Sunday, May 1, 2016

Mary Poppins Birthday Party!

Honey Pot chose Mary Poppins as her party theme this year! Here is the invitation we sent out to family and close friends:

And I found this adorable glittery shirt on Etsy. Honey Pot loved it, and received so many compliments!

Here are a few of my decorations. The top left was hung on our front door, the banner and penguin above the buffet table, and I also added a quick Mary Poppins silhouette to our preexisting wall of silhouettes in the dining room.

As guests arrived, they were invited to draw a picture that they wanted to jump into, just like Bert. The chalkboards are actually placemats. So each child was able to take a placemat home with them at the end of the party.

Here are a couple guests jumping into their pictures! "You do a double blink. You close your eyes, and jump!"

The food was a lot of fun to put together. Last year we went French for Honey Pot's Aristocats birthday party. This year we created a sweet, English tea! We provided deviled eggs, chocolate chip scones, regular scones with honey butter or jam, assorted fruit, strawberry cheesecake bites, orange chocolate chip shortbread cookies, lemon poppyseed shortbread cookies and assorted tea sandwiches (PB&J, cucumber, or chicken salad). It was a huge success!!

Of course we also served coffee and tea (iced tea, as well as a variety of hot tea choices). We were super brave, and also used our fine china for kids and grown-ups alike!

For dessert we had "Let's Go Fly a Kite" funfetti cupcakes and a "Spoonful of Sugar" which was actually my famous Oreo Cookie Truffles. Dessert was a hit!

Party Game 1 = Mary Poppins Balloon Pop. This was so much fun at Little M&M's Good Dinosaur party that we had to do it again! We created an umbrella shape out of black balloons, each with a tack taped up behind it. As the kids threw bean bags at a balloon it would pop, revealing a piece of paper with a number on it. The child with the highest sum of numbers at the end of the game would win a chocolate bar medal. For this game, Little M&M won!

Party Game 2 = Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Freeze Dance. We played/paused the upbeat song, and anyone who was still moving when the music was paused was out. In the end, we had another chocolate bar medal winner!

Party Game 3 = Step in Time Limbo. We played another classic Mary Poppins song, while the kids limboed under a pool noodle. There was no winner for this one though, because most kids just went under the limbo bar however they could, nevermind the rules!

Party Game 4 - Carousel Horse Race. I created cute pool noodle horses to represent the carousel horses in the movie. The kids had to race across the obstacle course to return their horse to the carousel (ball pit pool). The hurdles were made out of pool noodles. It was meant to be an outdoor game, but due to weather, we had to have it inside. We managed just fine in the basement!

Here are the kids riding their horses. It was a spectacular scene, and the kids loved that they could take their horses home with them!

And finally, for the party favors I made a tape measurer sign that said, "Thank you for making this party practically perfect in every way." Each child was able to take home two bird seed ornaments and a handful of chocolate coins, my homage to the "Feed the Birds, Tuppence a Bag" song. The bird seed ornaments are a recipe we use every Christmas to create a Night Tree for the animals.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Spring Flowers


We borrowed these six books from the library this week to help us psych up for spring and flowers! Little M&M asked me to read Huck Runs Amuck and Fran's Flower every day, multiple times a day. They made us laugh, and were super cute. Another I must mention is My Garden, because we love Kevin Henkes!

Quiet Bin

With the busy holidays and winter season, we allowed our quiet bin routine to slow down. But recently both kids have been asking for them; they just love the activities! So I threw just one bin together for our flower theme, and we used it when we had time.

First up was a Flower Number Line. I used my flower cutouts and taped them to toothpicks for the kids to practice number order with floral styrofoam. For Honey Pot, we also extended this into addition practice.

Also in the bin I included this invitation to use stamps and ink pads. The kids love using stamps from my paper scrapbooking supplies. They had fun with these.

And finally, Little M&M helped me to make a new batch of playdoh, and we used it alongside two flower cutters, a plastic flower pot and our playdoh tools and accessories.

The two kids had a lot of fun making and decorating cutouts.

Two kiddos hard at work!

Color-Changing Flowers - Science Experiment

I had been wanting to try this experiment out for a while. One day I finally brought home a bunch of white carnations from the grocery store, and asked the kids to help me dye water with food coloring.

