Top tips for throwing a teddy bears' picnic party
If today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic, make sure you've ticked all of the boxes with our ultimate teddy bears' picnic party checklist. From invitations to party games, we've got all you need to throw the perfect shindig for children of all ages – and their cuddly friends, too
One of the best (and tastiest) ways to inject some serious fun into your teddy bears' picnic is with biscuit and cake decorating. Here's how to make sure yours is a success:
- Buy a teddy bear biscuit cutter and bake a batch of bear biscuits in advance
- Mix up some icing and have bowls of sprinkles, sweets etc. to decorate them with
- Let kids decorate their own and take them home in the party bags
And make sure you round off the birthday picnic with lots and lots of cake. Cupcakes (homemade or shop bought) can be simply decorated with icing and milk/white chocolate buttons to look like bears' faces and paws.
Watch our video tutorial for a step-by-step guide on how to make your own teddy bear cupcakes.
Create simple, bear-shaped invites with some brown card and googly eyes – and don't forget to mention the recipients' furry friends.
Hand out teddy masks or bear ears to each child as they arrive – or get children to make their own from paper plates, card, headbands and felt. If you can rope in an artistically-inclined adult, have them on hand for face painting. Or if you (or another parent) are happy to don a costume for the festivities, consider having a life-sized teddy lead the games and activities.
Children's party games and activities
No teddy bears' picnic would be complete without a rendition of Michael Rosen's We're Going On a Bear Hunt. Have a big story time outdoors and get all the kids up on their feet joining in and doing the actions. If the party's taking place in your garden, hire a bouncy castle for some easy entertainment.
Other ideas guaranteed to go down a storm include:
Decorating a picnic lunch box
- Give each child a box which they can decorate with stickers, glitter, felt tips etc.
- Use the boxes to serve the children their picnic lunch, or fill them with goodies to be taken home at the end of the party
- Check out pound shops for teddy bear or outdoor-themed colouring in books, or print off colouring sheets
Best-dressed bear competition
- Give children some time to create costumes for their bears with scraps of fabric, newspaper or even plastic bags. Award prizes to the best creations
- Each child has to find a bear with their name on, which has been hidden with a little prize or treat
Bears and lumberjacks game
- All children pretend to be lumberjacks in the forest by miming chopping
- You shout very loudly 'the bears are coming' and all the lumberjacks have to lie down very still on the ground
- The adults walk among them doing ridiculous bear acting (sniffing them, growling), and anyone who giggles or moves has to become one of the bears and join in the bear acting next time round
- Re-start with 'all lumberjacks back to work'
Add a teddy theme to other well-loved party games
- What's the Time Mr Bear?
- Hide and seek, where the teddy bears must hide with their owners
- Use the Teddy Bears' Picnic music for pass the parcel or musical statues – and make the teddies join in too, of course
- Calm children down at the end of the day (or throughout, if necessary!) with a game of sleeping bears – the same as sleeping lions
The best picnics are held outside (weather permitting) – so choose a local park or woodland area as a setting, if you can. But if you need somewhere guaranteed to stay dry, you can still transform your house or village hall into a picnic area with some nifty accessories. Here's what you'll need:
- Dig out as many old teddy bears as you can find and scatter them around – maybe hiding in different places to watch the party
- Borrow or buy some plastic tea sets and arrange them alongside the teddy bears
- Lay out different coloured blankets (search charity shops for extra supplies)
- Pick up some cheap gingham PVC tablecloth material from your local market or haberdashery and use it to cover a table, or as a floor mat for an outdoor picnic
- Keep toys or anything needed for activities in picnic baskets
- Hang bunting (you can even make your own), balloons and streamers from fence posts or trees
- Buy or borrow a bubble machine to leave running if the party is outside – not only will this create a great atmosphere, but the children will love chasing the bubbles
- If you're at home, use chalk to draw large paw prints on the path leading to your front door
- Consider adapting the theme to a polar bears' picnic for winter parties. Get the kids to help you make paper snowflakes to dangle from the ceiling and stick to the windows – and serve hot chocolate with snowballs (marshmallows) on top
Picnic party food
Treat guests and their furry companions to:
- Miniature meals for teddy-sized mouths – mini sausage rolls, pasties or quiches and veggie sticks
- Winnie the Pooh's favourites: honey sandwiches and honey cake
- Teddy-shaped EVERYTHING – go wild with a biscuit cutter for bear-shaped sandwiches, cheese slices or individual pizzas – and don't forget plenty of Pom bears!
Alternatively, you could fill each child's decorated lunch box with a sandwich or wrap, biscuit and piece of fruit. Jelly and ice cream are also must-haves at picnics. Add a few strawberries or raspberries to each child's bowl for a slightly healthier dessert.
What should I put in the party bags?
- Teddy bear sticker books, pencils or key rings
- A bookmark
- Gummy bears
- Leftover picnic food and birthday cake
- If you've made any crafts as part of your activities – party boxes, teddy bear biscuits, colouring in – children can take those home, too.