Fairy Tales And Dolls
A Real-Life Fairy Tale
Since children usually plan their next birthday party as soon as they finish opening the presents from the last one, my daughter had planned for nearly a year to have her party at a local arcade. When her 5th birthday finally rolled around, the arcade was closed for renovation. To counter the disappointment, I told her that instead she could have a party that she and I would plan and make everything for.
She came up with the theme of a fairy-tale birthday party. I found many ideas online and tweaked them for my own use. I also used the Internet to order party supplies like paper goods, decorations, and party favors. We printed invitations on scrolls of "parchment," which were hand-delivered and read like a royal proclamation. We decorated the party room to look like a castle, with banners and tapestries that we made ourselves, and addressed all the guests as Prince or Princess.
At the party my husband, the King, announced to his court that he needed brave knights and ladies to help him slay a dragon. The kids could prove their worth by participating in a royal tournament. Events were jousting, musical thrones, "Pin the Drawbridge on the Castle," and decorating royal scepters (cookies on sticks) and cloaks (handmade from inexpensive fabric). After the tournament, we "slayed" a dragon piñata and ate the castle-shaped cake my daughter and I had baked together.
Each child went home with a knight's helmet or princess tiara, a royal cloak, a royal scepter, and candy from the piñata. This party was a lot of work, but many kids -- and, most important, my daughter -- told me it was the best party they'd ever attended.
Jenny Tigay Meyerhoff
My daughter's birthday is in January, and I wanted to do something with a summery theme. I rented a room at a community center (depending on the size of your house, this could also be done at home) and played old-fashioned party games like pin the tail on the donkey. For lunch, I spread red-checked tablecloths on the floor and handed out brown paper bags packed with PB&J sandwiches, chips, and s'mores. The kids loved having a picnic!
I also made "ice-cream cones" by slipping store-bought mini-muffins into the cones, frosting the top, and adding sprinkles. For goodie bags, I passed out plastic buckets with bubbles and sand toys that could also be used in the snow or the bathtub.
My daughter Hayley loves Barbie dolls, so for her birthday party, each guest was asked to come dressed as one of her favorite Barbie dolls and bring a Barbie-related gift. We had a Camper, Sleepover, Polynesian, Gymnast, and more living dolls. As the mother of the birthday girl, I even dressed up as "Rock" Barbie. Along with the Barbie cups, plates, napkins, favors, and cake, we played theme games such as "Pin the Hat on Barbie" and had a photo shoot.