Toy Story Birthday Party Ideas
My nephew’s birthday is coming up soon, but I won’t be able to see him in person, as I will be away at college.
So, to make up for this, I decided to throw him a Toy Story birthday party last week.
Stores to Shop at
- Party City (they have a great collection of Toy Story party supplies, from Buzz Spaceship-shaped party boxes to tablecloths to cutouts)
- your local dollar store
- Disney’s Family.com website’s Toy Story Page was EXTREMELY helpful to me when I prepared for this party. They have wonderful craft, food, and decor ideas. If you are planning a Toy Story party, it is imperative that you check out this site.
The party I had for him was small, so it wasn’t overly decorated, but I did make some great movie-themed centerpieces for the house.
“The Claw!”/Army Men Centerpiece
For this “centerpiece,” I bought a bunch of green Army Men from the dollar spot at my local Target store. The Army men are featured primarily as lookouts in the Toy Story movies – they investigate what presents/new toys Andy receives for Christmas, etc. I already had the Crane game, so I filled it with some toys and a lot of the green Army men. The Crane game goes wonderfully with the Toy Story theme. When Buzz and Woody are at Pizza Planet in the first movie, Buzz sees the Crane/claw game and thinks it is is space ship. Woody tries to rescue him from the game, and while they are inside they meet many green alien toys who tell them about the miraculous “claw” which choses which toy will stay and which will go.
I also printed out and assembled the 3D paper green alien to the right of the Crane game. I found this template on Disney’s Family.com website.
Woody’s Roundup Table Centerpiece
comprised of take-home stick puppets
This is a very simple centerpiece to make. I simply found large full body images of Woody’s Roundup Gang online. I blew up each image so it was about the size of a piece of computer paper. I printed and cut out the images, then glued them on thick card stock so they would stand upright. Then I cut out the figures so none of the card stock was visible. I then taped wooden skewer-type sticks (with the pointy end cut off!!!!) to the back of the card stock. I found cowboy/Woody’s Roundup colored tissue paper (orange and yellow – but brown would be perfect too!) and filled glass jars with the tissue paper, and stuck the Woody’s Roundup figures in the tissue-filled jars.
I then printed out a little “Woody’s Roundup” sign (using Microsoft Word’s Giddyup Font) to tape onto the front of the centerpiece, and placed a sheriff’s badge (which can be found at pretty much any dollar store) in front of the Woody jar.
This is a great centerpiece because, at the end of the party, the birthday boy or girl can keep the Woody’s Roundup stick figures and play with them as puppets. My nephew really enjoyed playing with them.
Woody’s Roundup Gang is first seen in Toy Story 2. Woody learns that he used to be in a popular show titled Woody’s Roundup, in which he would have adventures with his cowboy posse – Jessie the cowgirl, Bullseye his horse. Prospector Pete was also featured in the show.
Jessie and Bullseye become pretty major characters in the Toy Story movies.
Pizza Planet hanging decoration
I hung this decoration over the island in our kitchen, which is where we made “Pizza Planet pizzas” and Mr. Potato Head baked potatoes with the guests.
I printed out the Pizza Planet sign from online, and attached it to a rocket (which I luckily already owned from a required science project many years ago) with string and tape.
My nephew really liked this decoration, and it made him even more excited about the Toy Story theme of his party.
Simple Cowboy Birthday Banner
This is obviously a very simple banner. I would have made it nicer if the party would have been bigger, but since it was very small, I simply printed out each word so it was as large as a piece of computer paper (with Microsoft Word’s Giddyup font in brown). Make sure your page setup is set on landscape (horizontal orientation). Then I just cutout the words and taped them together. I taped one banner inside the house, one outside near one of the activities (filling glasses with colored sand).
After each game (guests got to play each until they won), the guests got a little prize. We found Toy Story themed prizes at Party City, Target, and the local dollar store.
For prizes, we used sheriff’s badges, parachuting Woody figurines, parachuting Army Men, Barrel of Monkeys keychains (they are used as a rope in the movies!!) and color-your-own rocket ships made out of wood that stood up on their own. We also used Toy Story gummy candies as prizes.
You could also use little Mr. or Mrs. Potato Heads, little Polly Pockets or Barbies, Etch-a-Sketch keychains, toy cars, cowboy hats, alien toys, etc.
Pin the Tail on Bullseye game
I found the poster/tail templates for this game on Disney’s Family.com website (here is the direct link to the template). I cut the tails out of felt and stuck a thick (and strong) double sided tape to the backs of them.
