Sunday, February 22, 2009

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Our Wizard of Oz party was a huge success! We invited two other classes and had around 25 kids plus staff and some parents in attendance. Since our cooperative has taken over a recently vacated elementary school in the county we were able to reserve its gym for our party, no need to fight for space in any of our buildings. YAY! The Skill Development Center is located here as well and we contracted with the vocational program, which runs a bakery, to make cookies for us. And because the space was recently used as a cafeteria we had all the tables we needed in addition to access to a beautiful playground.
Everyone entered through a rainbow created with streamers taped over the door. The Yellow Brick Road was created with yellow table covers securely taped down with (mostly) yellow duck tape. To the right you can see a table that held paper bag "baskets" the kids used to collect prizes.
The first activity station was the Yellow Brick Road game. We gave out lollipops for prizes. And what about the creative use of that cooler as Dorothy's house complete with Wicked Witch of the East and Ruby Slippers?
Next up was the apple toss with Scarecrow. We gave out rainbow "slinky" type plastic springs for prizes. The background is the Dora Explorer scene setter mentioned in a previous post. The Scarecrow was enlarged from one of Pete Wells' illustrations.
After the Scarecrow came Pin the Heart on the Tin Man. Tin Man was also enlarged from one of Pete Wells' illustrations and highlighted with aluminum foil. We couldn't laminate him so hung a clear shower curtain over top of him to protect him. Hearts were "pinned" on using paper hearts with tape. Blindfold was optional. Prize was a heart ornament I picked up at Wal-Mart before Valentine's Day.
Lion's game was in the middle of the gym around a big circle. Unfortunately I don't have a kid-free picture of it, but we used a stuffed lion to decorate the circle and gave out medals of courage. The game is played like Duck Duck Goose but saying "Lions and Tigers and Bears OH MY!" and running on "on my." Nonverbal kids used a step-by-step programmed with "Lions"--"Tigers"--"Bears"--"OH MY!" Everyone had tons of fun running around the circle.
Melt the Witch was the next game in the rotation. We had a witch's hat on an empty 2 liter bottle. The kids tossed blue balls at the bottle to knock it over. This was surprisingly difficult for them! The prize for this activity was a mini bottle of bubbles. The witch is another enlargement from Pete Wells and the background is the other half of the Dora Explorer scene setter.
At the end of the Yellow Brick Road was the Emerald City. There were three activities available here, although only two of them are pictured (you can see the Lion game circle in the front of the picture). The kids were able to frost and decorate sugar cookies at the table on the right. The table on the left held a variety of green-themed sensory toys. After I took this photo I set up the portable podium with a lap top that was running the Wizard of Oz cause effect activity from Pete Wells' Oztastic unit. The kids had a lot of fun pushing the button to make Oz speak over the surround sound system. And don't you just love that the stage curtains are already green? Made the perfect backdrop for watching the movie during lunch. They even matched the Wizard's throne room.
The sensory table contained a variety of toys I found at Wal-Mart and/or had available in my classroom including: green Moon Sand, green plastic leis, green sensory/discovery bottles, green Flarp, a "slime" ball, a green fish that vibrates, a green hand held fan that lights up, and a bottle of green bubbles. The prize for the section, besides a cookie, was a mardi gras bead necklace.

We also had a "field of poppies" for kids who needed a break from all the action. The poppies are simply red paper plates taped to the wall. We had a CD player in here as well with the soundtrack to Wizard of Oz. We used folded up cafeteria tables to create a room divider of sorts.
It was actually warm enough for the kids to go outside for a few minutes while we set tables up for lunch. After everyone was settled with their sack lunches we started the movie on the big screen. The kids were enthralled. And the kids who needed to be more active were able to run around at the other end of the gym.
Set up took us about two hours (not counting the time it took us to make the decorations--gotta love teacher work days) but clean up only took about 20 minutes even with us salvaging what we could of the decorations. Best of all, everyone left with smiles on their faces. I really wish I could share the photos of all the fun we had.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a fantastic day was had by all! I love the creativity of the decorations and activities. Congratulations :)