Featured Friend: Beauty and The Beast by Madame le Prince de Beaumont
Introducing Party Plans from Invitations to Thank You Notes:
Birthday Party for ages 4-10 Birthdays are my favorite holidays. But, I find myself getting stressed with the party planning as I have two kids, currently 8 and 6, with birthdays one week apart. Like you, I want my kids to enjoy their day. When I think back to my childhood, I recall my mother making my birthdays special with very simple, but fun parties that varied in form and size each year. When I grew “too old” for yearly parties, she still made sure the day was special for me. From her example, I caught on to some birthday tips: Be enthusiastic about your child’s day; Pick a party theme based upon their interest and age; Keep it simple but special; Include your child in the planning and preparation; Have prizes for games and/or party favors (My friends received so many fun trinkets from Mom, that I jokingly said that they got more than I did for my birthday!); Provide thank you notes for your child to write; Take pictures and put one in your child’s room the following day; HAVE FUN celebrating with your child. Below is a party plan from start to finish with LOTS of details to help those of us who need to write everything down so we can have fun and not stress too much. Although the theme is Beauty and The Beast, The Original Fairy Tale, you can take these ideas and adapt them to any book, performance, or movie theme.
The Party: Venue Options: Children’s Theater (performance) or Home (book/movie)
Party Example: Beauty and The Beast Performance, Dallas Children’s Theater, Party of 20 including 8 girls, 8 boys, 4 adults
Example Schedule of Activities: Party from 3:30-6:00pm
3:00- Decorate the party room at theater or decorate the house the previous night
3:20- Greet guests at the door with a “Be Our Guest” sign visible as they enter.
3:30-4:30- Party Events:
- Crafts- Girls- Design a Rose Pen; Boys- Paint a Treasure Box
- Story- Retell parts of the original fairy tale while showing the book.
- Dessert- Sing Happy Birthday and serve the cupcakes, ice cream cups, and drinks
- Group picture- Select a good background that captures the theme of the party.
- Bathroom break!
4:30-5:45- Beauty and The Beast Performance or Movie
- Gifts– As your child opens each gift, take a picture of your child with the gift and giver.
- Party favors- Throughout the party, continually place all the goodies in bags marked with guests names and give it to them as they leave (crafts, prizes, cupcake toppings, favors, ticket stubs or programs, etc.)
- Thank you- Have your child say goodbye and thank you to each guest as they leave!
6:00- Clean up. Collapse on the couch while your child plays with their gifts!
- Invitations- Create an invitation by using a logo from the book/performance/movie. Just google: “pictures of _____” or if it’s a performance, go their website and copy a picture and paste it on a word document, then write the details of the party around that logo. Mail invitations three weeks prior to the event; Request an RSVP for one week prior to party date. Evite is also a popular way to do invitations on-line.
- Reservations- reserve tickets and party room several months prior to party.
- Guest list- Keep a list of names at hand and mark them as they respond.
- Cake- If purchasing the dessert, order about a week prior and always estimate a few extra servings. If parents and siblings are invited, remember to include them.
- Party supply holder- Use a laundry basket to hold all the supplies and a plastic bin that stacks on top for smaller supplies. Use a freezer bag for ice cream cups. Refrigerate water bottles prior to party.
- Supplies- Below is a supply list- Make your lists according to the stores in which you plan on shopping. Check off the item as you purchase it and then cross off the item as you place it in the laundry basket to transport to party so you don’t forget anything.
(I used Target (T), The Dollar Store (DS), Party City (PC) and Hobby Lobby (HL) for all the supplies listed below, and I listed the codes by the items for you.)
Crafts: Craft for Girls- Rose Pens: Wrap an artificial rose onto a pen with floral tape.
- Artificial roses (DS/HL)- pre-cut roses to fit properly on pen
- Floral cutters (HL)
- Floral tape- green (HL)
- Pens (T)
- Bags with girls’ names on them (PC)
Craft for Boys- Treasure Box: Paint the treasure box that is pre-filled with chocolate gold and silver coins/treasure
(Fits the original fairy tale as the Beast sent a treasure box to Beauty’s family.)
- Mini-treasure box (HL)
- Washable paints, 2 sets (HL)
- Pack of paintbrushes (HL)
- Muffin pans for water to rinse brushes, a no-spill alternative to cups of water (T)
- Pen (to write the name on bottom prior to painting it) (T)
- Paper towels (to place under the boxes) (T)
- Hand wipes (T)
- Bags with boys’ names on them (PC)
- Table Cloths- 4 silver (PC)
- Balloons with balloon holder (PC)- Easier to transport than helium balloons
- Vase with flower suckers (PC)
- Large treasure box (HL-w/ 40% off coupon on-line)
- Beauty and The Beast figures
- Beauty and The Beast book (HL)
- Add as many fun decorations as you’d like. I kept it simple since I had to transport everything to the theater. I also didn’t want to make it too “girly” since both girls and boys were coming. If it’s just girls, you could do a vase of real or artificial red roses and a tiara as the centerpiece and place Hershey kisses on their table, etc.
- Cupcakes for the boys- white icing with rainbow colored sprinkles on the sides and a chocolate gold coin as a topper (T-cupcakes; PC- toppers)
- Cupcakes for the girls- pink icing with pastel colored sprinkles on the sides and a mini-tiara as a topper (T- cupcakes; PC- toppers). *I put a small clear piece of plastic wrap on b/w the icing and tiara so I could put the tiaras in the girls’ party favor bags without cleaning them. The girls can use them on their little dolls!
- Ice cream cups- vanilla cups of ice cream with the little stick (T)
- Mini-water bottles- Can cover basic wrap around middle with pink paper for the girls and silver for the boys (T)
- napkins- girls/pink, boys/white (PC)
- plates- girls/fancy pink with silver edges, boys/white (PC)
- Hand wipes (T)
- Cake candles and lighter
- Can add other snacks or if you are serving a meal like pizza or subs, plan accordingly.
- Boys- Painted treasure box with chocolate gold and silver coins and ticket stub
- Girls- Flower pen, flower sucker, pink chocolate coins and ticket stub
- Thank you notes– Develop the pictures of your child with gift and giver and tape the note onto a note card. Have your child write a note on the notecard. Buy envelopes to fit. I took the photos on my phone and used the Kodak app to develop them in the Target store. Super fast!
- Memoir: Develop the group picture and put it in your child’s room.
You can add many more ideas to this party including games where you can use the book as a prize. Have fun using some of these ideas and structure of events while adding your own special, creative touches based on your children’s interest and their guest list!
Dedication: This post is in honor of my mom and how she made birthdays special. I miss her deeply every day, but especially on my birthday and on our children’s birthdays. I still treasure the last card that I received from her on my 32nd birthday. As I continue to go through boxes of her things, I find cards and gifts that she bought ahead of time for our kids, and I save them for their birthdays so she has a part in their day. She didn’t have much, but what she had, she shared. She always thought of others, especially on their birthdays! I’m thankful for how she celebrated life.