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Halloween Ghost Template

Ghost Favor Tag

 

Click on the Template link below if you’d like to use our template for the glue ghosts we created.  Or, see how we made these at the following link.

Resources:  School Glue, Any kind of ribbon  you wish to use.  We used left over balloon tying ribbon left over from the balloons.

Directions for Project:  Making Glue Ghosts as Favor Tags

To See Template:  Halloween Glue Ghost Template

 

 

Eye Ball Template

Eye Ball Template

Use this template for anything.  We used it to make eye ball shirt favors for my daughters Halloween birthday party.  You don’t need to paint it perfectly.  But I would leave more of a seam allowance around the edge than shown here!

Directions for Project:  Halloween Spooky Eye Ball Shirt

To See Template:  Eye Ball Template

Skull & Crossbones Loot Bag Template

Use this Skull & Crossbones Decal on your loot bags.

Use this Skull & Crossbones Decal on your loot bags.

Easy to apply Skull & Crossbones decal. We used these on our loot bags for a birthday party but they can easily be used on anything. T-Shirts come to immediate mind but anything fabric would work. Feel free to use our Free Template for your personal use. Once you download it you will see that you’ll want to enlarge it on a copy machine to the size you require.

Resources: Avery T-Shirt Transfer paper found at most office supply stores.

More about my Project: Pirate Birthday Party Loot Bags

To See Template:

Skull & Crossbones Template

Pirate Birthday Party Food

Pirate's Booty

Pirate's Booty

What kind of pirate birthday party do you think you’ll have without a little Pirate Booty????? I’m sure that there are more snacks out there that include the word pirate. But this one is an all natural snack for your kids. And at a party, the kids will devour it!

Pirates in general didn’t have the best diet…..or I would imagine. All the photos I’ve ever seen their teeth are all gnarly, skin atrocious and overweight. Who knows, they may have been healthy guys but all the photos and drawings like to show awful portraits of the pesky fellows. But that doesn’t mean that your kids have to eat trash at your child’s pirate birthday party.

I’ve never bought Pirate Booty online. We have it here at our Trader Joes. If you don’t have a Trader Joes, there are tons of places online that sell the yummy snack. The full name is Roberts’s Gourmet Pirate’s Booty. Comes in cheddar, bbq, veggie and others. Just do a search for the name and you’ll get lots of results. Enjoy!

Pirate Birthday Party Captain

Pirate Party Captain

Pirate Party Captain


Let me hear you say “Arh.” These were common words to hear coming out of this captain’s mouth. At birthday parties, moms and dads are often busying around with the party and all the details that go with it and aren’t enjoying the party itself. Whether it’s a pirate party or another theme altogether, you are going to have the same experience.

Just like you might hire a caterer or servers for a dinner party, hire a party “captain.” This gal was part of a package that the birthday boy’s mom purchased at a local store that sells pirate garb. But even if you are having your party at home, you can still do this. Now, I’m not talking about an entertainer. I’m talking about a person who takes the planning that you have set into motion and carries it out. This leaves you to pay attention to the pirates or to other moms.

A college student would be perfect but really any responsible kid could carry it all out. My daughter “big kid helps” at my son’s preschool. She is only 7 and totally guides the little ones in the activities for the day. I don’t see why she wouldn’t be able to carry out the basic functions of a birthday party if she were allowed to be in charge.

Regardless or not if you have someone else run the party for you or it’s you yourself running the party….don your favorite pirate captain’s costume and it will make the party all that much more fun for the kids. And it helps you get into character as well!

Partly Preprinted Thank You Notes

Partly Pre Printed Thank You Note

Partly Pre Printed Thank You Note


These preprinted thank you notes were just perfect for this Kindergartener! Or any child who can write a little but writing out all the thank you notes would be just too awful….for you and your child. Ha! This just allows your child to feel like they are a part without being too overwhelming.

This card has the child’s name and a cute little image on the front and then this message reads as follows:




Wording:

“Dear________________,
Thank you so much for the
______________________
______________________
That is just what I wished for.
Love,__________________”

I’d love to give the printer credit for the card but they didn’t put their information on the back!!! And knowing this family as I do, I know that they didn’t print them out themselves. I would imagine any of the small custom card printers out there would be more than willing to print the inside of the card like this for you!

Directions to your Party

Directions to your Birthday Party

Directions to your Birthday Party


If you are inviting new friends or you live in an out of the way place, it’s always thoughtful to assist your guests in finding the party location! I have to be completely honest, this is a detail I personally often forget.

It seemed like for so many years we were inviting friends to our parties who knew our neighborhood. Now, that my daughter is in first grade, we are inviting a whole new set of folks. It’s no longer the kids of my friends who are coming but her friends from school. And not very many of them live in our specific neighborhood so they get lost!!!

Really all it takes is a simple sign that your kids help to make. Or get a couple of extra balloons to tie to the front gate or a stop sign where they need to turn.

Another nice gesture is to put a copy of the directions in the invitation and not just an address. I’m so dependent on my IPhone to get me where I need to go that I forget not everyone has one or uses theirs in that way. This is really easy to do if it’s your home. Just type the directions in a word doc and size it small so you don’t have to resize all the time to print. Save the Directions Document for all the parties you throw.

