Preface: If you are someone like a certain unnamed coworker of mine…okay, I’ll just say it, it’s Krista…then these ideas will seem pretty simple and, well, lame to you. That is why she has promised me that she will share her repertoire of kids’ party themes (she always ensures that the decorations, games, loot bag contents, and toilet paper ALL coordinate with the theme – okay, just kidding about the toilet paper) and I will bring you a FANTASTIC post (or maybe even a series of posts) on that topic. However, if you’re an average party-thrower, read on!
My baby is now two years old. Little Maggie just celebrated her birthday, and while we keep our birthday parties pretty low-key at this age, I thought I’d share a few highlights.
Although Maggie and her 17 month old cousin just observed the arts and crafts portion of the evening, I figured that Frannie, our nephew, and our five nieces in attendance would need something “to do”, so I headed to the dollar store. I picked up a wooden hanging sign for each child, and a few different colours of acrylic paint. They went to town on their designs at the beginning of the party, and let the paint dry while we ate. (Cold meat and buns, if you must know. Can’t get much simpler. Although I did roll up the slices of meat and put them on a fancy tray! Yeah, we’re high class around here.) Okay, back to the crafts. Once the paint was dry, the kids used glitter, jewels and stickers to decorate. One thing I wish I had done is have more than one bottle of glue on hand. The kids got excited about writing their names in glue and then glitter, and it kind of took the wind out of their sails when they had to share one bottle amongst the seven of them. Definitely an activity I would recommend. And check out the masterpieces!
Our usual baker (of Frannie’s Fancy Nancy cake fame) put this dessert together for a retirement party we attended a couple of months ago, and we asked her to do the same for Maggie. She loaned us the innovative stand her husband made for her, and filled it with these adorable cupcake cones. If you’ve never seen this idea before, you’ll be surprised to learn that these are not ice cream, they are cupcakes baked inside the cones and then decorated to suit (pink, white, and chocolate icing with little butterflies for Maggie). It was actually a beautiful centrepiece on the dining room table…while it lasted!
As always, our daughter was completely spoiled, and every single gift she received was perfect. I’m including this one specifically to make my mother feel better. I had actually suggested that my parents get Maggie some sort of magnetic board that she and Frannie could use down in the family room with all of their girly magnets. The fridge works fine, of course, and we have all of our educational Fridge-Phonics stuff happening on it, but I wanted something for downstairs, since we spend a lot of time there (wouldn’t you, with a red room this lovely?) With all of the new toys, books, lawn chair, sunglasses and clothing being strewn about during gift-opening, I think Maggie was a little too distracted to see the potential in the empty whiteboard propped in the corner of the room. I think this led Mom to believe that she didn’t like it…which couldn’t be further from the truth. Within minutes of waking the next morning, the fighting over it began…a sure sign of an item’s popularity!
Seriously, don’t you hate it when your kid comes home with crap? I mean, first, there’s candy, but I don’t even mind that because my kids have average diets, are very active, and, well, their mother is a junk-food junkie who shouldn’t be a hypocrite. And it least it gets eaten and no longer takes up space! The plastic junk is another story entirely. I decided to go with something somewhat purposeful…a decorate-it-yourself mug, purchased at Michael’s for less than two bucks each, complete with markers. Plus the attendees got to keep their lovely wall hangings. I had actually intended to do the mugs as a second craft during the party, until I came to my senses. I’m saving Frannie and Maggie’s mugs for a rainy day.
Since our kids are still pre-school, we’ve been sticking with family-only parties (grandparents and godparents), but next year Frannie will be in school, and I’ll be interested to see what trend is set by her peers. There are going to be six girls in the class, and having the other five over seems doable. Her birthday isn’t until March, so someone else can set the standard. I’m sure it will make for another post topic.
Feel free to leave a comment and share any other party tips that have worked for you…or maybe you’ve already used some of the ideas here. (I tried to patent the cold meat and buns thing, but apparently I’m not the first to do it.) I have designed This Mom Loves as a bit of a magazine..some personal essay content, some informational stuff, and some reviews and giveaways. My hope is that when you read one of my posts, in addition to being thoroughly entertained, you also take away a useful tidbit here and there, whether it be something you might try, buy, or just think about. (Plus I get to write about what I want, when I want, and use parentheses excessively just because!)
I do value my readers, so thanks for being here…and Happy Birthday, little Maggie!