PCA 2020

Go Robotic With a Wall-E Themed Party

From Robby the Robot, featured in the 1950s film “Forbidden Planet,” to the upcoming Disney/Pixar animated film “WALL-E,” robots never go out of style for kids! And they make the perfect theme for a child’s birthday party. Here are some tips for building your own WALL-E PART-E!

Who’s WALL-E?

If you don’t know who he is, WALL-E is a computer-animated robot that communicates using mechanical noises that resemble voices. WALL-E (an acronym for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class), is the last robot on Earth, designed to clean up the trash on Planet Earth—all by himself. Things get complicated when WALL-E falls in love with another robot named EVE.

Invitations

Begin the party fun by sending guests invitations featuring WALL-E the robot. You can buy them pre-packaged or make it a special project for the guest of honor. Download pictures of WALL-E from the Disney Web site, add the name of the birthday kid and party details and then mail to guests. For added fun, include a small WALL-E character in the padded envelope.

Decorations

Collect a number of cardboard boxes in a variety of sizes (if you don’t have any on hand, you can purchase them at the postal stores, storage facilities, or ask the guests to bring some). Spray paint the boxes various colors and set them around the room. Wrap the front door in industrial strength foil and hang a sign that reads “Welcome to Earth, Robots!” Set out some objects and appliances, such as a lamp, a pair of binoculars, a mixer, or a vacuum cleaner and attach adhesive wiggly eyes to make them look like robots with faces. Or wrap them in foil for a space-age look. Hang up a sign that reads, “Buy n Large” (mentioned in the movie), along with a few dozen large silver helium balloons. You can use a Balloon Time Helium Balloon Kit to inflate balloons at the party location. Add wiggly eyes to the balloons and let them float above the party crowd. Cover the table with a silver Mylar tablecloth, and set up a WALL-E scene as a centerpiece, using small action figures and foil-wrapped props.

Games and Activities

There are so many fun things to do at your WALL-E party!

Robot Sounds. Make a recording of “mechanical robot” sounds, such as a doorbell ringing, a water faucet running and a mixer mixing. Play the tape and have the kids guess the source of the sounds.

No Talking. Have the players act out a situation, such as opening a present, picking up trash, or eating birthday cake - without using words, just like robots. Have others guess what it is happening.

Robot Shop. Let the kids make their own robots using the cardboard boxes you’ve collected and painted. Give them duct tape so they can attach boxes together, and then have them make faces using paint, markers, cutout felt or construction paper. Provide pipe cleaners, craft sticks, giant wiggly eyes, colored electrical tape, phone wire, paper towel tubes, buttons or safe kitchen gadgets to enhance the robot’s personality.

Robot Race. Divide the kids into two teams. Gather two identical sets of boxes—one set painted red, one set painted blue, and hide them around the house or yard. Have the teams race to find their box colors, and then assemble them into robots. The first team to complete their robot wins the game.

Robot Relay. Write down simple physical tasks on index cards, “Step over the stool,” “Fluff the couch pillows,” or “Sit in the chair.” Make sure there’s one for each player. Have kids take turns taking a card and performing the task - just like a robot - moving stiffly.

Robot Guess. Have players guess what foil-wrapped objects are around the room.

Robot Hands. Buy a couple of pinching hand extenders (available at the party or dollar stores). Set out a number of small objects and have teams race to carry them from one side of the room to the other using pinching hand extenders.

WALL-E’s Work. Divide guests into teams and have them race to clean up the most trash around the neighborhood within a 10-minute time period. Don’t forget to provide rubber gloves for your robot helpers to avoid germs.

Real Robot. Have a costumed robot make a surprise appearance at the party.

Refreshments

Serve the kids freeze-dried astronaut snacks and drinks. Make sandwiches cut into squares, rectangles and triangles, and shape them into robots. Add eyes using raisins or other another kind of fruit or vegetable. Make a cake shaped and decorated like WALL-E, or top a sheet cake with characters from the film.

Favors, Prizes and Gifts

Send the guests home with the silver helium balloons, pincher hand extenders, glow sticks, WALL-E characters and their own homemade robots.

For more information about WALL-E, visit http://disney.go.com/disneypictures/wall-e/.

 

Penny Warner has more than 25 years of experience as an author and party planner. She has published more than 50 books, including 16 specific to parties. Additionally, Warner wrote a weekly newspaper column on family life for 11 years, penned a column for Sesame Street Parents magazine and has appeared on several regional and national TV morning programs.Balloon Time is the leading brand of consumer helium balloon kits in North America. Balloon Time kits feature a helium-filled tank, latex or foil balloons and ribbon, and are available  at Zellers, Wal-Mart, Costco, Sam's Club and Toys ‘R Us locations. For more information, visit BalloonTime.com.

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