Archive for the 'Kid Parties' Category

Mark you calendars for "Let’s Party Mondays!"

Mondays are hard. Before I was blessed with my little staffers, I hated Mondays. They were the first day back to the grind after the free-wheeling good times of the weekend. Now, Mondays are my foe for different reasons.

Everyone in the household is free from jobs, school and weekly obligations on the weekends. They are trolling the hallways looking to have some fun. Let’s do something. What are we going to do today that’s fun? So, Saturday — fun! Sunday — fun! fun! And Monday — everyone is back to their respective jobs, school and weekly obligations and I feel like the clean up crew after Mardi Gras.

After a day of regrouping (i.e. cleaning and mediating disputes between overly tired staffers), the Party MOMster is looking for some fun. And nothing is more fun than Parties! So, from this day forward I proclaim Mondays to be: Let’s Party Mondays!

Mondays will be dedicated to one Party theme which everyone is welcome (encouraged!) to join in and build on. I’m not as ambitious as Coolest-Birthday-Cakes, creating the WORLD’s largest resource. I aspire to my Junior High School Spanish teacher’s comments, “adequate, makes a capable effort.” Gracias.

Today’s theme for “Let’s Party Monday” is Dinosaurs! I figured after seeing my Dinosaur cake, many of you were saying to yourselves, “Ouch, I feel sorry for the poor kid that got THAT cake.”

But, I did redeem myself. To start, we made dinosaur hats out of foam visors. Our resident Dinosaur expert classified this as an Apatosaurus. And this is a constant favorite in our dress up bin. Three years later and this dinosaur shows no signs of extinction (That’s right I said extinction — come on, give it to me.)

We then changed roles from dinosaurs to Paleontologists (or what we called “Dinosaur Hunters”) in search of dinosaur remains. To prepare, everyone worked on their spotting scopes. We had toilet paper rolls covered in green paper and a mess of dinosaur stickers. As you all know, the more stickers used in decorating the better the scope works.

While we worked on our spotting scopes, a sneaky party helper hid pieces to an over sized T-Rex puzzle (a dinosaur lover must-have). When our equipment was ready, we began the search.

As the hunters collected the pieces, we began putting the the puzzle together. And it all comes to a very satisfying conclusion — a large ferocious T-Rex. In a word: DINO-mite (oh yeah)

These are just some bare bone ideas — let’s hear your ideas and build a Dino Party that is Pre-HISTORIC! (I’m done, that last pun made me a little queasy.)

Nice Cupcakes…

Someone recently complimented me on my cupcakes. (My Polar Bear Cupcakes — Hey, this isn’t a Singles Bar.) And I thought I would share some of my other adventures in baking. I would say my baking credo is: It’s the thought that counts. I’m sure after seeing my work you you would agree.

If you really want to be inspired by homemade creations, a great site is Coolest-Birthday-Cakes. It claims to be “by far the World’s largest collection of ‘makeable’ homemade birthday cakes, and thanks to visitor submissions, it’s growing larger and larger by the day“. And I can’t disagree. Where else can you find Chinchilla, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Jerry Garcia and Salad Cakes?
I am so impressed by this ambitious endeavor (They did say THE WORLD). I want in. I think the Lion cake is my best work. Although Coolest-Birthday-Cakes does have a few lion submissions already. I may submit my dinosaur cake (Yes, that is what that strange green bump with a head is supposed to be) because it is so ugliful. (Thank you, Urban Dictionary —def.: The ugly equivalent of beautiful) Maybe I will rename it “Salamander”, “Mature Tadpole” or “Worm Monster”and get a unique listing. Any thoughts?

But, whether you make your own cake or buy a cake, you should follow Party MOMster Principle #2: ALWAYS SAVE THE PLASTIC DOODADS (If you have forgotten, Party MOMster Principle #1 is Having little ones create for others, fosters generosity and kindness. Ok, Principle #2 is a bit of a come down from #1, but I feel very strongly about plastic doodads.)

Why the passion for doodads?

