Encourage your child to assist in the creation of decorations, which will save money and encourage the reuse of resources around the house. Plus, while your children are engrossed with their artwork, you might be able to get some work done. You and your kids might wish to make some of these party crafts ahead of time to use as decorations and as samples so that the kids can see what they’re trying to make.
Flowers made of tissue paper
Make a colorful tissue paper and pipe cleaner selection. Stack 4-6 sheets of tissue paper to construct a flower. They can be cut into 5″ x 7″ rectangles or ovals, or larger or smaller if desired. This isn’t an exact science, and they’ll look good anyway. The longer side of the stack of paper can be accordion-pleated, but this is difficult for tiny children and not generally required.
Gather the stack in the center and secure it with a pipe cleaner’s end. Then, to construct a flower, gently separate the petals.
Creatures from Egg Carton
Begin gathering paper egg cartons a few weeks ahead of time, soliciting the support of friends. Allow a carton for each child. You’ll also need pipe cleaners (6-8 per creature) for legs, as well as other decorative items like markers, construction paper, googly eyes, glitter, and so on. To avoid complications with sharing, you’ll need a lot of little vials of glue.
- Cut out 4-6 “cells” from the egg carton to construct a caterpillar. Make pipe cleaner antennae and decorate as desired.
- One “cell” pokes through four pipe cleaner legs on each side to form a spider.
- Three “cells,” six pipes cleaner legs, and two antennae can be used to make an ant.
- When kids start inventing their bugs, the real fun begins!
I’m not a fan of the goodie bag filled with cheap plastic ornaments that will wind up in a landfill the following week. Here are some suggestions for practical and meaningful garden-themed party favors:
Seeds: Choose seeds that can be planted right away and are likely to appeal to children, such as rutabaga seeds.
Gardening tools or gloves for kids: If you’re really on top of things, you probably bought these in the significant sale at the end of last year. I got these gorgeous red wooden-handled trowels for $1 apiece, the original price, at Target!
Plants: I did this for my son’s 4th birthday party. I bought several miniature clay pots from Hobby Lobby and pre-planted each one with a blooming pansy plant. I gave the kids paint pens (expensive but very easy to use) to decorate their pots: it was both a project and a favor!
Birdhouses: For my son’s third birthday celebration, I bought several $1 birdhouses from Hobby Lobby and had each child paint one. Another fantastic craft/favor pairing!
If your party includes a variety of crafts, you may not need any additionally scheduled games. Here are some garden-themed party game suggestions.
Pin the bee on the flower: Many standard party games can be adapted to have the garden theme you like. Pin the tail on the donkey, for example, becomes pin the bee on the flower. Simply make a giant cardboard “bee” for blindfolded children to pin or clip to a larger paper “flower” on the side of your house.
Frog toss is a game that can also be used as a craft. Provide each youngster with enough smooth (child’s) palm-sized stones and paint pens to decorate them. You’ll need a lot of it. You may pre-paint the stones green with waterproof paint and glue them on googly eyes if you’re really into preparation (using waterproof glue.) The youngsters can then use the paint pens to add decorations, preserving your green paint pens and potentially your sanity.
Then, on the bottom of a plastic kiddie pool, you paint lily pads with flowers (using permanent waterproof markers or paint.) Fill the pool with water once it has dried, and the youngsters toss their “frogs” into it, hoping to land on a “lily pad.” The first person to hit one receives a prize. Of course, everyone has the opportunity to attempt till they succeed!
This is your chance to make a “dirt” cake, which consists of chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs and gummy worms served in a clean clay pot. There are a various ways to go about doing this:
You can either serve from one or two large (clean) clay pots, or you can prepare miniature individual desserts in small 2-inch pots. Then decide whether you’ll bake a cake (or cupcakes) directly in the pot(s) or serve a more decadent trifle-style dessert with layered chocolate pudding and chocolate cookie crumbs. Of course, there are gummy worms.
There are a lot of recipes for this on the internet, but here’s the gist of it:
Make sure you block the drainage hole in whatever size pot you’re using! I lined the bottoms of my pots with aluminum foil, which worked perfectly.
I was able to bake cakes in brand new 8-inch clay pots that had been well cleaned before use. I simply followed the recipe recommendations (I prefer the organic brands Dr. Oetecker’s and Whole Foods) and put the batter into the oiled, clean pots with drainage holes covered with foil. Because I didn’t want the outside to overcook before the center was done, I turned the oven to 25 degrees cooler. I started checking for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center as instructed on the packet, but it took a long time.
I topped the cakes with a thin coating of chocolate pudding (you could also use frosting) and then used the handle of a wooden spoon to make gummy worm-sized holes in the top. I cut holes in the worms to reveal most of them, then topped them with crushed chocolate-filled sandwich cookies. I used the Late July organic brand, which is wonderful and free of additives. I crushed them by placing them in a big plastic bag and rolling them with a rolling pin until they resembled dirt.
To conclude, I inserted a bouquet of synthetic flowers, which are far easier to handle than genuine flowers. If you must use actual flowers, stay away from florist flowers because they are usually filled with chemicals that you don’t want near your cake. You’ll probably want to take them down soon after the birthday song to avoid them wilting.
If you don’t want to create a cake, simply stack chocolate pudding and crumbled chocolate sandwich cookies in your pot, then top with gummy worms and flowers.
Hopefully, you’ll have as much fun as your youngster at his or her garden-themed birthday party! Best of luck!