Archive for the ‘ Birthday Party Games ’ Category

Decoden: A New Craft Craze!

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014


Cupcakes, cell phones, Hello Kitty, and BLING! What do these things have in common, you ask? The answer: decoden! And what is decoden? It’s a Japanese-inspired craft trend that is sweeping the nation. Deco is short for decorate and Den is short for denwa, the Japenese word for phone. The technique started as a cell phone decoration, but now you can see it on everything from compact mirrors to picture frames to even finger nails! In short, decoden is just another form of mosaic, but instead of using tiles, you use rhinestones, pearls, clay charms, and, of course, glitter!

Until now, the supplies were a little hard to come by here in the US. You could buy them on Amazon or Etsy, but it was cost-prohibitive because they are mostly coming from Japan. Now, Mod Podge (my favorite craft supply ever) has come out with product line that will make DecoDen a hit here in the States (check your local Michaels Stores for availability). Visit Cathie & Steve’s Handmade Happy Hour to read about the products and to watch videos about how the products work. They were kind enough to send a heap of supplies for my friend Sophia’s 12th birthday party, and I can tell you first hand that THIS IS FUN. I loved it and the kids were obsessed!

To start your decoden projects, you need a few basic things—collage clay (commonly called whip), the object that you want to decorate, and your embellishments (charms-commonly referred to as cabochons, rhinestones, beads, mini-erasers, glitter). You can also use dimensional paint as the adhesive to stick the items to the object. Most of the charms that you see in the photo above are plastic trinkets that I pulled off of inexpensive hair rubber bands and clips, but kids can make their own with polymer clay or with Mod Podge’s new product called Mod Melts. You use the melts with a glue gun and silicone molds to make your own cabochons.


 The Collage Clay goes on like icing (but don’t eat it!) It comes packaged in a piping bag and comes with 3 different tips. Here I am showing the kids how you can apply the clay in different patterns, and Victoria is practicing her technique before applying it to her frame. 

And then, the decorating began. I offered very little design direction—the kids just went for it full speed ahead. Some went for broad strokes with big, overlapping chunky decorations, and others spent the entire 3-hour party painstakingly applying tiny rhinestones like a mosaic to the back of their phone cases. It was so insane to watch!

If you want to learn all the ins and outs of decoden, check out this brand new book, DecoDen Bling by Alice Fisher. Jump on this craft train people. You’re looking at the next Rainbow Loom explosion!

Birthday girl Sophia was more than pleased with her unique decoden birthday party! I might venture to say it is one of the first of its kind around these parts!

Create and customize the perfect birthday party for your little one with our Birthday Party Planner!

Birthday Party Ideas: Star Candy Cake
Birthday Party Ideas: Star Candy Cake
Birthday Party Ideas: Star Candy Cake

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Fun Games to Learn ABCs!

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Both of my little ones, ages 2 and 3 1/2, are obsessed with letters. It’s becoming clear that my older child, Oliver, is really starting to understand that letters make up words and words make up sentences and we read sentences in order to recite stories at bedtime. Sommer, my younger, is just getting into the habit of pointing out the letters that she knows when we read her favorite color book. Now that Oliver is beginning to get the whole letter/word thing, I want to start making it super-fun and creative to learn letters. These 4 alphabet games make me want to play too!

In addition to the love of letters, Oliver and Sommer are also obsessed with our spray bottle. It has become a favorite tub toy of late. Dirt and Boogers came up with this super fun way of identifying letters. Write letters with washable markers on a piece of paper, hang it outdoors, call out a letter and have the kids spray that letter with water until it runs down the paper. I’m thinking I might recreate this as a long paper line so the water doesn’t obscure the letters below it. (Or you can try it with chalk on the sidewalk.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Imagination Tree came up with this fun ping-pong ball and cardboard-tube letter game. Write letters on the balls and also on the tubes and have the kids pair the corresponding letters. You can write the lower case on the ball and the upper case on the tube to teach them which is which. You can buy ping-pong balls very affordably at Oriental Trading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clothespins are one of my favorite things to have around the house…both for crafts and for use as mini-clamps. Write letters on the bottom ends of the clothespins and write the corresponding words on paper. Have your kids clip the letters to match the paper. Once they complete a word, have them draw a picture on the paper next to the letters. Found via Pinterest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Especially appropriate for this time of year, this plastic egg game is another great way to teach how to match lower and upper case letters. Stick letter stickers to either side of eggs and have the kids match them up to complete the egg. Found on Playing House in Maryland.

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Pirate Party

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Two weekends ago, we were at our friends’ house for a barbeque/party to celebrate their new baby on-the-way.   The party was indoors and outdoors with lots of little ones running about.  My dear friend Kelly offered face paints to the children and asked if they’d like to decorate their friends’ faces.  This was particularly fun for my youngest who loves face paint, but rarely gets to apply it to a friend’s face.  We collectively surrendered to the mess and decided that the evening would end with baths.  Within minutes a few stars and whiskers were added to faces, but then the party moved outside and the paints were left behind.

Once outside the children found our friend’s canoe, which was parked on the grass .  They hopped inside and were instantly paddling through uncharted waters,  encountering aquatic friends and foes, and setting off for far away adventures.  All of the adults looked away for a moment or two, and when we refocused our attention, the children were making telescopes, painting eye patches on their eyes and one was even wearing a pirate costume that he had brought from home. Random, but true!  Oh my!  It was just amazing!  They had turned an ordinary play session into a pirate adventure…..eye patches and all.

This was a reminder to me that a simple prop — in this case, the canoe– can transform a play space and spark the imagination.  And, that letting children lead the way is magical.  Oh, and it also makes me think that a DIY pirate party would be a fabulous summer birthday idea.

Cheers!

Emily

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Make it: Bubble Printing

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

A few weeks ago, sounds of bubbly water and giggles filled the room as  my children and their cousins experimented with bubble printing.  I was doing some craft development for a FamilyFun feature and the children were more than delighted to be the testers.

The activity involved filling a tin with bubble solution and paint, asking children to blow bubbles until the tin was frothy and full, and then gently placing paper onto the bubbles to make lovely little prints.  We cut the printed paper into squares and plan to use them as gift tags.

This is a nice rainy day project, and would also be a great backyard activity for a group of friends.

Cheers,

Emily

 

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5 Bright Spots: Weekend Fun!

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Are you looking for fun things to do with your family this weekend?  Perhaps one of these five fun projects will be just the answer!

1. Make  Crepe Paper Wind Catchers (pictured above) with Jessica Wilson.

2. Or, how about a Kite on a Stick?  My two would love to zip around the yard with these flying high.

3. Jessica Okui pointed me to her incredibly realistic Make-Your-Own-Fossil project.  What a wonderful way to learn about Ammonite Fossils!

4. Make your house festive with lovely Felt Party Flags.  Perhaps, they’ll provide an excuse to have a spring gathering?

5. Gather all of the bright, beautiful fabric scraps in the house and round up children to Weave with Fabric Scraps.  via The Crafty Crow

Happy weekending!

-Emily

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