By saving the plastic doodads, your goal is to create a decorating stash that you can turn to when an impromptu celebration presents itself. My dear Granna had such a stash. When we would go to her house to celebrate my Dad’s Birthday, I would always fish out the Circus Strong Man and other odds and ends to top the Entemann’s Marshmallow Iced Devil’s Food Cake. Good stuff — I wish I had that stash (and I could really go for a piece of cake right now) . As you can see, I come from a long line of Party MOMsters.

So, leave your inhibitions behind, get out there and get some compliments on your cupcakes (or cakes, pies, jellyrolls, whatever — Wait, we are still talking about baking, right?)

PS (If anyone has a Circus Strong Man cake decoration — let’s make a deal.)


Well, we are closing out our first full week of summer vacation where the staffers are on hand full-time. And I’m outta ideas.

So, to help get us through the summer, I am announcing the Are you Game? Giveaway. All you have to do is email a party game idea and you will be entered. Any idea — really I’ll take anything. (Sense the desperation) The staff and I will dutifully test these ideas throughout the summer and let you know how it goes. The deadline for entries is midnight June 17th.

And in return for the inspiration, I will take the entries and randomly pull one out of a hat on June 18th. The chosen entry will receive this hand sewn banner from Oh Sew Sweet Creations

As you may recall from Ode to Simply Sparkles, I am a big fan of the handmade extravaganza offered by Etsy and could not resist this banner. With the word “whimsy” in the description you can’t go wrong. And by sharing a little “game love” it can be yours.

Email me and Let the games begin!

Ok, that should help with the 79 days I have left of the summer.

A MOMster Birthday Greeting!

Maurice Sendak turns 81 today. Happy Birthday, Mr. Sendak!
(Who, by the way, is no stranger to this Blog. We mentioned a celebrity birthday party inspired by his book Where the Wild Things Are in You Got A Book In My Party. You Got A Party In My Book)

In honor of this classic book and its vanguard author (His fanged monsters were new territory in the land of Children’s Books at the time. Hard to believe with our Sesame Street friends today), I’m feeling very bookish!

No news here: I am always looking for great Children’s Books. I think they make great gifts and great activities. Here’s the news: I found a new blog that is a great resource The BookNosher. This lady knows her stuff with a very impressive background in Family Literacy programs. Upon visiting Picture Books For Your Graduate, I found out about this lovely book Only One You by Linda Kranz, which I promptly went out to buy.

And the BookNosher was kind enough to indulge my request for a book to pair with our Snake Party Blowers. She suggested Verdi by Janell Cannon, the same author of Stellaluna.

Hmmm, I wonder what kind of part Mr. Sendak is having? Well, if he makes snake party blowers, tell us how it goes and don’t forget the book!

Off to meet the wizard…

When the usual suspects arrive at Party MOMster shin digs, they promptly ask, “Is the Wizard coming?”

As I mentioned in my earlier post, Party Game “Who Am I?”, there are no losers at a Party MOMster party. I like everyone to feel good and have fun. Life lessons of winning, losing and being a good sport are fine, but not on my watch. Come on — it’s a Birthday Party!

Yes, but who is the Wizard? Well, it started back a few years ago at a Princess Party. We had done “hunts” in the past (think, Easter Egg hunts) We’ve hidden stuff: animals, pictures, puzzle pieces, plastic figurines. But, our crowd was getting a bit more sophisticated, so we rose to the occasion. Our hunt now involves clues.

The initial premise was a bit complicated. The Wizard had captured the Magical Unicorn (The Pinata) and the guests needed to help rescue it. The first clue was just laying on the floor in the open. It read “You want your unicorn? You’ll have to use your head. Find your next clue under the pink bed.” The guests would then charge to the pink bedroom with the pink bed and discover the next clue. And so on and so on till the “treasure” is found.

I usually have at least on clue for each participant. For this Princess quest, the “treasure” was a bunch of keys cut out of foam at the end. Each key had a guests name on it. On a closet door we had a over sized keyhole cut out of black paper. Blindfolded they tried to put their key in the keyhole (think, Pin the Tale on the Donkey). The one that got the closest to getting their key in the keyhole got to open the door and rescue the pinata. And they all lived happily ever after.

