Marisa had so many great ideas for her son's bear party; we can barely wait to share them (yuck, yuck): We didn't have to think very long to come up with the theme for our son's third birthday party, since already he often insists on being called "Baby Bear" instead of his given name! Once we landed on the Teddy Bears' Picnic theme, we fully embraced it for every aspect of the party.
Upon arrival, the kids made their own bear hats. Before the party, we assembled the blank bear faces on the straps and cut ears and noses out of sticky-back felt, all in different colors so the kids could customize their bears. (The birthday boy ended up making three hats so he could have one of each bear: brown bear, black bear and polar bear.)
Once all the "bears" were dressed in their hats, we had a bear hunt in the backyard. I had made "picnic baskets" out of orange paper bags, cardstock handles and gingham fabric. Carrying their baskets, they hunted for two kinds of bears: mini cans of Play-Doh, and Easter Eggs I spray-painted brown with little packages of gummi bears inside; both had paper bears glued to the top. (And if you think it is easy to buy plastic Easter Eggs in late May, you are mistaken! Somehow I lucked out and found a package left on clearance for a penny!) Once the kids filled up the baskets during the hunt, they became their goody bags: activity and takeaway in one!
The lunch spread included a variety of bear-shaped sandwiches (made with the help of some cookie cutters) and bear-shaped crackers, along with some other, non-bear-shaped food. And for dessert, a homemade chocolate bear cake. I loaded our family picnic basket with all the plates, napkins and forks for the buffet and for seating we spread several blankets out in the backyard.
And what would a teddy bears' picnic be without some teddy bears? We specified on the invitation that the event was BYOB (Bring Your Own BEAR), and a lot of the kids brought bears with them. But we also collected all the teddy bears in the house, loaded them into our wagon and set them out back so the kids could pick some more bear friends to join them for lunch.
I was really excited while planning the bear hat craft and the bear hunt, but I wasn't sure how well the kids would respond to them. It was so incredible to see them fully embrace the activities! Some of the bear hats have even made an appearance at preschool this week. And Baby Bear has already been asking when his friends can come over for picnic lunch again.