I am so jealous of parents who have kids with warm-weather birthdays. My girls were born in late fall and early winter which basically precludes any attempt at an easy breezy outdoor party (aka: One of those let-them-run-around-then-serve-cake-then-say-goodbye parties). So for Phoebe’s 8th this year, we all decided to ignore the weather and have a summer party anyway — inside the snow-shrouded house. Phoebe insisted on planning the order of events, the playlist, the invite list. And though it didn’t exactly end up being easy-breezy, we had so much fun planning it that it was totally worth the effort. Here are some highlights:
Phoebe is really into Peanuts, so Snoopy of course found his way onto the invite. I always have the kids make their own invitations then I shrink and photocopy. It becomes an instant keepsake — not to mention costs exactly zero.
Leis and Sunglasses greet the guests. I ordered both from the all-powerful Oriental Trading Company.
Pin the Fin on the Shark
I google-imaged “shark” about a week before the party, freehand-copied the easiest one I could manage onto poster board, then had the girls help paint it. Then we played Pass the Coconut. All the credit for this one goes to Rebecca Ffrench, who was the party editor at Cookie.
I know, the self-esteem crazies will be after me for not giving a prize to everyone, but I think it makes the kids get so much more into the games when they know something is at stake. I wrap all the prizes (little crappy things, really, like a Polly Pocket, a yo-yo, etc.) to add a little more mystery to it and the game winners get to choose whichever one she wants.
These were really cute (again, Oriental Trading), but I had budgeted 20 minutes for them and they only took about three, which left us scrambling a bit to fill time at the end. (Thank goodness for freeze dance.) The girls got to take them home in their goody bags.
Tropical Smoothie Bar
Another Rebecca Ffrench suggestion. (I’m telling you, the woman is a genius.) The kids got to choose whatever fruit they wanted and Andy did the blending and topped each off with a hibiscus straw.
I would say we had the most fun with this. I drew it a couple different ways before Phoebe decided on this layout, then the girls helped me decorate it.
The “sand” is Nilla wafers that have been crushed in the food processor; the frosting is store-bought (with a little bit dyed blue for water); the parasols are from Oriental Trading, and the cake is, of course, Rosa’s Mud Cake, pretty much the only recipe I ever use for birthday parties.