Tag Archives: party

Dinosaur Halloween Birthday Party

Last year my daughter wanted a dinosaur birthday party, and since her birthday is on Halloween we combined the two themes.

We started the party by having kiddos work on a personalized dinosaur bag and foam magnet. It was a great arrival activity!


My husband then read a Dinosaur Halloween book called T-Rex Trick or Treats. It was a PERFECT literature connection between our two themes- I liked the book so much that I based all our party activities on it!


Our games included pin the skull on the dinosaur,


jumping our dinosaur inflatables around on our parachute,

IMG_0943 DSCN9811

t-rex trick or treating,


and making dinosaur witches brew. All the images from our signs are from the book- loved how it worked out!


The kids got to take a small bag of our brew home as part of their goodie bags.


Treat table included this fruity monster and other dino foods:IMG_0957 IMG_0948 DSCN9765

We also handed out dinosaur books to kids- you can never have too many books! And yay for educational ones, too!


I hope these pics inspired you to create your own amazing dinosaur party!

Happy teaching!

Rainbow Unicorn Halloween Birthday Party

My daughter is obsessed with rainbows. And unicorns. And her birthday is on Halloween. I wanted to incorporate all of that into one party theme…. and this is what I came up with.

A Rainbow Unicorn Halloween Party!
First- the decorations:
Rainbow streamers, paint card samples, and pom poms everywhere.


Even the pumpkins on the front porch were decked out in colored ribbon to fit the theme.

Rainbow slush. So good!

 We made rainbow cookies by adding food coloring to different sections of the dough, sectioning them into little beach balls, rolling those balls into a snake, and then spiraling the snake into a circle. 

A picture of our treat table

One useful idea: Use Ikea plates/cups/utensils instead of purchasing paper products. They are better for the environment, pretty stinking cheap, and you can use them again and again! Plus they are in the rainbow colors- perfect for our theme!

Rainbow M&M treat jar/ balloon weight

Cupcake stand decorated with rainbow ribbon. Even the cupcake wrappers are rainbow colors!

 Of course the birthday girl got a special cupcake complete with a mini unicorn.

We started out decorating trick or treat bags with rainbow stickers and markers. Once they finished that,  they could work on making a rainbow fruit loop necklace.

While the kids worked, the adults mingled. I am still shocked at all the people we fit into our house!

Once the kids were done with their bags, Aaron read them the story “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. Its a tradition to incorporate storytime into Boo’s birthday parties. I pick out the book- and Daddy reads it!

We all came dressed in rainbow colors- except Boo who was wearing a rainbow shirt.

In the basement, we had unicorn races. I made my own stick horses using socks and a broomstick and added a foam cone to make it a unicorn.

We also played with a colorful parachute and rainbow balls. The kids had a riot with this activity!

Our culmintating activity was rainbow trick or treating. We have 6 doors upstairs that I decorated with tissue paper. Luckily I had some awesome volunteers who stood behind each door and passed out candy that was the same color as the door.

The actual day of Boo’s birthday (Halloween) I used rainbow streamers to create a path around our entire house leading to a special treasure: a giant diamond paperweight. Fake, of course 🙂 A special treasure for my most valuable treasure!

Happy Teaching! And Happy Party Planning! 🙂

Gift Opening Practice

Like many of you, I want my daughter to be gracious and kind. Especially when given a gift. To avoid any potential acts of ingratitude during her birthday party, we practiced opening presents. It was a totally fun game and it provided my kiddo with the learning experience I desired! This would be a fun activity to do with your kids right before a birthday, Christmas, or other times of gift exchanging!

My daughter had a surprise party with some of her stuffed animals in attendance. Each animal brought a gift (misc toys found in her playroom).

Some gifts were good- like her favorite dinosaurs or pillow pet.

the “good” gifts

Others were not so good- rolls of toilet paper and random food storage items from our pantry.

the “not so good” gifts

We sat in a circle and one at a time each animal would give their gift. Boo would open the present, say one thing she liked about the gift, and “thank you”. Even when the gift was not so good.

I love Boo’s facial expression when she received dry soup mix from her unicorn!

The day of the birthday party came- and my daughter got lost in the excitement of all the presents- but I think she was as gracious as a 4 year old could be with a stack of so many fun toys to play with! This is one reason I LOVE opening gifts throughout the entire day instead of one fast paced session. 🙂

This unhappy tiger was tuckered out from opening gifts.

