Monday, January 24, 2011

Drive-In Movie Party

We have reached the half-way mark for school this year, so we decided, with our friends (my party planning assistant) to throw the children a party. With it being winter, snowy, and cold, something indoors that is meant to be outside was chosen as the theme. Not sure how we were going to do it, we kept it to our two families and just played it by ear.

We started out by having 1 box for each child big enough to be a car. For us getting boxes was easy since Jonathon has boxes shipped full of stuff to the house a couple times a week. But if you don't have boxes readily available, you can always get some at your local appliance store. We then got out the markers, stickers, plastic lids from juice bottles, yogurt contai ners etc. for head lights, and let them decorate their boxes. We also had round paper plates for them to use as wheels and then got out some fun stuff like boas, pearls, ribbon, construction paper to make flames for the boy's cars, toilet paper rolls for the mufflers, and canning rings for lights too. Oh, we also had styrofoam bowls for stearing wheels too. And don't forget the hot glue gun! Those cars go through a lot before the show actually starts.

Ahead of time I made a theater sign and snack stand. For both of these I used cardboard boxes. Then I put my thinking cap on to turn them into the real thing....or at least something similar. : ) Paint, white poster board, gold star stickers, and some decorative lights turns a boring piece of cardboard into the movie's welcome sign.

The snack stand was a little more involved. I had to see what kind of box I could use and then how I needed to deconstruct and construct it into a stand. The red shelves on the outside, holding the candy, were just cardboard that I cut and slid through a slot on the wall of the stand, to the back and taped down so it would hold securely. Then I painted it to stick out a little. And with making the top look like a curtain or awning helped it look more realistic. And paint changes everything! One note though, I taped the snack stand together and on all the places that I painted over the tape, the paint began to flake right off. So, after we got the stand in place for the party, I touched it up with paint, then cleaned up all the flaked mess on the floor.

To count this as school, obviously the children did quite a bit of art in creating their cars, but then they also worked the stand as cashier and had to count out their money and see how much they needed to purchase their snacks. It was fun and realistic practice in counting money.

For the food boxes we used small postal shipping boxes. They were the perfect size. You can get them at your post office or even shoe boxes would work too. Casie found the plastic popcorn containers at Target, and I'm sure will use them again. When having this party you don't have to go all out with all the snacks from a real movie theater, but we decided we would. You could also just get smaller things of candy too, but we compromised with smaller pops.
Time for the movie to start. Our The Brothers' Theater was in the basement so the children drove their cars on down. They had so much fun!

We clipped their food boxes on their cars with clothes pins, but you could also use those big paper holder things that you flip the tabs down after you put it on the paper. Sorry, I don't know the name of those things, and my description isn't very good either. : )

And make sure to pick a good quality movie. It makes the event more fun and the adults will want to join in too. That's what makes these times more memorable for children...when their parent's are truly a part. You'll make memories for a lifetime with simple and fun ideas such as this!


Shelley Brill said...

I love this! You are so creative! This is the first I have checked out your blog, I love it!