Dora The Explorer Party Games and Activities

dora the explorer pinataDora loves animals and is surrounded by them during her many adventures. A visit to the zoo, a petting zoo, a farm, a safari or a nature reserve would be the perfect highlight for a very special Dora the Explorer birthday party. This kind of party works best with a small number of guest (six children or fewer). You can also contact your local animal rescue agency to see whether they offer any tours or activities for young children. If you would rather keep the party activities confined to your home, you can also look into hiring an animal wrangler who can bring some animals to the party.

If the idea of having real, live animals swarming your home makes you feel a little nervous, you can put together fun party activities for the kids that feature animals of the imaginary and toy variety only. Here are some ideas for a few games that will captivate small children and keep them busy and entertained until it’s time for Dora party good and a Dora birthday cake!

You will need:

  • Homemade blue “Swiper” mask and blue gloves
  • A brown or black blanket or a bear costume
  • Enough sheets and chairs or other furniture to make a “tunnel” for the kids to climb through
  • Homemade purple backpacks (or purple paper bags)
  • A mini-flashlight or glowstick for each child
  • A maraca or noisemaker for each child
  • A red cardboard or construction paper cut-out of a boot
  • “Treasure” candy (chocolate gold coins, candy jewelry etc.)

Find what Swiper swiped!
Swiper the Fox is known for swiping anything he can, and kids love to foil his thieving ways by yelling the magic words three times to stop him: “Swiper, no swiping!” For this game, have a grown-up dress up in a simple “Swiper” costume (all you really need are a blue eye mask and a pair of blue gloves), and hide while you explain to the children that they are going on a Dora the Explorer adventure to find the birthday girl or boy’s birthday cake. Show them the “action pack” they will need to complete the adventure: a flashlight, a maraca, and a red cardboard boot in a purple backpack. To cut down on the amount of prep time, you can use purple paper bags instead of making cloth backpacks or drawstring bags. As you are showing them these items, have “Swiper” sneak up and try to steal the action pack. Tell the kids, “Quick, Swiper is trying to steal the action pack! You know what to do!” When the kids yell, “Swiper, no swiping,” have the grown-up say, “Oh, mannnn!” and disappear again. You can do this a couple of times, and then have Swiper appear so quickly that he manages to grab the backpack and run away with it. Tell the kids that Swiper has hidden the backpack, and they need to find it in order to start their adventure and find the birthday cake! You will already have hidden an identical backpack somewhere in the house, and you can give the kids hints (“hotter, colder”) until they find it.

Pin the boot on Boots
When the kids find the hidden backpack, you can distribute the rest of the backpacks so that each child receives one. (You’ll find simple ideas for making purple Dora the Explorer backpacks in the “Party favors” article.) Now tell the kids that Boots is missing one of his beloved boots, and that before they can continue, they will need to help him put it back on. Before the party, find a picture of Boots on the Internet and print it out. Cover one of his boots with a square or rectangle of black construction paper, and pin it to the wall. Now have each child pull a boot out of their backpack and, blindfolding them in turn, have them try to pin the boot on Boots. Award a small prize to the child who gets the nearest.

Wake the bear
Once the kids have played “Pin the boot on Boots,” tell them that they are now going to move on to the next stage in their journey. Lead them to the doorway, and when they reach it, show them that there is a big, sleeping bear in their way. (The bear can be a grown-up with a brown or black blanket thrown over them.) Whisper to the kids: “Is there anything in your backpacks that could make a loud noise and frighten the bear away?” The children can quietly pull out their maracas, and on the count of three, shake them as hard as they can to rouse the bear.

Treasure Tunnel
Now that the kids have scared off the bear, they can move on to “Treasure tunnel.” The tunnel can be made of sheets, towels and other lengths of fabric draped over a double row of chairs, or over two long tables placed end-to-end, or any other arrangement of furniture you can put together. Alternatively, you can purchase an inexpensive toy tunnel from Toys R Us or on Amazon ($18). “Now, the Treasure Tunnel will be very dark. Is there anything in your backpack that will help you see?” The kids can pull out their toy flashlights or glowsticks before they go into the tunnel. Before they enter the Treasure Tunnel, explain that there is a piece of treasure in there for each of them. If they are old enough to be able to read their own names easily, write each child’s name on an envelope and tuck a piece of “treasure” candy (gold coins, candy necklace, ring pops, etc.) into each one and scatter the envelopes inside the tunnel. Otherwise, just wrap each piece of candy in a bit of colorful tissue and scatter enough for each child.

Birthday cake discovery!
When the children emerge from the Treasure Tunnel with their treats, they will discover a series of arrows on the ground (cut from construction paper) that lead them to the birthday cake. If possible, keep the cake in a darkened room, and coordinate it so that another grown-up lights some sparklers around the cake just before the children find it. You could even use Glow in the Dark Arrows to make it even more exciting (depending on the kids ages).

Hopefully these Dora party games and activities help to create a fantastic and entertaining party. Of course, you don’t have to make it as complex as this. And don’t forget the ever classic and fun Dora Pinata which is a fun activity and great decoration!