Throwing an Alice in Wonderland Party
BEFORE THE PARTY
Plan the menu. Keep it simple for the main, sticking to popular favourites like sausages, sandwiches, pittas and hummus, pasta salad or pizza. Think about offering a vegetarian choice, and check with parents about any food allergies. Add in side platters of fruits and vegetables. Fruits that can be prepped the day before are lifesavers. Try fruits like melon and mango that won’t spoil if cut in advance, or berries and grapes which don’t need cutting at all. Carrots, cucumbers, peppers and celery can be served on their own or with hummus, and olives are always popular. Most vegetables can be cut the day before and stored (wrapped in a damp paper towel) in a plastic container in the fridge. Be sure to leave room for sweet treats, popcorn and crisps! These can be served in sharing bowls, or separated into individual bags and cups for easy eating.
Ideas for Wonderland-themed party food:
Jam sandwiches with a heart cut out of the top layer of bread (to show the jam underneath)
Jelly made in small teacups and served with silver sugar spoons
Watermelon cut into hearts with a biscuit cutter
Traditional tea party treats like scones and cucumber sandwiches
EAT ME cupcake toppers stuck into small treats or chunks of fruit
Individual water bottles labelled DRINK ME
Choose the party activities. Aim to mix both active and calmer choices. Here are some ideas for Alice-themed party games and adaptions of old favourites …you can play most of them using items you already have around the house:
Find the Cheshire Cat The Cheshire Cat loves to disappear and reappear. Print out copies of this Cheshire Cat, then hide them for the children to find. The winner can be the first child to find a cat, or the child who finds the most (or both, if you have extra prizes).
Indoor Croquet The children take turns hitting a small soft ball through a series of wickets. Use an empty wrapping paper roll or broom for the mallet and pairs of tin cans for the wickets. For extra fun use a small hedgehog toy as the ball.
Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum Hopefully your guests will be better at cooperating than these silly characters. Divide the children into pairs and tie their legs together for a three-legged race. Add to the fun by asking the teams to carry or bounce balloons, or manoeuvre around obstacles.
The Queen of Hearts Says Played the same as Simon Says – when a child follows an order that doesn’t begin, “the Queen of Hearts says”, they are out. Of course, when this happens the Queen of Hearts should shout “Off with their heads!”
What’s the Time White Rabbit? Played like What’s the Time Mr. Wolf, but when the child playing the part of the white rabbit turns he yells, “You’re Late!”
Teapot Race Competing in two teams, the children race to fill a teapot with cereal or dry rice. They take turns running one at a time with a teacup, scooping rice from a bowl and carrying it to the teapot, pouring the cereal in, then returning to their team to pass the cup to the next child. (Unless you’re very brave be sure to use a toy tea set!)
Sugar Cube Toss Another game that can be played with cups from a toy tea set, though it’s just as much fun played with paper cups. The children divide into pairs and everyone is given a cup. One child in each pair has a cup full of sugar cubes. This child tosses the cubes one at a time to their partner, who tries to catch them in their own cup. If the thrower runs out of cubes they can run and collect the missed ones from the ground. Play a song while they play, and the game finishes when the music stops. The winners are the pair that catches the most sugar cubes.
Knave, Knave, Queen of Hearts Just like Duck, Duck, Goose, but with characters from the story.
Playing Card Scramble Divide the children into two teams and assign each team a colour, black or red. The children form a circle and an entire deck of playing cards (or two for large groups) is tossed into the centre. The winning team is the first to collect all of their own colour cards and return them to the adult in charge.
Pass The Parcel If you don’t have the time to wrap layer after layer, we have a rainbow of pass the parcels to make your life easier.
Write a running order. We reckon two hours is the perfect time for a party to last, and between five and eight activities should fill the time.
Suggested running order:
- Turn on the party music ahead of time so that it’s already playing when the first guest arrives.
- Hand out dress up items to your guests as they arrive.
- Begin with a calm craft or sensory activity which stragglers can join in when they arrive. Try a pot of glittery play dough or water beads.
- Free play with balloons or another game/activity.
- Add another 2-3 high energy games or activities to burn some energy before food time.
- Serve the food. Whether you’ve set a table or the children are helping themselves from a buffet this is a chance for the guests to recharge and have a bit of quiet time.
- Plan on more free play or squeeze in 1-2 games or activities. If you have a piñata (a dragon repurposed as a Jabberwocky would be fab), this is the perfect time to let the children play.
- Time to sing Happy Birthday and blow out the candles!
- Hand out the party bags as the guests leave. If you’ve used helium balloons as decorations think about sending each child home with one.
Get a head start. Make your life easy on Party Day by doing as much set up as possible the day before. Sort any food that can be done in advance, and decorate the cake.
If you’re not using helium, inflate your balloons the night before. Most latex balloons will look just as fresh the next day, except for the clear ones (which should always be inflated as close to party time as possible).
If you have giant balloons check out our video on how to make inflating them a breeze.
Download free, Alice-themed printable bunting, Eat Me cupcake toppers and a White Rabbit welcome sign to help you decorate for your party.
ON THE DAY
Have fun! Make sure you capture the magic of the day by asking another adult to take pictures of the festivities, while you focus on the birthday child and their guests.
We hope you have a fun Alice in Wonderland party and your little one has a big day to remember!