Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Little Birthday Party That Could

My friend Missy planned the perfect birthday party for her son Will, an animal exploring adventure at our National Zoo in DC, themed around the PBS Kids show Wild Kratts! 

If you're like me and had never heard of the show before, here's the lowdown, paraphrased from the web: in each episode, brothers Chris and Martin Kratt encounter incredible wild animals, combining science education with fun and adventure.  The real-life Chris and Martin introduce each Wild Kratts episode with a live action segment that imagines what it would be like to experience a never- before-seen wildlife moment, and asks, “What if…?” The Kratt brothers transition into animation and the adventure begins.  The brothers are outfitted with "Creature Power Suits" that enable them to transform into any wild animal imaginable!

But here's a "What if...?"no one could have ever anticipated:  what if the Federal Government shuts down and forces the National Zoo to close, less than one week before the party?  Missy faced the challenge bravely and completely changed directions, pulling off an amazing backyard party in a matter of days.  Luckily some of the prep work had already been underway, and I had just about finished sewing up Creature Power Vests for each of the 16 kids.  (That's the kind of thing you do for your godson!  More on that later...)  Will and his big brother Jack look just as adventurous as the Kratts!

Missy quickly pieced together all the supplies needed for a full menu of activities based on some of Will's favorite episodes.  Each animal has a corresponding "Creature Power Disk" that fits into the paw print on the front of the Creature Power Vest.

First up, and by far the kids' favorite, was stuffing a cheetah tail into their pants and hunting after an unsuspecting antelope (expertly played by Will's dad).

And then, safely transporting platypus eggs back to their nest to rescue them from an evil chef who wants to cook them.

Next up, being wrapped up in a toilet paper cocoon before breaking free and emerging as a beautiful butterfly.

Lastly, using peanut butter and pretzels to expertly craft a beaver dam.  The only flaw in this activity?  Having to take them home!

Since the swinging safari was cancelled at the zoo, Will was still able to have a wild animal show from "Reptiles Alive!" in his very own yard.  Joseph loved a similar show at another friend's party some years back, but this time he wanted to keep a safe distance.  Will was an expert assistant!

Of course there were fabulous decorations and goody bags, and a Wild Kratts cake that both Will and Joseph couldn't have been more excited about.

Kudos to you, Missy, for throwing such an amazing party under such pressure!  As I said, even the Federal Government of the United States of America couldn't stop you from making one of your boys' dreams come true!  Go "Wild" or go home!


Anonymous said...

Perfect party! Looks like it was even better than the zoo! Might just be party 4 for us too. Thanks for the ideas.

Anonymous said...

I love it. My grandson wants a party like this by any chance do you have a pattern for the vests? Even if it just drawn by hand thanks in advance

Carl, Brent, and Joseph said...

Tami, see if the instructions from this other post help. There are some measurements in the comment section. http://altonboys.blogspot.com/2013/10/creature-power-vest-tutorial.html