Dora The Explorer Party

Dora Fairytale Adventure 2yr - The Map Knows




Leanne in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


August 2009


August 2009 Winner

We had a Dora Fairytale Adventure theme for my daughter's 2nd birthday since the  Dora party products were all themed this way. I used the actual DVD to base our adventure on. Basically, a wicked witch has put a sleeping spell on Boots & the only way to wake him is to give him a hug from a true Fairytale Land Princess (FLP). To become a true FLP, they had to: find the diamond ring; teach the giant rocks to sing; turn Winter into Spring & bring the moon to the Queen & King. 

INVITATIONS To give it a fairytale feel & help set the scene, the invitations I made were in the style of a fairytale story. It was illustrated like a one-page fairytale story which I created in Photoshop  with clouds, a rainbow, pictures of Dora, Boots & the Castle from the adventure as well as a picture of my daughter dressed up as a Princess (I got a beautiful dress from Toys R Us). They read: Once upon a time there was a beautiful Princess named Evie. Evie wanted to celebrate her second birthday with Prince/Princess (name) & Princess Dora in her enchanted castle. So she invited her friends to come to her party on Saturday 26th July at 10:30. She told them the party would be at her (address) castle & asked that they let the Queen know if they could attend her party by the 10th July (phone number).  On the day of Evie's party, all of her friends came in their finest Prince & Princess outfits & had a wonderful time & they all lived happily ever after. THE END. I then added glitter to the borders & to the images on the page & then cut them out with decorative scissors. I then rolled them up like a scroll & tied them with two ribbons of different widths & had my daughter h& deliver them to her guests. 

DECORATIONS Out the front of my house, we set up toddler-life-size cutouts of Dora & Boots that my DH had cut out of ply for me & that I had painted. There was a red carpet leading to the front door. As you come up the stairs, there was a rainbow arch of balloons with rainbow streamers attached to the balloons so that they were entering through the rainbow gate, just like in the DVD to get into Fairytale l&. As they came through the gate there was a sign that my Father-in-law had printed (he's a printer) saying Fairytale Land. There were also clusters of balloons & I had strips of white organza tied along the rails on one side & along the walls of the house there were two more printed signs: one of my daughter in her Princess outfit with Happy 2nd Birthday Princess Evie & with a picture of Dora & Evie that said Princess Evie and Princess Dora's Fairytale Adventure. There were Dora pennant flags hanging along the top & directly over the walkway was a strip of silver swirls.

When they got to the front door, there was a sign that took up the whole door saying It's a Fairytale Adventure that I bought from the Dora Fairytale Adventure party product range.  It looked so inviting that the kids couldn't get out of their cars fast enough!   When they came through to the back deck, it was set up with a Princess feel. I had the white organza (they were actually chair sashes) tied to the railings all the way around the deck.  All the posts had bunches of balloons attached (pink, lilac & purple). In between the posts I had hung up inflatable Dora dolls that I'd bought from ebay. There were light & dark purple streamers attached from the centre of the roof to the outside corners of the deck. I covered the chairs with white covers with lilac organza sashes & the chairs were arranged in a big circle around the deck. We pushed the table up against the wall of the house & covered it with a Dora tablecloth & placed the cake as the centrepiece with a photobook of her with images from the past year & a picture of her with Dora.  I also had thrown princess table scatters all over the table. On the window over the table I had stuck Dora magic cling stickers. We didn't have a cover for our BBQ, so we just put a Dora tablecloth over it.

Near the table, I attached a piece of sparkly material to the wall. This was for photos so we didn't end up with ugly bricks as our background. In front of the material I placed her Dora throne (a birthday present) & next to the throne I sat her giant Dora doll so that it looked like you were having a photo together. For the giant Dora doll I had actually purchased satin in the appropriate colours & sewed up a princess dress for her that matched all the party products. In another corner I placed her little dressing table (another birthday present) & filled it with inexpensive glitter makeup.  There were also some bunches of helium balloons attached to the railings & around the top were the Dora pennant flags as well as a Dora Happy Birthday sign & on the house wall side, there was an Enchanted Princess Dora sign (from product range) as well as the same signs that my Father-in-law had printed that were on the front of the house. Directly above the door was a strip of silver swirls.  In the middle of the deck was the table for the children. I highly, highly recommend setting up a table for the children. I pushed 2 Ikea kid tables together  & covered with a Dora tablecloth.

