Tag Archives: birthday party

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I can't believe it's been over a month. So, quick party highlights. The Boy turned four last month. He'd helped me decide on airplanes and helicopters for the party theme. (Note: he's planned out the themes for his next 12-15 birthday parties. I think #18 is supposed to be a space theme.)

Party Favors. I missed getting pictures of the goody bags, but I was able to find airplane and helicopter themed books at a variety of reading levels for the 1- to 8-year olds that were at the party. I also included these cute little foam airplanes.

The Cookies. I featured the Birthday Airplane Cookies in a post last month.

The Cake: We added helicopters (and that awesome helipad made by Uncle Chris!) to a two tier cake by Nothing Bundt Cakes.

Activities included the art table, bubbles, sidewalk chalk and various backyard games. We also had paper airplanes. I love the feel of a relaxed backyard party with lots of different options.

The Outfits. Bonus pics of The Girl and The Boy in previous posts.

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For The Girl's birthday celebration with family and her closest little friends we decided on a bug theme. Kind of ironic given her fear of real live bugs, but she was really excited about "Ladybugs. Bees. Butterflies. Dragonflies."

A Bug Birthday Party If you've met Pinterest, you know it's full of a ridiculous amount of inspiration for parties. I had a party to do "wish" list and just eliminated things from my list as my priorities became clear. My biggest priority was to be able to enjoy the party myself. There just isn't time for everything. I tried to incorporate our theme in little ways throughout the party. And I made new outfits for The Girl and The Boy (to be featured in a future post).

Decorations

Leading up to the party I did some bug related crafts with my kids to use as inspiration at our party craft table and to use as decorations. I also realized that we had a butterfly kite in the garage. Perfect!

butterfly artbutterfly kite on a wreath hanger

I bought a set of bug masks, but there was only one package in stock, so I didn't have enough for party favor bags. I decided to just put them out for whoever was interested. At some point, The Boy was walking around distributing them to whomever was nearby. When kids were wanting masks later in the party I just sent them to The Boy so he could locate a mask for them. It worked great. My mom found these cute little solar doo-dads at the Dollartree. There was one with ladybugs and one with bees. The flowers and bugs bop around if they are in the sun.

table decor

Food

After my husband spent the whole party on the grill for The Boy's 2nd birthday party, we decided that food needed to be easier and allow us more time with our guests. Also, so many of those adorable Pinterest ideas are... well... not the healthiest options. We catered the lunch with Chipotle (a big hit with the guests and so easy!) and got a couple Baskin Robbins' ice cream cakes for dessert. No picture, but the silverware was in small flower pots.

big ice cream cakecakes (lady bug cake!)

I made a fruit salad (well, Uncle Jeff did all the work!).

fruit salad with butterflu watermelon

And of course I couldn't pass up a reason to make sugar cookies. Since it was a birthday party with cake I made little cookies. These are about 1 to 1.5" bite size cookies. The ladybugs were made on parchment paper and then attached to the flowers. (Same technique I used on my fire trucks, but less fragile.) The butterflies were all decorated wet-on-wet after first piping on the bodies.

cookiesbug and flower cookies 2bug and flower cookies 4

Activities

With 15 kids coming between the ages of 6 months and 7 years old I think it's important to have options for the different ages, but not to schedule them through the party. There were no games. There were no prizes. Just activities for people to do (or not) and party favor bags for the kiddos on the way out.

We recently got a soccer goal that my kids are loving, so I had that out for the party. The basketball hoop was out as well. We moved our art table outside with some how to draw bugs directions and supplies to "Build a Bug". Kids had tubes, cardboard, construction paper, drawing paper, pipe cleaners, fabric, googly eyes, markers, colored pencils (no crayons for a backyard party in 85 degree heat!), dot markers, glue sticks and colored tape. My husband weeded the area against the back of the house that would be mostly in the shade for the duration of the party so we could setup the art table in the shade. I wish I had pictures of the creations to share.

