June 24th, 2009 |
4th of July is right around the corner! Have you started planning your holiday weekend yet?! A lot of times we forget about the little guests at parties – so today I am going to focus on tailoring your BBQ to make the kids happy! The 4th is all about stars, stripes, flags and fireworks – so let’s talk about how to incorporate these into your BBQ.
Set up an area especially for the kids – a picnic table with kid-friendly dishes and paper napkins, and a play area with lounge chairs and umbrellas to provide some sun relief. Pottery Barn Kids has these darling umbrellas – available in different colors and patterns, they are the perfect thing to provide a little shade and a whole lot of style in your backyard. Put out a couple of small pools and a sprinkler for the kids to play in – but don’t forget a stack of towels!
Add a little fun to your food – take a basic pb & j sandwich, but cut out stars with a cookie cutter to add a bit of patriotic fun. Serving cheeseburgers to your adult guests? Make smaller versions (otherwise known as sliders) for the kids, and stick in an American flag. The food doesn’t have to be complicated – a little creativity will go a long way and the kids are sure to have fun!
Images: star sandwiches (bhg.com), drink bucket (inmagine.com), burgers (southernliving.com), kids on the dock (pbkids.com), picnic table (potterybarn.com)
June 17th, 2009 |
Whether you are the hostess of a child’s birthday party or just trying to out-do yourself for your next play date, I have the perfect idea for you from Parent’s Magazine!
Make your snack table come alive with a few simple steps (and delicious treats)! Cover a table with butcher paper and paint it into the cutest buffet ever. Plan out your masterpiece according to your bowls and platters. Pizzas make great wheels, silicone cupcake liners work perfectly as caterpillar cookie stands, carrot sticks are colorful for sun rays. You get the idea…..get creative and plan your “landscape” and menu together!
June 17th, 2009 |
Let your kids cool off during the dog days of summer by hosting a Surfin’ Pool Party!
If you are lucky enough to live by an ocean – plan your party for the beach! For those of us that are a little more land-locked, find a local pool to host your party.
Invite your guests with this darling invitation from Tiny Prints. Request that your guests come wearing beach theme clothing – Hawaiian print swim trunks or shirts, sundresses, flowers in the girl’s hair.
You can really have some fun decorating for this party….have your kids help you prop up surfboards, and stuff wetsuits to make faux-surfers. Turn beach towels into tablecloths, have a surfing video playing on the TV in the background, and popular surf music playing to get everyone in the mood. Looking for suggestions? Reggae music or anything by The Beach Boys would be perfect!
If you plan on having this theme party at home, check out these great wall decals from Target. The surf boards would be darling on a wall behind the birthday cake!
Disposable paper goods are definitely the easiest way to go – so check out these supplies at Birthday in a Box. All that’s left? The perfect party favor! Fill up small canvas beach bags with candy, an inflatable beach ball and little toys. Make it easy on yourself by ordering them thru Birthday in a Box, too!
Images: surfing kids (coastalliving.com), surfboard cake (carriesellman.com), colorful drinks (bhg.com), food table (pbkids.com), cute swim trunks (bodenusa.com)
June 15th, 2009 |
Add a little fizz and some retro fun to your next party with a soda bar!
Whether you decide to use old-fashioned soda pop (available in a variety of flavors – all with fabulous vintage logos on the bottles) or the modern day versions – choose a variety of colors and flavors and prominently show them off. The colorful bottles can act as decorations for your party too!
Keep the bottles refrigerated until right before the party starts, and then arrange the bottles by color on a table. Add a bucket full of ice, a stack of cups, and for those wanting to drink right out of the bottle – brightly colored plastic straws!
I think this idea would be darling for a child’s birthday party, an outdoor BBQ, or even a casual, summer wedding.
Images via Project Wedding
May 13th, 2009 |
A new baby joining the family is a great reason to have a party – but two babies?! That’s cause for a huge celebration!
Our Mom-to-be is having the dream duo – a little boy and a little girl! Since we have to go with a fairly gender neutral theme and the party is going to take place this summer, I though goldfish were the perfect theme! This invitation from Tiny Prints is perfect – it creates a great color palette and has 2 little fish on it!