I put the 10 chairs around the outside & had bought some lilac netting that I cut into strips & tied on the chairs to be matching chair sashes. In the middle of the table was a cluster of three helium Princess balloons.  DH made me up some custom food stands since round plates take up too much room on the Ikea tables.  They were 3 tier rectangle stands that I painted up & trimmed with ribbon. On the top platform I placed some of my daughter's Dora figurines. I then set each child a place with their plate, napkin (I made napkin holders from the Nick Jr template), straw (Nick Jr), cup, blower etc.  In the backyard I had set up my daughter's castle play tent. I had also painted ply cutouts (that my DH cut for me) of every character in Dora & placed them around the yard, in the trees etc. Swiper was hiding in the rock wall & the dragon was guarding the cave.  I borrowed my sister's jumping castle too. There were also giant rocks (painted cardboard cutouts) on the rock wall, a white sheet covered n snowballs with pot plants along the edges, a lollipop path (the big swirly lollipops) & a star pinata.  I had planned to use the makeup to make the girls up as they arrived, but I was rather busy enjoying watching my daughter open her presents & taking photos so I didn't do it but the girls LOVED helping themselves to the makeup so it worked out rather well. As the guests arrived (8 girls, 2 boys) I got them to sit on the throne & took a photo of each of them with Dora to be used on their thankyou cards.

ACTIVITIES I enlisted the help of a lot people to run this party. A friend operated the CD player & played the Dora theme song while I gathered all the kids to me. I had slipped into the giant Dora's lap a little basket with a toy Boots in it. So that he was sleeping, I attached circles of felt with double sided tape over his eyes & drew slits on them.  I welcomed all the kids to Fairytale L& (FL) & told them that Dora was sad as the witch had put a spell on Boots. I told them that we needed a true Fairytale L& princess/prince (FPL) to wake him up & told them what the tasks to become a true FLP were & then asked if they were willing to undertake the tasks to become a true FLP. They all cheered so I handed out their backpacks while Welcome to Fairytale L& played in the background. The backpacks were so cool. I had sewed them all a backpack (just like Backpack) with purple satin (to keep with the princess theme) & for the boys I used orange satin like Diego's Rescue Pack. I had cut out & sewn on felt pieces for the face. In the side pocket I put a map. I couldn't find anything on the computer I could use, so I took a photo of the map on the TV from the DVD & printed it on cardboard.  I also glued Map's face onto the map.

I then asked the kids where we needed to go first & they had a few guesses as to where the diamond ring might be. I then asked Who do we ask when we don't know which way to go? & they all yelled out Map!. Then the Map song played while they pulled out their maps. My FIL had printed me up a giant version of the map which I held up so they could see as I went through each place we needed to go.  First up was the cave which was the jumping castle. We set off for the cave & on the way we had to go through Lollipop L& which was the path I'd set up earlier. I told them that since we were in FL, they were welcome to take a lollipop & put it in their backpack.  They found this very exciting!  We continued on our way to the cave. I told them to be quiet & make sure they didn't wake the dragon.  I had wrapped each ring up in a little satin pouch (purple for girls, yellow for boys) & hid them in the ball pit part of the jumping castle & got them to search for their ring. They loved searching for them & helped each other.

When they came out the dragon had woken up & was coming towards us (my DH had picked up the cutout & was hiding behind it)! We quickly had to put the ring on our finger & 'point your finger'. The dragon magically transformed into Prince Liam (DH threw down the dragon & emerged with a crown on his head). He told us how the wicked witch had put a spell on him & that we'd broken it.  To thank us, he wanted to help us on our quest & gave us a magic music box which he presented to my daughter. It was a Dora musical jewellery box & this became another birthday present for her.  Since we had completed the first challenge we looked at the map again & then headed to the giant rocks. When we got there, the giant was walking around. I asked the kids if she (my cousin) looked sad or angry & they all said sad. So we asked why she was sad & she said she'd lost her puppy. We offered to help find her puppy. I told them to look in Backpack & see if they could find something to help us (Backpack song played while they looked). They found a whistle.

Meanwhile, my BIL was in a bedroom upstairs with a baby monitor & the handset of the monitor was in the shed with a giant stuffed dog that my son was given a couple of years ago. He barked every time the kids whistled. We worked our way over to the shed & the birthday girl opened the door. Then we gave the puppy back to the giant. She was so happy. We asked her if she wanted to help us teach the giant rocks to sing & she did. We went over to the giant rocks (3 pieces of painted cardboard attached together by a strip of wood). We played the music box & the Magic Music Box song started playing (on CD). In it they have to sing Boingy, boingy, boingy bing, we'll teach these rocks to sing. All the kids joined in, & I got them to sing louder & louder & LOUDER until the giant rocks started singing (they start singing in the song so at this point DH made the rocks start swaying by moving the wood they were attached to from side to side). We all cheered. Then Giant asked what we were doing next & we told her we had to turn Winter into Spring. She wanted to help us so she gave each child a bag of sunshine (a little organza bag with a felt sun stuck on the front & star scatters & the top of a pinwheel inside) & told us to be really careful with it because Swiper really wanted it. We checked the map again & headed off to the mountains.

