ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: Ideas for Throwing a Three Billy Goats Gruff Fairy Tale Birthday Party

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Ideas for Throwing a Three Billy Goats Gruff Fairy Tale Birthday Party

Since grandma read the book when he was very little my youngest son has had an interesting fascination with The Three Billy Goats Gruff.  At first, he was terrified of the story.  Everyone did their best to alleviate his fears by showing him video clips of adorable little billy goats, singing goat rhymes, reading parodies of the famous tale, and driving miles off our typical course to find farms with "nice" real life goats.  All of our efforts proved successful when his fear turned into a giant toddler obsession. 
His extreme interest aside, I never quite imagined when offered Thomas the Train, Olaf, Bob the Builder, Doc McStuffins, or I Stink the garbage truck as themes for his 4th birthday celebration my son would "choose his own adventure"... The Three Billy Goats Gruff.  We knew right away the local party store wasn't going to be able to provide much for inspiration or decorations. With a little creativity, a bit of lesson plan adaptation, and some Pinterest inspiration our older children were able to help me put together a small party our littlest billy goat gruff found perfectly exciting.  
It couldn't hurt to share a few details here in case anyone finds themselves in a similar situation with an obscure preschool party request.  You never know, you might thank me someday (wink!).

To decorate the table we created napkin ring goats using paper towel rolls cut into quarters.  Other materials include: a quarter of a cotton ball, scraps of brown and black construction paper, glue stick, Sharpie marker, and brown raffia.  Since the kids did a lot of the assembly each goat had a look and expression of its own.
Construction paper goats in three different sizes became an inexpensive way to inspire story telling even with favor bags.

We always love to have a big pile of books available at parties for kids to check out during transition times. In addition to many versions of the classic fairy tale, there are many fun picture book spin offs on the Three Billy Goats theme.  Here are a few of our favorite titles. 
Three Silly Billies by Margie Palatini
Three Billy Goats Fluff by Rachael Mortimer
Three Billy Goats' Stuff! by Bob Hartman
Just a Friendly Old Troll (Another Point of View) by Alvin Granowski
Older children worked together using Legos and goat figurines to build the story's setting while waiting for all the guests to arrive.  Their finished sculpture ended up being a great decoration for the gift table.

During the party the kids enjoyed creating Pet Trolls like this colorful example we found on ScrumDillyDo.  Supply each child with a lump of clay, very little instruction, and piles of googly eyes, pipe cleaners, and pom poms.  Sit back and watch their imaginations run wild!

  Use your favorite trail mix and a bag of white chocolate chips to create this sweet, troll-ish treat.
  There are likely many recipes for melted chocolate bark, but here is a quick and easy run down:
  • Line a cookie sheet with foil
  • Melt chocolate in a double boiler
  • Spread on cookie sheet
  • Evenly distribute trail mix through chocolate
  • Let cool before breaking into bite size pieces

  •  A grassy mountain seemed to be a most appropriate scene from the story to display on the cake.  This mountain was built using 2 heart shaped cake pans, chocolate frosting, and a little bit of leftover white chocolate "snow."
    If building a mountain cake is too time consuming, stack various sized cupcakes to create mountains and valleys. Our family hosts two separate parties to accommodate two sides of the family.  We brainstormed this "mountains and valleys" scene as a quicker option for keeping the dessert thematic for a second celebration.  Arrange chocolate cupcakes of various sizes and  top them with sprigs of frosting grass and toothpicks to prop the goats in their sweet habitat.

    Do you use any Three Billy Goats Gruff activities in your class that could be adapted for use at a birthday party?


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