Now, it doesn’t have to be that complicated. Our Wizard has now become known as a trickster and a troublemaker. He has hidden goodie bags, games and presents. The guests don’t seem to need a lot of back story on the Wizard and at this point are not too fixated on the treasure at the end. They seem to really enjoy the quest.

Which reminds me of a quote I used in Deep Thoughts By Party MOMster: Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome. – Arthur Ashe. Enjoying the journey — how’s that for a Life Lesson!

There is only one caveat: A lot of preparation goes into planning, creating and hiding the clues. I usually start where I hide the “treasure” and work backwards. And for all your work, the hunt goes by very fast (think, opening presents on Christmas morning). But, it is always well-received and guests are so proud that they figured out the clues: Take that Wizard — foiled again!

If you try this or have tried this, please share (think, I’m done).

Eureka! We have Snake Party Blowers!

We did it! The staff and I struggled with this one, but we finally have success! We have created a Snake Party Blower. We had a few different models. Our favorite is the color your own snake — it allows for maximum creativity. So, if anyone is interested in a template of this, let me know. This isn’t the DaVinci Code, you could probably figure this out yourself. But, we are still pretty proud of ourselves and more than willing to share.

Finally, I have to say that you don’t always have to wait for a party for some of these party crafts. The staff worked on this while I made dinner and it was blissssssssssss!

MacGyver Your Party Decorations

Oh, MacGyver. He is just dreamy. I forgot about the mullet hair — yes, there was a time that it could work. If you feel like going in the wayback machine, watch this clip. For those of you that have no idea what I’m talking about, MacGyver was a TV show from the late 80’s to the early 90’s. Angus MacGyver was a secret agent who was extremely resourceful using whatever he found, a piece of gum, a ballpoint pen, a button, whatever — to save the day.

So, we are going to talk about using what you already have to decorate. (See this wasn’t just a gratuitous 80’s reference and use of video)

One thing the Party MOMster is lousy with is TOYS. So, pull some out as decorations. Here are some from the Party MOMster archives:

  • Little People Farm as a centerpiece at our farm party.
  • Littlest Pet Shop characters on my cupcake display stand for a Littlest Pet Shop Party.
  • Dress up beads and crowns for a Princess party. We also had a fairytale puppet set. We slipped the individual puppets over water bottles and put them on the fireplace mantle.
  • For our several animal, jungle, polar parties, we dug out any stuffed animal, puppet and figurine applied.
  • Any books that relate to the theme can be a colorful addition as well.

I would love to say that this was my idea, but this was a staff revelation. And they are very thorough in scouring the house for any relevant toy. Bottom line, you have likely picked a party theme because it interests your kids. And if it interests them, they probably have some related toys already.

Go get you MacGyver on!

Party Favors That Leap Off The Page

I had the pleasure of being a surprise guest reader for a preschool class this past week. I thought this would be a great opportunity to test a party favor as well. I saw this Elephant party blower craft on the Family Fun website a while ago and have been itching to try it.

Now, I did make a few adjustments. I didn’t use craft foam. I’m sure it is sturdier, but I was making 20 of these cuties and cutting craft foam is a bit more involved. Instead, I used construction paper. And with the help of my printer/fax/copier combo, I was able to make quick work of this. You can fit two templates on a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper, so that speeds up the process as well.

The most time-consuming bit is cutting them out. But, it is the perfect activity to half-watch T.V. I finished off with self-stick google eyes and Dollar Store party blowers. Three episodes of Paranormal State later — I was done.

Oh, but what about the book?! Well, I chose Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young, which has really bold, colorful images. It is about seven blind mice that encounter “something”. Each goes to explore and comes back with an idea of what it is. In the end, the different parts turn out to be an….ELEPHANT (cue the trumpeting elephants). So, I pull out my elephant party blowers and pass them around. And I am like a ROCK STAR!!!!! (It is about the kids isn’t it? This one is a toss up.)

Of note, I used noiseless party blowers. They are cheaper at the Dollar Store and I have a thing about giving noisemakers to the little ones. To me, that is like giving matches to a pyromaniac. I once went to a Birthday Party where the pinata was filled with candy and an assortment of whistles. That would be the equivalent of gasoline and matches.

