I know I know, I have failed to bring you a review of The Circus of Adventure yet again, but I’m sure you’d rather I’d had a refreshing read of it, before I wrote about it. This means that I’m going to write about how to throw a Blyton party based on the children’s events I’ve been doing at work for a year or so now.
These events are mostly for children aged 5 to 8 but I’m sure they can be adapted for older children as well, and even for adults if you were that way inclined!
For the preparation, I would take a look at our recipes on the blog (which can be found a little way down this page) and see what Blyton inspired food you’d like to make for your party. Don’t forget the two most important things however; sandwiches (and plenty of them!) and ginger beer or lemonade! Those are what make a Blyton feast – don’t leave them out of yours!
To start off, I always ask the children if they know the Famous Five, and can they name all of them by sticking the names on a picture of the Five. I chose a picture from the 90s TV series for this part as I’m sure the children would respond better to real people rather than Eileen Soper’s lovely drawings. Of course for older children or adults you can use the illustrations.
To make the name tags I just wrote the names out large on a word processing document and printed them out and cut them up.
The children then use blu-tack to stick the names over the character and hopefully, they’ll have got them all right. On Monday we had a bit of confusion over who was George and who was Dick and then who was Dick and who was Julian, but we got there in the end. They all seemed pretty clued up that the dog was Timmy though and that Anne was the one in a dress! If you’re making it a big party, make sure you have a couple of sets for this part and make sure you organize the children into teams! We don’t want any squabbles now, do we?
So the next part is all done with paper plates and felt-tip pens. Weaving a story into the party you say that now the Famous Five have introduced themselves, that you’re all off on a picnic. Using the paper plates the children design their own picnic, drawing what they would like to eat on a plate. Usually you get some pretty samey things coming up but you do get the odd weird thing. I’ve had “blue raspberry lemonade” come up before. Now that certainly wasn’t in any Blyton book.
However the children can get quite creative, and its lovely to see the way they come up with all the yummy things that they would take on a picnic. Its a good one for adults too, because often they haven’t drawn in years and this is a chance to get back into the swing of things.
The next part of the story would be that after the picnic, George and Julian have a row and George storms off, just like Five Go Off to Camp for example. I have never worked out a reason why they row, but you can fill that in yourself. Following on from that the story then turns into “George gets kidnapped!” again, haven’t worked out a reason why, but you know children aren’t all that into detail at lot of the time. But if you can think of a reason please feel free to put it in.
Now comes the hard work part. Before the party you will need to get some pieces of paper, or in my case I used parcel tags that were on offer in Hobbycraft last year, and write the letters of the place George is being held prisoner on them. One letter on each tag or piece of paper. Then, using blu- tack, you need to hide them all over your available space. The bigger the better, because you have more options on where to hide them then. Tell the children that they can help find George, but they must go and find these clues! In my adventure the letters spell out “Kirrin Island dungeon”. Also if you want, try and find a map of Kirrin Village. If you have the 2014 Famous Five Annual, I believe there is a map of the village in there.
With the clues all collected, try and let them spell it out themselves, but ultimately if you need to, do some steering. I usually tell them to look at the map and see if there are any letters on it that match what they have. The “K” tag is a good place to start as if you’re basing your adventure in Kirrin, it helps them get the first word.
When they’ve worked out your clue the next part is to “find and rescue George”. I do this by having a picture of George put up somewhere for the children to find. This obviously helps if you have a big space, as again, they have to work harder to find her. I use a picture of Jemima Rooper to tie in with the picture at the beginning where they have to name all the Five, but feel free to use any picture you want.
After that its a simple case of doing a collage on a line drawing of Timmy the dog. I found a picture a year ago now that I’ve been using, but I can’t find a replica on google now. So I’ve found an alternative which can be found here. You will need glue sticks and scissors for this part and please just be careful of little fingers and scissors! They do produce some masterpieces I can tell you!
So there you are, that’s how to host a Famous Five party! Let me know if you give it a try, I’d like to know how it goes!