So, no matter what kind of party you are giving or gathering, it’s helpful to assist your guests in arriving on time and with as little stress as possible!

Extra Towels for Party Guests

Towels for Party Guests

Towels for Party Guests

Are you planning an outdoor water type party? If you are having a summer party, it is just too much fun to have it at a water park, where you can turn on a sprinkler or even at a pool if the kids are old enough!

First off, it’s always good to either put on the invitation or on an insert that your guests should bring a swimsuit, towel and sunscreen. But I don’t care who it is or what age party it is…..someone…..will forget one or more of the required water enjoyment items. We’ve been to 3 water involved parties this summer and at the most recent one, another one of the little girl’s mom forgot to bring her swimsuit. Tragic! Luckily, I had taken my swim bag and it had an extra swimsuit in it! It was about 2 sizes too big but the kid didn’t care. All she wanted to do was play in the water.

So, as the hostess of a party that includes frolicking in the water it would be good to remember extra towels, sunscreen and a swimsuit or two. That is if you have extra you are willing to share. Forgetful moms and/or dads will be thankful!

Ghost Lantern Template

Ghost Lantern Template

Ghost Lantern Template

Looking for a creative idea to use for your kids Halloween Birthday Party? Here is a great idea for saying Happy Birthday. See a link to the full directions below.

Supplies You'll Need
Resources: Heavy Stock Scrap Booking Paper and glue stick found at craft stores like Michaels. Card shops carry velum for letters that can be cut down.

Directions for Project: Halloween Birthday Party Lantern Idea Directions

To See Template:

Ghost Template for Lantern Idea


Image taken by Amy Hall Photography, Portland, OR.

When do you Open Presents at a Birthday Party?

Opening Presents

Opening Presents

To open presents or not to open presents……that is the question. And if you open them……when do you do it?

Honestly, this is a tough one. But here goes and these are just my personal thoughts based on going to many many birthday parties and hosting them myself.

For kids younger than Kindergarten age, I’m not sure that it’s necessary. For those kids it can take a really long time even if there are only a few. Most of the time, the kids don’t even know what present they brought and so it’s just not as effective. For those age kids, they can get a bit overwhelmed with even 2 presents but the first one may be something they want to sit down and play with right then. If that’s the case, wouldn’t it be much nicer to have the luxury of saying…..”no problem…..we’ll just open the rest of these later.” Plus, if you are trying to have a relatively short birthday party this can lengthen if unnecessarily. BUT, if there is a child who really wants to see your child open his or her present, by all means at the end of the party, pull that one out and open it up right then and there.

Now, for kids Kindergarten and older. Most parents have learned at this point that having a smaller party is better. I’m not one of those but my husband is pushing me towards it! So, let’s start with the small parties. I for sure think you need to open the presents at this age as the kids who come to the party are just as excited about this as your child will be and it can be built into the schedule of the party. If the party is a longer one, let that be an activity during a lul in the scheduled events. While pizza is cooking is the perfect time!

If you are nuts like I am and have a huge party, I couldn’t bear the thought of my daughter opening all her presents during the party. We had 26 kids to come. There were a few who asked when we were opening the presents and for those that were really interested in seeing her open the presents, we did it after most of the kids had gone home and they could sit down in a small group and enjoy it more.

The biggest thing to remember is to assign someone else besides yourself to be in charge of writing down who each present is from. I know Miss Manners says that if you open a present while the giver is sitting there with you, there is no need to send a thank you note. But I just think it’s nicer for the kids to start off early letting their friends know how much they appreciate them. So, no matter if you open the presents during the party or not, it’s good to have a record of who gave what. And it needs to be someone else who is in charge of the list since you will be busy doing other things!

Playdough Recipe

Kids Making Playdough

Kids Making Playdough



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

Directions:
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

Directions:
Mix together:
1 Cup Salt
3 Cups Flour
4 tsp Cream of Tarter
2 Tbsp Cooking Oil
1 1/4 Cup Boiling Water
Food Coloring

Makes 4 small plastic containers of Play Dough

Play Dough Recipe #3

Directions:
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!

Being Courteous to your Guests

Greeting Guests

Greeting Guests


No matter what age of child you have it is never too early to start teaching them good party host/hostess manners. Please be courteous to your guests. They will feel more welcomed and the party will start off much better…..I promise. I know that it’s effort because you will be scrambling doing last minute prep things but as soon as those little guests arrive, it’s important to stop and greet them. AND if you can wrangle your child it’s more important for them to greet their own friends. After all the guests came to see the birthday girl or boy.
Saying Good Bye

Saying Good Bye

It’s equally important for your child to say thank you after receiving or opening gifts and to say good bye when guest are leaving and say thanks for coming. This may seem so trivial to some of you reading this but these little details are often either forgotten or allowed to be slipped under the rug. Don’t let these proper manners go by the wayside.

No matter if your child is 3 or if they are 15, it’s never a bad idea to take 30 seconds the morning of a party to go through guest etiquette.


Photo taken by Amy Hall Photography, Portland, OR.

