When decorating for a birthday party there are so many directions you can take that it can be overwhelming. Then when you throw in the fact that it’s the holidays and you are having a themed party or you are going to a gym and it can really be hard to tackle.
This party was just that. We had my daughter’s Creative Art Birthday party at a community gym which is huge and impersonal. You walk in to an area where the ceiling is lower and this was going to be my space for create the atmosphere with our balloon decorations. Then once we finished with the initial craft, they kids were let loose in the gym.
To create that atmosphere, I made a wall of balloons. You could do this with balloons or even streamers or signs or plants…..lots of things. We decided on balloons because I had lots of help to prepare for the party. We blew up about 100 balloons and then tied them on to varying lengths of string with a weight at the bottom of each. Let me tell you, this took some serious time but was so cute.
The other caution I might give you if you decide to take on this decorating project is to “let it go.” You will go to all this work on the balloons and then if you have small or big kids coming, someone will start picking up the balloons and will take off with them and mess the whole wall up. It just happens.
Just now thinking. The way to go around this would be to just blow the balloons up without helium and suspend them from the ceiling to make the wall. Then the kids would bat at the balloon decorations but wouldn’t be able to pick them up and take them along for the ride!
Party hats for the kids who come to a birthday party or just the birthday child don’t have to be elaborate. We embellished these pre-made hats for my daughter’s 3rd Creative Art Birthday Party.
The red hats were bought at a party supply store. Simple red hats. I took some old white boas and cut them to hot glue around the bottom of the hat and then a little poof at the top. For the birthday girl, I used some white squirt on paint to write the number 3.
Super easy but gives the kids something to put on when they are singing happy birthday……which they absolutely love to do.
Photo taken by Amy Hall Photography, Portland, OR.
Adding a pre-made name tag to birthday party favors is a great idea to do. A name tag does several things. Making tags with each child’s name on it is the best way to make them feel special. They know that you were expecting them and feel like care was made on that favor just for them.
Providing a tag with the kids names on it will put your mind as a hostess at ease that you have a favor for each child who plans to attend. Then at the end of the party, if you have any left over you will immediately know what children were not able to come. This allows you to schedule play dates with those kids or at least acknowledge that you noticed they weren’t there. Another way to make your guests feel special.
These tags were placed at the top of made up playdough given as a party favor at my daughter’s creative art party. It included a copy of the recipe used to make the playdough that was in the tubs allowing the guests to make the playdough themselves if they wanted to. To personalize it, my handwriting is not very good. Therefore, even thought it’s more work, I like to copy or cut out letters. Here I cut out each letter to the kids names who were attending. Since their names were mostly longer than the tag I had made, I just overlapped them.
Giving homemade play dough as a gift to a birthday child or as birthday party favors is a great idea. I don’t know of one child who does not like play dough. I even like to play with play dough and I’m way beyond the child stage! Play dough is super easy to make. Add in a few play dough playing accessories and you have a perfect gift or favor.
Let me tell you…..we had about 15 kids at this party. So, that’s 15 X 3 tubs of play dough. 45 tubs of play dough doesn’t sound like much but when you start making it, it can take some time. Luckily it can all be made early!
After making different colors of play dough, I put a nice size ball in each tub and tied 3 tubs of play dough together with a red ribbon which was one of the party colors. On top, I added a rolling pen and a couple of cookie cutters. To insure all the kids had a favor, I added a name tag at the top that we’ll talk about in another post.
Lining all these up did make a nice visual impact. Too bad I didn’t think to take a photo of it at the time to share with you.
Making playdough can be a rewarding activity for kids of many ages no matter if it’s at home or during a party. I make playdough with my kids all the time. They love working with the dough. I just make sure to plan the activity on a day that I don’t care if my kitchen gets messed up!!!
Following are some recipes that I’ve accumulated. My favorite is recipe #1. I would recommend you try them all and see which one works best for you. All the recipes for the playdough are very similar. Only slight variations but as with baking, slight variations will make very different playdough.
Play Dough Recipe #1
Mix together dry ingredients:
2 Cups White Flour
1 Cup Salt
4 tsp Cream of Tarter
To 2 Cups of Boiling Water, add:
4 Tbsp Cooking Oil
1 tsp Food Coloring
Pour liquids into the dry ingredients and stir well. When slightly cooled, knead for a few minutes until smooth.
Hint: Use and electric mixer and it’s sooo easy. If you are doing it by hand and the kids are helping, you might choose to put the food coloring into the dough after it is kneaded. And the better or more concentrated the food coloring is, the brighter the color of play dough you will get.
Play Dough Recipe #2
1 Cup Salt
3 Cups Flour
4 tsp Cream of Tarter
2 Tbsp Cooking Oil
1 1/4 Cup Boiling Water
Makes 4 small plastic containers of Play Dough
Play Dough Recipe #3
Mix Together in Saucepan,
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Salt
1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
3 tsp Cream of Tarter
2 1/4 Cups Water
Cook above over medium heat 4 to 6 minutes until batter is like mashed potatoes. Pull of stove and let cool. Add food coloring into the mixer or add later when the kids can knead it in.
Be sure and keep the playdough in an airtight container or a plastic storage bag and your playdough can last up to a month!
I’m about to share with you an activity that did not work out so well…..but only because the kids were a little young. For my daughter’s 3rd Creative Art Birthday Party, we decided to have an activity for the kids to do when they arrived at the party. And what could be more fun than making playdough?
Well, it was not so much fun for this age. I recommend you consider this as a GREAT activity but do it for ages 5 and up. At 3 they were still a little hesitant to get their hands goopy.
I had little containers already measured out with the dry ingredients. All the kids had to do was to dump the playdough ingredients into bowls and add water. Mix with your fingers and add a little food coloring. Easy craft or activity for a kids party. Maybe a little messy but super fun.
My kids are older now and they just die to help me make playdough. And love that they’ve done it themselves!
A Creative Art Birthday Party can be done for a myriad of ages. This party happened to be for a 3 year old but you could easily host a Creative Party for almost any age……even 40 year olds. As a side note, I want to go to a glass making class with friends and there is no reason something like this could be done for older “kids”.
My 3 year actually painted the design on these invitations. We purchased large sheets of paper at a local art store that had natural rough edges. I had her paint the large page completely with broad strokes. I helped and guided just a bit but she did most of it! I then took the paper back to the art store and they cut them for me on their large paper cutter!!!
Fold in half, print your invitation on the inside and you are ready to send your Creative Art Party Invitations. I always like to match the stamps I use as close to the event as possible and these Happy Birthday Stamps seem to be readily available these days.
Resources: Card Stock, envelopes, and paint can be purchase at many local art supply stores. We bought ours at Art Media in Portland but they have an online store as well. They were very knowledgeable and very helpful.
Hi! I'm Holly with my daughter Anne. We are pleased that you too like to organize creative birthday parties for your kids! Learn Why I started this Blog.
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