To get there we took a bit of a detour around the yard & the Swiper music started. The kids knew what that meant! Then DH brought the Swiper cutout down & started chasing them with it. They giggled their heads off (I think this was a favourite part of the adventure) & they started turning around & saying Swiper no swiping!. Towards the end of the song, all the kids were doing it together & finally Swiper said Oh man & went away. When we got to the mountains (it was a white sheet on the ground covered in cottonballs) I told them to collect all the snowballs so we could turn it into spring. They ran around & picked up all the cottonballs & brought them to me. Then we got our bags of sunshine & tipped them on the sheet. When the pinwheels fell out, I pointed at them & told them that they were the flowers & we needed to attach them back to their stems. Around the outside of the sheets were pots. I had gotten paper cups & filled them with sand & taped a cardboard cover over the top then pushed the stem of the pinwheel (which I'd coloured green) into them & stuck Dora, flower & heart stickers all around the cup. 

While everyone was attaching their flower DH quickly gathered up the sheet & when they'd finished we'd turned winter into spring. We all cheered & checked the map. I told the kids that I happened to know that to reach the moon you had to climb the stars. I asked if they could see a star anywhere. They pointed to the star shaped pinata so we went over & had turns (youngest to oldest) at breaking it. When it broke a paper Dora star (printed on the computer) fell out for each of them as well as a loot bag. The girl ones had a little jewelery set & the boy ones had boy toys. Lollies fell out too & they put these in their loot bags then put them in their backpacks.  We took the stars up to the fort & blu tacked one on each side of the steps (there were 5 steps so it worked perfectly). On the fort we had tied a moon for each child to the lattice & the kids grabbed one off then slid down the slide.

Once they all had a moon we headed to the castle (the castle tent). DH & I quickly put on our capes & crowns. I welcomed the kids to my castle & told them I was impressed with all the tasks they had completed (& discussed each one). I told them that they had passed the test to become a true FLP. I reached into the castle & pulled out a basket & gave each girl a tiara & sceptre. (I'd bought these as a set from a $2 shop & glued some feather boa on to make it more special). I had bought 4 pink sets & 4 purple sets which worked out perfectly as these were the two colours the girls had turned up in (in their princess dresses) & it was a perfect split! The boys got a crown & a sword with a shield. At this point, I stopped everyone & took a group photo. I then reminded the kids that the whole point of this quest was to wake Boots & we still needed to do that.

To get to him faster I told them that they should ride on a Unicorn. I then produced a unicorn for each child (a piece of wooden dowel that I'd painted with a printout of a unicorn head on the top (two sandwiched over the stick) & coloured ribbons hanging down for the mane they looked really cool!) The kids raced up to see Boots. He was still asleep. So when all the kids got there I reminded them that it was a hug that he needed to wake up. So we gave him a group hug & while everyone was hugging, I quickly ripped off the eyes & he woke up. Everyone started cheering. Then the We did it song started & we all started dancing & while the song played, I gave out laminated You did it! Certificates to each child (I used a Dora frame I found on the Internet & wrote on them Congratulations NAME! You completed all the tasks required to become a true FLP, Love Dora). The dancing was so cute!

COSTUMES The whole family got dressed up & the guests came dressed as Princes & Princesses. 

PARTY SNACKS After the adventure finished we brought out the food. Sausage rolls, mini pies, mini quiches, mini pizzas, sandwich wraps, fairy bread, melting moments, caramel slice, hazelnut slice, chocolate crackles, lollies, chips, cheese platter & the coolest cupcakes (I had made Boots, Dora, Map & Backpack toppers out of fondant). CAKE After that we had the cake. The cake was a Dora castle that I'd made out of fondant. It looked awesome! Most of the guests didn't realise it was a cake & thought it was a decoration. I served the cake with an ice cream sundae bar. I had bought multicolour ice cream & put it into star moulds. Each child got one & could add accompaniments (mini mellows, mini m&ms, gummi bears, jelly beans, topping). I also served them a royal drink  a plastic wine glass that I'd dipped the rip in white chocolate & then in sprinkles which was filled with strawberry milk. 

FAVORS When it came time to go home, they also received a party bag.  Each party bag contained a CD of Dora songs or a Dora episode, a colouring book (Nick jr website), painting kit, bracelet kit, chocolate, playdoh, notebook, colourswirl pencil, pen, puzzle & crayons.

The kids didn't want to leave! My children keep asking if Dora can come back to our house again for another adventure. It really was a wonderful, enjoyable party!

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