If there are two or more kids in your household, you absolutely have to sit them down to an episode or two of Nick Jr.’s Max & Ruby. This show manages to show sibling strife without fighting (yes, really!) and love without uber-mushiness and teaches great lessons about compromise, sharing and keeping an open mind when looking to solve problems.
Max & Ruby is such a cute choice for a party, and you’ll love putting together this charming theme. Read on for everything you need to know.
- What the Show is About
- Party Invitations: Hop to It!
- Bunny Party Supplies and Decor
- Fun and Games for Your Little Bunnies
- Time For Munchies!
What the Show is About
At my house, my two boys love this show. It’s based on Rosemary Wells’ Max and Ruby book series and features a bunny brother and sister pair.
In each episode, Ruby, the responsible older sister (parents are never mentioned on the show, though there is a grandmother), comes up with an idea that often involves Max, her younger bunny brother. Max, on the other hand, usually has other plans that involves fun “boy” things, like playing with worms and getting muddy.
Once in a while, these roles are reversed: Ruby wishes to do her own thing while Max tries humorously to get involved. Either way, the push-pull will seem very familiar to your own little family of sibs!
At the end, Max & Ruby’s conflicts always turns into something fun and constructive (ie in one episode, Max’s annoying banging on a toy becomes an effective metronome for Ruby and her practicing music band).
Party Invitations: Hop to It!
A Max & Ruby party can work for either a girl or a boy if the guest of honor is preschool or younger. Keep in mind that, with its focus on love (or at least getting along!), a Max & Ruby party is also perfect for Valentine’s Day. And with the rabbit motif, consider Easter for this idea as well.
Make sure you send out invitations two weeks before the party.
You might also want to consider making invitations. Print out an image of Ruby and Max together and glue a small ball if cotton to the tail of each. Write the party information on the back and mail or have your child hand the invitations out at school or daycare.
Bunny Party Supplies and Decor
Set out Max & Ruby disposable tableware to transform the room into a party area in an instant. The look is adorable and you’ll love having fewer dishes to do at the end of the party.
- Officially licensed Max & Ruby supplies are no longer available, but Etsy members can craft you themed party supplies. Check them out there!
Add lots of pastel color to the party room, plus touches of primary colors (red, blue and green). Hang streamers from the ceiling and tape balloons to the corners of the table or have bunches of balloons filled with helium and float them from a balloon weight at the center of the table.
Tie helium balloons to the railing outside or to your front gate. It’s always easiest to show first-time guests to your house with lots of bright colors rather than having parents drive up and down your street squinting for house numbers, so this is as much a nicety on your part as it is decor.
A personalized banner is a great touch, and your child will love it. Buy one, or make your own. Choose a Max & Ruby background, of course. Look for images online to decorate the banner; you should be able to find plenty of party-style images of the bunny sibs (Max definitely loves to party!). Insert an enlarged pic of your child, print “Happy Birthday (child’s name)!” in a fun font, print and hang.
Also check out Rosemarywells.com (the author of the book series Max and Ruby). She has free party printables and coloring pages … and as you know, around here we think “free” is the best price of all! Go for it!
Fun and Games for Your Little Bunnies
- Cute idea: Have the party girl or boy wear a Max & Ruby t-shirt. If you’re only having two or three guests and this is within your party budget, you can buy them for the guests as well; otherwise, allow the guest of honor to shine on her own.
- Have a bunny hop race. Guests must hop — NOT walk or run! — to the opposite side of the room and then back. For more fun and involvement, divide the guests into two teams and have this be a relay race.
- Play “Bunny Scouts Find A…” Buy orange or yellow scrap material from your local discount store or fabric store. Cut into long strips; glue together with fabric glue (no sewing required — we love it!). What you’re making is a basic scout sash; you may remember wearing one as a boy or girl scout. Now have guests scavenger hunt for various items; a real carrot, a rabbit-shaped doll, a plastic pair of glasses, anything easy to hide. Make up a list and post it on the wall; if children are not reading age, draw or print a picture next to each as a hint. As each guest finds a trinket, he or she earns a Bunny Scout sash and may wear it over his or her left shoulder for the remainder of the party.
