Monday, January 30, 2012

Panda Party-Magda turns 7!!

Our daughter turned 7 this weekend 
and after she agonized for days and days about what kind of party to have...

Inspiration finally struck.  

In a moment of clarity--(or maybe it was because
is her favorite breakfast cereal....)

Magda knew exactly what she wanted to do...She wanted to have a party for PANDAS!
Greg got on it immediately and googled panda parties and what we found was:

Pandas International is a non profit dedicated to the preservation and the propagation of the Giant Panda by, among other things, raising awareness and education. After a quick swing thru their website, we learned some sad, hard facts about this incredible and adorable animal...

There are approximately 1600 Giant Pandas left in the wild.  300 more of them are in zoos around the world.

The Giant Panda has lived for centuries in coniferous forests with dense undergrowth of bamboo at elevations of 5,000 to 11,000 feet. Rain or dense mist throughout the year shrouds these remote forests in heavy clouds. In the winter snow is common.  Today, these forests are under attack by dramatic increases in human population. Agriculture, ranching, logging, trapping, and human settlement dramatically threaten their habitat. Previously, they lived at lower elevations but farming and clearing of the forest have pushed them higher into the mountains.

The Giant Panda's primary food source, bamboo, is decreasing. Bamboo grows under the shade cover of the large fir trees. Logging and clearing the land for agricultural uses is a major factor in the reduction of bamboo.  The impact of rapid population growth has seen the destruction of significant Giant Panda habitat. In an effort to defend the Giant Panda, the Chinese government enforces a logging ban in the Giant Panda reserves.

The 8.0 earthquake of 2008 was in Sichuan Province, home to the Giant Pandas. The quake buried much of the Giant Pandas' bamboo under tons and tons of rock and mud.

Since the Giant Pandas' digestive system is not very efficient, they must consume large quantities of bamboo every day in order to obtain the nutrition they need.  They eat 25-40 lbs of bamboo a day.

Pandas eat for up to 14 hours a day. Their unique paws make it possible for them to hold the bamboo and bite the stalks. They generally eat in a sitting position but also like to snack lying on their backs.

 Giant Pandas tend to have a low reproductive rate, partly because the females only ovulate two or three days a year.

As you can see, the Giant Panda could use a little help and it was unanimous...
our family thought the SAVE THE PANDA party was an AWESOME IDEA!! 

Greg and I were thrilled and so proud and impressed
with our daughter...Magdalena was super excited to start thinking about fun ideas.
I was DEE-lighted with the prospect of a
BLACK, WHITE and a bright light GREEN color theme!

Miss Margaret, our wonderful friend and neighbor started rounding up all
manner of stuffed panda bears 

and I started going into my usual OVER THE TOP craft mode...

I made panda masks for all the girls (and Luca!)

The Panda Round Up.
courtesy of Miss Margaret

Panda photos decorated the house and the front door.

The best part of the decorations came because Miss Margaret put
us in touch with a neighbor that has bamboo in their back yard.
Greg ran over right before the party, hacked a bunch down and he tied
it up around the front door to greet the guests as they arrived.  This
photo does not do it justice at was very fun, dramatic and it was free!

Huge thank you to you Margaret for all your help!!

Some of the fun decorations I came up with along with the wonderful spread of food.

Extra special loving thanks to Grandmom Chrystie, 
who as usual, swept in and saved the day...

and brought home-made PANDA COOKIES!!  

This banner was fun and easy to make.
I got the idea from House of Smith.

Once all our guests arrived, 
we drew some panda pictures and watched a bit of Ultimate Pandas.  
This great documentary dvd that captures pandas playing and having fun...

Got a ton of ooohs and ahhs from the girls!!

After  that, we had pizza and fruit salad.
Then we dawned our panda masks and went for a
walk in the woods...pretending to guessed it--PANDAS!

We finished off with panda cupcakes--chocolate cake batter with a butter creme frosting to which I added a dash of peppermint extract...then used junior mints and chocolate chips to make little faces.

Finally, each guest was treated to a goodie bag full of panda stickers, panda pencils, panda erasers,
panda pins, panda bookmarks, panda get the idea...

After it was all over, Magda raised more than $90 for Pandas International--so impressive! 
She and her friends had a really great time.
We raised some awareness and the whole affair felt both fun and meaningful.

I cannot recommend this idea enough. 
(Or a variation of it--Save the Elephants, the Tigers, the Whales!)   

We are all trying to raise thoughtful,
conscientious kids, so, seriously when our (then) six year old came up with this idea, we were
just floored--We thought: Wow!  Such a good idea and it was so wonderful that 
this is what she wanted to do..

We are so proud of her BUT! more than anything else...

We can't believe we have a SEVEN year old on our hands now!

Magdalena, we love you so, so much and you are just the best, Sweetheart
and we couldn't more proud of you--if we tried!!

Happy Birthday!!

1 comment:

  1. Quentin!!! Amazing! What a way to take a thoughtful idea from M and turn it into a beautiful and fun event. Seriously, lady. You're awesome. Happy bday to Magdalena!