Time for a (kind of) throwback to Tuesday, May 3rd. Sorry for the post delay. I have many excuses (none of which I need to delve into, but really, there are many)! Anyway, on Tuesday, May 3, to mark the official release of Mo Willems' final book in the Elephant and Piggie series (The Thank You Book), my super-creative colleague, Jen, suggested an Elephant and Piggie Party, and naturally, I immediately wanted to be part of it. Also (and, perhaps, selfishly), I shot dibs on being Elephant because (a) I'm always Elephant--so, why stop now? and (b) I would really prefer to wear a suit of all grey than a suit of all pink. And now that I have the visible baby bump seen above (Yay! I'm 4.5 months pregnant!), I had the perfect excuse to greedily claim the role I'd prefer-- a limited wardrobe!
Before the kids even entered the program room, Jen and I started the event off by having them pick who they wanted to be. Elephant? Or Piggie? We each campaigned for ourselves and I don't know what came over me, but I actually felt like it got kind of competitive. ELEPHANT, ELEPHANT, ELEPHANT!
Once each kid chose their favorite
Then, we officially opened with a dramatic reading of We Are In a Book, followed by the newly released, The Thank You Book. Obviously it was the first time either of us had read The Thank You Book to a group, as well as the kids' first time hearing it, which felt kind of special! In my head I'd imagined an intro like this, but maybe a little more up-to-date just as we were about to start the book. As usual with Elephant and Piggie books, the kids really liked the story. There's really no surprise there. We all love Mo!
After the two books, we introduced our games: Pin the Nose on Piggie/Pin the Eye on Pigeon and Elephant Trunk Ring Toss.
To prepare for our first game (Pin the Nose on Piggie/Pin the Eye on Pigeon), (1) Jen meticulously made a pile of pig noses and pigeon eyes, (2) We purchased a bunch of prizes (these Pig Erasers from Oriental Trading, these Elephant Whistles from Oriental Trading, and these Owl Squirts from Oriental Trading [because for some crazy reason they don't make pigeon novelties! Go figure!]), and then (3) We hung up our pinning poster.
BUT! Somewhere along the way, we forgot to bring a blindfold into the program! I'm not sure if you, blog reader, have ever done a version of Pin the Tale on the Donkey in a program before, but one thing that holds true for me time and time again, is that kids really like to peek. So when you ask the kids to just close their eyes on the honor system and you don't even present them with a blindfold, it shouldn't really be a huge surprise that almost every pig nose and pigeon eye winds up right where it belongs:
After they pinned (taped) a nose and an eye to the poster, the kids migrated over to Elephant Trunk Ring Toss aka One of My Proudest Program Props To Date.
I hate that I forgot to take a close up picture of this, but I am seriously sooo proud of how it came out. Elephant's face (minus the trunk) is made of grey card stock (about 6 sheets) and black and white paint for the details. Elephant's trunk is made from a cheap, stand-up paper towel holder (this one from Amazon) with half of a pool noodle shoved onto it, then both painted grey to match. Then I taped the base of the paper towel holder to Elephant's face, completely covering it with book tape to keep it from toppling over when the rings were tossed at it and viola! The rings we used were leftovers from Dolphin Ring Toss, which we played at last summer's Library Luau.
Here are two very similar pictures because, like I said, I'm really proud of how this came out:
We had a third game ready to go (The Bird on Your Head Walk, in which the kids were to walk between two pieces of masking tape on the floor with this bluebird finger puppet from Folkmanis balanced on their heads), but everything started getting kind of hectic around this point, so we just had the kids move over to the craft tables instead.
We had a bunch of simple crafts and activity sheets out, but the main craft was another one of Jen's wonderful prep-work babies. She really did do a ton of preparation for this program. I present you... these:
Paper bag puppets! Jen found the templates for these on the blog, Three Little Birds, and had a page pre-cut all the pieces so the kids could easily glue the parts onto the bags. Quick and easy! Interestingly, while there was plenty of stuff for everyone to make both puppets, all the kids loyally stuck with their original character-of-choice, which was pretty cute.
Our other activities included Elephant and Piggie MadLibs (which you can download here), a Pig Day Scrambler (which you can download here), and a Pig Maze (which you can download here). The MadLib was a Pinterest find, while the Pig Day Scrambler and Pig Maze were both from The Happy Pig Day Kit, available through PigeonPresents.com (under "Grown-Up Stuff").
When we had about 15-minutes left in the program, we served our snack: animal crackers and water bottles on either a grey or pink plate. Again the kids stuck with their original corresponding character color. Simple, simple, simple!
What worked least: The games got a little nutzo a little quickly. They were definitely fun, but just chaotic. Plus, we forgot the blindfold! Way to encourage peeking on our part!
What worked best: I think our dramatic reading really took the cake here. We were told by a very sweet grandma that we were good enough to take our act on the road. Maybe one day!
BONUS: Here's an Elephant and Piggie genuine laughter selfie: