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Enchanted
Index

Invitations
Activities (The Quest)
Earth Activities
Water Activities
Make a Pond
Air Activities
Ribbon Sticks
Wind Chimes

Fire Activities
Cookout
Garden Lighting
Other Tricks

Enchanted Strawberry Patch
Enchanted Candy Apple Tree
Phoenix Nest
Additional Activities
Decor
Food
Cake
Favours

Related Lemonade Pages


Party Tips Page 1


Party Tips Page 2


Main Birthday Cake Page


More Plant Activities


Crystal Making Activities


Spring Crafts


Christmas Crafts, Games and Activities Index


Medieval Themed Party Ideas


Nutcracker Themed Party Ideas


Wizard Themed Party Ideas


Scavenger Hunt Ideas


Halloween Activity Index


Food Recipe Page


Gifts Kids Can Make


Cards and Gift Bags to Make


Reducing Party Waste


Really Strange Science


Invitations             Decor             Activities
Enchanted Strawberry Patch         Enchanted Candy Apple Tree         Phoenix Nest
Additional Activities         Food         Cake         Favours

Invitations

If you are in a hurry, you can buy premade invitations or email your own. Try using a variety of photos and/or clip art to go with the theme.
For homemade invitations, try making scrolls. First either print out or hand-write the invitation details on your choice of paper (natural unbleached paper will look best here). Hot glue a twig along the top and bottom of the invitation, let cool and roll up scroll-style. Tie it closed with a ribbon for delivery.

A second option involves making your own paper. See the sidebar for details.

Activities

This party follows a quest pattern. The children meet in a room in which a hand-drawn forest mural is taped to the wall. Try adding trees, toadstools, small forest animals, ferns, forest flowers, etc. The guests colour it in until everyone has arrived. You then give out magic amulets (we used "mood" necklaces purchased at a local dollar store, or you can make your own using black cord and fancy beads). Making a chart with the meanings of different colours and symbols adds to the fun.

Once the guests have their amulets, you can lead them into another room or area in which they will meet the forest wizard (have an adult dress up for this). To decorate this room, try using black light and glow-in-the-dark shapes to decorate. Flourescent tempera paint art with runes and celtic symbols can decorate the walls, and flourescent computer paper spirals hung from the ceiling make great stalactites. Anything that "glows in the dark" will react with the black light.
The wizard (or you can have a fairy if you prefer) tells the guests that the land is in ruins and the only thing that can save it is for them to revitalize the four earth elements: earth, water, wind and fire. He reminds them that their magic is more powerful when they all work together.
You can add a chant here if you wish. We chose the poem "Hurt No Living Thing".

At this point, the wizard makes his excuses and disappears, promising to meet them later on. That adult can change and come and supervise during the activities.
Now the guests set off on their quest. You may wish to make a map for this, or simply let the guests find their way.

Earth Activities
For this party, many of the decorations serve a double function as part of the activities. In your yard, you will need to set up several stations.

Use solar garden lights or wooden stakes to prop up inverted plastic or clay planters in a circle. Apply round coloured stickers to the outside of the pots. They should now look like toadstools. You have made a fairy circle. Invite the guests to make a wish while standing in the centre of the circle. They will use a planter each to plant your choice of seeds or tiny plant (cress or clover seeds sprout quickly).

Optional Stop #1: The Enchanted Strawberry Patch

Use wooden skewers to "plant" chocolate-dipped strawberries (just melt chocolate chips and dip the strawberries right in) in a magical strawberry patch. Be sure to wrap in plastic and put them out right before the party so the squirrels won't get to them first.

The second station is the water station. If it is a hot day, you may want to encourage the kids to get wet. Be sure to let the kids know ahead whether getting wet is allowed or not. Set up a pond by using an inflatable child's pool covered in a green plastic table cloth or green shower curtain liner. Add several large rocks to weigh down the plastic, and fill half-way with water. Embellish with river rocks, lily pads cut from fun foam, and real or artificial bullrushes (aka cattails) along the outside. Add a few toy frogs and/or turtles, and encourage the kids to scoop one out (and possibly a handful of river rocks) for their planter. We gathered clean garbage (washed yogurt containers, coffee cups, etc.) and floated it on top and asked the kids to use nets to clean up the pond. Have a few items for each guest if you do this, as it can be very popular.

Optional Stop #2: The Enchanted Candy Apple Tree

From a tree in your yard, hang plastic-wrapped candy apples, and invite the kids to pick one. Be sure to wait until close to the start of the party to hang these if wildlife frequents your yard.

The next activity involves wind. You have several options here. For younger kids, hand out individual bottles of bubbles and let them have fun. You can also make ribbon sticks by screwing a metal eye into the end of an 8" length of dowelling. Tie or sew a wide piece of colourful ribbon (about a metre long) to the eye. Invite the kids to wave and spin them in the breeze. Older kids may enjoy making their own wind chimes. Collect various objects (old cutlery, keys, large clay or glass beads, large washers, frozen juice lids, etc.) and provide fishing line, a strong stick or piece of dowelling, and let them create. We found cotton kitchen string worked well for this (easier to tie than fishing line), although it will not weather as well over time.

Optional Stop #3: Phoenix's Nest

Using raffia (found in a dollar store or craft store) and a needle and thread, make a bird's nest, and fill with small plastic easter eggs. Inside the eggs provide your choice of treat for the kids. Or consider adding a related joke, quote or trivia question instead.

The last station involves fire. If you live in an area where open fires are allowed, you may decide to do a cookout for your final station. Provide food items the kids can cook themselves, esp. on a stick, such as hotdogs, biscuit batter, and marshmallows.

