This post is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Stacy Teet.
I love asking my kids, “How do you want to celebrate your special day?” – Stacy
Birthday parties are so much fun, but what do you do when your child’s imagination doesn’t quite fit into a typical birthday theme? How do you create a one of a kind birthday?
You won’t find any Princess parties at our house. So far, this one tends to stick with all things zebra, ninja, or arts and crafts related. Last year’s theme was a Rainbow Unicorn Ninja Party, and this year my future Project Runway all-star wanted a Zebra Fashion Design party. How could I resist?
Here’s a few tips that will help you plan a party of your own:
Step 1: Get Creative
When it comes to decor, let the kids take the reigns – I promise they will love it. If you feel the need to retain a bit of control, let them pick the colors or the pattern or the overall gist of the party and then you can tweak from there.
Finding table cloths, balloons, plates, and streamers in solid colors or even patterns for cheap allows you to make your own embellishments the star of the show.
– Put up a display of your child’s favorite artwork
– Use their own images or even photos to make buntings and banners
– Let them cut out shapes, make snowflakes or create art, then hang it all over the house.
Who cares if it isn’t as well put together as what you had in mind as long as they love it! After all, this one day belongs to them – so why not make it a one of a kind birthday event?
Step 2: King or Queen for the Day
In our house, on your birthday we eat all of your favorite foods. One year we served PB & J with grapefruit slices, another spaghetti and meatballs, this year she asked for corn dogs and macaroni and cheese. Her call, it’s her day.
I also let my kids decide what kind of cake they want. Typically I surprise them, but since this was a design inspired party … I let her call the shots. A black and white zebra cake with white and pink icing and sprinkles.
Other creations we’ve tried: chocolate cake with peppermint cream cheese icing, white chocolate raspberry, strawberries and lemonade, last year we had a rainbow sherbet cake! My personal favorite will always be carrot cake …
Step 3: The Favors are the Activities
I’m not huge fan of favor bags. Instead, I find ways to center the party around things the kids can do and keep.
This year, we made these design your own bracelets for about a $1 a piece. Then, we had a shoelace race to see who could put their snazzy new $2 laces in their shoes the fastest. Finally, we made our own t-shirts using these Sprayza pens! Everyone loved this, and it was the perfect activity to keep the kids busy and having fun.
Bonus: When they were done, they each had a brand new outfit they had designed from head to toe!
Step 4: Get the Kids Outside
This one could also be called, Leave Time for Unstructured Play. We keep them busy as long as we can, but we all know how fast kids tear through things. We feed them and serve the cake, and when all the sugar has been consumed … take them outside to burn off the excess energy before we send them home.
After making this crazy cool owl t-shirt, my daughter was ready to take her friends birdwatching out back. Birdwatching turned into running, and laughing, and giggling and bubble-blowing and an all around good time for all.
This super simple birthday party cost less than $100 to put together for 6 girls and was perfectly her — two thumbs up from this mini fashionista.
Tell me about the last birthday party you planned, did you follow any of these rules or do you have a few of your own? I’d love to hear about them.
Stacy Teet is the military mom–turned-supermom behind KidsStuffWorld. Her writing is chock-full of tips for enjoying parenthood, saving money, entertaining your kids and making your family’s life a bit simpler. Check out her website, KidsStuffWorld.com, or follow her on Pinterest, Twitter or the KSW Facebook page.