The party was in 2 parts, a trip to the woods and then craft in the hall – it sounds so easy and simple put like that – several hours into making bags and cutting out owl eyes I was thinking I had rather over stretched myself. But on the day it was so worth it, it all just clicked into place and the children really did enjoy it.
A trip to the woods
I had made a Gruffalo story board from an advertising sign and various craft bits (green tissue paper, brown parcel wrapping, toilet roll and card.
I then printed and laminated the Gruffalo Characters from their official website and put velcro on the back and then the positions of the story board where they would go.
As there were 20 children expected at the party I also printed and laminated 2 lots of the Gruffalo Features. I then covered a chair in and added velcro dots onto it so that the children could attach the Gruffalo Features to it
Before the children arrived I went to the woods and hung up all the characters (except the Gruffalo) and Gruffalo bits and put the story board and chair in the woods with picnic blankets all around.
When all the children had arrived I got them all standing at the door and told them that we were going to the woods to read The Gruffalo, BUT I was missing all the animals and bits from it, I needed their help to go to the woods and find all the pieces. They loved going over there and into the woods (parents/carers came too!) and discovering the bits and then getting to the end of the trail and there was the story board and blankets waiting for them.
I then sat by the board and asked the children who had the main characters to come up and put them on the board, and then all those with gruffalo bits to add them too.
I then read the story
Reading like that is rather out of my comfort zone, but on looking up and seeing all the children sitting in silence just watching made it all worth the nerves!
When the story was over I told the children that we were going back tot he hall to make a fox, a gruffalo, an owl, a mouse, a snake and a Gruffalos Child and that they all had a bag ready to take home the things that they made.
I decided that I was not going to have party bags, as I just think they have taken on a life of their own a nd generally are full of plastic crap and all the child cares about is the cake. I also had the issue that the children needed something to take home their crafts. So I made each child a bag. This was one of the most time consuming preparations as each one took between 5 – 10 minutes.
Each bag had their name and something relevant to them on it (I knew most of the children coming and asked Ben what the others liked) To give you an idea of size the white bit was an A4 sheet. I added silver thread handles.
In front of all the bags lined up I put a roll of plastic bags so that the children could put their crafts to dry.
This craft took the longest to prep as there was a lot of cutting out x 20, it was nearly 2 hours to do. The idea was based on the Gruffalo cereal box here but I used a piece of A4 card instead as the base.
All the face parts were cut out from card/foam/felt, the lots of brown paint (mixed from green and red) and PVA glue and the table was ready with the prototype one ready.
The Owl Paper plate craft was adapted from here I choose not to bother with cutting out ears thought.
I prepared the wings and stuck them to the body ready for painting and again cut out the features ready
The was an allow the children to use all the gliiter, glue and mess they liked. I left kitchen rolls, wobbly eyes and tongues and then lots of glitter glue, PVA glue and tissue paper.
Fox was from The Gruffalo Party Book Template, the children were given the option of just colouring him in or using scrunched up orange tissue paper, he then folded over to stand up
Owl in a Tree
This idea was adapted from here, I cut a hole in each toilet roll tube and then cut out owls from the Gruffalo finger puppet sheet. The children then stuck on the owl to a lolly stick and glued on green paper and tissue paper strips to the top of the toilet roll to make the tree. They could then put the owl in and out of the tree.
This was adapted from the mouse here - it ended up being more adapted than I planned as I only half read the instructions and thought it was made from egg boxes. They use cups, but we used egg boxes so the mice were a bit more ‘unique’ (or odd!) I cut out the slits for the ears to be poked in with a Stanley knife, nearly losing several finger tips in the process.
The Gruffalo Child
This was again from The Gruffalo website - the child coloured theirs in
Feedback from the party from both the children and adults was very positive, but the proof that it worked for me was looking over to where the bags were and seeing this…
I even got to sit down and make a snake with Ben
We finished up with a party tea and then some games (musical bumps & statues) and then some songs including the hokey cokey (the Woodchips favourite!) All over in 2 hours – easy! *ahem*