Little Girls Birthday Party Planning Tips

 

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There is something magical about birthdays before you hit double digits (and, for some of us, even after). But there are so many aspects to throwing a party for a little one (or even throwing a party in general) that it may be overwhelming. There are invite lists and invitations, theme ideas, party favors, decorations, and activities. And even after all of that, the party is rarely on the birthday boy or girl’s special day, so how do you make their birthday just as memorable as the party? The following is a general guide to approaching birthday party planning with the least amount of stress and the maximum amount of fun. These steps apply to parties in general, so minimize your stress levels next time you have to throw a holiday party, baby shower, or other big event, too.

MAKE A LIST

Party planning is detail-oriented. Writing a list can make those details seem manageable and will help you keep track of what you’ve covered and what you have left to do. However, shy away from making multiple lists. While it may seem helpful to have all of your subcategories listed out, the length of the list you end up with at the end will not provide you any extra comfort. Just keep it simple.

PRIORITIZE YOUR LIST

You don’t need to do this while you are brainstorming your original “to-do” list, once you have a general idea of what needs to be done, review your list and decide which steps come first. Generally it is best to decide on a date and a theme before proceeding on to other details. Once you have a theme or a preference for the style of party, a date, and the place, the next step will be the invitation and guest list. Then the details of the event. This party “flow chart” cascades you from one decision to the next and before you know it, the party is planned.

Here is a suggested birthday party planning list:

  1. set party date and theme
  2. decide and reserve location 
  3. guest list and invitations
  4. party details, favors,cake, etc.
  5. photographer, reserve and/or designate a friend or relative to capture the moments
  6. mail invitations 2-3 weeks prior for kids birthday parties

LOOK FOR INSPIRATION

Turn to others for support! You don’t need to be a celebration whiz to throw an amazing party. Use magazines or search engines (especially sites like Pinterest, whose photo-based system makes idea hunting very easy) to look for inspiration. Using search words like “child’s birthday party” or “holiday party” will provide you with bloggers, websites, and photos clamoring to share their own tried and tested ideas.

 DON’T ASK TOO MANY QUESTIONS OF YOUR BIRTHDAY CELEBRANT 

This applies less if you are throwing a party for yourself, but if you are creating one for a little one or a friend, try not to ask them for their opinion on too many things, especially smaller details. This is especially important for kids, too many choices may become overwhelming. Let them help you pick a theme (give them two or three to choose from) and help with the guest list (again, give them something to work from), then you do the rest.

DELEGATE AND ENJOY

Be certain that you as a party planner and host are able to enoy the event. Delegate tasks such as introducing people to each other, serving food, assisting little ones to restrooms, writing on cards what gift that a person gives for thank you note purposes, collecting opened gift wrap, taking photos, and participating in games or activities. Most aunts, uncles, or friends are usually happy to lend a hand, remember to ask.

ESK-Birthday-Bash-photo

-esk & cmk

Kids Outdoor Activity – Build Your Own Fairy Castle

I always wanted to believe there were faeries in my backyard. I read stories, which claimed dust was old faerie spirits (so don’t clean it or you’ll hurt them! That made my parents really happy…) and I made a small hotel for any would-be visiting faeries out of an old shoebox. Alas, no faeries ever seemed to be traveling through my neck of the woods.

It’s quite possible that my lack of success was my location (I put the shoebox in my closet). I suggest trying to find a quiet place at the base of a tree or the side of a rock (small hallows work especially nicely). Sticks, bark, dry grasses, pebbles, shells, feathers, pinecones, and nuts are all examples of materials you can use, but the beauty of these houses is that different locations (forest versus beach) make each house look completely different. Building a faerie house with your daughter is a great “together” activity and leaves a beautiful art project.

 Here are several examples, courtesy of fairyhouses.com:

 

 

 

 For more tips, visit http://www.fairyhouses.com/about-fairy-houses/how-to-build/

-ESK

Summer Camp Packing Essentials For Little Girls

Whether she’s going camping in the woods or staying in a cabin, there are some items every girl should bring with her to camp. As an experienced camper myself, I know it is hard not to pack everything you own but, the most important thing to keep in mind is preparing her for safe fun in all kinds of weather. Without packing an entire department store, here are some of the essentials for every camp-bound girl.

Sunglasses

While counselors and camp adults are good about making sure all the campers put on sunscreen, it does eventually wear and wash off. One of the best ways to make sure your little girl is protected from the sun is to send her with sunglass and a sun hat. Ultraviolet (UV) rays are damaging to eyes as well as to skin (Mayo clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/uv-protection/AN00832), and high quality sunglasses can protect eyes from these damaging rays. Look for protection details on the product labels and go for glasses that offer protection from 99%-100% of both UVA and UVB rays.

photo credit:  ESK

photo credit: ESK

Sun Hat

A sun hat is just as cute as it is useful. A good hat helps to keep the body cool and to protect high-exposure areas by blocking some UVA/UVB rays. When selecting a sun hat, choose one with a full brim so that it provides protection to both the face and neck, areas which are exposed to more direct sunlight than most other parts of the body. Even with these protections, as always, remind her to apply sunscreen!