build-a-bug tableWe also had sidewalk chalk and bubbles, cause FUN. Sidewalk chalk was a big hit judging by the amount of art on our patio. Auntie Jenn drew these to get the party started.

sidewalk chalksidewalk chalk

Party Favors

I got red and yellow bags and used some black cardstock to decorate them to look like ladybugs and bees. Once I had settled on the bug theme, I knew I had to get Nano Hexbugs for the kids. We'd received one a couple years ago as a party favor and it was so fun... and perfect for our theme! Ordering batteries in bulk online meant I could include a couple spare batteries as well (so favor bags were delivered with an "I gave your kids batteries" warning). I rounded out the bags with bubbles, insect stamps, and bug and flower stickers.

favor bagsparty favors

The Outfits

Update: You can see photos of the party outfits I made for the kids here. The preview of The Girl's top in progress can be seen here.

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(P.S. Make it in white as an Elsa hair braid.)

In January, I started the process of helping my friend Monica prepare for her daughter's 4th birthday party that was a month out at the time. The theme was Tangled. I did my due diligence and watched the movie the weekend before.

Rapunzel

The first project was to make Rapunzel hair for the girls (and my son, the only boy attending the party).

bright yellow yarn nothing fancySo armed with three large skeins of bright yellow yarn we got to work. Taking measurements on The Boy, we decided to go with seven-foot lengths, aiming to have a two foot braid in the back. After making the prototype we realized that braiding shrunk the length more than we anticipated. In round two we cut nine-foot lengths. It's also important not to stretch the yarn taut as you measure or it shrinks back up after cutting.

For the 4-year-olds we decided that 20 inches around their head was a good length. It has a little give if they are bigger and can be tied if need be to shorten up that part.

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN RAPUNZEL HALO BRAID

MATERIALS

  • scissors
  • tape measure
  • yarn

For Rapunzel braids, use bright yellow.

To make 2 braids: Red Heart Super Saver Yarn, Bright Yellow, 364 yards
To make 4 braids: Red Heart Super Saver Jumbo Yarn, Bright Yellow, 744 yards
To make 6 braids: Bulk Buy: Red Heart Super Saver Yarn (3-Pack) Bright Yellow, 1092 yards total

For Elsa braids, use soft white.

To make 2 braids: Red Heart Super Saver Yarn, Soft White, 364 yards
To make 4 braids: Red Heart Super Saver Jumbo Yarn, Soft White, 744 yards
To make 6 braids: Bulk Buy: Red Heart Super Saver Yarn (3-Pack) Soft White, 1092 yards total

sixty 9 foot pieces of yarnStep 1: Cut sixty pieces of yarn, each 9 feet (108 inches) long.  Put them in one stack and find the center (4.5 feet from the end).

Step 2: Measure about 15 inches from the center of the lengths and temporarily tie off the yarn with a small piece of yarn.

step 3Step 3: Split the yarn into three sections and braid toward the center point until you have 20 inches of braid. Tie off the end of the braided section. (If you notice that the two unbraided ends aren't the same length, then you can untie one tie to braid further in that direction so this 20-inch section is roughly in the middle.)

step 4Step 4: Leaving the temporary ties at the ends of the middle braided section, make a loop with the braided part and join the two ends of the yarn to braid down in one fat braid.

Step 5: Tie off the end of the braid and trim up the loose ends if needed.

step 6Step 6: Untie the temporary ties that originally held the ends of the center section of braid. Tie around the top of the large braided section.  This tie can be adjusted to change the length of the part that goes around the head.  It's also kinda stretchy.

Tada!

wearing_the_braid

wearingthebraid

I LOVED all the details of the party.

The favors included the adorable satchels as well as the braids, which the kids got to decorate at the party.
The favors included the adorable satchels as well as the braids, which the kids got to decorate at the party.
Glittery, thick foam, flower stickers were available for braid decorating.
Glittery, thick foam, flower stickers were available for braid decorating.
The cookies I made, the ADORABLE cake, braided rolls and another yarn braid as decor.
The cookies I made, the ADORABLE cake, braided rolls and another yarn braid as decor.