastic or straw cowboy hats (compare prices) out for the kids to wear and take home as favors.
Or go with traditional pointy party hats, but cover them with Toy Story-themed fabric following the instructions in this tutorial. If you prefer not using fabric with the licensed images on it, use generic cowboy- or outer space-motif fabric.
Toy Story Games
Wondering what the kids will do during the party? Lead them in these games and activities:
- Organize a relay race that the kids must complete while holding the favorite toy they brought from home. If they drop their toy, they must return to the start line.
- Purchase or draw a picture of Woody, then cut out cowboy hat shapes from brown construction paper or star shapes from yellow or gold paper. Blindfold the kids, and have them take turns pinning the hat or sheriff's badge on Woody.
Set up a craft table where the kids can make their own Mr. and Mrs. Potato Heads to take home. Give each child a potato-shaped piece of brown construction paper and a glue stick, and then let them attach arms, lips, eyes and other body parts that you've cut out ahead of time.
If you don't want to make your own body parts, you could purchase Mr. Potato Head sticker sets instead.
- Here's another Mr. Potato head activity: Set out two Mr. Potato Head toys and an equal number of body parts for each one. Two at a time, blindfold the guests and have them race against each other to put all the toys' body parts in the right spot. Set a timer for 30 seconds, and when the time runs out, take off the blindfolds and let them see how close they came. You're bound to get an arm poking out of where the nose should go.
Play a game of Catch My Heart, but instead of tossing around a heart, have the kids start by throwing one soft stuffed animal. As they get the hang of it, add another stuffed animal to the tossing. You can read the full instructions for playing Catch My Heart in the Kids' Parties Games and Activities section.
You might be able to play the game with the toys the kids brought from home, but only if everyone brought soft items that can be thrown. Use your own set of stuffed animals if a toy could be broken or if a toy could hurt a child if tossed too hard.
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