Happy Teaching!

Birthday Party Planning Pages

Confession: I am addicted to planning. And I just can’t make mental plans or jot ideas in a notebook. I crave the organizational high that I get from seeing all my ideas and itineraries printed out on well designed forms and placed in a folder or binder. Here is one of my latest organizational creation: birthday party planning pages.

Click here to download the planner from our wiki. Enjoy!

Spooky Safari Halloween Birthday Party

My daughter’s birthday is on Halloween- it’s so fun! We try and have a Halloweenish birthday party for her every year. We had an “ABC’s of Halloween” party when my daughter was into her alphabet, and a “Bibbety Bobbety Boo” princess Halloween party when she loved Cinderella. This year we went with a safari theme since my Boo is totally into animals! She loves the weird animals no one has ever heard of- like the ibex and the okapi. Boo even wanted to be one of them for Halloween- but poor Mom had no idea how to make either – and luckily for me she ended up choosing a tiger costume. Phew!

The Invitation
Simple and fun! I got the clipart from Shannon’s Digital Scrapbooking.

The Guest List
When asked who to invite to her party- my daughter told me “everyone”.  We opted to just invite some close friends, family, and friends from her church class and preschool.

The Food
You can’t just have pizza and salad on animal safari! We braved it up and ate predator pizza, safari salad, and skeleton bone breadsticks. Drinks were found at the water hole, and although I forgot to tell people the official name during the party- we had ibex ice cream sundaes. 
Treat jars included tiger eyes (eye ball candy from the Dollar Tree) and okapi brains (gunny worms).

The Decorations
Green and black streamers gave us the scary jungle feel. We listened to Halloween music- including Halloween background music that actually sounds like a haunted forest so it was PERFECT for our spooky safari! I hung skeletons and Halloween decorations from the dollar store. The kids table had little Halloween pails with animal crackers. There were signs for all the food- as well as a welcome sign and animal footprints leading guests to the party room(since the party was held at our church).

The Games
Every year we read a story at the party. Two of the years I actually made books! This year I was lucky enough to find the book Jungle Halloween. It was a perfect book for the young audience (3-5) and it went so nicely with our theme!

After the story, we went to the gym and played hippos in mud (similar to musical chairs but kids walk around in a circle and try to get stuck on brown pieces of construction paper-aka mud). 

We also had a jungle frog jumping contest with frogs bought at the dollar store. This was a riot! The frogs were also part of the party favors for the kids to take home. 

On your mark…., get set….., go!
After the frog jumping contest the kids huddled together and played with the frogs 🙂

We played a short game of animal charades. I had pictures of different jungle animals folded up in a basket, and guests would pick an animal and act it out  while everyone else tried to guess.

We took a short cake/ice cream/open presents break, then it was time for our final game! The kids went on an animal safari to three different parts of our spooky jungle- the snake pit, the haunted forest, and  bugs & bones land. Each room had plastic creatures (animals/snakes/bugs/skeletons….based on the theme) that the kids could hunt for. I had purchased what I THOUGHT was a bag of little spotting scopes for the kids to take with them on their hunt- but they ended up being little noisemaker whistles (why do some party stores not label their favors!) So if I were to do anything different- i would have made sure that the kids take a scope or toy binoculars to take with them! The kids had a blast with the safari and it was a great culminating activity before the kids went home.

Happy Teaching!

Book Themed Baby Shower

I had the most wonderful opportunity to host a baby shower for my brother in law and his wife. I LOVE planning!!! (Check out my post on Baby Shower Planning Pages). And I just couldn’t resist hosting an educational based party. After looking around the internet (and my new favorite site Pinterest) I found adorable book- themed baby showers. What an inspiration! Two sites that I gleaned the most creative juices from is Aesthetic Nest and Bowtied’s Etsy shop. Guests were encouraged to bring their favorite book as a gift. (I made a cute Dr Seuss-ish invitation but I don’t have a pic to show. Included in the invitation were bookplates so baby would always remember who gave her each book)

The setup with my cute mother in law in the background. She was kind enough to host the big party at her lovely home.
Banner made out of an old book- I am thinking this would be cute to hang in my daughter’s playroom. Yay for multi-purpose crafts!