My nephew said that this was one of his favorite games. He really enjoyed it, and I’m so glad that family.com made this poster available to us!
Set up: If you have a toy horse like the one above, find a place in your backyard to stick it into the ground firmly, so it will not wobble. You might have to mound up some extra dirt around it so it will stay in place.
Find a hula hoop (to get really festive, wrap the hula hoop in cowboy-colored [aka brown, yellow, orange] crepe paper or streamers. I wish I would have thought of this when I was preparing for the party).
How to play:
Have the little guests stand far back from the toy horse, and have them try to “lasso” the horse by successfully getting the hula hoop around the horse.
You could also use an actual rope if the children are a little older, but the hula hoop worked best for our purposes.
Ring Toss Game
To Assemble: Place a bunch of different sized glass jars (canning jars are perfect) in a foil tray, like the one seen above (you can usually find them at the dollar store).
Find blocks of various sizes for the younger guests, and take the ringed lids off the canning jars (or something of the like) and set them aside for the older kids.
How to play: Place the jar-filled foil tray on the ground (make sure it is a smooth and stable surface), and have the kids try to throw the blocks into the jars if they are younger, or get the ringed lids around the tops of the jars if they are older.
“The Claw” Game
As explained above, “The Claw” is a pretty big part of the first Toy Story movie. It is inside the Claw game in Pizza Planet that Woody and Buzz first meet the green alien toys who explain to them that the wondrous “Claw” “decides who will stay and who will go.” This is also where they are taken by the evil Sid.
To set up this game, fill a plastic pool (medium to large sized) with water. Set aside a pair of tongs and a blindfold. Fill the pool with green army men (which also have a role in the movies) and geometric wooden blocks approximately the size of the soldiers. Or fill the pool with many of the same kind of water resistant toy and other similarly shaped water resistant toys.
How to play:
Blindfold each little guest and turn them around once or twice. Hand them the tongs – the tongs will be their “Claw” and they must use the tongs like they are pretending to be “The Claw” in the classic arcade game.
They must find a green army man (or whatever toy you used as the majority of the toys in the pool) in the pool to win.
Note: this game may be too hard for little ones to play blindfolded. You might want to let them see when they play.
Guess How Many?
- Guests made their own Rex placemats. Rex is the green T-Rex toy in the movie who is easily frightened and one of Andy’s toys. I found the template and directions for this craft at Disney’s family.com website (here is the direct link). To save time, I printed the templates ahead of time (printing each body part on appropriately colored construction paper) so the guests could just cut out the pieces and glue them onto another piece of construction paper to make their place mat.
- Guests filled glass bottles with colored sand. Colored sand can be found at most dollar stores and craft stores, as can the glass bottles. Make sure they have corks or some sort of lid! We did this activity outside on an easy to clean counter top. Make sure you get little bottles with a funnel-type lid so the children can fill their bottles more easily and make less of a mess. Traditional funnels also work. We used lime green, red, and blue colored sand.
- Buzz Lightyear Pinata. We purchased a pinata from Party City that featured Buzz Lightyear inside his spaceship. They had a blast (pardon the pun) with this game.
- Sheriff Says. Much like Simon Says, but the demands are cowboy themed – “Sheriff Says….pretend you are riding a horse while hopping on one leg.” The last one standing gets a sheriff badge.
- Hose limbo. Not exactly Toy Story themed, but it was a very hot day when I threw this party for my nephew. An adult held a hose in the air so the water streamed in a straight line, like a limbo stick. After every round of children the adult lowered the hose a little more. The children played this game while Toy Story music played, such as the “Woody’s Roundup” theme song, “You’ve Got A Friend in Me,” and “Hey Howdy Hey!”
Cowboy Hat cookies
As a nice snack for throughout the party (before dinner was served), I made cowboy hat-shaped cookies for the little guests. I found the idea at Disney’s family.com website (here is the direct link to the cookies)
I tried to make the frosting red, but as you can see that didn’t work out so well. I did not have red food coloring to make it red. =(
To make these cookies, you need:
- prepared or homemade cookie dough, cut into circles and baked; -OR- packaged cookies such as Chips Ahoy (I wish I could have made the cookies for my nephews party from scratch, but I was pressed for time after preparing for all the games and activities. I used Chips Ahoy).
- Red food coloring and white/vanilla frosting OR pre-made red frosting for cookies
- Thick white frosting
- cake decorating tips + frosting bags (a plain old Ziploc bag with a whole punched through a bottom corner does the trick, too)
- Red gumdrops (Dots work very well, and are very tasty!!)