With a color palette of bold brights – orange, blue, yellow and green – and an accent of fish here and there – this party is sure to please our guest of honor. Start by decorating your space with colorful lanterns – I love the square shape of these from organize.com. If you are looking to carry your goldfish theme through even further, check out these goldfish lanterns (they would be super cute for a child’s birthday party, too).
For our tables, choose “happy flowers” such as dalias, gerber daisies, or sunflowers to create your centerpieces. Use a round, clear vase and fill with 3 goldfish – your guests will love it! Set your table with blue, orange and white dishes. I love the ones pictured above, but if you are looking to re-create this look with some disposable paper goods – check out Plum Party Supplies for the great products below (blue scallop placemats, orange ruffle edge plates, and orange and blue vase gems). I absolutely love the goldfish glasses pictured above from Crate & Barrel – perfect for the baby shower – but also great to use all summer long!
Serve a colorful meal of healthy food – try stuffed peppers and a cherry tomato fava bean salad. Serving wine or a champagne punch is always fun, but remember to include a non-alcoholic drink for your guest of honor! I love these orange Izze sparkling juice bottles. They are available in all different flavors (and colors to match your party theme) at Whole Foods Market and Target.
Looking for a creative party favor? I love these golfish in a bag soaps! Perfect for our theme!
Images: goldfish centerpiece (midwestliving.com), orange Izze drinks and placesetting (hostesswiththemostess.com)
April 29th, 2009 |
This Spring, encourage your kids to explore the backyard by throwing a Safari theme birthday party!
This easy-to-do adventure will thrill your smallest explorers….here are a few ideas:
- Use postcards of Africa as your invitations – write something cute, like “We are going WILD for Matthew’s 5th Birthday!”
- To decorate your house and yard, make an animal track path throughout your house. Use black paint or markers to draw tracks on a roll of brown Kraft paper. Tape the long roll of paper to the floor so the kids can follow the animal footprints all the way to the party table.
- Drape a mosquito net canopy from the ceiling and decorate it with toy bugs, plastic monkeys, giraffes and zebras.
- Fill the area with clusters of animal print, brown and green latex balloons.
- Set your food table with animal print plates, and red, orange and brown napkins and tumblers.
- Use a large square of real or fake grass as your centerpiece – place bunches of bananas and animal crackers in the center of the table for when your hungry explorers return from their safari adventure.
You are going to need a few activities/games to keep your little explorers busy:
Enjoy the Safari…I hope your guests don’t get too WILD!
Images: kids in masks (potterybarnkids.com), goodie bags and monkey cupcakes (flickr.com), toy binoculars (orientaltrading.com), tablescape (cookiesmag.com)
April 22nd, 2009 |
May Day is a celebrated tradition all over the world. Celebrated on May 1st (half way between the spring equinox and the summer equinox) the traditions surrounding May Day vary by country. The common theme in most celebrations – the use of flowers!
May Day is a wonderful opportunity to gather your loved ones, your children’s friends or the neighborhood for an outdoor celebration. The most popular activity on May Day is to decorate a tall pole with brightly colored ribbons or streamers. The pole is usually carried in a parade and then placed in the ground at the center of a party. People then dance around the May pole, holding the ends of the streamers or ribbon in their hands.
It’s a colorful day – and a great exuse to be outside!
Images: floral dress (bodenusa.com), cone favor (rebeccathuss.com), may day pictures (via flickr.com)
April 18th, 2009 |
Calling all caped crusaders:
It’s time to celebrate superhero-style!
This bright and fun invitation from Tiny Prints inspired this superhero party! Offered in different color combination’s for girls and boys – it sets a festive tone for what’s sure to be a party worth talking about!
Start your party off with face and hand painting.
Paint bats, Superman S‘s, stars and lightening bolts, and other superhero symbols on the hands and cheeks of the kids. (Be sure to use the specially formulated face paint found at most craft and art supply stores.)
Create a make-your-own cape station, so the little heroes can use their creativity to make themselves a superhero.
