Sunday, March 22, 2015

Race Car / Cars Birthday Party!

Little M&M had a super successful birthday party! This year he chose Cars as his party theme. Check out the decorations, as well as what went on during party time!

First, the invitation! I created this in Photoshop Elements. I took out his name, address and phone number but you can get a good idea of how it looked:

On the way in party guests walked by our cars, which had been turned into Cars characters using poster board and crayons.

We mostly use the side entrance to our house instead of the front door. So I printed out a street sign to help guide people in the right way!

And here is the poster I taped to that door.

Birthday printable template comes from this blog!

Here are some other street signs that were hung throughout the house. The "Do Not Enter" sign was taped to a door in our house that leads to a few rooms we didn't want the kids to wander through. We wanted to contain the party. The "Speed Limit 21 and over!" sign was hanging above the stairs to the basement, where adults would find alcoholic beverages and could do some gambling after the scheduled party events. And the "Yield" sign was hanging where a few rooms met, just for fun!

Here is a glimpse of the dining room, all set for the ten kids to eat their lunch. Little M&M had a giant Lightning McQueen balloon taped to the back of his!

Close-up of each individual table setting: the cups and forks came from Walmart. The plates, napkins and checkered tablecloth came from Oriental Trading!

Here is the buffet table, where we had most of the food. The checkered banner is also from Oriental Trading.

Now onto my favorite part...the food! We had all of Little M&M's favorites!

Fillmore's Organic Fuel (water) and Dinoco Fuel (apple juice).

Sally's Cozy Cones (Bugles).

Doc's Dipsticks (Veggie Straws).

Race Cars (apples and grapes). I saw these on Pinterest, and had to try them!

Mater's Tater Chips and Salsa.

The Piston (fruit) Cup!

Traffic Lights (Rice Krispies Treats).

Luigi's Casa della Tires (chocolate donuts, with a skewer to hold the tower up).

Lightning's Hot Rods (hot dogs). Buns and condiments were on the table beside this.

Sarge's Subs (assorted heroes).

Mack's Mac & Cheese.

And here were our cupcakes. Vanilla and chocolate were offered. Checkered flag toothpicks are from Oriental Trading. The cupcake liners and candles were also black and white striped, purchased just at our local grocery store.

Here's the birthday boy, in a Lightning McQueen shirt, of course!

We also printed out this picture from our recent Disney World vacation, and set it up in a frame near the party food. Certainly not an elaborate photo display, like last year's Paw Patrol party, but still cute!

We always like to have a fun craft during our parties. As guests arrived, we lead the kids right over to the little picnic table where they could decorate their very own race car! The wooden race cars are from Oriental Trading. We just used markers of assorted colors, self-adhesive acrylic shapes and googly eyes. They all worked really hard on these!

As they finished, the kids were able to test out their cars on the roads I made using free printables from Picklebums. How awesome are these?! I put a piece of brown craft paper across their train table, and it worked out really well. Notice Little M&M's car (red like Lightning McQueen) and Honey Pot's car (with the adorable smiley face)!

Later, after lunch, we raced their cars! My husband created this awesome race track for us. The kids had a blast!! And look at all those fancy cars!

Party Favors are always fun to put together. We had these set up on a table beside the door. The label that I added to each says "[Child's Name] thank you for coming!" I used the free printable labels from this site to create these.

Here's a close-up of the sign above them:

And inside the paper bags were:

- Cars Stickers
- Cars easy return  yo-yo
- Cars Bubbles
- Cars Jellybeans

This party was so much fun to put together!


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Patrick's Day!

In our 3+ years of tot schooling, we have never done a St. Patrick's Day theme! It falls so close to Little M&M's birthday, that we usually just ignore it. This year we took a break from the party prep, and threw together a few impromptu activities and treats! Take a look.

Shamrock Lacing

I printed an image of a shamrock onto green cardstock, punched some holes around them (putting more in Honey Pot's than in Little M&M's) and provided each of the kids with a shoelace.

It's been a while since we've done lacing, and it was a nice diversion from the usual fine motor activities we do.

The first time through, I let Little M&M do it however he pleased. Then I asked if he wanted to see how I would do it, and we completed it together that way.

Honey Pot is familiar with the technique, and I kept hearing her say "up through this one, down through this one." She did a pretty great job, only skipping one hole accidentally.

Pot of Gold - Roll and Cover

This cute printable comes from totschooling. They provide files for both a one die and a two dice version. We stuck with one die so that Little M&M could participate fully. He really seems to be picking up on his numbers recently!

They took turns, rolling the die and covering each number with a golden coin that we had from Honey Pot's Peter Pan party. Super simple, and yet it is such a hit from start to finish.

Little M&M working hard on his one-to-one correspondence:

In the end, it came down to whom could roll a five first. It was fun competition for them!

Fruit Loop Rainbow Craft

I have been seeing Fruit Loops everywhere! We finally picked up a box and used it to make incredible rainbows. At first I was going to give them a template, but I didn't like any of them enough. So I simply drew a small arc for their bottom color, and we worked from there. Great color-sorting activity!

This craft is not for those with a short attention span. I was actually surprised with Little M&M's commitment to finishing!

And Honey Pot worked so diligently on her project!

We added some stretched and pulled cotton balls to the ends of the rainbows. Such a beautiful craft!

Green Foods

This was a lot of fun to put together for dinner tonight. I filled our plates with green foods that the kids would actually eat. Sadly, broccoli and peas are not favorites around here. Spinach, yes! But since we eat it multiple days a week, however, I omitted it today. We had:

- Honey dew
- Green grapes
- Sugar snap peas
- Chicken salad on veggie wraps
- Avocado hummus with tortilla chips

And for dessert, Shamrock Shakes! Oh, goodness. These were spectacular. The whole family slurped up these peppermint and vanilla ice cream treats so fast. Great end to our first St. Patrick's Day celebration!