For Dinner: Make-Your-Own Pizza Planet Pizzas and Mr. Potato Head Baked Potatoes
To make the Pizza Planet Pizzas:
-Have pre-made pizza dough (which has already sat out for a while if it needs to rise) ready. We got ours from the local fruit market.
-You will also need tomato sauce and herbs (I used tomato sauce my mom had made from our own tomatoes, and our own herbs), or pre-made pizza sauce. You will also need pepperoni, cheese, and other pizza toppings.
Sprinkle a countertop with flour and let the guests roll out their own little pizza. Help them spread some pizza sauce on the dough and place their toppings on the pizza. Follow the baking directions that should be on the pizza dough packaging.
Pizza Planet is featured in the first Toy Story movie, as a pizza joint/kids arcade. It is where Buzz and Woody are taken by the evil Sid from the Claw game.
To make the Mr. Potato Head Baked Potatoes:
A healthy alternative to greasy breadsticks as a side dish, you can have your guests make their own Mr. Potato Heads using baked potatoes and other healthy edibles!
Mr. Potato Head is one of the main toys in Andy’s room in the movie.
To make a Mr. Potato Head, make baked potatoes (try smaller potatoes for the little ones). Prepare the items you will use for the faces ahead of time.
This is what we used for the faces:
Eyes and Mouth – Raisins
Nose – carrot sticks
Hair – Broccoli
Arms – Fruit kebabs made on toothpicks (save some room on one end so they can stick them into the potato firmly!) We used blueberries and grapes on our toothpick arms (a kebab version is shown in the picture below).
Idea for Side Dish or “Hor’ dourves – Toy Story themed Fruit Kebabs
I found a packaged set that included Toy Story themed cupcake wrappers and Toy Story themed toothpicks. I was at a loss about what to do with the toothpicks, until I realized I could use them to make these little fruit kebabs.
Green Aliens Cupcake Cake with Buzz Lightyear centerpiece
To make this cupcake cake, I followed the directions found at Disney’s Family.com website (click here for the direct link to the cupcakes).
NOTE: Instead of using round white candies for the eyes as their site suggests, I used halves of mini marshmallows.
Instead of using black gel food coloring for the mouth, I used the flat side of chocolate chips.
For the eye pupils I made black frosting by adding many various food colorings to LEFTOVER green frosting from making the alien faces. I took the flat end of a wooden kebab type skewer, dipped it into the frosting, and then pressed each marshmallow eye gently with the frosting tipped skewer to make the pupils.
Also, instead of using green sour belts and straws for the alien ears and antennae, I used green apple Airhead candy (you will need about 10-12 Airheads to make 18 alien cupcakes). I cut the shapes of the ears and antennae with a pair of scissors.
I even found Toy Story themed cupcake wrappers at a store, which had the green aliens on them, alongside Woody and Buzz.
I made the “3D” Buzz Lightyear by cutting out and assembling the template found on Disney’s Family.com site (click here for the direct link to the template). Note: Assembling this Buzz Lightyear takes quite a bit of time – it took me half an hour/45 minutes from cutting it out to finishing it. I think that having a standup Buzz is crucial for the alien cupcake cake. If the party had had more guests, I probably would have just bought a Buzz toy, but since the party was very small, I figured I would save the 20 dollars and make a Buzz myself.
Place the standup Buzz in the middle of your cupcake display and place all the alien cupcakes around him, so that they are facing him.
This is a wonderfully themed way to celebrate your child’s birthday in Toy Story style! In the Toy Story movies, the green alien toys idolize Buzz and often chant to him, “You have saved our lives! We are eternally grateful!”
My nephew LOVED this cupcake cake. He also loved getting to play with the 3D Buzz after the party!
Other Things :
-The Disney song “You’ve Got A Friend in Me” was playing while the guests arrived. Upon arrival, each guest got a cowboy hat and sheriff’s badge.
-The birthday boy woke up the next morning to find a note from Woody along with a Toy Story book tied up with ribbon.
-If you have an iPhone, download the free Toy Story 3 application. It has a great feature in which you can find your child’s name among a list of names and customize a greeting from Woody himself. It’s bound to make your child feel even more special on his or her birthday.
So there you have it! Your complete guide to throwing a Toy Story party. Hope you have a great time, and that you find this helpful!
Obviously, I don’t own anything having to do with Toy Story. That is all owned by and is property of Disney. I am not affiliated with Disney in any way.