Throw a unique party for your child…Mardi Gras style!
Let’s say that your child, whose name is, um…Sebastian, is turning seven next Thursday, and you want to do something special to celebrate. You say to yourself, “Oh, a party that day would be just lovely! I’ll invite Aunt Inna and Uncle Adam. Then you remember that little Sebastian will be sitting in his second grade classroom learning how to write cursive “Z’s” on Thursday. What to do now? How about a party at school to surprise Sebastian? Better yet, how about a theme party with the theme of Carnival, or more specific, Mardi Gras? Kids love to dress up and have fun with their buddies. A Mardi Gras party would let them do both, while celebrating Sebastian’s seventh. If you follow the simple guidelines listed below, you’ll have the makings of a terrific birthday party that Sebastian will never forget!
Talk to your Child’s Teacher:
This is a biggie. Many schools have policies regarding parties and some schools do not even allow parties. So, give that teacher a ring and check out the situation! Ask the teacher how much time you would be able to take out of the regular class schedule to hold the party. This will definitely make things easier when you are planning activities.
Emphasize while speaking to the teacher that it will be a learning experience for the students and ask him/her to possibly teach the children a bit about Mardi Gras before you come. It’s history anyway, and you really don’t want 30 kids looking at you like you’re a complete moron when you ask them to say “Throw Me Somethin’ Mister!”, do you?
There are many activities that you can consider:
Students can make their own floats. In New Orleans teachers typically ask students to bring a shoebox in from home and decorate it, representing a traditional float. Students may either decorate their floats at home or as a group project in class. The top of the box serves as a back for the float, the box is turned upside down and the bottom is decorated. The shoebox can be covered with tin foil, painted, or whatever the child feels like doing. Put no rules on the floats, and allow them to be as expressive and individualistic as their young minds want to be. Number each float and line them up, just like in a Mardi Gras parade. Each student can vote on their favorite floats in categories, and you can hand out prizes for the best ones–Most Creative, Best Use of Materials, etc.
Do you want a King and a Queen? Obviously, Sebastian would be the King, and you can pick the Queen out of a hat to make it fair. You have to watch this, though, because sometimes small children get upset if they don’t get picked.
A game that you can play with the kids is “Pass the Baby.” All the kids sit in a circle, while Mardi Gras Music is played. A baby doll, representing the traditional baby placed inside of Official New Orleans Mardi Gras Kingcakes is passed around the circle until the music stops. The person holding the baby is out, and so forth. Whoever ends up with the baby is the winner, and can be awarded with some New Orleans beads or can eat the first piece of kingcake- whatever you want!
Instead of dressing up, (After all, it will be a regular school day), encourage the children to make masks. Cut a paper plate in half, and decorate it with glitter and markers, etc. Fake feathers may be purchased very cheaply at local stores. Then, attach a wooden dowel to the plate and let dry. After that, the kids will have some Mardi Gras stuff of their own to help them get in the spirit! Oh, remember to make eye-slits in the masks!
Since this is a birthday party, you will only want to serve dessert. Going right along with the theme of Mardi Gras, bring in an original that people around New Orleans go crazy for–KingCake!
Official New Orleans Mardi Gras Kingcake is a treat that all kids love–in fact, you’ll probably sneak a couple of pieces yourself!
To make the otherwise dull classroom festive for the party–decorate, decorate, decorate!
An easy decoration that can be made by children is a ShoeBox Float.
You’re Ready For The Party!