Birthday party that is! My son absolutely LOVES this show! If you are not familiar with it set your DVR to record it or check it out on Netflix. You can find it on PBS and even watch some episodes on PBS.org. The Kratt brothers, Chris and Martin, are creature adventurers. They travel all over the world learning about different animals and their Creature Powers. The animal information is all fact but how they brothers Kratt obtain the info is sort of science fiction. Which makes it really really cool.
They have these Creature Power suits that consist of a vest with a paw print symbol, gloves, boots and sometimes helmets. The large circle on the vest is where they put their Creature Power Disks to activate it and transform their suits into that creature’s likeness. The disks each have a symbol of an animal that they have or are learning about on it to show which one it is.
I will break down each part of the party as best as I can by now you should know I bounce back and forth and around. I’ll start with how we decorated though.
We broke down and purchased a Happy Birthday Banner from PBS. It was only $16 do it was pretty cheap actually. About 5 ft wide and 2 ft tall but it had both Brothers Kratt on it and said Happy Birthday Gentleman. Well his name but you figured that out I’m sure.
I found green and blue zebra striped streamers so we put that up all around the kitchen and living room where most of the party takes place. You can find Wild Kratt pictures online easily enough so I printed some in Square shapes about 6 inches in size and glued them to black paper also cut into squares about 6.5 inches in size. Then I simply put painters tape on them and stuck them on the wall around the party area. The last touch was taking all of my son’s stuffed animal friends like the Walrus, Dolphin, Spider, Parrot, Tiger and Monkeys and placing them around the house. He had more but I didn’t want to name them ALL. Kid loves his animals…The decorations were over all very quick, cheap and easy!
When the Gentleman wanted to have a Wild Kratts birthday party I knew I HAD to have suits and disks. I had barely a month from my daughters Loopsy birthday to make everything though so we started with the vests. I decided not to make gloves as that would have been crazy expensive and time consuming. I wanted to make the vests and some power disks though and to have at least 3 games or activities to discover a creature power and use that power to complete a mission.
You can sew the vests easy enough if you want to buy fabric but we didn’t have THAT much time and I don’t have ANY sewing skills. SO we went for option B. Probably a little more expensive but easier and faster. We purchased black t-shirts and cut the sleeves off. Turns out Hobby Lobby has plain shirts VERY cheap and always on sale. Also a good place for shirts Goodwill and Once Upon a Child! There is the option of yard sales or even having the parents give you a shirt in advance. I wish I would have thought of that before. Then I would have had the bonus of knowing for sure who was coming!
We purchased green and blue fabric to match the Kratt brothers vests. You can only come so close and I think ours came out ok. We also needed iron on material because sewing circles is for pros and neither of us was that. My husband actually made the vests as I literally cannot stress enough how much I suck at sewing. He used a fabric circle cutter to make all the circles. The large ones were about 4″ and the toe parts were 2″. Once he had the paw prints ironed on he simply sewed a little strip of velcro to the large circle. Soft side of course.
It took awhile but not as long as sewing them all from scratch. I guess you have to figure out which way would be better for you. Saving time or saving money though we tried to do both. Make sure you get various sizes or find out in advance how many of what size you need. We had a couple extra just in case.
We laid the vests out on a table along with fun animal print foam hats for the kids. Oddly enough they left the hats along til after the party. They were VERY excited about the vests and half of the kids haven’t seen the show! Once each kid had their Power Suit on it was time for the games!
I had SO much fun with these! I chose three animals to earn and use power disks for. Here they are and the games we played for each!
Frog – For the Frog game we had to feed a frog by collecting 5 or more flies. Since the Creature Power was the sticky tongue we had to use that power to get the flies! Since they don’t make sticky tongues I purchased Sticky Hands (Oriental Trading is my best friend for parties). I took about 8 hands and masking taped them to giant popsicle sticks that I had in my craft drawer. This gave the kids a better way to hold them for more control.
I found a picture of a cartoon fly (the show is mostly cartoon so I wanted it to fit) and printed a TON on a sheet of paper. I printed front and back so it wouldn’t matter which side was down. Then I hole-punched them out in maybe 1/2″ sized circles. I put the circle flies onto a lid so they wouldn’t scatter too much when a sticky hand smacked down on them.
