Kid's Party Ideas

This is a page for my domestic side.  I love throwing children's parties, and I feel really accomplished when I can throw a good party without spending a fortune.  So, on this page I'll offer some ideas I have used in the past. One idea for all parties... Don't spend a fortune on character dinnerware.  Buy one item with the characters, say napkins, and the others (plates, cups, utensils) in matching colors.  Any extras can be used at future parties because the colors always come around again.

Dora (or Diego) Theme
A pinata is great for a Dora party, and it's easy to make a backpack pinata for under $10.  Because I made this one for a toddler party, I used pull strings to break it open instead of hitting it, but it could easily be adapted to make a regular pinata.  
You will need a rectangular shipping box, some purple tissue paper (or orange to make Diego's backpack), a purple sheet of construction paper, white paper, markers, ribbon (cut one for each child attending & long enough for them to reach when the pinata is hung), scissors, glue, and duct tape.
Poke two holes in one of the shorter sides of the box, and insert a length of ribbon to hang the pinata.  Tie the ends in a sturdy knot inside the box. Tape up the box, and cut off the two top corners at an angle.  Use duct tape to cover the holes.  Cut out three sides of a rectangle that will be the door on the bottom of backpack.  Tape the ribbons to the outside of the door.  Draw backpack's face (or print template from Nick Jr. and glue it to the front of the box:  Tear the tissue paper into small pieces, crumple them, and glue them closely together until you cover the entire box.  Tape the purple construction paper to one of the sides to make a pocket for map, and cover it with tissue paper.  Use the template above to make the map and insert it in the pocket.

Once we had the pinata we were able to make the party revolve around it.  I made a map that my daughter helped to decorate and we had a Dora adventure to find backpack.  Using brown grocery bags, we cut "stepping stones" to make a path to follow.  We made paper flowers out of tissue paper that I taped in a group to the floor, and hung a bunch of blue streamers to represent a waterfall.  We had to go past the garden, through the waterfall, and that's how we got to backpack.  Once we got there, the children opened the pinata.  The props for the game doubled as decorations, and the candy and tattoos that filled the pinata were the party favors.  We also played pin the bracelet on Dora, and Diego Says: Diego says "act like a bear, a dog, etc". 

The menu was salsa and chips, frozen quesadillas, juice, ice cream, and the customary cake.  This was a Dora and Diego adventure cake with green fields, a blue stream, and a tootsie roll raft. Dora and Diego came from a lego collection, and the present was a lego wrapped in fondant icing.

Sesame Street Theme
I did this party a few years ago, and we just had another one.  This is the "second birthday" theme for me.   The idea revolves around a letter (child's first initial) and number of the day (child's age).  One of the easiest and still inexpensive games for this party is Pin the Nose on Elmo Party Game. The game can be bought for  $3-6 or you could draw your own on poster board and cut out construction paper noses (I kept the store bought game from my first daughter's party and will be making new noses to use this time around).  Another idea is to buy some Sesame Street music (I used Platinum All-Time Favorites) and do a freeze dance.  We also made shakers and tambourines from plastic plates.  I bought some that lock together, and we filled them with rice, beans, or popcorn to make shakers.  Punch holes in the rims and tie on jingle bells for tambourines.  Decorate with Sesame Street stickers and then have your own parade.  Finally, we played Journey to Ernie with a stuffed Ernie doll.  I hid the doll and the kids looked for him while we sang the song.  The great thing about these activities is that everything from the music to the doll could be used and played with for years to come.

The menu for this party can be anything you want.  This is the first cake I made.  The character figurines all have instruments so they are parading through a park with grassy green frosting (coconut died green would make it look even grassier) and sugar flowers.  This year, I'll be making a cake with only Elmo and Cookie Monster on a yellow background.

Strawberry Shortcake Theme
For the games I cut blueberries, strawberries and one lemon out of construction paper and taped them to the floor.  We did a "cake walk."  Whoever landed on the lemon when the music stopped won a prize (a pencil sharpener and pencil from the $1 section of Target).  By the time the game ended every kid had a prize.  Next, we had to save Strawberry's fruit from the Purple Pie Man.  I hid plastic fruit around the room.  I bought a bunch of blackberries and strawberries from Joann Fabrics with coupons for about $5.  The kids had to search for it, and then toss it into Strawberry's basket.  Finally, we read some Strawberry Shortcake Stories to calm the kids down at the end (these could also be read at the beginning if you have kids who don't know her attending the party).