- Play “Where’s the Carrot?” Cut a carrot out of colored pieces of construction paper. Have one guest turn around and cover his or her eyes. The other guests hide the carrot somewhere in the room. Now the first guest uncovers his eyes and begins looking. Guests call out “hotter!” or “colder!” depending upon whether the child is looking in the wrong or right place. When the child finds the carrot, she gets a small prize and chooses the next guest to be the “finder.”
- Set up a “Grandma’s attic full of clothes.” In the show, Max and Ruby love to dive into Grandma’s treasures in the attic. Set up a plastic storage bin or large cardboard box and fill with any costume pieces you may have around the house. Include old costume jewelry, scarves, shoes, men’s ties and hats. Let guests dig in and have a dress up.
- Set up a Max & Ruby pinata. For safety, try a pull-string pinata for kids under four. Just as much fun + nobody getting clocked with a swinging bat = a party success in our book!
- Are you a Netflix subscriber? Netflix usually has a few Max & Ruby shows in Instant Play. Show one during the party. Or put in a DVD.
- Buy non-toxic kids’ face paints and paint everyone up like a bunny.
- Have a Max and Ruby book reading; let the birthday girl or boy choose his or her favorite.
- Have party favor boxes or bags available for the end of the party. Include single-serve mini carrot bags — I have seen these at our local grocery stores and occasionally at WalMart, but if you can’t find them pre-bagged, put them into mini sandwich bags instead. Also choose temporary tattoos, stickers, and candy that isn’t a choking hazard. You may want to go for animal crackers or bunny-shaped cookies instead of candy for very young guests.
Time For Munchies!
Put out fixings for guests to create their own ice cream sundaes. Photo: misterbisson/Flickr
Mmmm…snack time! If you don’t want to serve a full meal, have the party either mid-morning or mid-afternoon. But do put out plenty of munchy treats for the party guests. Here are some yummy Max & Ruby party food ideas for your table.
- Real bunnies love healthy foods, like carrots and celery. Cut up veggies into sticks; don’t serve commercial baby carrots, which could be a choking hazard to children under age three.
- Unlike real bunnies, Ruby and Max eat some very fun stuff, so mix it up with kids’ favorite snacks too, such as:
- Ice cream and sherbet. Max loves sherbet. Serve lime or orange flavor.
- Anything with strawberries or lemon, which are two of Ruby’s favorites.
- Bunny-shaped cookies. Look for rabbit cookie cutters online or ask at your closest baking supplies store. Also choose cookies in the shape of flowers, which Ruby loves, and worms, which Max thinks are great; for these, you can simply roll dough into small coils, lay in wavy patterns on a cookie sheet and bake, then frost pink.
- Lemonade. Max and Ruby’s Grandma likes to make theirs “with a hint of mint.” Don’t go crazy on the mint flavoring; very small children may be overwhelmed by the flavor.
- A bunny-shaped cake. Check online at Amazon for a Wilton cake pan. Bake, and frost in Ruby’s or Max’s face shape — these can be done in simple line drawings with icing.
- You can also bake a simple cake shape and add a fun Max & Ruby cake topper.
- Set up a table and create “Candi’s Candy Shop.” Fill little bowls with all sorts of candies (see this article on setting up a candy bar buffet). Have guests form a line and “order” what they’d like. Set a limit on this — say, up to two pieces each of three different types of candy. Place the guest’s “order” in a paper bag, thank her for her patronage and move on to the next guest.
- Set out an old-fashioned ice cream parlor with a self-serve bar. For very young children, make sure there is one grownup per child to help. Hand out dishes of vanilla ice cream and allow guests to go from one container to the next adding toppings. A few ideas: pie filling, such as cherry and apple; cut up mini cheesecake bites (Max & Ruby adore strawberry cheesecake); M&Ms; butterscotch, chocolate and white chocolate chips; various flavored syrups, such as chocolate or strawberry; sliced fruit; cut up candy bars and cut up cookies. Watch it with items such as crushed hard candy and nuts. The hard candy could get stuck going down — ouch — and nut allergies are common among children.
This really is one of the most charming ideas you can choose for a birthday or Valentine’s Day party for your child. Remember to send in your pics and ideas — our readers are always our finest inspiration.