We placed a couple carnations in each glass, and watched them gradually change color. The blue was the first to begin to change, within just a couple hours!

Over the next few days, we started to see some other colors as well.

Over the course of a week or so, we trimmed the stems down, and changed how many flowers shared a glass, to try to get optimal color changes. It was so fun to watch!

Fruit Loop Craft

Little M&M has been asking to do a craft with Fruit Loops. He really enjoyed making rainbows for St. Patrick's Day last year, and has wanted to use them again ever since! I decided the kids and I should make some flowers with them.

Honey Pot and I added other elements to our pictures, such as the sun and butterflies. They all turned out very cute!

To look back at our G is for Garden week, click here!

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Good Dinosaur Birthday Party!

Little M&M chose The Good Dinosaur as his party theme this year. Scroll on to see the party details!


I created this in Photoshop Elements. Pardon where I whited out his name and our address.


I created this sign and hung it on the door where our guests would arrive.

Foam hats are $1 each at Michaels, so I purchased a few in our party colors and easily made them into dinosaur heads with googly eyes and white foam. Super quick project and the kids enjoyed wearing them at the party!

Here are two such dinos, my daughter Honey Pot and her big cousin!

And the birthday boy wearing his, as well as a Good Dinosaur t-shirt we bought on Amazon.

This is the display I made for behind the beverage/dessert table. The banner I purchased from Oriental Trading. The posterboard I turned into a glowing #4 using Christmas lights, to imitate the firefly scene in the movie.

Here are the two beverages we offered to the kids. Lava Punch and River Water, with labels I created.

And the desserts! I made funfetti cupcakes with chocolate frosting, chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting and sugar and spice cookies with dinosaur footprints.

Also on this table was this firefly in a jar, which we purchased from Amazon, and it is so cute and realistic, flitting around in there!

Here is the table where all of the kids sat to eat their snacks. Good dinosaur plates and cups are from Oriental Trading. We had some Skinny Pop and grapes set up on the table. All other food was on a table nearby.

The Food

Our party time was 2-4, so we just served a few snack foods. For any guests who remained into the evening, we ordered pizza later. I made Herbivore and Carnivore signs for this table. We served sliced apples with caramel dip, strawberry mango salsa with cinnamon chips, maple bacon crack, meatballs and a really cool nacho volcano!!

We followed the instructions at this blog.

Party Games and Activities

We had a few coloring pages and mazes set up at a small table for the kids to do while they waited for others to finish eating. I printed those from here.

Here are some pictures from the first two games we played. Dino Says (Simon Says) and Hot Dino Egg (Hot Potato). We also handed out these crunch bar "medals" to the winners, inspired by this blog.

As a last minute addition to the party, I created this "river" out of a blue Dollar Tree tablecloth and some stones we had out in our yard. The idea was for the kids to carefully cross the stones without falling into the river, and they could "make their mark" on the other end. I had taped a Good Dinosaur picture there (yanked out of the banner I had purchased), and traced my son's hand on it. The kids had so much fun with this simple activity! It was played with throughout the party and through the weekend even, with our overnight guests.

As a final party game, my husband created a dinosaur out of balloons. Since we had young kids, and we were indoors, we didn't want to use darts. So my husband taped a thumbtack behind each balloon. One at a time, each child threw bean bags at the balloons, and if they hit one, it'd POP! Such a fun and exciting game. Inside some of the balloons were numbers, and whoever had the highest total from all the balloons they popped would win the last chocolate bar medal. This was a favorite game for all, I think, and a huge success. The inspiration for this game came from this blog.

Party Favors

For party favors this year I created dinosaur eggs. I followed a paper mache tutorial from here, making two layers and leaving the bottom of my balloons uncovered. Once they had dried, I cut the balloon and took it out. I filled with my party favors and sealed back up with more paper mache. Once dry, I painted them and placed them in a nest I made out of laundry basket and brown craft paper. I had fun doing the paper mache, but it was definitely a time-consuming project!

At the end of our party, the kids went outside and cracked open their eggs. Seeing the fun they were having made the whole project so worth it! They loved this!