If you’ve ever sat and watched Yo Gabba Gabba with your little one, it might not make much sense to you at first. Bright flashy colors, a retro feel, funky music, and of course the dancing.
Watch it further, and some interesting qualities begin to emerge – lots of guest cameos from actors and indie musicians (Jack Black, Elijah Wood, The Shins), addictive and intelligent songs, and an all around, high energy feel that kids love and have parents saying “Why couldn’t they have this show when I was a kid?”
So why not turn all the flash and excitement that is this favorite Nick Jr. show into a musical birthday party? Let’s take a look at a couple of simple but downright fun ways to turn your living room into a funky, retro 80’s party room for your kid (or heck, even yourself!)
Funky Retro Backdrops
To set the scene for your party, build some backdrops. Because the show’s background is stark white, and the character’s little world is filled with hand-drawn, candy-colored foam cutouts on a solid background, this is easy to do. Most characters are associated with a sort-of seasonal theme, so decide first which theme you wish to decorate with (or all four, for your four walls!)
The Four Background Themes
- Muno’s Desert-land – Mid-blue solid background, with dark blue, purple, pink and mauve desert buttes, mesas and other distinctive formations. The ground is mauve.
- Foofa’s Summer scenery – Yellow background, with various green solid hills topped with white flowers. The ground is light, neon green. Plex the Robot strides between the summer and fall scenes
- Brobee’s Fall foilage – A faded red background with foam trees – various solid yellow, brown, orange, red and in between. The trees are decorated with elementary-school squiggles to represent leaves. The ground is a warm yellow-orange.
- Toodee’s Winter glaciers – A cold, light blue background and jagged glaciers and mountain ice in grey, white and blue. The ground is a blue-grey. This is the easiest theme to make, because it’s basically a bunch of jagged lines that will take you five minutes to make!
- Download all four themes as part of Nick Jr.’s Shoe Box Puppet Theater craft. You can print these out.
Another recurring background to try is to cut out a bunch of circles on colored paper – bright yellow, blue, purple, green and orange – and stick these on a white background, such as your walls, if they are white.
Go for a retro feel as you see on the show—not only can this play well into your decorations but can make for the perfect costumes to have guests wear to the party! Confetti plays a big part in the opening of every show so be sure that you put a bit on each table as part of a centerpiece.
Dancey Dance Time!
Time for the dancing! On the show, Dancey Dance Time is when a special guest comes onto the show to introduce a dance move and sing a song. Past guests included Jack Black, Sean Kingston, Tony Hawk, Weezer and Divo. Play either the same songs as DJ Lance plays on the show, or some early 80’s electronica (think Da Da Da) – whatever you decide, this will immediately get the kids into the right mood.
A fun idea that gets the kids up and interacting is to have a “dancey dance” circle as you would see on the show. Since there is always a guest on each week to teach a new dance move, let each kid take this role at the party, if they wish. This gets all the kids involved, and plays perfectly into what the show is all about.
Bight vibrant colors, easy-to-make backgrounds, and funky, retro 80’s electronic pop – what could be more fun than having a bit of DJ Lance and his musical world as your party?