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Why throw a giant party featuring The BFG by Roald Dahl?
First of all, I have always loved to read and was indeed the kid who consistently kept her head in a book on the school bus and any other place we went. This love of reading and stories is passed down to my daughter, and in the second grade she's eating up books by Dahl, C.S. Lewis, and pretty much anything she can get her hands on. Consequently, it was not surprising when she came home from school thrilled with this book The BFG.
Also, as a family we believe it is important to kindle the enthusiasm for learning in order for kids to be successful in school and the future. There are book clubs and school groups, but why not support that love at home and promote it with a giant party for friends and family?
When would you want to have a giant party?
This kind of party can be as elaborate as you like. It works great for:
- a birthday party,
- a sleep-over,
- that long weekend off from school when teachers have their professional development,
- a creative book club,
- Roald Dahl’s birthday (September 13)
- whenever you want!
Download giant party printables including reflection worksheet based on The BFG, a giant party invitation, and place cards for the table including the BFG’s curious words.
Set the scene at a Royal Breakfast
Because food is imperative to a party we set the scene at the Royal Breakfast, which is also a chapter in the book. This is when the BFG sits down with the Queen and Sophie in the Great Ballroom and first tastes foods other that “repulsant snozzcumber”! There are fabulous descriptions in this section such as the ping-pong table with four 12-foot-high grandfather clocks for legs. Once in place, a nice cloth is smoothed on this “table” for the BFG with a garden fork, spade, and a sword (last used to chop off the head of King Charles the First) for silverware.
Be creative and set up your giant’s place at the table. Your other guests and place settings can either be at the same table or another smaller one to create the effect you wish.
Assign each guest a character
When you first bring up the idea of coming in character your guests will either love it or try to get out of it. It is so much more fun when each guest plays and dresses a part! Therefore, I urge you not to back down! My son loved playing the part of the butler Mr. Tibbs in his little suit. Make sure if you have a shy guest not to put them on the spot, but do give them a smaller role.
The host can give out parts beforehand when guests RSVP, and then tell them to review their character in the book and come in costume. Possibly, for a more informal party, the host could assign them as guests arrive. It is especially important in this case to provide a props box to help the group get into character. In the box provide hats, big BFG ears (link here to great ear printable), capes, a trumpet/horn, ties, scarves, military paraphernalia, or really whatever you have around the house that could possibly work.
Here is a link to a character list with descriptions: character list. If you have a large group you can use all the giants’ names as well as the staff at the palace.
Food at the Royal Breakfast
Of course you can serve breakfast any time of day, and kids love to do things out of the ordinary. Therefore, serve the Royal Breakfast at lunch or dinner or whenever you want! Here is what we served at our event based on the book:
Be creative and serve what works for you and your party!
Possible activities for your GIANT party
- The Royal Breakfast. Complement each place setting by putting a list of Mr. Dahl’s curious words the BFG uses, and then tell the guests to try to use them in conversation. You probably will have to initiate this and use some words yourself to get it going and break the ice.
- Catch your own dream craft. (I love this!) First give a small jar (from your local craft store or Amazon such as these), to each guest along with a small piece of colored paper. Secondly, tell the guests to imagine the perfect dream they would like for the BFG to give them and to write it on the paper. Then roll the paper up and put it in the jar with some glitter. Lastly, decorate with a tied ribbon, and voilà you've caught your own dream!
- Try a form of charades. To start, divide your guests into groups and then assign each group a chapter of the book. Next, task them to reenact the chapter, and give them 15 minutes or so to prepare. Then, give the performances. An assigned judge or judges will select the best performance, and that team will win a fabulous prize!
- The BFG Madlibs. This is such a fun way to practice grammar and tell stories with hilarious results.
- Have a GIANT dance party! Play the Radio For Kids station on Pandora or other music you like and bust out some giant moves.
- End by watching the Steven Spielberg movie The BFG if you’re having a sleepover or a longer party. I always suggest reading the book first, but view and compare this beautifully acted film version to the book.
Questions for after watching the movie The BFG
Here are some questions for after the movie for you to discuss in a book club, or you might bring them up in conversation the next morning after the slumber party:
- Did the movie do a good job portraying the book?
- Is the movie how you imagined the book to in your head?
- Did the director cast the right actors in the character roles?
- What were the differences between the book and the movie?
- What was your favorite part in the movie? Is it the same as your favorite part in the book, and why do you think that is?
Finally, if you wish to give out party favors to departing guests I believe there is no better gift than a book. Perhaps the next book you intend to feature at a book club or party?! If you have a large number of guests and a book is not in the budget, give little bags with the the theme of your next gathering and the name of book they are to read. In addition, provide any help necessary in obtaining the book from a local library or other location.
Guests will also take home the small jar with a caught dream (see the "Catch your own dream" in the activities section) as a souvenir.
I hope you enjoy this book and the GIANT party featuring the BFG as much as we did.
Have a phizz-wizzing, whoopsy-whiffling time!