But, I digress…

The staff and I were so enamored by these pack of pachyderms. We were inspired to try something on our own. We thought frogs would work very well with the party blowers. So, here is what we came up with.

There is an opportunity for kids to personalize these and take some ownership. You could give them the paper cut out and let them color it or add sticker dots for spots as well as the eyes. You will have to help thread the party blower through. I know my staff loves to add their own personal touch to things.

The perfect book pairing for our blowers is The Wide Mouth Frog by Keith Faulkner. It is a pop-up book that starts with a wide mouth frog that eats flies. It meets other animals who tell it what they eat, ending with a alligator that says it eats wide mouth frogs. The frog makes a big wet exit — SPLASH! This book is a sure thing.

The staff and I believe a snake would be another ideal party blower pairing, but we haven’t worked out the logistics. When we do, you all will be the first to know.

Have some great book suggestions, let’s check them out!

You got a Book in my Party. You got a Party in my Book. Two great things that go great together….

I love books, especially Children’s Books, and books can be a great theme for a Birthday Party. If you are not convinced, then here is a celebrity example. Christina Aguilera had a “Where The Wild Things Are” First Birthday Party for her son, Max, earlier this year.,,20253528,00.html

And even bigger celebrities, like yours truly, has pulled off a book party or two.

One thing I love about a party that is tied to a book is the amazing keepsake the book then becomes. The guest of honor will always have great memories tied to that book, which will be triggered every time it is taken down from the shelf.

Now, the book can become the theme as Ms. Aguilera did. Or the book works with a larger party theme, like jungle, polar or princess. It can be displayed as a decoration — maybe guests can sign the inside of the cover or leave a message. A staffer received If I Ran The Circus by Dr. Seuss at their Circus Party. Inside was a poem their clever Grandmother wrote, needless to say it is one of their favorite books.

And reading a book can be a great party activity, especially for toddlers and preschoolers. At a Safari party for preschoolers, we read Sitting In My Box by Dee Lillegard. It is a cute story about a bunch of animals that join a boy in a cardboard box. We had a cardboard box and animal puppets which we used to act out the story.

Coming soon, more book suggestions and ways to bring them to life at your party. And if you have a great book to share — please post!

PS (Did anyone get my homage to the classic Reese’s Peanut Butter commercial? Come on give it to me!)

You say it’s your birthday. It’s my Birthday too, yeah

What do Janet Jackson and the Party MOMster have in common?

Besides an unfortunate wardrobe incident (All I will say about mine is a tricky pair of pantyhose, a clingy skirt and a revealing walk back to my cubicle from the bathroom), we both just celebrated our Birthdays!

And I had a great Birthday, the Party MOMster staff really knows their stuff! What a great surprise to find the Chair of Honor greet me when I came down for Breakfast. So, it has been fully tested and a big thumbs up!

But, an early Birthday present was my first post from someone that is not related to me. WHOO! WHOO! I’ve been discovered. And this post includes a coupon from Oriental Trading which I am no stranger to. So, thank you, you really made my day.

Because of the Oriental Trading reference, I am reminded of a recent party theme that was greatly enhanced by Oriental Trading. We recently had a Polar Party in March. What I loved most about this idea is that we got many of the “wintry items” discounted because it was almost spring! We ordered tissue paper snowflakes, icicle banners, penguin bubbles, etc.
We had so many leftovers that I made mini-treat bags for a classroom celebration. Since these often go into the backpacks with no explanation, I made a little card that went with it. (Names have been changed to protect the innocent. They don’t need the burden of celebrity. I did get a post from my vast viewing public didn’t I?)
Another Polar Party element was special cupcakes. We made Polar Bear cupcakes using golden Oreos for the ears (cut in half was too big — a half of a half worked better), half a Hershey Kiss and two chocolate chips. Is anyone really surprised I have a cupcake display stand?

Wow, this post has a little of everything. I think I’m still on a Birthday high. Thanks again for the comment! Keep Partying!

Party Tableau from My Talented Staffers

Super Foolishness (According to Me!)