I am a little giddy to introduce today's 31 Days of Birthdays post, because it's written by one of my dear friends and favorite bloggers, Megan from SortaCrunchy. The party she details is quintessential Megan: classic with a twist, creative and resourceful, warm and fun. I'm so thankful she's sharing it here.
What a treat to be invited by Kelly to share with you one of my very favorite birthday parties ever celebrated by our family!
I want to start by preparing you for the fact that I am not even close to being the party-throwing GENIUS that Kelly is. Oh, no. Far from it. All of our celebrations are very simple. Almost painfully simple. But we have fun and we make memories and I know that's what it's all about anyway.
From the time my daughters turned three, I've encouraged them to choose the theme for their birthday parties. My oldest daughter, Dacey, chose animal themes every year until she turned seven. For her fifth birthday party, she surprised me by asking for a red bird party.As it just so happens, red birds are a favorite of mine, so I was delighted to indulge the request. Here is what we created:
We used this template from Skip to My Lou and cut out dozens and dozens of red birds. Red birds were everywhere.
Swooping through the dining room/office/art gallery:
Birds on a wire (or yarn, as the case may be):
When I was a child, my mother always made elaborately hand-decorated cakes for each birthday party.I have fond memories of thumbing through Wilton catalogs with her, inspired and amazed at the cakes to be created. I think for nearly every one of the girls' birthdays, I've deferred to a professional for cakes or cupcakes. I decided it would be fun to try a little one for the friend birthday party this year. The result? Well, it made me giggle a lot, but when I showed Dacey, she said, "OH! I LOVE IT!"
I got Elizabeth Mitchell's You Are My Little Bird and to this day, it is one of our family's favorite CDs.
Dacey and her guests went out in the backyard and gathered pine cones. We brought them in and slathered them in peanut butter. Then each guest got a brown paper bag that I had sprinkled bird seed into. They dropped their sticky pine cones into their bags and shook it all around. Instant bird feeder to take home!
I had been deliberating on what to do as party favors. I knew I wanted some kind of red bird something, but just couldn't decide what to do. I bought several bags of red feathers from the craft store with the idea of the girls making red bird puppets from brown paper bags. But instead of puppets, we ended up making bookmarks! (More on the way this fits in with the party in a moment.)
I borrowed a heart die-cut from a friend before the party. After some playing around with it, I discovered a heart could be made into the body of a bird and that half-hearts could be used for wings and a little birdie head. For the bookmarks, we used the feathers as toppers and I provided stickers, buttons, and markers for other embellishments, and turned all eight girls loose:
For this party, we took a different approach with gifts. I told each of the mamas of the party guests (all sweet friends of mine) that we have more than enough toys and other stuff in our home already. I invited each of them to send their daughters with a wrapped book for a book exchange. In other words, everyone brings a book and everyone goes home with a book.
Voila! Clutter-free!(I simply cannot consider a new book to be clutter.)
The girls drew a number from a cup and the numbers determined the order of the book exchange. (The Birthday Girl nearly went into meltdown mode when she drew #4 and not #1, but her Daddy was close-by and got her back on track.) All of the girls seemed genuinely happy with the new books they chose, and I think they thought it was pretty neat to get to open a present at someone else's party!
In the few minutes left at the end of the party, the guests played in the girls' room and jumped on the indoor trampoline. When the mamas came to pick them up, each guest got to leave with a new book, a made-it-myself bookmark, and a bird feeder for the birds pecking around in her own yard.
And what was I left with? Very little mess to clean up, no pressure to find more space for more toys, and one very, very, very happy Birthday Girl who told me it was truly the best Red Bird Birthday Party ever.