Our daughter’s third birthday party has come and gone and I have to say, it went really well.
First up were the birthday invites. I ended up making our own invites using photoshop, then saving the image and sending it to Shoppers to be printed at 10¢ each. So for 20 invites, it only cost us $2.00 and I think they turned out really well. I can’t find my photo file of the birthday invite, so I am including a sample picture I made when Little Bird was born so you can see the quality you can achieve by using photoshop and then just sending them to your local photo lab to get developed.
We planned out the party and broke it down in to 30 minute sections. We didn’t follow it to a ‘T’ but having a guide helped us to get everything we wanted to in. It rained the day of the party, but we had two parties planned (party A and back-up party B) so we didn’t have to rely on the weather.
The night before the party, we went through Little Bird’s toys in the family room with her and asked her to tell us if she had any toys that she did NOT want to share with any friends. We put them in a small pile and moved them out of the room. Then we went to the basement to her secondary play area and asked her to show us which toys she did want to share with her friends, and moved them upstairs in to the designated playroom. Hiding ‘special’ toys can save a lot of tears at the big party if your child is particularly sensitive to, or possessive of certain toys.
We started the party with some free play to get the kids used to each other. At that age, kids like to ease in to interacting some times. We bought some toy fishing rods with magnet ends and plastic fish with magnets from the dollar store (came in a package). I put the fish on a blue blanket and the kids ‘went fishing’ or played on their own.
Thirty minutes in to the party, we set up for a small craft time. I purchased foam door hangers and foam bookmarks on sale and bought a couple of huge tubs of foam stickers and the kids worked with their parents to create their own door hangers to take home. It also broke the ice since some parents didn’t know each other and trying to help little ones find all of the letters in their name got everyone talking. The great thing about the stickers was that everyone had something to remind them of the day, and it was an easy craft to clean up after with no worries of kids hurting themselves or getting paint, etc. out of clothes.
During crafts, we also had the food out for everyone. Parents were able to grab a quick bite to eat or coffee while the kids played with the stickers and as the kids finished up, they could head over to the table and get some food. To cut costs, the plates, cutlery and decorations were bought at the dollar store (a three year old is not going to know, or care how much you spent). Another way to save some money is to make your own food platters. This way you can use coupons and buy fruits and vegetables that are on sale that week and you can avoid the inflated costs of store-prepared platters. If you are looking for some easy recipes for parties, you can check out the Life Made Delicious site for entertaining and appetizers.
After snacks, it was time for presents, then on to the dessert. The really big hit at the party was the birthday cake. I ended up making a Betty Crocker Confetti Cake which is a white cake with colourful bits in it (to look like confetti). I used an old cake mold my mother gave me and made a doll cake. The cake is the dress and the doll is inserted in to the top after the cake has cooled. Then icing is added to the dress and doll. I used a dress-up barrette of my daughter’s for the hat. The cake was so moist and delicious and it went fast.
We had some friends at the party who were a wonderful help in setting up, taking pictures, watching Baby Bird and serving cake. It was nice to have the extra hands there when we needed them.
Little Bird really enjoyed her day and when it came time for the friends to go home, most of them cried so I will take it that they had a great time too.
An FYI for my Gluten Free readers. Betty Crocker’s line of Gluten Free cakes is now available in Canada. To learn more visit www.bettyglutenfree.ca.
Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious Blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.