Monday, January 5, 2009

Where the Wild Things Were

The Wild Things were out in full force last night for our son's 5th birthday party, lakeside. We built a bonfire on the beach and gave each kid a pair of binoculars so they could spy wild things. They were invited to take a boat ride around the edge of the lake to observe local wildlife, enjoying the amazing sunset on the ride back to the beach.

KID 2 and KID 1 enjoy the sunset from the bow of Uncle Mark's boat

If you're not familiar with the classic story Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak, read my post from last week. The Birthday Boy's Max suit was just a pair of thermal longjohns and a furry tail. I made the tail removable with these clips and the hood was a separate piece. He pretty much just looked like he was running around in his underwear after about 20 minutes of the party! Oh, well!

I also sewed lots of wild animal print tails for our wild guests to wear. They were a hit, but I didn't get any pictures. It was totally dark by the time we got back from the boat ride and got our tails situated! I first saw them here, but decided I could make them easily for a lot less. Plus I could choose any wild print I wanted! We ended up with zebra tails with hot pink feathers at the end, cow tails, leopards, lizards, and more. I used one clip per tail and they stayed on just fine.

Each goody bag also included a mask for them to color and wear...there just wasn't enough time before it got really dark (which was fine with everyone, since it was really all about the bonfire!).

I decided while I was shopping for the wild dinner that we really needed to serve wild punch. I found some green Tampico kiwi, strawberry, guava juice and paired it with ginger ale. These were poured over a punchbowl full of gummy worms and craisins (to look like bugs). The Craisins floated, but the gummyworms lurked on the bottom for anyone unfortunate enough to scoop their punch from the bottom of the was great!

After a quick meal of hotdogs and chips (ahem...not the most nutritious meal, but there were supposed to be small ears of corn...we just completely forgot them)...I prepped them before storytime so their terrible roars, terrible claws, gnashing teeth, and rolling eyes were ready for their cue. What fun to read Where the Wild Things Are by the fireside with a bunch of enthusiastic wild things!

When we got to the wild rumpus part of the story, we did the hokey pokey and sang wild songs around the fire. Then we passed around a sackful of hand instruments: drums, shakers, rattles, sticks, tambourine, you name it. What a wonderful racket we made marching around that bonfire, each child so proud of his and her individual contribution to the din!

It's hard to stop a wild rumpus cold turkey, so we roasted marshmallows after that, each kid turning in his or her instrument to gain a roasting stick and marshmallow. We enjoyed the wild thing cupcakes while Birthday Boy opened his gifts by the fire. It was a spectacular night. The stars were bright, the wind off the lake kept us cool, and the bonfire kept us entertained! I think it was the best birthday party I've ever been to...but I'm such a kid at heart! I'm very easy to please!


  1. We thought the Wild Rumpus was fantastic! THE Princess has talked about it all day. Awesome job, Donna! I especially loved the tails. And the treat bags with binoculars and flashlights were awesome. You made it a really fun birthday party for everyone who was in attendace. :-)

  2. Sounds like a great time! I love the cupcakes!

  3. Thanks for the compliments. It was a lot of fun to plan this and then lead the wild things in our rumpus around the bonfire! Paul said it was just like Musikgarten class (but with special effects)!

  4. I would not have thought of doing a bonfire party and I don't know why, because I love them! Thanks for sharing this very cool party. :)


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