Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Birthday Ideas From Other Moms

Moms are some of the most creative people I know. If you think about it, we created little people, so there must be something flowing in the left side of our brains! It was easy to find professional party planning ideas. But I know that many moms can't afford to hire professional help for executing their wee one's birthday party. So, I went looking for moms who did it themselves, and these were some of the ideas I found.

Dora-Themed Birthday PartyIf you are into character themed parties, Karli at SweetBeaker designed a Dora the Explorer Fiesta for her own Charlotte. The Dora birthday invitations look upscale and she made them just by using the free printables available at Nick Same for the rest of the Dora decorations and favors. It just took some digital paper crafting skills. The color palette is simple (yellow, orange, and pink) and I can see how it would fulfill any toddler's Dora the Explorer birthday party needs! Karli told me that they kept to a simple, kid-friendly meny too - quesadillas, bananas, and salsa with chips.

Wendi, a mom and photographer, shared the following with me about her baby's Monkey themed birthday party:
I am by no means an expect, but I am a mom and a creative person! For his first birthday, we had a monkey theme. We decorated our backyard with a hand-made happy birthday banner I made using twine and natural-colored papers. We used greens and browns and a little yellow throughout the party. The cake was a 3D monkey hanging from a tree, and his smash cake was a banana shape. We had fresh bananas laying all around, and the favor bags, decorated as a monkey, included a little stuffed monkey, a banana (of course), and a picture frame that the kids got to put together. All the kids also had safari hats to wear. We didn't do games, since they were mostly younger, but it was a hit!
Then, Wendi told me about her son's 2nd birthday party, which will have a fire station theme:
This year, we are doing firetrucks. For his invitation, we took him to the fire station and photographed him with a truck. We have firefighter hats for the kids to wear, and little foam badges they get to put together. The cake will be a 3D firetruck, of course, and the favors will be little wooden firetrucks that they can paint. We are also having the local fire department bring a small truck down and talk to the kids about fire safety.

If you love literature, you might be interested in the Where the Wild Things Are Birthday Party that Erin put on for her son. There are several pictures at this site which give you a great idea how to decorate. Even though Erin is a mom-preneur and used those skills in decorating, I think most of what she did is accessible to the average mom.

If you need some game ideas for the toddler crowd, why not play Cloud, Cloud Rain, as suggested by Emily, a non-blogging, but still really cool mom.

This is just like Duck, Duck, Goose except in these hot summer months we had a big sponge that we dunked in the water balloon bucket to fill. Kids sat in a circle on the ground and one child begins by holding the sponge over people’s heads while they walk saying Cloud, Cloud, Cloud, etc. When they choose the person they want to chase them around the circle back into that person’s seat, they say Rain and squeeze the sponge over the child’s head. This works for parties that have diverse age groups that need to be entertained and expend a lot of energy.
Another one of Emily's ideas (and added proof that she must be a cool mom)  is the Imagination Mover's themed party she helped with that included a skit.Yeah, a skit. Tell me that isn't cool!
We had the 4 guy characters (using husbands and a god father) and me as the god mother, the only female character on the kid’s show. The birthday mom played the mom holding the 1 1/2) We solved the problem of how will he be able to blow out his candle and taught him how with bubbles and funny solutions. This encouraged group participation and silliness by all.

With fall right around the corner, outdoor themes are becoming more popular. Even though I don't live anywhere near an apple orchard, doesn't Sara make it sound like fun to hold a birthday party there? Here is a link to an article Best Kid Friendly Travel did about her child's Apple Orchard birthday party.

Every family got a half a bushel bag and to pick apples with and them each child had a chance to pick their pumpkin! After about 45-50 minutes of apple picking we met at picnic area on the farm had a light lunch and ate cake. There were no goody bags filled with junk or cheap toys. Just yummy apples, a pumpkin and great memories.

What birthday party ideas have you used? How did you get creative with limited resources or a particular theme your toddler just HAD to have?

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