 

Long Sleeves/Pants

If you’ve ever been camping, and likely if you haven’t, you know that nature has no shortage of bugs and insects. One of the best ways to protect her from bug bites (other than bug repellant) is to send her with pants and long-sleeved shirts. These clothes are too hot for most days, but at night when the cooler temperature draws most insects out, the extra coverage will provide arm and leg protection.

photo credit: honeydearest.blogspot.com

photo credit: honeydearest.blogspot.com

Water Bottle

It isn’t a piece of clothing, but a water bottle is an important camping accessory. Nothing makes camping less fun than feeling ill from dehydration. Most camps have food halls where the campers can get water or use a water fountain. Encourage your camper  to fill her bottle and drink water often to stay hydrated and healthy!

-ESK

Fourth of July Kids Recipes and Craft Activities

Rice Krispy Treat Sparklers

These treats make a fun decoration as well as being delicious and easy to eat. You can either cut star shapes out of store-bought Rice Krispy bars or make your own (suggested) with this recipe from 5minutesformom.com.

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photo credit: 5minutesformom.com, Rice Krispy Treat Sparklers

 

American Flag Lanterns

This is a great way to decorate outdoor tables, especially after dark. Just take white paper lunch bags, paint the top 2/3 blue and the bottom 1/3 with vertical red stripes. Punch holes around the bag, fill the bottom with a half inch to an inch of sand (to keep the bags standing in place), and place a cheap battery-operated light inside.

photo credit: auntpeaches.com

photo credit: auntpeaches.com

 

Toilet Paper Rockets

No fireworks near you? These not only make great decorations, but they are confetti filled as well. This is a great art project for the kids and provides lots of fun when its time to let the confetti fly. For full instructions see alphamom.com.

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photo and project credit: alphamom.com

-ESK

 

Summer Activities For Kids

It’s June, the breezes are blowing, the sun is shining, and it is time to play outside! Here are 5 great activities to keep everyone entertained and having fun in the beautiful summer weather.

1. Soda Bottle Sprinkler

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(Photo credit modernparentsmessykids.com)

I remember I loved running through the sprinklers as a kid. It cooled me off and I could enjoy some water park fun right in the backyard. This is a new take on old fun and is a great activity for kids of all ages. All you need is one empty plastic 2-liter soda bottle. Poke holes in the bottom half using a large needle and fill with water or attach a hose for constant sprinkling and hang from a tree or fence. SAFETY NOTE: you may want to use a hangable shower caddy or other mesh object to rest the bottle in for safety if you decide to hang it from a tree.

2. Make some “Land Art”

Ever notice how many cool leaves and flowers are blowing around the yard or in the park? Making nature art gets everyone walking around and admiring the outdoors. Try making a mobile and hanging it as a temporary outdoor decoration. Just collect leaves from different plants (go for ones you recognize like Maple, Oak, and Willow), arrange them on the ground, and then string them together with small sticks or reeds for display. Fishing wire tied around the end of the stick will make it easy to hang.

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Photo from link

3. Create a treasure hunt

This activity is a little more involved because it requires writing clues and hiding them around the yard or inside the house, but the kids can use that time to read or finish chores, with the promise of a treasure hunt when they complete their tasks. Make about ten two-line clues (usually rhyming, but if you’re no rhyming wizard, not to worry! It’s just as fun in prose) and these two lines give a hint as to where the next clue is hidden. Keeping the clues in plain sight and at eye-level to keep the kids from getting stuck. As fun prize, hide a piece of chocolate or a letter promising to bake (or do another fun activity) as the final treasure.

4. Decorate Terra cotta planting pots

ESK-Summer-Fun-Blog-photos-clay pots

photo and project credit: http://mamasmiles.com/spring-crafts-for-kids-decorate-terra-cotta-pots/

(photo credit mamasmiles.com) For more information click here.

 

This is a fun short-term and long-term project.

You will need:

Flowerpots (however many you wish to make)

Letter or shape stencils

Sponge-tip paintbrushes

Mod Podge Washout (washes out of clothing better than regular Mod Podge)

Acrylic or Tempera paint (Tempera is washable but acrylic generally is not, so have the kids wear a painting smock or old shirt)

Use the stencils to paint the pots with a medium amount of paint on the brush (less is more). Keeping the brush reasonably dry after rinsing different colors off keeps the paint neat and when everything is dry, paint a coat of Mod Podge over the whole thing to seal it.

Another variation of pot decorating is with tissue paper squares and Mod Podge. Try painting the whole pot and then accenting it with different colors of tissue. There are so many ways to make a personalized flowerpot!

Once the pots are decorated, you can use them to store art supplies and pencils or as a long-term project, to actually plant flowers and watch them grow throughout the summer.

5. Outdoor Twister

Twister has always been an indoor, rainy-day kind of game, but why not move it outside when the weather is nice? To make outdoor twister you’ll need:

a large piece of cardboard

a pen

scissors

a large round bowl or other round object

spray paint in red, blue, yellow, and white

Make the circle first by tracing the round object on to the piece of cardboard and then cutting out the middle so that you have a circle stencil. You can measure out the game board before spraying, but estimating a several inch distance between each circle works just fine. Spray a four-by-four board with the four different colors on the grass (Note: you can make the game board bigger by adding more colors to accommodate more players). If you have a twister game board, you can use that to call each turn, otherwise an easy substitute is to cut 8 slips of paper and write Rt. Hand, L. Hand, Rt. foot, L. foot, and each of the colors and then draw a pair for each turn. And there you go, outdoor twister!

ESK-Summer-Fun-photo4-1 twister

(photo credit sassystyleredesign.com.) For more information click here.

-ESK