All the planning was complete and ready for the party to begin. Learning from past birthday parties, I did not make a big deal of the day.
We planned and talked about the games and presents and goody bags; however, I did not press her to follow the planned itinerary.
Before jumping to the results of my daughter’s 3-year-old Mickey Mouse birthday party, a few items were set into motion to make the day special.
Part 3: Executing the Plan
Thankfully, all the invited guests arrived. We had delayed this birthday party until all the guests could attend. Everything else could have fallen apart, and my daughter would have had a great time with her friend in attendance.
The Friday night came, and here is how the events played out:
When the doorbell rang initially, all three of my children went running for the door. The birthday girl waited in the hallway for her grandparents to enter and dote on her.
As they began to play, my older daughter heard the doorbell the second time it rang and let in the rest of the guests. All were warmly greeted when they entered the party space. Upon seeing her friend, the birthday girl’s face lit up, and giggles ensued.
Using the Mini Murph pizza kits from Papa Murphy’s, each of the children made their own pizzas.
While the pizzas baked, the boys played a game on the 3DS consoles, the older girls watched their brothers play, and the younger girls pulled out many toys.
Sitting at the birthday table, the girls enjoyed their pizza. The boys and adults enjoyed pizza at our dining room table. For the adults, I baked a Chicago-style stuffed pizza from Papa Murphy’s. Yum!
As usual, the children finished eating first. After a little play, we began the games. Asking the birthday girl to choose the order, she decided on Finding Pluto’s Bones for the first game.
Finding Pluto’s Bones
With some of the bones hidden just for the boys, they raced each other. They were fast, and my son ended up with rug burns on his knees.
The girls enjoyed tripping over one another and helping each other find the bones. The game finished when all the bones were found, and my daughter asked to give out the Mickey Mouse ears headbands which she did.
Pin the Ribbon on Daisy
All geared up, the older children wanted to play Pin the Ribbon on Daisy. Since the birthday girl was starting to act shy, I informed all the children that the birthday girl would choose the next game. If they had a preference, then they needed to ask the birthday girl. Well, my daughter loved having all the big kids ask her, so she chose Pin the Ribbon on Daisy.
Though she did not want to play alone, we let the other children play first. Then Daddy picked up the birthday girl, and they played together which she absolutely loved. Getting a bit tired, the birthday girl allowed me to distribute the Mickey Mouse blowouts as prizes for pinning the ribbons on Daisy.
Mickey Mouse Bingo
Needing a bit of rest, we completed the games section with a few rounds of Mickey Mouse Bingo. With eating marshmallows and laughing at the pictures, all the children enjoyed matching the pictures revealed with the pictures on their bingo card.
This game was so popular that we played 2 or 3 times. The children took turns pulling cards from the pile which kept them excited about their next pull. For participating, the birthday girl distributed the flying discs which we quickly put away since we were ready for cake.
With the 3 candles lit, we sang as the birthday girl blew out her candles. Then we cut the cake and ate it.
All sugared up, we moved back into the party space to open gifts. As our daughter missed her friend’s birthday party, we started by allowing our birthday girl to give her friend the gift she picked out.
Taking the attention off of herself, she relaxed and enjoyed the giggles and thrills from her friend. Then the birthday girl opened her gifts without shyness or embarrassment. (For some reason, this part of the party seems to be difficult for my children. But with the change in giving a gift first, my daughter did just fine.)
After opening her gifts, my daughter was grinning from ear to ear as she thanked each of her friends and gave them handpicked goody bags which they each adored. In fact, each of the children began to play with their items and show each other. The birthday girl spontaneously gave Daddy and Mommy hugs which was a touching moment.
The remainder of the time together was spent playing, laughing, and picking up. As their friends left, my older daughter asked if we can have this party again next week to which all the children agreed. This answer confirmed that they all had a great time.