For decorations I found some Strawberry Shortcake posters (with stickers that could be prizes or favors) again in the $1 section of Target.  I also printed a few picture from the internet to put all around.  I also made a strawberry tablecloth by drawing black dots on red tablecloth and cutting an old green one into leaf shapes to tape in the middle.  I was also lucky to find a lot of party favors (hats, party blowers, and bracelets) on Ebay for next to nothing.
The menu for this party was very fruity.  It included strawberry jelly and cream cheese finger sandwiches, a bowl of mixed fruit, strawberry milk, and Neapolitan ice cream with strawberry, of course. So as not to overdo the strawberry and include other characters, we also had blueberry muffins.  A lemon meringue pie or individual strawberry shortcakes would be nice, too, but I didn't think of it at the time.  The cake this time was done with the help of my daughter.  I made a white whipped cream frosting and added  Strawberry Shortcake sugar images.  Then, my daughter added the red and pink sprinkles all over.  Although this cake obviously looks homemade it was her favorite because she helped make it.

Princess Party
We had a bit of extra luck on our side for this one.  The big event was a visit from the "Disney Princesses."  Some high school friends dressed up at five of the princesses and signed autographs and posed for pictures with all the kids.  That was the biggest and most popular event of the party.  I folded white paper and card stock into autograph books (staple at the fold) that each child could decorate with stickers and crayons before collecting autographs.  I also found some princess lunch bags (20 count) at the grocery store for $1 that each child could color for favor bags.  I put out our dress up box for anyone who didn't wear a costume, and  I set out crowns for the kids to decorate with stickers.  Then, we played poison apple... hot potato played with a shiny red apple instead.

For decorations, I simply bought some pink and white tulle on sale half price, and I used this to drape around the room and cover the gifts table.  On the other tables, I placed some pearl beads into wine glasses for centerpieces.  Utensils and dishes were all gold.  The cake was a castle made with ice cream cones, sugar wafer, and Hershey's kisses.

Girls and Dolls Tea
This one was a big hit, and also our smallest party to date.  My daughter loves American Girl dolls and tea at the American Girl Place, but I certainly couldn't afford a party there.  So we made our own tea.  We invited 7 girls and their favorite dolls (of any kind).  I set a plate for each girl filled with goodies.  Last Christmas I bought two sets of mini-flower pots from American Girl, which they use for their teas, as presents for my daughters.  I made Oreo cookie pudding to fill these and added a silk flower to each.  Each plate also had two strawberry cookies, a finger sandwich of cheese or turkey, a Bagel Bite pizza, and a small cake made by frosting two Oreo cookies with your favorite kind of store-bought frosting and adding sprinkles on top.  The cakes have to be made the night before so that the Oreos soften under the frosting.  We also served a choice of hot chocolate or raspberry tea.  We set the table with some china that I bought from a rummage sale a few years ago, and napkins and gold plastic forks.  The girls loved using real china and feeling grown up.

I used two old tea sets (one mine, one my daughters) to set a picnic tea for the dolls.  Then, we did three activities instead of games.  The girls each started wherever she wanted to.  We made food for the dolls out of clay, and they put on their dolls' plates.  A friend made matching girl/doll purses for us out of some excess fabric and ribbon, and the girls decorated these with markers and stick-on gems (from Joann Fabrics with coupon only $2 for 100 gems).  Finally, they made matching bracelets from pipe cleaner.  I cut the ones for the dolls in half, and each girl picked two different colors in full and half sizes to twist together.  Then, I did the final wrapping twist to hold them together.

Ice Skating Party
This one requires minimal work.  We held it just after lunch, so the only food I worried about were pretzels & popcorn for snacks, fruit juice & sodas to drink, and cake & ice cream.  Click the link above for more details.

More to come...

No comments:

Post a Comment