For my daughter’s third birthday she wanted a Berenstain Bears Party. I was shocked when I went on Pinterest and saw that there are so few Berenstain Bears parties! So I had to really think about this one. Another complication with this party is that I was SO UNMOTIVATED to have a party. I don’t know what was up with me, but I kept waffling on whether or not I even wanted to have a party (I know, I could hardly believe it either). Prior to her birthday I discussed the party with my daughter and she seemed pretty excited, but her birthday falls on Thanksgiving weekend, so she had a party with one side of the family just because of that. So, long story short, I had only invited two people to her party by the day before the party. So I decided to go through with it, and pulled it together. We had 9 guests total – only 3 kids!
I loved the decorations for this party. I had to destroy a book for this first one, though. The kids looked at me in horror as I cut up a book. “What are you doing?!?!” they said. Fortunately, at a thrift shop I found a copy of one of the Berenstain Bear books that we already had, so we didn’t lose a story. I was actually really torn about whether it was literarily acceptable to destroy a book for a decoration. I mean, I love books. I’m always telling my children to be careful with their books. And now they see me cutting one up? #hypocrite. So when I found a copy of a book we already had I felt much better about it. The top banner was really easy to make. The first thing I did was make a stencil of the shape I wanted for the pages. Originally I thought I’d do triangles, but it was very difficult to fit the pictures into the triangles. So I decided on a semi-circle. I arranged the stencil on the pages that were suitable, traced it with a pencil and cut them out. I folded over the top edge, wrapped it on a string, and glued the paper shut. Then we just taped the banner to the wall.
The bottom banner is all of the single books we own (we have several treasuries) draped over a string, which is tied to the blinds. Some of these books have seen better days, but I thought that made the banner more charming. This party theme wasn’t chosen on a whim; the Berenstain Bears are much loved in this family! I wanted a quote to reflect this. I scoured the internet for a good one, but nothing said what I wanted it to. I thought to myself, “It needs to say something about the books we love the most looking the worst. Oh! Maybe I’ll just make my own quote.” So I did. I settled on:
The Berenstain Bears’ Tree House
I love this tree! I posted a tutorial on it a couple of weeks ago. You can find it here. It’s just a bunch of tissue paper and tape, some bristol board, construction paper and packing paper. And a bunch of time. For me it was some serious craft therapy.
I put up several signs around the main party area. I put brown construction paper into my printer to make these two:
This one I put at the entrance to the living room. I drew lines on it with maroon pencil crayon (I thought it was dark brown when I started 🤦♀️) and then drew swirls, in brown pencil crayon (I double checked the colour before I started…you’d think I’d know by now…) to look like the grain of the wood . Then I cut little notches out of the sides to look like knots that had fallen out.
And this one I put next to the tree:
You know how most Berenstain Bears books start with the little poem on the title page? Well, this sign is supposed to be like one of those:
Once again, I just made it on my computer and printed it, then I decorated it with pencil crayon flowers, trying to mimic the title page style, and since I can’t draw very well I was actually very happy with how it turned out. Other than the two blue flowers side by side in the bottom right corner…I’m actually not sure how that happened.
The Title Page
I then decorated the far wall (with the tree house in the corner) to look like the title page. When I put the tree house, poem and “Welcome to Bear Country” all together it looked like this:
Pin on Papa Bear’s Hat
I looked on Google to find a colouring picture of Papa Bear, printed it, coloured it, cut it out and taped it on the wall, about four feet from the ground. My 4-year-old daughter “helped” me for about two seconds. Just long enough to colour his ears ridiculous colours. “Thanks, sweetheart. It’s beautiful!”
Then I went back to my computer to the same picture and cropped out everything but the hat, and printed one for each guest. When it was time to play the game they each spent time (a glorious lot of time!) colouring and cutting out their hats.
Then we went over to Papa Bear on the wall and each attempted, after being blindfolded and spun around, to pin (tape) their copy of Papa Bear’s hat on his hat. These next pictures are blurry because they’re full-action shots!
The Bear Detectives have done it again!
Do you love the Bear Detectives books? We have The Case of the Missing Pumpkin. It’s a favourite for sure. So, I thought I’d have a Bear Detective game. Pinterest was the saviour here, so I didn’t have to make up my own clues. I printed them from Kristen at Celebrate Every Day With Me.com. To access this free printable click here. It’s really a lovely scavenger hunt. Easy enough clues, and is designed to get the kids running from one floor to another, but we live in a bungalow, so it wasn’t quite as much exercise as it’s designed to be. I put a bag of Teddy Grahams at the end of the hunt.
For dinner my daughter wanted grilled cheese. So I thought I’d keep the spirit, but add some class and adult interest by making it a gourmet grilled cheese buffet. Oh. my. goodness. It was shockingly delicious.
I warned my sister that this picture was going on my blog, but she insisted on being a twit. You can see my Mum thinks she’s funny. I was rolling my eyes.
So here it is, front row from left to right, Mama Bear’s Dress plates (the only spotted plates they had at Dollarama. How perfect!), margarine, marble rye, french bread, Parmesan, cheddar, marble, mozzarella, brie, salami, pickles, tomatoes, bacon, duck, pepperoni, spinach. Then a vegetable tray and grapes as a side. Top row: honey mustard, mustard, mayonnaise, pizza sauce, pepper and salt, oregano.
Here my niece (cut from the same cloth as her mother) and my daughter make their sandwiches. The grilled cheeses were as varied as the guests in attendance. We had two panini presses on a separate counter so the guests could heat them at their leisure.
I made cupcakes and arranged them in the shape of a tree. And when I planned this I knew with 100% certainty that we had green food colouring. Turns out I was right, but it was the dregs. So little food colouring, in fact, that my husband had to pull the top off the dispenser in order for me to get any out at all. My plan was to have light green and dark green cupcakes for the leaves, but I barely had enough to turn the icing green in the first place. So I divided the icing in half, left half white and made the other half the palest green you’ve ever seen in your life. Then I used chocolate icing (mercifully already brown) to make the trunk.
So that’s my little Berenstain Bears Birthday Party. It was a lovely day. The party went off without a hitch, and we had time for chatting throughout it, and enjoying one another’s company. The meal was easy to clean up, as were the activities. The tree is still up in my living room, a month after the party ended, because it makes me happy. Outside my window is snowy now, and the sight of a vibrant green tree is a very cheerful one. I hope you have as delightful a time as we did in Bear Country.