Tea Party and Makeover
We live about 10 minutes away from a trolley museum that's perfect for kids. My son is a trainaholic, so for his 3rd birthday party we invited eight boys (and his two sisters) to the museum, which was small and easy to peruse. Then we all went on a fabulous trolley ride during which the museum staff stopped and sang to the birthday boy.
I had gotten little painters' caps and used fabric paint to decorate and personalize them so each was unique. We had cupcakes and juice at a picnic table in back of the museum and sent the kids home with a cool goodie bag containing little train whistles and their invitations, which we had rubber-stamped.
A Royal Tea
For my daughter Madeline's 5th birthday, the invitation I sent included this little rhyme: "It's a Princess Birthday Tea Party-/You may want to wear your princess dress./Will you be Snow White? Cinderella? We'll have to guess!/You can leave Mom and Dad at home, it's okay,/Because we're going to have a fun, fun day!/We'll make jewelry and paint our nails,/Eat cupcakes and tell fairy tales./We hope that you can save the date:/RSVP at 555-8, 1, 9, 8!"
To decorate, I made pretty tablecloths by taping flower wrapping paper to five little table-and-chair sets placed around the kitchen. I served cupcakes on tiered plate racks -- the kind used for tea sandwiches and cookies -- lined with doilies.
We had "activity stations" around the house. About three girls played at each station and rotated during the two-hour party. The stations included a manicure table with six colors of glittery nail polish to choose from; make-a-beaded-necklace (we used Powerpuff Girl beads, a dollhouse set out with about seven Barbies (good for independent play), and tables with crayon-cups princess coloring books. For the storytime wrap-up, we read Snow White while the parents arrived to pick up their children. This was the most fun and least expensive party I've thrown. My daughter speaks of it often even though six months have passed.
A Magical Makeover
This year we had a dress-up party for my daughter's birthday. I got out my old makeup, unopened Avon and Mary Kay samples, and the girls did each other's hair and makeup. I put all their names in a hat, and each girl was responsible for drawing a name and making over a friend. I was responsible for anyone who wanted her hair in curlers, but the girls did the styling after I took the rollers out. I was able to find inexpensive boas and gloves, as well as straw hats. The girls used paint and scrap ribbon to decorate their own hats. The part the girls enjoyed most was the before-and-after photo shoot. We'll use the pictures to send photo thank-you cards by e-mail!
Hudson Falls, NY