Have blank capes already cut out, and with a ribbon sewn as a tie around the neck. Set up bowls of felt letters, symbols (such as stars, lightening bolts, circles, flowers, hearts and triangles), and glue sticks on a table….and have the kids alternate between decorating their cape and having their face painted. Check out this template at Martha Stewart for some easy-to-cut shapes.
Once the kids are dressed in their capes, give them a little time to run around and watch their capes fly. End your party with a Bam! Pow! Boom! by having a superhero scavenger hunt. Hand out paper bags decorated with superhero stickers. Enlist another adult to help toss superhero supplies (Green Lantern rings, stickers, action figures, comic books, rubber balls) into the air for the kids to gather. Have all of the children help you count to three. On three, throw the contents into the air and watch them grab as many items as they can at the speed of light.
This action-packed party is sure to be one event your little superhero will never forget!
As the tiny heroes head home after a fun afternoon of crime fighting….hand them a pink superman-style cookie!
If you are looking for superhero capes to buy for your child – check out BabyPop on Etsy, Plum Pear Apple Designs, or the Polka Dot Patch Boutique.
Images: superhero invitation (tinyprints.com), star cupcakes, balloons, star in the sky (flickr.com), cape project table (cookiemag.com)
April 8th, 2009 |
Who knew you could come up with so many cute baked goods….all by using M & M’s?! One is cuter than the next, and would be perfect for a child’s birthday party, a Spring brunch, Mother’s Day….or to give to someone as a gift.
Check out Bright Ideas for the how-to’s for these adorable sweets.
April 7th, 2009 |
Hippity, hoppity, the great Easter egg hunt of 2009 is on its way!
I remember our neighborhood Easter egg hunt as a child as being one of the highlights of our year! Tons of kids, dressed in their Easter dresses and hats, impatiently holding their baskets and quietly planning their strategies. In a matter of seconds, all you’ll you would see were scampering feet as every pastel egg in the vicinity was plucked from its carefully chosen nest. Eggs full of candy, pennies and small toys – oh, it was so much fun!
An Easter egg hunt is a great way to host a casual get-together with your neighbors (who you probably haven’t seen as much this cold winter). Here are a few ideas to get you inspired:
Most would imagine the Easter Bunny’s home to be in a big, beautiful, whimsical garden. With a little creativity, your backyard can live up to the expectations of the little ones when you create a colorful wonderland of fun.
- Plant giant flowers in the yard for an incredible “wow” effect! You can buy gorgeous nylon flowers to decorate your party or make large tissue paper flowers.
- Allot at least five to ten eggs per child. A few weeks in advance, you can begin filling the eggs. with small treats (one per egg), such as fuzzy chicks, temporary tattoos, stickers, small toys, pennies or bulk candy. Looking to buy your plastic eggs in bulk?! Check out Oriental Trading for all of your supplies.
- Create three areas in your yard: one for kids ages three and under, one for ages four to six, and one for ages seven and older. This way, young children can find eggs without being mowed down, while their older siblings get a greater challenge.
- Don’t forget to have some treats for your guests! Finger food such as Easter cookies or cupcakes would be perfect….and put out some tubs of juice boxes for the kids (they are going to need something refreshing after running around looking for eggs!).
To extend the length of your party (because the egg hunt will be over before you know it!), try a couple of games to keep the kids entertained.
- Egg Toss – Have kids choose a partner and line them up in two lines, standing across from their partner. You know how the game goes from here – have them toss their egg back and forth, each toss taking another step away from their partner, until the egg breaks!
- Egg & Spoon Relay Race – For the older kids, separate kids into even number teams. Each team stands in single file behind the starting line and opposite their respective flags, set in the ground about 5 yards away. At the whistle, the first player in each line, balancing an egg on a spoon, races around his team’s flag, then back to transfer the egg onto a spoon held by the next teammate. The recipient races to the flag, and the first runner hands his spoon to the third person. The race continues until one team finishes the course. Anyone who drops an egg must run to the starting line for another before resuming.
Images: Easter baskets (potterybarnkids.com), sign (countryliving.com), jelly beans and chocolate eggs (williams-sonoma.com), bunny cupcake (flickr.com), butterflies (landofnod.com),Easter dresses (boden.com), plastic eggs (orientaltrading.com)