I had another party for Monkey all planned. It was going to rock. And then not too long ago, he said he really wanted 'a Miyazaki party'.
Yeah, so that's pretty much the coolest thing I've ever heard a five year old say. I couldn't say no. I did make sure he understood that a lot of his friends weren't familiar with these movies, but he was okay with that (we're huge fans - and his coolest friends are, too). So the planning started all over (yay!).
You know I carved some stamps for the invites (soot sprite, Totoro, log). I'm really happy with how the front turned out - it has lyrics from the opening title of Totoro plus 'Happy Birthday' in Japanese.
(Green is his fave color).
Totoro cut-outs! Thanks to my sister and brother who spent an afternoon (or two) helping me paint them.
And see the birthday shirt I painted (inspired by one I found online that doesn't come in kids' sizes). It's such a happy shirt!
I had fun cutting out lots of little totoro for a couple buntings, and created a big tree inspired by the Camphor tree in Totoro. Monkey wanted something that looked like 'the place where Mei meets Totoro.'
The poster was a birthday gift, too (ordered from amazon).
The table was covered with butcher paper and stamped with our Totoro stamps, plus wooden acorns and origami cranes.
I love background music at parties, so we bought some songs from this album to play - they're so pretty!
The table was set up for our first activity: making shrinky dink Totoro and acorn lucky charm necklaces.
Then they played a game with the polka dot balloons (while I baked and assembled the necklaces), and then we transferred the pompom soot sprites down the line with spoons (and laughing to get rid of them).
Then we had a guest appearance by Kiki! My daughter gladly dressed up in a last-minute Kiki costume and had the kids help her find Jiji (her black cat made out of paper). Then they hid him again and again.
Next we cut, colored, pasted and drew to add friends to Ponyo's mural.
A quick (and crazy and slightly violent) game of freeze dance and then we were ready for opening presents.
Before cake was served we had everyone put on leaf hats like Totoro does in the rain. The kids looked so cute!
I've been wanting to make a Totoro or catbus cake for YEARS!
We also had chips and Soot SPRITE to drink - get it?
We had a few extra minutes, so I put the Totoro movie on while we waited for parents to arrive.
The guests were sent home with Japanese coloring/writing books and a stamped goody bag with treats (and their necklaces).
My mom picked up the books, treats, and little erasers for me from Daiso when she was in California recently, so that worked out perfectly (for me - Thanks!).
We had a great day, Monkey was excited to have all his friends over, and they all had fun. In fact, a mom of one of the guests stopped me the next day to report that her daughter said it was the best party she'd ever been to!
Yes!!! *fist pump*
Happy 6th Birthday, Monkey!
And thank you, Mr. Miyazaki, for such amazing films and wonderful inspiration for a magical party!