Having an itinerary and all the supplies gathered, we adjusted those plans as needed. Though we had other outfits for my children to wear to the party, none of them wanted to change. So, they wore their school uniforms and the birthday girl wore her reading shirt. The outfits were a minor detail that paled in comparison to the memories they made having a great time celebrating my daughter’s third birthday.
As you plan and host parties, try to focus on the guest of honor. By doing so at this party, all the participants had a great time and wanted a repeat. Wishing you success with your next event as you adjust your plans to accommodate the guest of honor. Happy planning!
Question: What have you let go from the ideal plan that had a great result?
M-I-C, K-E-Y, M-O-U-S-E! Replacing the Mouseketeers with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, magical moments are still alive in the world of Disney.
With numerous toys, multiple television episodes, books, and a video game, my children play and keep Mickey Mouse and friends popular in our house.
To celebrate turning 3, my daughter chose a Mickey Mouse birthday party. Last week, I shared the process we took choosing the theme.
As each child is different, I talk through party elements to see how interested my child gets with helping. Just thrilled with the theme and wanting her friends to come to eat cake, I decided to plan the itinerary for her this year.
Part 2: Planning the Itinerary
Knowing how important it was to my daughter for her best friend to attend, we arranged our schedule to accommodate her friend’s family. Hosting the Mickey Mouse birthday party weeks after her actual birthday, we kept the guest list to grandparents, my daughter’s best friend’s family, and our family.
Rather than working around Saturday soccer games, we opted for a Friday evening party. With a dinner included, I chose the following tentative itinerary for my daughter’s 3-year-old Mickey Mouse birthday party:
Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Itinerary
Welcome each guest and allow the children to play.
Allow each child to create his or her personal pizza from Papa Murphy’s and bake them.
Let the children continue to play while the pizzas bake.
Eat pizza and salad.
- Pin the Ribbon on Daisy: Repeating this game from prior Mickey Mouse birthday parties we have hosted, I brought out the supplies. Based on the classic Pin the Tail on the Donkey game, I had printed a coloring page of Daisy. After coloring the picture, I laminated it and place it on the wall. Using purple ribbon, I write the names of the invitees and hang them on the wall with sticky tack. I then use a bandanna for the blindfold.
- Finding Pluto’s Bones: Another repeat game for which I had the supplies was a game of hide-and-seek. I printed a sheet with bones titled with Pluto’s name, cut them out, and laminated them. Using sticky tack, we “hid” the bones around the room close to the floor. A dog dish is placed in the center of the room with participants crawling around, finding the bones, and placing them in the dog dish.
- Mickey Mouse Bingo: My hubby spent lots of time creating this game for our son’s Mickey Mouse birthday party. Paul used clip art to make multiple Bingo cards with the larger pictures for the Bingo drawing. (We cut out the cards and pictures and laminated them before use.) We then place marshmallows into cups for each participant to mark their cards.
The prizes for all who participate in the games consist of the following:
- Mickey Mouse ears headband
- Mickey Mouse blowout
- Flying discs toy
Sing, blow out the candles, and eat the cake.
Thank guests and give goody bags. Since we have children different ages attending, we have three different types of goody bags:
Girls – Age 3
- Minnie and Daisy notebook
- Mickey Mouse figurine
Girls – Age 5
- Minnie Mouse notebook
- Mickey Mouse coloring roll with crayons
Boys – Age 8
- Mickey Mouse notebook
- Mickey Mouse word search book
Allow the children to play and explore until they go home.
Having hosted this birthday party three times prior to this one, I only needed to tweak and adjust the plan to fit my daughter’s personality and the flow of the party. Next week, I will post details of our executed itinerary in the third part of this series. Happy planning your next party!
Question: How do you decide how many items to include in your goody bags?
This year is very strange for me. Dates and holidays seem to spring up suddenly. I know they are coming and have them noted on my calendar, but I just seem to run out of time preparing for items. Finding myself grabbing a card on the way out the door or waking up a tad early to wrap a gift, I just feel out of balance.
