Posted by: michelle @ books my kids read | February 21, 2013

Birthday party recap!

A few weeks ago, my little girl turned 6. I still can’t really believe it. Sometimes she completely acts her age, and sometimes she is 6 going on 13. I generally don’t write specifically about the girls much on this blog, but I know that there are moms out there always looking for inspiration for birthday parties and after all was said and done, I was pretty happy with how her party turned out.

Because she has a February birthday, it is a challenge to pick a location for her party. We need a place that is indoors, isn’t overly expensive, can handle a fairly large party for my social butterfly, and is fun for the birthday girl. J gets really focused on having a “theme” for her party. I think for her that really means what is going to be on her cake, as her 4th birthday was at Sandhills Academy of Gymnastics and she still considers it her “Ariel” party because we had an amazing cake with Ariel on it. Anyway, just like her Halloween costume, this year’s party went from Pippi Longstocking to princesses to Rainbow Magic Fairies. When she kept going with the idea of Rainbow Magic, I got the idea to use those as a jumping off point for the rest of the party.

If you are unaware of what Rainbow Magic is, this is a series of early chapter books about two little girls who wind up helping the fairies get back some object that Jack Frost has stolen which impacts the fairy world and the human world. The series is divided into sets of 7 books that follow a theme – rainbow colors (the first set), days of the week, jewels, sports, etc. A friend of ours got us hooked on them a little more than a year ago. I told J that she needed to pick one set that we could run with and I was thrilled when she picked the ocean fairies. This managed to combine two of her biggest loves – books and marine biology. I promised her that we would come up with a bunch of fun games that had some kind of ocean theme and that we would also find a way to incorporate the fairies.

With that thought in mind, we decided to have it at First Health for the second year in a row. This allowed me to plan a number of games and just do it all myself while not having to have it in my own house. Normally the fabulous party queens of First Health do the party for you, but I was happy to sort of run it myself.

The first step in the party was cupcakes for J’s class at school. We kept with the fabulous ocean theme and had a ton of fun making cupcakes with fish. I made these cupcakes from scratch with an awesome recipe for simple vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing. Blue sprinkles made them look like ocean scenes and we decided to use Swedish Fish to give it flair.

For the party itself, I focused on having games that had something to do with the animals in the Ocean Fairies books – dolphin, seal, penguin, turtle, starfish, whale and clownfish. I came up with some fun games that we did during part of the time and then just allowed to run around and just be themselves.

One game that we did was a bean bag toss in a board that I made which also wound up doubling as a photo opportunity. We painted on an ocean scene dominated by a starfish with three openings for the kids to try and throw things through. Rather than using bean bags, I used three ocean shaped sponges that we happened to have – dried out of course. One of our party goers really enjoyed this station and played at it long after others had moved on.

Another station was an art wall for kids to create their own mural. On the top of the craft paper I wrote out “Help the fairies bring the ocean to life” and printed out all of the ocean fairies so that they would be included in the fun. Then I placed foam stickers and crayons for the kids to decorate the scene.

We let the kids run around on their own for a while and then got them back together to play our own version of “musical chairs.” Since the space doesn’t really have enough chairs for all of the kids and bringing them downstairs would have been way too much of a pain, we put down circle spots so the kids could walk/skip/run in a circle until the music stopped. Of course, I had to come up with an “under the sea” playlist to go along with it! The most amazing thing is that as each child got “out,” there was no complaining or throwing of fits. The kids really impressed me.

Our final game was help the baby sea turtles get to the ocean, our own version of pin the tail on the donkey. We should have done a few things differently, like start them further away and not have it on the mirror (they felt around), but all in all it was great.

I had purchased a ring toss on the dolphin but it got left at home when E was playing with it before the party. Oh well!

Once we finished with the games we swam back upstream to the party room for cupcakes and other snacks. The bakery department at Lowe’s food did an outstanding job of creating an ocean scene cupcake cake and I rounded it all out with whale crackers, penguin crackers, Swedish fish and chocolate sea animals.

The kids had a blast and I know that I helped make J’s party memorable.

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