If you were on Twitter yesterday, you might have seen a hashtag #BearHunt trending and wondering what it was all about. Perhaps you even joined in with the activities and competitions run by @UKMumsTV. Several bloggers were hosting We're Going on a Bear Hunt Twitter parties and tweeting-tweeting-tweeting.
With Twitter parties, it's all about the organisation and planning, everything has to be prepared in advance for it to go smoothly.
Eddie loves having his friends over, and if they have activities to do and a film to watch, he is very happy.
Days before the party we received a big box of party goodies with invitations, colouring sheets and pencils, tasty snacks, bear-ears making sheets, toys, books and DVDs.
"We're going on a bear hunt" by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury has delighted several generations of children and parents alike since 1989. Our old copy, from the days when my 14-year-old son was a toddler, is quite battered and has chewed corners.
I remember reading this story hundreds of times, when he was little and enjoyed the rhythm and repetition. He was delighted when I made all those Squelch squerch, Splash splosh sounds. We definitely knew the book off by heart.
The plot is quite simple:
Children are led on a challenging adventure by their big brother. They have to go through the high grass, a river, a thick oozy mud, dark forest, snowstorm until they reach a bear cave. The bear is startled to see them. Terrified, the kids flee back home, in reverse order, before finally hiding under the duvet in their big bed. They vow never to go on a bear hunt again. The poor bear who was woken up from hibernation in his cave, looks sad and desolate.
This children's classic appeared on the screens last Christmas as an enchanting animation (see my full review - We're Going on a Bear Hunt DVD review)
To celebrate the release of the DVD of We're going on a bear hunt, selected bloggers were invited to host a Twitter party.
We managed to pack in a lot of activities in those two hours of the party.
First, Eddie and his friends watched the film. I was a bit anxious about the story, as it has been changed from the original book, made darker and more poignant. But nobody was particularly distressed or affected by the sad parts. If anything, it was I who felt my eyes were brimming when the girl put her late Grandpa's scarf on the bear's neck. It made me think of my own Dad who died many years ago, and who never met his grandchildren. But I digress.
As soon as the film has finished, the quiz sheets were out. Eddie got all of his answers right except one, he forgot the name of the dog.
Decorate a Bear Hunt Biscuit activity was great fun. We had a packet of digestives, two bags of chocolate buttons and chocolate-flavoured icing pens.
Eddie always enjoys decorating cupcakes and biscuits, but doing bear biscuits proved to be quite a challenge. I also had to remind the guys that chocolate buttons were for decoration, as they kept sneakily eating them, one after another.
Eddie's bear was an Angry Birds hybrid, with bushy eyebrows, but he was proud of his creation.
I had a quick go too, though my bear wouldn't win me any prizes. Well, my excuse is I had to entertain and tweet at the same time.
Some of the icing ended up on the sleeves, but it didn't really matter. It was great fun.
Some of the biscuits were promptly eaten as soon as I have taken photos.
Bear Hunt Treasure Trail was another great activity. Who doesn't like the idea of looking for treasures - DVD, book, toys and sweeties.
By then I was a bit exhausted, running up and down the house, shouting Hot or Cold to give a hint how far they are from the next prize.
And then there was a turn of Pin the tail on the bear. We used scarves as blindfolds. The poster on the wall showed the bear from the animation. You had to stick a fluffy pom pom tail as close as possible to the bear's bum.
We were supposed to make our own Bear Hunt ears, but by that time our company was in such high spirits and way too giggly to do anything sensible, they were getting sillier and sillier, so the Bear Ears activity sheets went into the goodie bags to take home together with colouring sheets, pencils, toys and other gifts.
You know how it is with kids, sweets and fun games.
I was in need of a cup of tea (or perhaps something stronger) and some peace and quiet.
Our party was a big success, and Eddie can't wait for us to host a new Twitter party.
Disclosure: As mentioned in a pre-party post, we received a big box of party goodies. All opinions are our own.