Make color copies of your child's photo, or use your computer to create an invitation that stars your birthday boy or girl. Slip it into a CD jewel case, and add party details.
Pump up the volume before the party by sending your guests a CD of favorite tunes.
Cut patterned paper to fit inside CD case. Trace enlarged train template to solid paper, cut, and glue to the piece of paper that will line the cover of the case. Cut a square from white paper, and write party information on it. Glue square to paper that will line the back of the CD case. Record party music on the CD, and label. Mail in CD-size box.
Single-serving potato-chip cans are just the right size for musical shakers. Roll canisters in construction paper. Cut the paper to fit, and tape down edges. Decorate with markers, stickers, paint, or paper cutouts. Fill with a few spoonfuls of rice. Guests can shake to the beat while they play a freeze-dance game to music.
Give each guest a child-size inflatable saxophone or guitar, available from party-supply stores such as Oriental Trading Company, at www.oriental.com. Kids will have a blast mimicking the cool moves of real-life musicians.
You'll strike the perfect note with this xylophone cake. Colorful bars, licorice trim, and two candy mallets add the perfect touch.
Prep and decorating time: 45 minutes
Bake time: 40 to 45 minutes
Yield: 12 servings
Copyright© 2004. Reprinted with permission from the April 2002 issue of Parents magazine.