Working around illnesses and friends’ schedules just added to the delay to my daughter’s birthday party this year. I appreciate her so much as we celebrated her birthday on the day she turned 3. Then we waited until we found a non-soccer, non-event running, and non-illness Friday evening to host my daughter’s Mickey Mouse birthday party.
Though choosing the party date ended up being more challenging than choosing the theme, we started the birthday party process with choosing the theme.
Part 1: Choosing the Theme
Long are the days when I could ask, “Do you want a princess party?,” and get an immediate, “Yes!” Now, the process must begin months in advance to weed out the list compiled during brainstorming.
Discussing the Theme
When the question was first posed to my youngest daughter, her siblings were present. Of course, they wanted to “help” choose her birthday theme to something they wanted. Let’s just say, the first session was unproductive.
The next time we discussed her birthday party, brother and sister were at school. In chatting with my daughter, she needed some choices. Going back to party ideas we have hosted for other family members, I suggested Strawberry Shortcake, princess, Mickey Mouse, or Good Night, Gorilla (party based on the book by the same title).
Choosing the Theme
As an avid Mickey Mouse Clubhouse viewer, she excitedly chose Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Daisy, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto because they all get included. I was thrilled with her response as my son chose the same theme for his 3-year-old and 4-year-old parties and my oldest daughter had a Minnie and Daisy party for her 3-year-old party.
Reinforcing the Theme
Realizing that I had most of the supplies, I fed my daughter’s excitement in the weeks prior to her party by asking her which games she wanted to play, allowing her to choose the colors for her cake, and helping to remind me to look for Mickey Mouse items at the store.
By keeping her focused on the party elements, my daughter never wavered in choosing the theme for her 3-year-old birthday party. As the days approached for her party, I worked with her to prepare a party itinerary which I will share next week in Part 2. The last installment of this series will reveal the execution of that itinerary.
In using time wisely to create a special memory of my daughter’s third birthday, we started by choosing the theme. Knowing where we were going allowed us to find party favors and ideas to add to our celebration. Though I needed to start earlier this year in choosing the theme, we did decide which gave us direction to plan her Mickey Mouse birthday party. Happy theme choosing!
Question: How do you or your children get through the process of choosing the theme for a birthday party?
Photograph Credit: Microsoft Images
When I shared my upcoming 2012-2013 events last week, I failed to mention my upcoming family events. As I wrote the other post, I was in the midst of planning, searching, and nailing down vendors and acts for our Fall Festival. With school projects on my mind, I only shared the school-related events.
On Monday afternoon, my toddler kept asking for “her cookie.” Figuring she wanted a cookie, I offered her one. But she didn’t want that cookie, she wanted “her cookie.” Really confused, I asked if she could show me. To which she trotted off to get the weekly ad from the Sunday paper. Then, I realized the miscommunication.
Toddler’s Birthday Party
Over the weekend when I went through the newspaper, I found the advertisement with all the birthday decorations. With my toddler close by, I asked her what kind of birthday party she wanted. She worked her way through the sales flyer naming the characters until she chose Mickey Mouse.
Though her birthday is not until the winter months, my toddler is ready for her Mickey Mouse birthday party and “her cookie.” The cookie part is because brother and sister each got a large chocolate chip cookie to share on their birthdays.
With a one-track mind, I think I need a distraction less my toddler remembers every day for the next few months. 😉
In skipping our annual Halloween Bash last year due to illness after the Fall Festival, I return to planning this year’s Halloween party. While shopping with my older children on Saturday, we found some cute Halloween crafts in the Target $1 Spot section as well as a Halloween game.
For accountability, I mentioned our party to a friend to put on her radar around Halloween. I still have a few details to work out, but I usually keep the same schedule to make planning simple and the party predictable. My kids love knowing the plan and repeating the games.
In using time wisely, my toddler’s birthday party and our Halloween bash comprise my upcoming family events. Thankfully, I have hosted both of these themes in the past, so recreating or tweaking these ideas will save me money, energy, and time. Happy planning ahead!
