We found the perfect location for the party, a city park with a shelter in a forested area. We enlarged and printed the characters from the book with plans to place them among the trees and shrubs along the park's wooded path. The kids could then take a short hike in "the deep dark wood" to find their favorite Gruffalo characters.
No matter how well a party is planned, weather will always remind you of how little control you have over an outdoor party. The day of the party was filled with rain. Luckily, it subsided for the two hours of the party, but the ground was too wet to move the gruffalo, fox, mouse, owl and snake from the park shelter. Instead of inhabiting the woods, these wild creatures were forced to became table decorations.
Much of The Gruffalo's narrative focuses on describing a gruffalo. "He has terrible tusks, and terrible claws, and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws," the book explains. These descriptions lent themselves wonderfully to a game of "pin the feature on the gruffalo."
What the gruffalo looks like if all his features are "pinned" to the right spot.
For the guests to take home, we made gift bags with a different goodie for each of the book's characters including homemade fox masks.
Ezra tends to be shy in new environments so we we're slightly worried he would find the party, with its big guest list, overwhelming. We were happy to discover our concerns were unfounded. Ezra had a wonderful day, and has already begun to plan his fifth birthday party - which he wants to be "even bigger!"