I had a bowl holding the Frog Power Disks and a stuffed Frog in front of it. Kids had to touch the frog to activate the disk. They LOVED this one and it was the first activity. They each got to smack 5 flies and then keep a still wrapped sticky hand, the flies they caught, and the power disk.
Kangaroo – The next game we played was the Kangaroo Hopstacle Rescue. Ok, ok I just made that up and my husband actually dubbed it a Hopstacle course but it IS funny. I set my garage up to be an obstacle course of sorts. Nothing fancy or large. You had to help the Mommy Kangaroo by using her power of hopping and her power of having a pouch to hop through the course and rescue a baby kangaroo (printed and cut using my Silhouette machine) from a Crocodile. My son has a GIANT stuffed crocodile so this was perfect.
My husband’s sewing skills once again came through when he made a felt pouch. which was basically a large pocket attached to a waistband strap with velcro. BUT it was brown and was a pouch for us that day! I printed a giant girly kangaroo from a pic I found online. Cartoon version of course and I used Illustrator to print it in pieces. It took a few sheets of paper, some trimming and a lot of tape but we ended up with a cute Mommy Kangaroo that I taped to a cardboard box. They had to touch the Mommy to activate the disks.
The course had a few pieces of wood to jump over or on top of and a few rocks from our back yard. It wasn’t very large but the kids had a blast! They had to go over two wood pieces, one large rock and then a stool that I covered with a gray pillow case to resemble a rock. I set that on top of a LARGE piece of sand colored felt I had from anther craft project and set that next to a LARGE blue piece for water. The Crocodile was by the water on a gray table…or large rock with the babies all around it. After they rescued the baby and put it safely in the pouch they jumped over another rock and wood piece and got to do a BIG jump on a mini trampoline we had. They got to keep the disk and the baby kangaroo. They loved that part the most I think.
Beaver – The Beaver one was my favorite. Beavers build dams and lodges so the kids got to do the same. I didn’t have a stuffed Beaver though so they had to activate the disk by touching my Creature Fun Facts sheet. I had a melting pot in the middle of my table that was lined with parchment paper. Parchment paper, by the way, is NOT like wax paper. It won’t stick to food but then again it won’t stick to anything. Duct tape wouldn’t even stick to it! Anyway…moving on.
Next to the melting pot was a giant bowl of pretzel sticks and next to that paper plates lined with wax or parchment paper. The kids got to build Beaver lodges out of pretzel sticks and chocolate! They got to keep the disks and eat the lodges! How fun is that!
Each disk was attached to the Suit (or shirt) with velcro. I love velcro..it works for so many things. They were made to stand up to kids switching them out for new ones and for falling off and being thrown or dropped. Here is how I created them.
I sort of cheat when it comes to anything digital. I am a graphic designer so I have Illustrator and PhotoShop. I think you can use the free program Gimp or even Paint. I know you can buy disks or at least the artwork for them but I found a picture from the show and traced it in Illustrator then found various pictures of animals I wanted and traced them. I used shadow outlines of the creatures so they appeared to be all black but had the animal shape.
I already had my games picked out but I wanted some more disks for the treat bags. I chose Frog, Kangaroo, and Beaver for the activity/game disks. I know, strange choices but wait til you see the activities! I had a Shark disk set out by our snack table (you’ll see that too) and the ones inside the treat bags were Lizard, Snake, Tiger, Cheetah, and Zebra.
I designed them to be 3.5″ and with different colors for the disks and printed them in groups of 5 on card stock paper. When I printed I allowed for a little bleed in the outer ring so when they were cut it would not have to be so precise. I used my Fiskars circle cutter template and cutter to cut out each disk at 3.5″. We lost a few due to snags but for the most part wound up with enough to cover all the kids and have a few left over.
