Decorating for a party makes my kids get so excited! When I start making the decorations the week before the party and the kitchen table becomes my craft studio, their faces light up and their eyes get big when they see what I am working on. I love watching their reactions to my efforts.
I think it is fun to have some decorations that you can see as you approach the house. Sometimes I'll do something special to the front door, use sidewalk chalk on the driveway, put something on the gate to the yard, or hang things up in the windows. This time I wanted the guests to be greeted by Sesame Street pals as they came up, so I made three characters from poster paper, paint, and glue (my usual art mediums) and put one in each of the large windows at the front of our home.
Once they were inside, they found more of their friends from the Street had come to join the party.
Ernie and Bert wanted to watch the pinata action that would be coming soon, so they waited downstairs in the playroom.
Super Grover flew over the party to watch the fun from a bird's eye view.
There is a large flat space in our home where I had the treat bags displayed, but somehow a picture of them all together got missed. Ooops.
I made this for our traditional banner in the kitchen.
I found an Elmo trick-or-treating bucket after Halloween on for clearance. Twenty-five cents! Loved that buy. I didn't know what I would do with it, but for a quarter, I figured I couldn't go wrong. I ended up filling it with goldfish crackers, (Elmo has a pet goldfish) and set it out on the side table for the kids to snack on when they got hungry. It was very popular with the youngest of the celebrators!
I made this Cookie Monster for a game and decided to leave him set out the whole time to add to the festive spirit.
I also made a Sesame Street lamppost, which I totally loved, and was really, really easy. I used a long brown tube (or you could use two tubes from inside wrapping paper and put them together) and spray painted it black. Then I used my glue-gun to attach a white Styrofoam ball, (courtesy of the dollar store) made the sign from left over materials from the invitations, and stapled it to the cardboard tube. Done. And such a fun touch, I thought.
You can also see in the background of this pictures that I had made paper chains from construction paper and hung them around the room. I'd never actually used them as a decoration before, but this seemed like a great chance to give it a try. I added lots of balloons to the mix and had them all over the place.
I cut out faces from construction paper and turned some of the helium balloons into floating characters. I can't take the credit for this at all though - my sister in law came up with the idea. I had Cookie, Elmo, Oscar, Big Bird, and Grover balloons scattered throughout the house.
My son requested an Oscar-the-Grouch pinata, and this is what I came up with. After making the basic shape, I wound green crepe paper around and around and fringed it to look like fur. The face is just made from construction paper and glued on, and the trash can lid is an inverted tinfoil cake pan with a tinfoil handle I glued on. I made it while the kids were in bed (like most of these preparations, actually) and when they woke up in the morning, they LOVED this guy.
For noise makers at cake time, I bought plain blue and plain yellow party blowers at the dollar store and then came home and Google imaged faces for Cookie Monster and Big Bird. I copied them over to a Word document, made them tiny, then copied a bunch of them and printed them out. I cut around them, taped them onto the blowers, and presto! Adorable on-theme blowers.
I was planning on doing a number game with these jars of candy, and while candy in glass jars already looks wonderful, I added the face of The Count on the front. After all, who would love a number game more than him?
I had also borrowed several Sesame Street stuffies, (Cookie Monsters, Elmo, Zoe, and Big Bird) and I tucked them around the house to make boring corners more friendly.
When I was done setting up all these delights, I stood back and looked at our home. My smile was as big as the birthday boy's! We were ready to party!