If not, you can have the adults light candles and turn on white mini lights in the party area. If you connect all the lights to one switch or plug, you can have a magical lighting timed with the drama of the quest. We used several strings hidden throughout our trees and bushes.
If you have lots of adult supervision and feel comfortable doing so, you can let the children have their own sparklers for this part. I prefer not to take those sort of risks myself, and instead hand out flashing LED pins or glow in the dark bracelets.
For their fire task, you can ask the guests to breathe fire. Hand out wintergreen lifesaver candies, and have the children bite down on them with their mouths open. There will be a spark as the candy is crushed.
If you have older responsible kids, put out a few candles and serve orange slices. Have the guests use their orange rinds to spray the oils at the flames to make the flames spark. You can also just have an adult demonstrate this for the group.

The birthday candles on the cake will be the crowning touch here, followed by a game of tag in the twilight. At some point during the fire element, the wizard will either appear (or be found if you'd rather). He will see that the land has been restored, and this would be a great time to have someone turn on all of the garden lights.

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Additional Activities

Take some pictures up close of natural objects, such as moss, tree bark, cones, grass, ferns, etc. and ask the kids to figure out what they are. If you have a more active or restless group, you can add activities to suit. Musical trees or toadstools, fort building, or a scavenger hunt may be especially popular.
Quieter types might enjoy making their own paper.
Younger children may enjoy making collages by gluing a variety of seeds onto card stock, or layering different seeds in large washed-out baby food jars. Or peel a few old crayons and have the kids make rubbings of leaves and other natural objects.

Additional Decor

As well as the enchanted apple tree, strawberry patch, phoenix nest, pond, blacklight cave and fairy circle described above, you may wish to incorporate some of the following ideas.

Outdoors, use lots of candles, wind chimes, garden lights, white Christmas lights (esp. minilights), tulle (netting available at a fabric store in many colours) to make a tent canopy over the tables, and add natural embellishments. Daisy chains and ivy can be used to make crowns, necklaces and table trimmings.

You may wish to bring some of the activities indoors. If you do, consider setting up one or more artificial Christmas trees and greenery. Bring all of your houseplants into the party areas. Collect natural objects such as rocks, cones, seeds, flowers, etc. and decorate the tables with them. Display any pictures, paintings or children's art that depicts natural settings. An indoor fountain or mister, flower arrangements, dream catchers, wind chimes etc. will also add to the mood.

Kids can help decorate by making coffee-filter butterflies (see sidebar for instructions).

Be sure to play nature music. Dan Gibson has recorded numerous nature cd's; the music of Enya also lends itself to the theme. Be sure to check your local library's collection for these and other cd's. You can also provide wooden flutes for the kids to make their own music, but be sure to check out the sound ahead of time to be sure it is one you can live with!

Enchanted Forest Food
Cake
Party Favour Ideas


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Making Paper

Materials:
   -scrap paper of all sorts, dryer lint, flower petals, fresh or dried herbs, seeds, torn up rags, etc.
   -blender
   -plastic tub
   -two wooden frames
   stapler
   -small piece of nylon window screening
   -several towels and two smooth, finely woven pieces of fabric, (old bedsheet, pillowcase etc.)
   -rolling pin or other heavy object

Directions:

If you use seeds, let your guests know they can plant the invitation later and it will grow.

Add paper and other fibres to lots of water, soak for a few hours or overnight, and give them a few pulses in the blender. Now you have your pulp. Adjust the colour to your liking with construction paper. The colour will lighten a fair bit once your paper is dry. Pour your pulp into a plastic dishbin or similar container. Add water as desired.

Now you will need to use your wooden frames. I find the 4x6 size works well for invitations. Remove the backing and glass from both frames. Staple window screening (available from your local hardware store) to one of the frames (across the front and staple to the outside surface), stretching it tightly as you go. You will use the other frame on top of the screen when you dip to help define the edges.

Place both frames together such that the screening is in the middle and the loose frame is on top. Dip your frame into the pulp and scoop some onto the frame. Aim for a thin, even coating of pulp. Remove the loose frame and invert the screen onto your fabric. Cover with more fabric and towelling, and roll with a rolling pin to squeeze out any extra water. Open the fabric and carefully peel off the paper. Lay flat to dry. Once your paper is dry, you can use felt-tipped parkers to write directly on it, or glue smaller thin paper on top.


Coffee Filter Butterflies

Materials:

   -large round paper coffee filters
   -old-fashioned wooden clothespegs
   -colouring medium (water-soluble felt markers, diluted liquid food colouring, watercolour paint, coloured candy, such as Skittles, Smartis or M&Ms)
   -paint brushes
   -hot glue gun (for adult use)
   -green, brown or black pipecleaners

First decide on your method. You may use wet or dry paper techniques, or combine each.
For wet technique, try wetting then wringing out a filter. Slowly brush on diluted food colouring. Clean your brush, then add another colour. Allow the colours to swirl and blend together for a tie-dyed effect.
For dry technique, make a heavy dot or line with a marker or paint, then drip water on it slowly and watch the colours spread. You can do the same with a candy by placing iton the filter then drip water on the candy and watch the colour flow off of the candy.

Once you have finished your creations, let them lie flat to dry overnight. Once dry, accordion fold the circle and slip it into the clothespin slot. Cut two lengths of pipecleaner and curl for the antennae. Hot glue to the head. Draw on eyes, body stripes, etc. with the markers.

The use of a liquid to separate colours in this way is called chromatography and is used by scientists as one way to determine the components of a substance.




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