Birthday bonanza
February 27, 2012
by Jenni Sebora

It is birthday bonanza time in the Sebora household once again. That time of year for birthday cakes, wishes, and celebrations. Other than my husband’s birthday in January, the rest of my immediate clan celebrates their special days with a two-and-one-half week period, including myself. My birthday gift is having some down time.

Our youngest daughter, who will be 8 years old, kicks off the birthday bashes. This year, we will be heading to the Mall of America with her and a few friends. The location of the celebration: The American Girl Store bistro and shop. Guests of honor: my daughter and her American Girl Doll, Karsen, the three friends and their dolls, and of course, myself, and my husband. (If a birthday guest does not have a doll they can borrow one from the American Girl Store for the bistro celebration).

The dolls will be seated in booster seats provided by American Girl Store. We will be dining on, I am sure, some delicious meal, topped off with pink cake, of course, and ice cream.

The girls and dolls will be adorned in tiaras and receive some sort of goody bag that is included in the birthday package. What a deal – a bit spendy of a deal, but my daughter is very excited. She has chosen to pick out her birthday gift at the American Girl Store; an outfit or a pet for her doll, or maybe the first aid kit that includes crutches, or maybe a music set that would highlight some instrument.

When we get home, the party continues with an American Girl movie, “Kit Kittredge” (a great movie for anyone to see by the way), and popcorn, topped off with a slumber party. The party will end with breakfast in the morning, consisting of requested smoothies.

Now, my daughter could not invite everyone she wanted to, so at some later date in the month we will have some of her other friends over for a play date.

To keep costs down, you could have tea party-theme birthday at your house. Send invitations on a card with a tea packet attached to it and directions to “dress up and bring your doll.”

At the party, have a bin of some costume clothes, such as jewelry, beads, high-heel shoes, hats, gloves, and boas. Provide some colored pipe cleaners for the girls to make their own tiaras.

Serve sandwiches cut in triangles, strawberries with chocolate dipping sauce, and punch served in tea cups. You could have plain pieces of construction paper as place mats that the girls could decorate with crayons, markers, sequins, glitter glue, and stickers. They can write their names and their dolls’ names on their mats.

Maybe your son doesn’t want a tea party theme. How about a pirate theme? Send invitations in the shape of boat or treasure chest. When the guests arrive, start them off with the first clue to the treasure hunt. Before they can continue on the treasure hunt, they must make their own spy glasses using toilet paper rolls, cellophane or plastic wrap, and a rubber band. They are now ready to venture on the treasure hunt to discover a treasure box filled with whatever goodies you want – maybe its chocolate coins, plastic eye patches, or gummy fish.

Play “walk the plank.” They have to walk along a piece of string with a book on their head. When they get to the end of the plank, they have to pop a balloon by sitting on it, or something such as that.

In my house, music is always a theme. We have enough instruments to have our own orchestra, so music is always a hit. Send out invites in the shape of a musical note. Play games, such as musical chairs or freeze dance. Have the children make their own instruments out of recyclable items, such as plastic food storage containers or tin cans filled with beans, or rice. Use a pail for drum, and you are on your way.

You could have your own “American Idol” show. Have children be the contestants, audience, or judges, with rules that they can only give positive feedback. No mean comments allowed.

There are lots of ideas when you host a themed party. With a little creativity, you can pull off a party that, hopefully, will be enjoyed by all, including you.

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