Decorations, Food, and Activities:
I bought most of the decorations at The Party Store. To be completely and utterly honest with you, by January, I am usually a little worn out from the holiday hustle and bustle. Crafting mounds of matching party decorations that may or may not ever be used again didn't sound appealing to me, particularly as I was coming down with some sort of virus/sinus gunk/nastiness. So I opted for buying some adorable coordinating decorations and crafting a few of my own:
Because we hosted a morning party, food for the girls included homemade cupcakes with fun flower sprinkles (they coordinated with the party colors) ice cream, and juiceboxes, which I stored in a pink tub from Target's Dollar Spot. I stuck a tutu under the cupcake stand. I did make the cupcake toppers, and I'll share the tutorial later this week.
Goodie bags were small gift bags from the Dollar Spot filled with Hello Kitty crayons, pink and silver wrapped Dove chocolates, Hello Kitty stickers, and a Hello Kitty temporary tattoo. The other pink tub held Hello Kitty coloring books:
The dining room was turned into a little coloring station to keep the girls occupied while we waited for all the guests to arrive. I pulled a free Hello Kitty image from online and printed my own coloring pages through MS Publisher, adding a little "Thanks for coming to Michaela's party!" message at the top.
I made the tissue paper flower pom poms you see by following a Martha Stewart tutorial. The girls loved them!
We started the party with a game of "Pin the Bow on Hello Kitty" followed by "Quick Kitty," which was my own version of "Hot Potato."
Each girl got to choose a Hello Kitty temporary tattoo when she was out of the Quick Kitty games. They love being "inked."
And I've never seen a kid freak out over a candle like this either. It was all I could do to get Michaela Byrd to blow out her candle, but she did enjoy the cupcake.
After cake and presents, we just let the girls play for awhile. I could have planned more games, but really most kids just want to play! We dug out some Barbies, Polly Pockets, and the dollhouses, and the girls played so nicely before it was time to go home.
The party was short, only an hour and a half: I've learned to tailor things to the kids. Two hours or more can drag on for little guests when you host at home, and we wanted to end things on a happy note. We keep the guest list small because it just makes everything easier when they start playing!
As I grow as a mother, I'm learning more and more that what really counts is that I make birthdays a special time for my girls. Putting parties together with the motives of trying to impress other moms or blog readers, or even just to "pack 'em in," is pointless and silly. Obviously, if our budget allowed for it, I might do more with decorations, food, or favors because I enjoy doing that sort of stuff. But more than anything, I want them to know how much I love them.
Michaela Byrd made my heart skip a beat when she came downstairs the morning of her party, saw the decorations and the cupcakes for the first time, and exclaimed, "Holy 'mackwal!'"
It not be a "holy mackerel" moment for you, reader, but I'd say my work is done when I see the delight on my four year old's face! Nothing fills your heart with joy more than knowing that you've pleased a loved one.
What was your favorite birthday party growing up?
Linking to Today's Creative Blog, Home Stories A to Z, Positively Splendid, Tatertots and Jello