lemon blvd started with my love for planning my own children’s parties, so it seems fitting my first blog post should be on that topic. I apologize; I did not take photos of everything since it was not originally my intent to post this party.
Pulling off a truly gender neutral theme can often prove to be difficult. This year was no different when looking at ideas for L and M’s birthday. I almost relegated myself to allowing them each their own theme and splitting décor right down the middle, when they both saw a photo and agreed on an art party! We were all mesmerized by the bright colors and plethora of activities to choose from, and I instantly went into party planning mode.
Most children’s parties need an easy filler activity, which will allow guests to remain occupied as others filter in during the first 10-15 minutes; the art theme made this easy. We found coloring pages based on famous works of art online and printed them out at home, and used crayons from the Dollar Tree that I wouldn’t mind getting messy. This turned out to be a good choice, as the crayons were mixed with paint and cupcakes as the afternoon progressed. As kids arrived they grabbed a tote bag to take home their crafts, and a coordinating apron for later.
It seemed like every party I viewed during the planning process contained some version of painting, and I knew it had to be included in our own. We did painting first to ensure the canvases had plenty of time to dry. This was a younger group and they put the paint on pretty thick, so about 1.5 hours into the party we pulled out the blow dryer to speed the process along. The kids had a blast!
We used 8″ x 10″ canvases at Michael’s which are already 10 for $10, and I was certain to use 40%-50% coupons to reduce the cost even further. I purchased chubby brushes and used 9oz clear solo cups for the kids to clean their brushes. We used regular white plastic plates for palettes, but you could also purchase something specifically made for the task. We bought a bulk set of School Smart washable paint for the party as well. It was more than enough, but also such a great bargain. It does seems a bit thin, but that also helped speed up the drying process. I created “Artist Wipes” with regular hand wipes and set out paper towels… this is a very grainy, tightly zoomed in photo to let you see the details.
Next on the agenda: making tie-dye shirts. I pre-rolled all of the t-shirts, and had the dye ready to go. We purchased a kit from Tulip comes with rubber bands and gloves, but we purchased kid-sized gloves as well. We also found cheap foil lasagna pans at the Dollar Tree for each child; this was a great pick as it contained the dye and avoided run-off onto other shirts. I pre-printed care instructions and put them on gallon-sized Ziploc bags, so the parents would know how to rinse and wash the shirts once they went home.
I had planned to do another activity, but when I got in from cleaning up the tie-dye the kids were already snacking. So we took a quick break, and enjoyed the goodies. We had popcorn in an artist palette, assorted fruit, candy in paint buckets, and Rice Krispies paint brushes. In a nod to my own childhood, we found out Walmart still sells Hugs barrel drinks, and since they came in all six colors we purchased those for the kids! After they snacked, we loaded them with more sugar, as everyone had a chance to decorate a cupcake.
Afterwards, we pulled out the Play-Doh. I had several tools already, as well as Play-Doh, though I was glad I purchased scissors, rollers, and other tools as the kids enjoyed spending quite a bit of time trying different tools. While I was prepared for the Play-Doh colors to get mixed, I didn’t know we would be doing this after cupcakes so they all absorbed sprinkles as well. Needless to say, it was a good thing M already had new Play-Doh on her birthday list.
At the end of the party we had a bit of free time. L and M opened gifts, and their guests had an opportunity to play with the new toys. Others made noodle necklaces, which were packaged as take-home favors for those who wished to save them for later. I can’t believe I have no photos of the noodle necklaces, however I took my inspiration from this photo.
All in all it was a successful day. I also had an opportunity to enjoy the calm after the storm, though it only lasted a few minutes before I started thinking about J’s party next month…
Below are links to a few of the products I used for the party. In the spirit of full disclosure, some of the links are affiliate links through Amazon. If you decide to make a purchase through my link, Amazon may pay me a commission for it, though it does not cost you anything additional.
8″ x 10″ Canvases
Chubby Paint Brushes
Tulip Tie-Dye Kit
Paint Cans for Candy
Paint Palettes for Cupcake Decorating
Scissors for Play-Doh
Rollers for Play-Doh
Tools for Play-Doh