Tip Tuesday — Birthday Parties

”˜Tis the time of summer. Lots of people have birthdays in the summer. I think most of them are first or only children because after a mother’s had one third trimester during the hottest part of the year, she likely learns to… ahem… time things a little better the next time around.

Anywho, many of you are likely planning birthday parties for your small comrades and I think the rest of us should help you out. Today is a day of tips. I will describe 2 birthday parties and invite you to share your ideas too.

faerie51. Faerie Mania — This was a spring party for us but I think it could have been even more funnerer in the summer. Laylee only invited 4 friends because she was turning 4 and also to limit the intake of stuff into our house. The girls were asked to come dressed up in faerie clothes (Princess attire would do in a pinch.). As they arrived, I put wings on those who were unwinged and took their pictures in front of this startlingly realistic woodland backdrop. I read them a book of faerie “FACTS” and crossed my fingers that their parents weren’t anti-Santa-Claus-ites who would take exception to their mythical indoctrination. Faeries are most likely to be found in forests or living in flowers. Each flower is home to a faerie. If you look really hard, you can see them. If you can’t see them, you’re not looking hard enough or are possibly a very naughty little girl who needs to stop picking on her little brother and start brushing her molars more vigorously.
faerie2We then printed out their faerie pictures, pasted them onto foam frames and let the girls decorate them with glitter. If the glitter got on their hands, clothes, or up their nostrils, we applauded them for their new improved glittery faerie-like appearances.

We hunted for “faerie money” which was actually stale chocolate coins with menorahs and Hebrew words on them, clearance priced as a post-Hanukah special. Luckily none of the girls could read Hebrew.


The girls planted faerie garden seeds in paper cups and used twigs and branches from the back yard to build small camouflaged houses for lazy faerie squatters to inhabit.

We made them curly ribbon crowns.

No gift bags were given but the girls went home with Hanukah coins, glittery self-portraits, cups of dirt, bundles of yard waste, gift wrapped noggins and imaginations filled with impossible stories. They rejoiced. The entire party cost $30 including food and very little prep time.

Click here for more great faerie party ideas.

2. Magoo’s Fantasy Fire Station Extravaganza — I like my new neighbors for many reasons but mostly because they invited us to their son’s birthday party this weekend and it almost made Magoo’s head explode… in a good way.


The theme was fire trucks.

fire3The party began with a tour of the fire station, which contains FIRE TRUCKS!!!!!, FIRE BOATS, and MO MO FIRE TRUCKS!!!!!!

All the kids got cheap plastic fire hats, which Magoo held onto with both hands. This was smart thinking because it threatened to fall off every time he would get a glimpse of a MO MO FIRE TRUCK, gasp, tremble with maniacal ecstasy, and YELL.

fire2The tour included a chance to walk through an ambulance and the cab of a fire engine. A fire fighter even put on all his gear and shook the kids’ hands while talking like Darth Vader through his helmet. Each child was given a station trading card with a picture of a FIRE TRUCK!!!

I won’t even start to describe the spread of food that followed back at the ranch because I don’t want you all stalking my neighbor and therefore coming a little too close to stalking me but let’s just say it was amazing.


If I were in charge of the party, there would be the station, chips and dogs back at my place and possibly some sort of activity involving a race to see if the kids could stop drop and roll before I sprayed them down with the hose or extinguisher. Good times.

How would you party this summer?

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16 Responses to Tip Tuesday — Birthday Parties

  1. slawebb says:

    I just did my first kid party last week! It actually went really well and was really simple. It was a nice day so we set up a table outside. There were 5 friends invited because it was her fifth birthday. When they got to the house my husband took a picture with my dd and her friend. Then I had them decorate picture frame mattes with stickers, glitter glue and foam bugs. I put magnetic strips on the back and we will put the picture of each girl and dd in the frames and give them back. Then we opened gifts. then for cake and ice cream I gave each kids an undecoratedown cupcake, frosting, sprinkles, and M&Ms and let them decorate their own cupcake and put toppings on their ice cream too. Then they ran around the back yard and played untilit was time to go. The party only ended up being 2 hours. it was great! Very easy! The other thing I think I’ll do, or I guess not do is have a big party every year. Rocks in my dryer had a tip Wednesday on this too. check it out.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Wonderful ideas. We have no party plans this summer, thank goodness. Sometimes other peoples parties are just as stressful as the ones I plan.
    I wanted to comment on what a great idea it is for kids to see a fireman in full gear, and talking like “darth vader” They won’t be so afraid to come out of a hiding place if they already know that a fireman will look like that. When DS is old enough I am going to make sure he goes on a fire station tour! Besides the fact that it might make HIS head explode with excitement as well.