Question: What events are on your calendar or radar this fall and winter?
Though I plan each birthday party, I know that there will be changes. I never know how my children will react on the day of the party. Sometimes they are all in and ready to play everything while other times they do not want the attention focused on them.
Having learned from past birthday parties, I try to have a backup plan or at least another option for those moments.
For my toddler’s Blue’s Clues party, we chose a theme and planned an itinerary. On the day of the party, we carried out our plan. I enjoyed the process as my toddler allowed Daddy, grandparents, and siblings to help her. Though the party was not perfectly executed, a bit of spontaneity kept everyone on their toes. 😉
Since my toddler cannot turn the door knob on our front door, my son and older daughter opened the door when the guests arrive. My toddler remained down the hall waiting for her guests to come see her.
Games – Part 1 of 3
After our guests arrived and had a few minutes to play, we began the game of Blue’s Clues. For our party, Blue was looking forward to something at this birthday party, and she left 3 clues to help us figure out Blue’s Clues.
The 6 children then began searching for Blue’s Clues. (We hid one clue at a time to avoid finding them out of order. During setup, Paul placed the first clue. Though I could have cut the clues out of paper, I just used the clues from her Halloween outfit since they were nice and big.)
The birthday girl found the first clue on the living room ceiling fan. It was really cute. The older children took turns drawing the clue in our handy-dandy notebook.
Hide and Seek Blue
During setup, I hid 6 Blue’s Clues items (2 figurines, 2 stuffed animals, and 2 bath mitts). With the 6 children paired up, the two 6-year-olds searched for the figurines while the two 4-year-olds and two 2-year-olds looked for the stuffed animals and bath mitts. Each child found one item. How cute it was to watch the older ones help the younger ones after finding their own.
With our party beginning at 10:00 a.m. and the younger children used to eating lunch around 11:00 a.m., I tried to keep them on schedule. The children found their seats at the table, set with tableware, silverware, and place cards, while the parents served the food.
While the children ate at the table, the adults filled their plates and ate in the living room.
Games – Part 2 of 3
Pin the Paw on Blue
After lunch, we played the Blue’s Clues version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey. The older children were blindfolded, but the younger ones just closed their eyes or placed the paw on Blue. 😉
The children all sat on the living room floor and waited for the birthday girl to open her gifts. Sometimes opening the presents is the hardest part with keeping the children back to removing the toys from the packaging to the commotion.
However, this gift opening session went very well. While the grandpas removed the toys from their packaging, we continued with our games.
Games – Part 3 of 3
During lunch, I placed the second paw print on my daughter’s portrait. When the participants found it, we drew the clue into our handy-dandy notebook.
While drawing the second clue, Paul placed the third clue on a candle. The guests quickly found the third clue, added it to our handy-dandy notebook, and deciphered Blue’s Clues. Blue was ready for the birthday girl to blow out her candle.
Sing, Blow Candle, and Cake
After singing, my daughter blew out her candle (with help), and we served cake at the table with the children sitting in their lunch seating arrangement.
Thank you and Goody Bags
As the children finished their dessert, they went to play. My daughter then distributed the goody bags, made from brown paper bags with a paw print and a guest’s name on the front. The goodies included: blowouts, straws, flying disks, jewelry (girls) and action figures (boys).
Play with new toys and goody bag items
The participants finished the party by checking out the new toys and their goody bags. Throughout that morning, they enjoyed playing with each other while celebrating my daughter’s second birthday.
With an itinerary in place, I followed the plan to keep the party moving and to remind myself when to hide the clues and what activity to complete next. The party was fun for all and wore out our toddler. Upon telling her friends goodbye, she got her blanket and crawled upstairs. She was ready for her nap. 🙂
When planning birthday parties, I consider the theme, plan an itinerary, and enjoy the execution. Happy planning!
Question: Does your child like or avoid the attention at his/her birthday party?