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For my son’s third birthday, we invited a bunch of three year olds over for a wild rumpus. And wild it was…with eight kids under three. The Where the Wilds Things Are theme was a lot of fun.
We greeted party guests with a “Beware of the Wild Things” sign written on my son’s chalkboard easel. I photocopied some pages from the book and cut out the characters to use as party decor.
To transform the house into a jungle, I turned the large column by the staircase into a tree. I tied a bundle of green balloons to the base of the column. I used brown crepe paper to wrap the column to conceal the balloon strings and give the tree some bark.
Then I used paper grocery bags to create jungle vines. I cut the bags into 4 inch strips. I twisted and crunched the strips to look like branches or vines. I stapled a leaf cut from green paper about every 6 inches. I wound the vine around the tree and onto the stair railing. With more time, I would have loved to make a ton of these vines to hang from the ceiling for a more complete jungle look.
I really wanted a “photo booth”. I found the perfect backdrop at Michael’s with this jungle printed paper roll normally used by teachers to decorate a bulletin board. I used large 3M command poster strips to hang the paper on a large blank wall in the dining room. Unfortunately, this was the only photo booth picture taken. I think next time, as the host I need to encourage all guests to take their picture (maybe do it as they arrive) or I need some photo props to make it more of an activity.
The main activity of the day was making wild things masks and monster feet. The mask making station had everything the kids needed to create a wild things mask from a black paper plate. Before the party I cut eye holes in all the plates and attached the plates to a large wooden stick. I also pre-cut the horns, eyes, teeth, and noses. The kids just had to assemble. The monster feet idea was via AlphaMom. I pre-cut the feet from 5 x7 pieces of foam. Each kid had a different color. I put out a variety of paper shapes the kids could use to decorate their wild things feet.
Of course, we took some time to read Where the Wild Things Are…three year olds love story time! We actually had one guest who had not heard of the book. Reading the book also gave the parents a breather with all the kids sitting still for a few moments. After story time, we did a book exchange. In lieu of gifts, I asked each guest to bring a wrapped book for an exchange. We passed the books around in a circle while singing Happy Birthday. At the end of the song each kid got to open and keep the book they had. This way the birthday boy got a gift and so did all the other kids. I think all the parents and kids loved this. Totally took the pressure off receiving or giving gifts.
Three year old wild things get really hungry during a wild rumpus, so we had lots of yummy treats for them. Crowd favorites were the cups of green apples and mangos (and later the cupcakes).
The cupcakes were red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. I used a photo copy of the leaves on the inside cover of the book to make the cupcake toppers. I punched the paper with the Martha Stewart Cornflower Craft Punch and glued them to toothpicks to look like mini palm trees.
Each of the kids was sent home with a wild things tote inspired by this tutorial. I found the black tote bags in the dollar bins at Michaels. I had the red ticking material and felt on hand. I used a white paint pen to write each kids name on their tote. They used their totes to take home their book, the wild things mask, and the monster feet. Later that fall my son used his tote for a Trick or Treat bag.