Princess Party Food

Princess Party Food

Princess Party Food


As you all know, kids with full tummies are happy kids. Or at least it is one of the elements to keeping them happy. So, the most important thing is to feed them things that they will and want to eat!

Mask any sandwich in an interesting design and kids will eat them. For a Princess Party, cut your sandwiches in a crown design. These were cut with a cookie cutter in the shape of a crown. There were two choices: a cheese sandwich and then a peanut butter sandwich.

In addition to the sandwiches, the Princess Hostess served platters of fruit and cut veggies. That always keeps the moms happy. And it’s very easy to cut up and have prepared ahead of time!

Resources: If you put in a google search “Princess Crown Cookie Cutter” you will come up with many results for the cookie cutter that was used here.


Photo taken by Amy Hall Photography, Portland, OR.

Flower Coloring Pages

A great way to start a birthday party is by providing an activity to start the party. This gets the kids comfortable doing something they LOVE to do and keeps them busy while other guests arrive. We have two coloring pages that have flowers on them for you to print off and make copies for your guests to color.

If these don’t strike your fancy, there is tons of free flower clip art online that you can look for to print off for the kids to color.

To See Templates:
Click below link through 2 screens.

Flower Clip Art 1

Flower Clip Art 2

Gift Gathering

Wagon Gift Gathering

Wagon Gift Gathering

One of the most often forgotten elements to planning a birthday party is where you will gather and display gifts when they start arriving.  I for one seem to always forget or it’s completely an afterthought.  But you really want to figure this out and make it obvious to guests as they arrive. As you are greeting the kids and parents, it’s good not to look like a chicken with your head cut off.

A great way to gather gifts is in a wagon. This particular party was at a park and the hostess brought the wagon to gather gifts. Then getting home with the gifts at the end of the party was as easy as picking up the handle of the wagon and walking down the street.

Make Your Own Envelope Template

Custom Envelope

Custom Envelope

For that extra touch to your hand made invitations, finish it off with this hand made envelope.

Resources: Heavy Stock Scrap Booking Paper and glue stick found at craft stores like Michaels.

Directions for Project: How to Make Your Own Envelope

To See Template:
Click below link through 2 screens.

Custom Envelope Template

Envelope Addressing Etiquette for Kid’s Party

Invitation Etiquette

Invitation Etiquette


There is nothing more important for a young child than to receive mail. It really doesn’t matter what kind of mail it is and it doesn’t matter if they can read yet or not.

So, what do you do when you are sending an invitation to a child and their sibling is welcome? Well, it is very important to make some kind of notation somewhere so that the mom doesn’t have to wonder or contact you to ask that uncomfortable questions if little Gary is invited to come!

Envelope Address Etiquette

Envelope Address Etiquette

These are two examples of good ways to invite siblings. The above photo shows the inside of an invitation where the following words were simply included…”Siblings Welcome!” The below photo is the back of an envelope and states “P.S. Harris is welcome too!” For me either works. There may be even other creative ways to let recipients know that siblings are welcome.

The big thing I want to impress upon you here is to state it somewhere. Please don’t put your guest in the uncomfortable position of having to ask. It’s just good Etiquette in filling out the invitation for your child’s birthday party invitation.

Pig Noses How To Video

View our How To Video on how to create our pig noses.

Keeping Germs at Bay!

Hand Sanitizer

Hand Sanitizer

When planning your child’s birthday party, it’s important to think about a lot of details that aren’t party of the creative process. A big one is the need to keep everyone healthy. The last thing you want is for a bug to pass through all your party guests. With the flu as contagious as it is, you should do your part as a hostess to keep the germs at bay.

A big way to assist in eliminating germs is to provide a hand sanitizer at a couple of strategic locations around the food table. Kids often eat with their hands and it’s a good idea for everyone to lube up before and after they eat.


Photo taken by Amy Hall Photography, Portland, OR.

Kids Party Food

Kids Party Food

Kids Party Food

Food is always a tough thing with kids. Is someone alergic to peanuts, do the parents let them eat pizza, will they be hungry? It’s always tough.

There are some simple food plates that you can prepare for a birthday party for kids that will always be a hit. The party that these plates were served at was in the middle of the afternoon and the kids still ate!

First let’s talk fruit plates. Fruit can be prepared ahead of time and easily refrigerated prior to the party. Everything you see here is perfect. Grapes, orange slices, strawberries are all great. You could also do any kind of berry…..blueberries, blackberries. Apples and pears are a little tougher but with a lemon bath, they could be done as it will slow the browning process.

Birthday Party Food

Birthday Party Food

Sandwiches….basically any sandwich cut in a shape is popular amongst kids. Be creative with your shapes and use cookie cutters to follow the theme of your party. That is if you can. If not, the kids don’t really care. As long as the crust is cut off and it’s in a cool shape they will eat almost anything! It’s really funny.

Great sandwich toppings: Cream Cheese and cucumber, cream cheese and strawberries, egg salad, chicken salad, pb&j (of course), mayo & tomato….pick a couple of these and you will be good to go in preparing the food for your kid’s birthday party.

Top photo taken by Amy Hall Photography, Portland, OR.