Follow the Yellow Brick Road to a Backyard Birthday Party!

Thinking about planning a movie-themed party for your child’s birthday? There are so many to choose from. Classic movie watchers know “there is no place like home” for a backyard party with a Wizard of Oz theme. Generations of children have enjoyed the story of Dorothy and her friends’ journey to the Emerald City. Simply grab your ruby slippers and host a day of fun with games and crafts that your munchkin will love!

Get this party started with a “Follow the Yellow Brick Road to My Party” invitation. Attach a yellow rectangular sponge and ask the guests to bring it along to the party. As the kids arrive, entertain them with the project of painting a yellow brick road on the sidewalk with sidewalk chalk paint. This gives the kids something to do as they wait for everyone else to arrive at the party.

Bring on the games!

Along Dorothy’s journey, she encountered friends who wanted a brain, a heart, and courage. Play games to earn those items by the time the party ends at the Emerald City. You might want to offer ribbons as they complete the games in each area.

Brain games

Print out two Wizard of Oz pictures and glue to thin cardboard. Cut into puzzle pieces and separate kids into two teams. The first team to finish the puzzle correctly is the winner.

To make your puzzle game more challenging, hand out the puzzle pieces one at a time to the kids for answering the movie’s trivia correctly. For example: What is Dorothy’s dog’s name? What color is Dorothy’s dress?

Have the kids go on a rainbow scavenger hunt in your backyard. Guests must find items that are blue, purple, red, orange, yellow, green, etc. (You may have to plant a few items. These can be paperclips, tissue boxes, candles, votives, etc.) The first team back inside the house with all the correct colored items is the winner.

Heart games

Play Pin the Heart on the Tin Man. This is a spinoff on the classic Pin the Tail on the Donkey game.

Hunt for Hearts. Cut out red hearts out of construction paper and hide them throughout your backyard. Send the kids out to search for them, like in an Easter Egg Hunt. Whomever finds said amount of red hearts is the winner, or let the kids go wild and find as many red hearts as they can find. That way, everybody wins.

Musical Hearts is similar to Hot Potato. Have the guests sit in a circle. Turn on the music and pass around a stuffed heart. When the music stops, the person holding the heart is out. To spare hurt feelings, the first person out is the first one to have their birthday gift opened.

Courage games

Find a dime in a bowl of brains. Fill a bowl with cold cooked spaghetti noodles. Blindfold the player and have them find the dime buried inside.

Use your favorite green smoothie recipe to fill clear cups. Ask the bravest children to drink the melted witch smoothie.

Dress up an adult volunteer as an angry apple tree - brown clothes and a leaf hat will work well. Velcro felt apples to their arms, back, and chest. Blindfold the tree and challenge the kids to pick an apple from the tree.

Crafts and activities

Make ruby red slippers. Purchase cheap flip-flops and fuzzy (sparkly) red yarn. Tie the yarn to one end of the flip-flops’ strap and continue wrapping it around until you get to the other end. Tie off to secure.

Create rainbow jewelry by making rainbow looms or friendship bracelets. You can also use Wizard of Oz charms found online at Etsy or use colorful plastic beads.

Make Glindas wand by hot gluing pre-cut wooden stars to dowel rods purchased from a  craft store. Have the kids paint and sprinkle on some glitter or personalize their wands with fun stickers. 

Pam is a freelance writer, and a mother of three. She enjoys party planning as much as the kids enjoy her parties. Follow her on Etsy at pamspartyprintables. 

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