I had a vision to tape my daughter’s picture to cutouts of cultural outfits from various countries. Like most visions, it didn’t quite turn out as planned, but this was due more to a time crunch than anything else.
I searched the web for cutouts of multicultural children that I could use for this project and found an awesome site with free printables of a variety of multicultural children, such as Thai, Inuit, Chinese, and African paper dolls. They were so cute that I had a difficult time choosing which ones I wanted to use and ended up printing most of them. Make sure you give yourself enough time to cut out the dolls with all their accessories, especially if, like me, you print out several of them. After I cut them out, I glued their clothes on and taped them to an empty toilet paper roll. Then, I cut out pictures of my daughter’s face, glued them onto the faces of the paper dolls and glued the hair and accessories onto her faces. The goal is to cut out faces that are roughly the size of the dolls so that the hair and accessories fit, but it also looks cute if the faces are disproportionately large-sort of like your child’s bobble head, just be aware most of the accessories and hair pieces won’t fit. If I had time, I would have stapled colorful paper onto the toilet paper rolls so they would be less visible as toilet paper rolls in the photos. All in all, I love how the multicultural children turned out and look forward to using the paper dolls for another project.
I used the paper dolls as decorations on the tables. They fit wonderfully with the themes of the tables and also worked as a nice, and sometimes humorous, way to show off how my daughter has changed over the year. I was lucky enough to own table runners, place settings, and various decorations from my Asian travels, and I used these on the Asian table.
I wanted the American table to look like an American flag, so I used a red and white striped table cloth, taped a blue table cloth to a cardboard box, and sprinkled some confetti stars on top of the box. To complete the decorations, I taped a patriotic flag banner over the American table, taped a multicultural flag banner around the dessert table, and put multicultural ducks that I found from Oriental Trading Co. on the tables.
I used Oriental Trading Co. for the party favor bags. I stuffed Chinese New Year’s bags with dress a panda stickers, multicultural stickers, Mandarin hat craft kits, multicultural flag pencils, dragon notebooks, and Asian noisemakers.
The final thing I did was make my own piñata. I decided I didn’t want to spend twenty plus dollars on a store bought piñata when it would simply be smashed to smithereens. I loosely followed the directions here, but I made some changes that saved me time. After I cut out the two identical outlines of a donkey, I taped them on either side of a shoebox, which created a perfect carrier for the candy. I didn’t bother taping cereal box cardboard around the feet. I found a multi pack of tissue paper from Target that had, amongst other colors, black, which was great to use for the feet. Instead of using crepe streamers for the multicolored fringes, I used the colored tissue paper. The end result was a Yorkie/donkey hybrid. Mine unraveled a bit when tying it to the tree but, hey, several minutes after the picture was taken, it was a broken pile of cardboard and tissue paper. It was fun and rather easy to do and would be a perfect project to do with an older child.