guest post from Angel Navy Wife
I love throwing birthday parties! For me they are a creative outlet, like a giant craft project. Even better, they are a blessing to my children! I love pointing out how special they are to me and going all out!
We start by choosing a theme, usually months in advance, then as we plan out the details we try to see how we can tie that theme in to every detail!
I let the birthday child choose the main food, and then try to find themed sides to go with it. Investing in some mini cookie cutters was probably the wisest thing I have ever done! For my daughter's first birthday, we had flower and butterfly shaped everything! Flower bread, butterfly bell peppers in the salad, butterfly crackers and flower shaped cheese. I used the same cutters to decorate the cake. At another party we used some copy paper and kebab skewers to turn boring hot dogs into pirate ships, served with goldfish crackers on the side! We made a blue jello "ocean" with gummy sharks and fish "swimming" in it. And cakes are so much fun! We've done paw prints and treasure maps with chocolate rock islands... Next month I get to attempt a tank shaped cake!
I like trying to use things we already have on hand to keep the party in budget. For an army party (this child has chosen an army theme for the THIRD year, talk about being difficult to come up with fresh ideas!). We found creative uses for Daddy's camo uniforms and accessories. We wrapped his gifts (the grandparents leave wrapping to me!) in brown paper from inside out paper bags. Then I just used a sponge and some green, brown and black ink pads and sponged a "camo" print on the gifts! I let him help too! For my daughter's second birthday we didn't have a tablecloth to go with her "Magenta from Blue's Clues" theme, so I used upside down wrapping paper and we drew pink paw prints all over it in marker!
At our pirate party, we used free refrigerator boxes from an appliance store in town to make a "pirate ship" and all the children had a blast playing in there!
Letting the birthday child help with the preparation and planning extends the excitement and fun beyond just the one day! My children are planning their next birthday the day after the previous one is over!
Have fun! Make it a family affair, get everyone involved in coming up with ideas and making those ideas become reality!
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