Friday, October 1, 2010

Ladybug Party

All summer long, my little girl had been fascinated by all the cute little polka-dotted bugs crawling around in our garden, on the lawn, at the park, and on the sidewalk. So when her second birthday drew near, a lady bug theme for her celebration was a perfect fit!

Using red and black as my color template, I set about making preparations for the big day.

*For the girl party hats, I used red cardstock to make the cone, then added circular black stickers to decorate them, and attached long black ribbons to act as ties. For the boys, I made hats that were the inverse of the girls; black cardstock, red polka-dots, red ribbon. To make the hat for the birthday girl a little extra fancy, I added a black polka-dot bow to the front.

To make our home nice and festive, I continued to use red and black throughout:

*I used black and red balloons to line the windows, and on some of the red balloons I added more black polka dots, (but I left others plain).
*I painted a 'Happy Birthday' banner in red, and added crawling cartoon ladybugs all around it
*I made a 3D ladybug cake with bold shades of both colors.
*The gift bags for the guests included 1 red lollipop tied with a black polka-dot ribbon, two ladybug refrigerator magnets, a jar of red and black gummy candies, and a small sheet of ladybug stickers. These were then wrapped in a clear cellophane bag, and tied up with more black ribbon.
*A red tablecloth was set out with black napkins. Red paper plates and cups were used, but I added black polka-dot stickers to the cups for a little extra flair.
*I made hundreds of construction paper ladybugs (of varying sizes) and strung them together, and dangled them from the ceiling

Guests were encouraged to wear the party colors, and when they arrived, they each received a red headband with black pipe cleaner 'antenna' to wear throughout the party. It was adorable, and our home really looked like it was crawling with over-sized, smiling ladybugs.

We played ladybug themed games, like this one. Before the party, I used poster paper to make a giant lady bug, but I didn't add her spots. I then sewed a half dozen black bean bags. At the party, the children formed a line, and took turns trying to toss the spots onto the lady bug.

We also played 'lady bug garden,' our version of musical chairs adapted to this theme. I made large paper flowers and laminated them for durability. We spread them out on the floor, and as the music played the children danced and crawled through the garden. When the music stopped, they had to scurry to a flower and freeze until the music began again. Because of the young age of the children, we didn't eliminate players, but rather kept it non-competitive.

I made a ladybug pinata, which was very simple. Just a single balloon, covered in paper mache, and painted to look like a cute little bug. All the children had a turn to swing, and when it was cracked at last, my husband shook out all the treats so they rained down into the outstretched hands of the guests below.

Making this 3D cake wasn't difficult at all, and I was very happy with the results. I used a jelly roll pan, and baked a thin cake, which I frosted green to be the grass. Then in an oven proof metal bowl, I baked the ladybug's body. I had to increase the baking time for this part since the bowl was so deep, but with careful observation I got it to be thoroughly cooked, without letting it get dried out. The head is made from a cupcake, turned upside down. A little red and black icing, two blue smarties for eyes, and some shoestring black licorice later, we had a perfect cake!

Perhaps my favorite moment of the whole party was my girl's complete delight in her ladybug cake. She just loved it.

It is also a fun touch to have the gift wrap correspond with the theme for the party. It is one of those little details that makes things just that much prettier. These cute packages were actually not created by me, but by one of my friends who turned the task of wrapping a gift into a craft time with her little children. They used red tissue paper, and a black bingo stamper to make the cute paper. When they were finished, they topped them off with some cute curly ribbon and their gifts were ready.

I like to include at least one gift to my children that is 'on theme.' And I also like to be sure they get a new story book every year. Happily, this time I was able to combine those two hopes into one great gift; The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle.

When the gifts were opened, we handed out the goody bags, and said goodbye to our friends. Then while I set to work cleaning up, my small children played with the new toys, batted at the strings of dangling ladybugs, and tossed around the extra balloons.

It was a simple birthday, but by having a theme and taking the time to make things pretty, it was completely memorable.

1 comment:

  1. What a cute themed party! I bet your little girl loved it. I just found this through pinterest.


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