Gabi has the 'travel bug'. The majority of her imaginative play involves airplanes and far-flung destinations and she is working on basic greetings in a variety of languages. Therefore when it came to planning her birthday party the theme was easy: airplanes!
For the invitation I used publisher to doctor a Qantas ticket with party appropriate details.
When the kids arrived there were three stations: passport control, preparing the aircraft, and planning the journey.
Before the party I printed pretend passports with an Australian cover. I asked Gabi's teacher for a head-shot of each child in the class and assembled a passport for each child with a few blank spares for children. When the children arrived at the party they were presented with their passport and sat down to cover the blank pages with stamps and stickers. At the party I was surprised by how many of the children did not know what a passport was. But American children are probably less likely to know. Whether or not they could relate to the travel document, the children all loved decorating them.
Preparing the aircraft involved folding paper airplanes with printed paper. This required parental assistance. We quickly discovered Noa's father is a beast at paper airplanes.
The last tables was colouring in maps. America, Australia, Israel, and the world. Ben felt that I was too exclusionary.
And then it was time for party games!
I will tell you what I planned, but the three year olds mostly just ran around in circles.
I brought two of many types of clothes, gloves, sunhats, and the like. I made two piles. I split the kids into two teams and would call out a type of holiday. The child had to grab something that would be appropriate, put it on, run across the room, take it off, and put it in their teams suitcase.
For the next game, I set up drink bottles on the floor and instructed the kids to weave their luggage around without knocking down the bottles. The goal was to simulate luggage check-in. The kids really enjoyed it.
Then we boarded the 'plane'. Upstairs I set up chairs like a plane. Gabi was the pilot and instructed the kids to fasten their seat belts. We looked out the windows, played games and tossed around inflatable balloons.
We landed in time for cream cake!