Dora The Explorer Party

Dora the Explorer -3yr- Dora Bingo Game




Marlene in Monroe, CT USA


May 2004



I did a Dora the Explorer party theme for our boy / girl twins 3rd birthday.  This is a perfect theme since it is very gender friendly. 

When the guests arrived (we had 9 children..all 3 year olds) they were given a Dora placemat to color in (I printed it off of the Nick Jr website & glued it onto construction paper to make it sturdier)…it basically was something easy (and inexpensive) for the kiddies to do while waiting for all the guests to arrive  To set the tone for the party we had music playing from the Dora show..we used the Nickelodeon CD & had the player programmed to just play those few songs in repeat mode (it has the backpack song, the map song, theme of the show & a "you did it" song)…perfect as low background music.  This CD can be purchased anywhere..we got ours at Amazon.com 

I had Dora Birthday signs all over the house..balloons floating all over..primarily solid green ones with green string to sort of represent a pseudo forest or jungle feel. We had Dora tablecloths & Dora centerpiece (these were store bought just for ease..as you'll see I spent the bulk of my efforts & money on the activities)  In the adjoining room (where our TV & toys are) we had Dora videos playing so if anyone wanted to wander in there & skip any of the structured activities they were free to do that..b/c as you know some 3 year olds take to structured activities well whereas some do not so the choice was completely their for each activity I planned 

The 1st activity was beading braclets (b/c Dora wears a beaded bracelet) yes, even the boys got into that & I figured if anyone thought too "girlie" then they could string a neckplace instead.  This was a fun & very inexpensive craft..I got a huge bucket of soft foam shape beads (manufacturer is Creative Hands) I got it at Walmart in their crafting department for about $5 

The 2nd activity was  a Dora Bingo game I made.  There are sites online where you can print blank Bingo cards..and you can make the cards as small as 3 by 3 or as large as 5 by 5 (a normal Bingo game card)..since 3 year olds do not have the longest of attention spans I used the smallest card (so it had 9 squares)..if you want website please feel free to email me at paynemd22@aol.com this is another cheap activity & since blank this is an idea you can do for any theme b-day party..just use stickers to fill in the squares (or if you want to save money & are handy just draw pictures in) 

What I did was I used Dora stickers in each box of the Bingo Card middle was a free space & obviously used matching stickers for the calling cards for the Bingo game (I bought packs of Dora stickers at a Party City store) so the stickers were Dora, Boots, Benny the Bull, Tico the Squirrel, Isa Iguana, binoculars, row boat, ice cream cone, The Map, backpack just to name a few.    I went the extra step to laminate the playing cards at Kinkos (you know how sticky the hands of a 3 year old can get) but that isn't necessary at all if trying to keep cost of your party low..so this can be a free craft if you draw pictures in  This game was a huge hit.  To win you needed to cover all squares..we used the beads from the 1st activity as our bingo chips.  In our house everyone is a winner so we played until everyone had all their cards covered for 1st game I gave everyone a sheet of Dora stickers as their prize. 

For 2nd game I gave them Dora bubbles  Then the last activity was the biggie..a treasure hunt.  This is where I chose to spend the bulk of my creativity & time planning & was well worth it..it was very well received & appreciated by the parents  I asked them what does Dora need to go on an adventure..a backpack, of course!!  So I distributed backpacks to each child..these were drawstring backpacks I ordered from oriental trading co. website..were very inexpensive..they come in set of 12 & in all different colors so colors that are good for boys or girls (solid pastel green, yellow, orange and pink).  As I handed them out I played the backpack song from the CD I mentioned earlier  Then I said who do you ask when you don't know which way to go..The Map!! 

I had printed off the map from Nickjr website & I gave one to each child.  It showd our 3 places 1st we were going to Dora's house, 2nd to Rainbow Tunnel & lastly Treasure Chest..and I played the Map song from the CD as I handed this map out   I told them that they needed to keep a lookout for Swiper the Fox & if we saw him we had to shout"Swiper, no swiping"!!  I asked them if they had anything in their backpacks that could help them look for Swiper?  In their backpacks I had binoculars (also from oriental trading co) so they had those around their necks as we went outside  So we used our map & went to Dora's house.  This was a cardboard house I got online..it is called Color Your Own Playhouse..it is a good size & is very sturdy it costs about $25..if you want website please email me at address I gave earlier or if you have time just make a psuedo house out of cardboard boxes.  

I had our dancing Dora doll out in front of the house so they'd understand it was Dora's house.  When we got there I told them Dora asked if we could help her paint her house..is there anything in your backpacks we can use to help in their backpacks I had given them each a  box of crayons so they took them out & all started coloring this house in this kept them busy  then it was off to find rainbow tunnel..but along the way someone shouted they saw swiper..I had a swiper doll hidden in a bush along with some plastic keys..to represent that he had stolen the keys to treasure chest..so I had them shout "Swiper, no swiping" & I took the keys down  Rainbow tunnel was simply a tunnel toy we had (gotten at Ikea)..it has different colors on it hence why I called it Rainbow tunnel. 

When we got there I told the kids the tunnel was dark..did they have anything in their backpacks that could help light the way?  In backpacks I had placed flashlights..they work & everything!!  I got them from oriental trading co also..they have strings & can be worn like a necklace & came in all different colors this was HUGE hit & also quite cheap (FYI---in their backpacks I also had magnifying glass & compass rings)  so they put their flashlights on & crawled thru tunnel  then was last step..the treasure chest.  I had essentially taken a box & wrapped it in Dora fabric..but you can just use a plain brown box anything you have laying around..even a box of diapers..and wrap that in brown paper bags or in brown mailing paper anything.  On this box I had a big stuffed animal bear.  The idea was that the bear was sleeping..did they have something in their backpacks to wake him up and in their backpacks I had placed whistles so they all blew their whistles & I took bear off the chest.

I pretended to use the keys I had gotten back from Swiper & I opened the trunk  Inside I had Dora goodie bags..in each goodie bag was Dora fruit snacks (bought in snack aisle of grocery store), Dora crazy straws (Party store), Dora blowout (party store) .. I gave each child one of these bags to add to their backpack & then the chest itself was filled with same kind of stuff you'd find in a pinata..candies, superballs, toy trinkets, etc  so they were free to grab what they wanted & also add to their backpacks  Then I had made homemade coloring books & cover of it was a Dora "You Did It" certificate..the certificate as well as all the coloring pages were free as they were all printed off Nick Jr website  so although this may sound like a lot of giveaways & stuff..alot of it was free (things printed online) or stuff from oriental trading co this party was a HUGE hit with the kids & it was very inexpensive..there is no reason to spend a lot of money 

Oh..the cake was very simple..I used the Dora cookie kit (can find at any party store..about $8)..I used the Dora cookie as center of the cake  If you have any questions on what I did please let me know as I am happy to share (I provided my email address earlier)..this was a case of too many ideas, too little time..in that I had other ideas too I was going to make Puzzle bridge one of the stops on the treasure hunt using a big foam alphabet puzzle we have where they'd have had to complete it before going on..or we have a plastic blue slide & I was going to call it Blueberry Hill & have them slide down it  I also had a Dora poster on our front door..I had another idea of laminating it & using it to play "pin the tail on Boots" or "pin the boots on boots" but like I said..not enough time  On top of my twins I have a 5 month old daughter so maybe she will be into Dora someday & I can try out some of these other ideas 

Thanks for letting me share..I hope you got some ideas or tips..email me anytime with questions or comments  This website is so great..I can't wait to plan our next party..this site is filled with great ideas

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