I had the pleasure of being a surprise guest reader for a preschool class this past week. I thought this would be a great opportunity to test a party favor as well. I saw this Elephant party blower craft on the Family Fun website a while ago and have been itching to try it.
Now, I did make a few adjustments. I didn’t use craft foam. I’m sure it is sturdier, but I was making 20 of these cuties and cutting craft foam is a bit more involved. Instead, I used construction paper. And with the help of my printer/fax/copier combo, I was able to make quick work of this. You can fit two templates on a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper, so that speeds up the process as well.
The most time-consuming bit is cutting them out. But, it is the perfect activity to half-watch T.V. I finished off with self-stick google eyes and Dollar Store party blowers. Three episodes of Paranormal State later — I was done.
Oh, but what about the book?! Well, I chose Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young, which has really bold, colorful images. It is about seven blind mice that encounter “something”. Each goes to explore and comes back with an idea of what it is. In the end, the different parts turn out to be an….ELEPHANT (cue the trumpeting elephants). So, I pull out my elephant party blowers and pass them around. And I am like a ROCK STAR!!!!! (It is about the kids isn’t it? This one is a toss up.)
Of note, I used noiseless party blowers. They are cheaper at the Dollar Store and I have a thing about giving noisemakers to the little ones. To me, that is like giving matches to a pyromaniac. I once went to a Birthday Party where the pinata was filled with candy and an assortment of whistles. That would be the equivalent of gasoline and matches.
But, I digress…
The staff and I were so enamored by these pack of pachyderms. We were inspired to try something on our own. We thought frogs would work very well with the party blowers. So, here is what we came up with.
There is an opportunity for kids to personalize these and take some ownership. You could give them the paper cut out and let them color it or add sticker dots for spots as well as the eyes. You will have to help thread the party blower through. I know my staff loves to add their own personal touch to things.
The perfect book pairing for our blowers is The Wide Mouth Frog by Keith Faulkner. It is a pop-up book that starts with a wide mouth frog that eats flies. It meets other animals who tell it what they eat, ending with a alligator that says it eats wide mouth frogs. The frog makes a big wet exit — SPLASH! This book is a sure thing.
The staff and I believe a snake would be another ideal party blower pairing, but we haven’t worked out the logistics. When we do, you all will be the first to know.
Have some great book suggestions, let’s check them out!