Fun and festive ideas to make your child's Big Day extra special.


Music Mania! - Ages 2 to 4

Set up a shindig that really rocks! A tambourine invite shakes things up even before the fun begins. Sure to be a hit: this neon-green electric-guitar cake. So guests can play that funky music long after the party's over, give them a mixed CD of your child's favorite tunes.


The Invite: Print or write out party details on a label paper. Using a tambourine as a guide, trace circle around information. Cut out slightly smaller than outline. Use pinking shears for dramatic detailing. Attach label to colored cardstock; trim with pinking shears. Glue invitation to top of tambourine. Mail in padded envelopes.


The Goodie Bag: Use a CD-label kit (available at office-supply stores) to create labels. Print onto colored paper, and attach to front of CD. To make an envelope, trim cardstock into a 6 x 12 inch rectangle. Fold in half. Apply double-sided tape to both sides; press down to secure. Download music from popular children's artists online.


The Activity: Guests make their own maracas! Single-serving chip cans are a perfect size. Cut sheets of paper to fit container, wrap around can, and tape. Fill with cereal.

Music Mania

The Cake: End your Birthday Bash on a sweet note with a rockin' Green guitar cake.


  • 1 box (18.25 oz.) yellow or devil's-food cake mix
  • 2 cans (12 oz. each) whipped vanilla frosting
  • Orange, green, and yellow icing colors
  • Yellow candy-buttons candy
  • Orange gumdrops
  • Orange Jujubes candies
  • Yellow gumdrops
  • Yellow jelly rings
  • Red licorice rope (such as Twizzlers Pull-n-Peel)


  1. Using pound-cake variation on side of box (add instant pudding and 1 extra egg), prepare cake mix according to package directions and bake in a 9 x 13-inch pan. Let cool completely.
  2. To make the neck of the guitar, cut 1 1/2 inch slice off one short end of cake (see photo below); trim this piece so that it's 6 inches long. Using a food-coloring marker, score the outline of the guitar's body onto cake, and cut out. Trim a scrap of cake for the end of the guitar neck.
  3. On serving platter, attach cake pieces with frosting. Transfer 3 Tbs. of frosting to a resealable plastic bag. Place 1/3 cup frosting in a bowl, tint orange, and put in resealable plastic bag. Tint remaining frosting yellow. Transfer 3 Tbs. of yellow frosting to a resealable plastic bag. Tint remaining yellow frosting with just a drop or two of green icing color to make a bright green. Snip corners off bags.
  4. Frost entire cake with green icing. Pipe white lines across neck of guitar for frets. For inlays, place small yellow dot candy between white lines. Pipe orange frosting along edge of guitar for an outline. Place orange gumdrops on guitar for control knobs. For the tuning pegs, use Jujubes and yellow gumdrops. Cut yellow jelly rings in half and squeeze each into a rectangle shape; place them on the cake for the bridge. Attach two pieces of red licorice together and stretch across neck and body for a string. Repeat to make two more strings. Using yellow frosting in bag, pipe child's name on guitar. Makes 16 servings.

Party Plan: 1hr. 30 min.


Guests make their own maracas! Single-serving chip cans are a perfect size. Cut sheets of paper to fit container, wrap around can, and tape. Fill with cereal.


Set up an area as the "stage." Tune in to Radio Disney or pop in a lively CD, and have the kids play along with their homemade instruments while you film their performance.


Play a game of "Freeze Dance." Put on some fun music, and ask kids to bop along. Periodically pause the CD. When the music stops, so must the dancers.


After serving cake, calm the kids down before handing out favors. This is a good time to view the music video.

Parents Magazine