A quick note to my Gig Harbor readers that the Mamapedia deal to Jump! is still available. For 20.00 you get a 7 visit jump pass-more than half off! Just look in the sidebar to the right if you don’t see this deal right away. On the other side of the bridge? There is a deal to Jumping Jack and Jill today through Living Social. For 15.00 you get 5 visits to this super cute place in Sumner. My bounce house list is one of my most visited pages every day, so I know some of you will want to get in on these!
Here is Part Three of what has turned into a four part series on birthday planning. Make sure to scroll down for Part One and Part Two! The final installment, The big SFM guide to places to party will be up next week. Here, in no particular order, are some of the funnest party ideas and themes I’ve seen. Get ready, because I’m asking you to share yours, too!
Construction: Kids get materials and gear (aprons and kid sized goggles from Home Depot or Lowes). Use cardboard or styrofoam and heavy duty tape if you don’t want actual construction. My friend Polly did this for her son’s 4th birthday, and it was the cutest thing ever. Her husband still twitches when someone reminds him about the styrofoam crumbles, but I think he’s getting over it.
Bug Safari: My friend Brenda threw a crazy fun party with a safari/bug theme. The highlight was releasing actual bugs she’d ordered online. This is actually pretty easy to do…garden supply places sell them as natural pest control. The kids had a ball with them, and she had these totally adorable pith helmets and binoculars as favors. Tip:Try to get a group picture early in the party before everyone is crabby and messy.
Spa/Salon: Kids get pedicures, facials, whatever you’re comfortable with. A great party because you can get all the supplies you’ll need for cheap at your favorite drug store. Plus, there is nothing cuter than a picture of a kid with cucumbers on her eyes!
Star Wars: Did you know you can get Star Wars characters to come to your party? It’s true! They won’t accept money, but they take donations in their name to a charity. My friend Jen had some storm troopers come to her son’s party, and it was truly amazing. It was also incredibly hot. We all thought it was going to be known as, “The party where the storm trooper got heat exhaustion,” but thankfully, they made it through. Jen made light sabers for favors out of pool noodles and electrical tape, and they were my kids’ favorite thing in the world until we took them away. Want scoop on how to get Star Wars characters at your party? Let me know, and I’ll give you the full intel.
How to find great ideas for any theme? My kids are champions at picking strange themes-I’ve mentioned the giant squid party already, right? If you have a stumper on your hands, don’t panic. Instead of searching, “Gopher themed birthday party,” or whatever….search, “Gopher lesson plan,” or “Gopher unit,” or “Gopher preschool activities.” There is no cleverer group than elementary school teachers, and no matter how obscure your theme, you will find something! I’ve also found Ebay and Cafe Press to be good sources for, “Who the heck would have that??” Etsy might be another possibility.
I’m just going to toss out a list of other favorite party ideas, and then, really-I want to hear yours. You can leave them here, or over at the Facebook page.
Print out free coloring pictures to use as favors or laminate as placemats.
Have a planting party. Decorate terra cotta pots and plant seeds.
Consider putting up multiple card tables and having stations so everyone has room to eat or craft.
If the weather is nice, blow bubbles outside.
Have a cooking party. Wear aprons and hats and make something simple.
Instead of a candy free for all, load the pinata with pre filled goodie bags. If you do a regular pinata make sure every child gets a baggie before hand with his/her name written on it.
Get party music from the library.
Put your candles in life savers so you don’t get wax all over the cake. I got this from Real Simple magazine. It’s genius.
Make a cardboard stand up and take pictures of the guests as they arrive. Include them with the thank-you notes.
Every year ask your birthday boy or girl the same five questions. Try, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” or “What is your favorite part of the day?” Record the answers in a little journal.
Tell her the story of her birth and look at baby pictures.
O.K…Enough of me…..Your turn! Leave a comment with your favorite ideas, big or small, or come join the fun over at the Sounds Fun Mom Facebook page. I got to work on your weekend ideas early this week, so I’ll have those up this evening!
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