Fun and Easy Birthday Party Themes

Sweet Baby Quilt

The "cake": As an alternative to cake, this party has a quilt made up of cookies! It's easy for you to bake and decorate and easy for guests to grab and eat. Make or buy one batch of sugar cookie dough and roll it thin. (Crispy cookies are easier to decorate.) Cut into 2-inch squares. After baking the cookies, frost in different colors, then decorate each square with sprinkles, stars, mini M&Ms, or whatever else you like. (Keep in mind that round hard candies pose a choking hazard for kids under 4.) You can also use decorator icing and devote a few squares to your child's age, birth date, or a special message. Set up all the cookies in a big square -- it'll look like a quilt.

Party favor ideas: Give the kids sets of old-fashioned building blocks.

Extra touch: Pass around a memory book for guests to write down their wishes for baby.

Great advice: Time the party to take place around 11:00 a.m., after your baby's morning nap. Serve bagels, muffins, and juice; brew tea and coffee, and then unveil a simple treat like these cookies -- the food takes no time to prepare, the kids will be at their best, and you'll have the rest of the day to recover.

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