  3. Brooke says:

    Yes indeed, August is the biggest birthday month of the year. A whole bunch of people are trying to keep warm in the winter!

  4. julie says:

    Ooh! You want to be neighbors with me. My neighbor is a real live fireman. He drives the truck by at least once a month.

    As for parties, I love a theme party. My middle daughter loves dogs so we had a dog party. I bought each girl a little stuffed dog at Wal-mart. Before the party we made birth certificates for their dogs. They named them and the birthday girl signed the certificate. The girls then made matching bracelets and dog collars. We ate hot dogs and scooby snacks and a dog bone shaped cake.

  5. Heffalump says:

    We love a good Pirate party. The kids make their own pirate hats, and we have a treasure hunt to find a chest (wooden jewelry box in this case) full of chocolate coins, candy necklaces and ring pops. The cake was a Pirate ship.
    We have also done a safari party complete with vines, a jungle obstacle course, a hunt to find small plastic jungle animals and a crocodile cake.
    We recently did a Star Wars party with a lightsaber cake, a hunt to find hidden canisters of Star Wars Mini M&Ms and a Lego Star Wars ship to build.
    There are tons of ideas we will try at some point. Midieval, Mad Science, camping, back yard carnival and when the boys are older I am sure we will do a mystery party.
    We have not hosted anyone else’s kids at this point. None of the boys have ever asked for that. (Plus there is a rule at school that if you invite one kid from class you have to invite them all) We have five boys aged ten down to almost four (he will be four in two days) and they play together well. They are all about a year and a half apart, and they make a great party crowd all on their own. We let them choose a theme for their birthdays if they want to and do some activities as a family. Its one of our favorite times.

  6. Karen says:

    Love the party ideas, but I guess I’m a slow learner (or cold-natured) because I have THREE summer birthdays! I’m planning a watermelon party together for my 2 youngest girls (their birthdays are 6 days apart) and then a bug party for my second oldest. I’ll try to remember to come back and let you know how they turned out!

  7. Sketchy says:

    Not really a party idea complete, but at my children’s old school they played the best game on field day. The kids would divide up into teams. In front of them were 2 (new) garbage cans filled with water. Each child had a #10 can (coffee can size) with holes in the bottom. The first child dipped his mutilated can into to the garbage can and filled it with water. Then turns and fills the can of the kid right behind him…and so on it goes until the last child puts the water into a nonpunched can. First team to fill their nonpunched can with water wins. Everyone has fun and gets wet, what more do you want for a summer birthday?

  8. Carolee says:

    Boy, am I ever glad I’m out of the kid’s party business. They were always so exhausting! One memorable party was a backwards party. I printed the invitations in mirror image, so they had to read it in a mirror. The party was in the morning and they were invited to wear their pajamas, on backwards, if they wished. We played a lot of backwards games — use your imagination — Duck Duck Goose, but running around the circle backwards, etc. And we had pineapple upside down cake. The kids had a great time!

  9. Jeana says:

    What, no lighting the kids their own little torches while they sing, “Come on Baby Light My Fire” and then seeing who can swallow theirs first? Wet blanket.

  10. The cups of dirt and yard waste cracked me up! I recently discovered your blog and enjoy it very much.

  11. Farm Wife says:

    “If you can’t see them, you’re not looking hard enough or are possibly a very naughty little girl who needs to stop picking on her little brother and start brushing her molars more vigorously.” LOVE IT!!! Wonder if it’ll work without the party…

    And I love the part about Magoo’s head exploding. That happens to B.B. on a regualr basis too.

    BTW, love the curly ribbon crowns…where ever did you get such a wonderfully fabulous idea? 🙂

  12. Kimberly says:

    I’ve got my first real kid party coming up next week. I’ve been in a buying frenzy, but I haven’t actually planned much. Umm. I am having a bad week, apparently.

  13. Susanne says:

    Love the party ideas! Too much fun. 🙂

  14. MamaLady says:

    Thanks for the ideas. We’re planning a party this summer. I can use all the help I can get for a low tech party. I don’t do carnivals.
    BTW, I didn’t learn my lesson with summer babies. #1 was born late July in the midst of a heat wave, I might add. And #2 was born mid June. I think I deserve a medal. Or a trip to the mental ward to recover.

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  16. Kim Graco says:

    Excellent ideas. I recently went to a firehouse birthday – and it was a riot. I love the faerie mania – with a 2 year old little girl myself, your ideas will come in pretty handy.

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