I wanted them laminated but OMG that would take forever and be expensive. I did it anyway and discovered that the United Arts & Education store laminates on a LARGE scale for very cheap! We lamented about 20 of each animal disk for $5! Of course we had to cut those out too so that took time. Not as long as you would think though. Fiskars makes durable things and I was able to cut most out with the cutter. The other ones were cut with the fabric circle cutter but you have to be more accurate with where the center of your circle was. Turns out I’m not so good at that either.
The only thing left was to stick on the scratchy side of the velcro and we were done! We bought the velcro dots that were also self-adhesive. Fantastic idea and so quick to stick on!
I wanted to stay true to the show and since they always learn about new Creature Powers and how to use them I decided that my games would do the same thing. I also included a Creature Fact Sheet at each station. I used a sheet of cardstock paper folded in half. The printed half had a picture of the Brothers Kratt in the power suit for that animal or at least of them holding it. It also included the disk image, the name of the animal and a Fun Fact about the animal. I tried to make the fact be the power they were about to use too in order to tie it all together.
I didn’t want to serve dinner as it was already kind of over my normal party budget so instead we set up snacks and treats! Of course we had cake pops and cupcakes. Each had blue and green paw prints on them! Nothing special about those except they were delicious!
There was a bowl of Pretzel Fish, Gold Fish and Animal Crackers. Fitting right? I had some chocolate suckers in the shape of paw prints and of course my gummies in the shapes of wild animals. For fun I put a Fact Sheet with a Shark on it and a bowl with Shark Disks. The kids had to eat some Gold Fish since sharks eat fish.
The Treat Bags:
After the kids did all the activities my son opened presents. I know you are supposed to sing and eat cake first but I prefer NOT to have a mess before we open presents and touch new toys with frosting. As soon as presents were opened we sang Happy Birthday to my VERY happy 5 year old. I found animal print candles which were perfect! Then I gave the kids their treat bags to keep their minds off the new toys that I didn’t want opened right away. See? Clever huh?
I admit I get carried away with treat bags. In this case I ordered all the stuff at once…and then saw a couple of better options afterwards. BUT I already had the other stuff sooo…treat bags were a tad full. I used paper bags for the bags so that was easy and cheap. Then I used a hole punch to cut out 1″ circles in green and blue for the toe parts and used my circle cutter on the larger parts of the paw prints. The larger part contained “Thanks for coming to Gentleman’s 5th Birthday Party!” Very easy and too perfect for this party.
Of course I made hair bows for the girls. Zebra stripes in pink or purple and then a white with black paw print ribbon, a velvety sheer black and silver cheetah ribbon and plain black as the base. I found these cute wild animal head buttons for the decoration on top of the tulle. Sooo cute! I had a LOT of things in the bag so if you want to know all of it the list is HERE.
- Plastic windy snake – Purple for girls and Green for boys
- Sticky Lizard
- Wild Animal Bookmark – Random animals
- Wild Animal Create your own Sticker sheet – Random cartoon type animal face
- Custom printed and tied together with twine Wild Kratts and Wild Animal Color book. Small size
- 1 Box of 6 crayons
- 1 pair of plastic kid binoculars
- 1 small colored compass
- 1 small random wild animal figure
- 1 small random bug
- 1 of each of the creature disks that were not included in activities
- 1 set of small Fun Fact sheets with pictures. 1 sheet for every disk given to go with its animal
- 1 small bag of homemade Animal shaped gummies with custom label on baggie
- 1 homemade chocolate paw print shaped sucker in either blue or green
- 1 bag of snack size goldfish
- 1 homemade fish in a bag gummy. Blue gummy poured into a bag with a swedish fish.
Everyone seemed to have a good time and the kids all LOVED the activities. I think the adults liked them all too and I know they wanted to “help” with the Beaver Lodge building. Who wouldn’t?! Half of the party was created simply because I get that “wouldn’t it be cool if…” question in my head with about 1,000 answers to what that cool thing would be. Me being me I have to try to make it all. So this party is a toned down version of what I wanted originally although I came close.
I go over board I admit it. BUT all the kids had a great time and they loved their treat bags and the games and my son LOVED his party and was the happiest kid on the planet that day. To me that made it all worth it and I cannot wait until next year’s party.