Each guest picked a letter and designed their own alphabet page for baby’s first ABC book. It was SO fun!
Side table decorations- I couldn’t resist putting the “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish” sign next to a jar of swedish fish. There are also extra bookplates for guests in case they lost the one included in their invitation
The “Snack Snack Eat a Snack” sign didn’t motivate enough people to eat the treats- but it was still cute!
Cupcakes made by my cute sister in law with the book toppers from Aesthetic Nest.
I love sneaking in learning and literature in any activity! 🙂

Baby Shower Planner Pages

I am planning a baby shower next month for my sister in law. I love planning! To make sure I didn’t leave out an important step in the process, I created these organizers.
What I love about them is that they are functional, and yet pretty darn cute 🙂 And we all know how important the cute factor is….
Here is a preview of the pages… click on the link below the image to download the entire packet (consisting of 4 pages).

Click here to download the baby boy planner pages.
Click here to download the baby girl planner pages.
The clipart used is from Amy Dott Harmer– I love all her work and have bought a lot of it!
Happy Teaching and planning! 🙂

Bibbety Bobbety BOO!

This post is about the preparations for my Boo’s Halloween birthday party this year. Since she has shown interest in the Disney princesses, I thought it would be wonderful to have a princess/halloween party! So the theme was thought up long ago- Bibbety Bobbety Boo- it is just now that I am putting it all together! So here is a sneak peak of my party planning process:
Step one: Invitations!
Initially I had visions of handmaking festive invites with clever poetry, Cinderella pics, and a Halloween background.

bibbety bobbety boo

(daughter’s name) is no longer 2!

you are formally invited to a birthday ball

come in your costume, there is fun for all!

However, when you are really busy you come to a point where you need to simplify as much as possible. So this will be replaced by Dollar Tree invites (hey- they get the job done, right? Will people not have as much fun because the invitation was lacking in creativity? I am hoping the answer is no!) I have sat down with my daughter and come up with a list of friends. She pretty much likes everybody (except strangers and bad guys) so coming up with people will be no problem.

Step two: Decorations!
There won’t be a lot of time for party set up, so I am thinking of simple ways to spice up the party area. I want the focus of the decor to be a decorated dessert table ( I will come to that later in this post). For the table, I was going to make a “Bibbety Bobbety Boo Happy Birthday to You!” banner but it might be a bit long :). I have Halloween party decorations that we plan on using as well. Easy Peasy!
Step three: Party plan!
Of course a planner has a detailed plan of the activities for the party! For the Bibbety Bobbety Boo party, I have the following games/activities on our agenda:
  • As guests arrive, they will decorate a small trick or treating bag
  • I wrote a Mommy Made book for my daughter’s birthday (titled Bibbety Bobbety Boo, of course!) that my husband will read to the kids. It is a story about a girl named Boo and her adventures on her way to her birthday party. It is filled with some of her favorite things- from dinosaurs to lollipops!

    Click here to view this photo book larger

  • A friend of mine came up with altering the familiar Duck, Duck, Goose game to “Bibbety Bobbety, Bibbety Bobbety, Boo!” I thought I would get a soft wand that “it” could use. I also play the game with felt squares so that there everyone has a place to sit and there is no question where the child needs to go. So I might pick up some felt in Halloween colors for the occasion!
  • The kids will then go trick-or-treating with the bags made at the beginning of the party. Since the party will be held at our church, I can use some of the empty classrooms as “houses”. I have enlisted a niece and nephew to pass out candy for the little trick or treaters!
  • We will come back from trick or treating to attend the ball (dancing to Halloween and Disney princess tunes with bubbles). I have a back up “pin the spider on the web” game in case we have tons of extra time, but as I have learned- you usually don’t get through everything during a party!
  • Last thing during the party-treats and opening gifts! Which brings me to my next step….
Step four: Dessert table!
I am sure many of you have been to a baby shower, wedding reception, or birthday party where the central decoration was a dessert table or bar. That is the plan for this Bibbety Bobbety Boo bash! I have a festive tablecloth, and ideas for desserts including the following:
  • a castle of cupcakes
  • treat jars with candy corn, orange slices, pretzels, and other sweets
  • candy corn fudge
  • magic wand cookies
Does that seem like a lot of sweets on Halloween? I might cut down the treat table just for the amount of sugar these kiddos will get later that night!
Well, there is the start of our party plans! There is still a lot of work I need to do, but it is slowly coming together!! What are some of your favorite Halloween plans? Isn’t this time of year wonderful? It just comes and goes much too quickly!
Happy Teaching!!
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