- Sophie &Friends
Looking for something a little more exotic for this year’s party theme? How about a trip down the river Nile where the children explore the wonders of Egypt! This theme works for both boys and girls, depending on your approach. In the first of this two part series, I’ll be focusing on the luxurious and beautiful elements of the Egyptian culture.
Font Space offers a variety of free, downloadable Egyptian fonts, including actual heirogylphics.
Draw or download a picture of an Egyptian eye and write a simple poem:
“Come take a trip down the winding Nile.
You might just spy a crocodile!
He’ll smile at you, he knows the way,
to celebrate Josie’s 5th Birthday.”
Fill a room with every pillow in the house to create a lounge where your guests can be fanned with giant palm fronds. It doesn’t matter if the pillows match, the effect of this mass of pillows is more than enough to create the atmosphere.
Drape sheer fabric, rolls of thin table plastic or crepe paper streamers to create a tent like feel. Choose a central point in the room to attach the swags together and then drape the fabric out from that point - like spokes on a wheel.
Create low tables by placing a piece of wood on milk crates. Cover them in style with a bright table covers wholesale or bedsheet.
Get the kids involved by having them paint their own heiroglyphs, the bigger the better, and place them all around the party space.
Table decor can be as simple or extensive as you like. Spice up plain paper cups with Egyptian stickers. Use colorful candles and fabric to decorate. We also were able to create a beautiful throne for the birthday girl by simply wrapping a chair in decorative fabric.
I was fortunate to have these amazing large cut-out pharaohs and Egyptian gods. Placed at the entrance they really set the mood. You may be able to purchase similar things at your party store.
Cleopatra’s spa and beauty salon. Set up stations where guests can have the following beauty treatments:
1. Nail polish - Go for exotic colors like gold, turquoise, yellow, green. Guests might choose a manicure or pedicure.
2. Hair braiding - Thin tiny braids are always fun. Cap the ends with gold and turquoise pony beads for the total effect.
3. Eye make up - It doesn’t take much, just a bit of blue eyeshadow and an eye pencil, to create mini goddesses.
Belly Dancing - Put on some middle eastern music and let the kids move their hips and bellies. The music has a way of guiding you...so just let it lead the way. If you have time, watch a couple of instructive YouTube videos.
Egyptian neck pieces - Using either felt, or heavy paper - cut a circle about 18 inches in diameter. Mark the center of the circle, and place a 6 inch bowl directly in the center. Trace around the bowl. Cut 1 slit from the outside of the circle to the outline, cut out the outline. You now have a neck collar. Have the guests decorate their neck collars with fabulous designs and colors. You can add lace, trims, jewels, whatever you like. To wear the collar simply open the slit, place the collar around your neck, and secure with a piece of sticky back velcro or tape.
Egyptian t-shirts - Use oversized t-shirts. Secure at the waist with broad bands of gold ribbon. Have guest embellish or decorate any way they choose.
Cartouche - Print the attached images onto a piece of paper. Have each child draw the letters of their name inside the cartouche.
Sock Snakes - Use long tube socks to create stuffed snakes. Simply stuff the socks with cotton batting or fiberfill. Place a rubber band on the end and embellish as you wish. This is great for Pass the Asp game.
Crossing the Nile - Break your guests into groups of 5 or less. Hand each team a set of paper plates. Each group should have one plate per player plus one extra. Form two “banks” of the Nile - the further apart they can be, the better. The object is for each team to get across the Nile using the paper plates as stepping stones. All members of the team must cross at the same time, and no one must place a foot in the water, if they do, then the whole team must go back and begin again. The team that can get every member across first, wins. To add extra excitement...add one guest as the crocodile...the crocodile can not touch any players...however, they can taunt, tease, or come near them.
Pass the Asp - Have everyone stand in a circle with both hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them. Choose one person to be the “crawler”. Place them in the center of the circle. Have everyone in the circle drop their hands by their sides and open their legs about 3 feet wide, making a tunnel. Hand one person in the circle a stuffed asp like we made in the above craft. They are now the “Leader”. Have the crawler position themselves on their hands and knees beneath the Leader. On “go” the Leader passes the asp back over their head to the person behind them, that person does the same, and so on, until the asp is returned to the Leader. Meanwhile the crawler is crawling as fast as they can in the opposite direction. The object is to see who gets back to the Leader first...the asp, or the crawler. Should the asp be dropped at any time, it must be picked up and returned to the one who was passing before it fell. The only other rule is that the circle must keep the tunnel in tact, no one is allowed to close their legs on the crawler.
Scarab beetle races - This can be played as a relay or an individual race. Each team or player is given a ping pong ball - this is their scarab beetle. Should you wish, you can allow the guests to draw their own beetles on the balls with Sharpie markers. The object of the game is to blow the beetle from one side of the playing field to the next, either by using their mouths or using a fan (fans can be made out of palm fronds or banana leaves or by fan folding paper into a basic fan). In a relay race, the team member blow their ball across the line, then pick it up and run back to their team, tagging the next player. Note - for single play, only race a few beetles at a time, as the balls tend to go alllll over.
This two tiered cake, complete with a little boat floating down the nile, is certainly amazing.
For something you can make at home, try using bright colors and simple symbols.
I think one of the most exciting things about choosing this type of party theme, is the research you and your child can enjoy together. There’s just so many wonderful images and lessons to be gleaned from Ancient Egypt. I hope that you find this theme as fascinating as I do, and can integrate that enthusiasm into your party!