Bug 2yr - Astorturf Tablecloth & Flowerpots
Marieka in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
BUG PARTY FOR OUR 2 SONS (Ages 2 and 5)
Started out with invites of course! Made on 3x5 cardstock great colorful graphics (bugs and bug jars) and text as follows: OUR LITTLE BUGS Ben & Sam ARE TURNING 5 AND 2! Bug Hunt, Games and Treats, OH MY, Come Catch the Party Bug, Crawl on By! Appropriate since the invites were sent out in BUG NETS (purple cute ones - Oriental Trading) with of course a rubber bug inside (easy ship too, padded envelopes!) Other text: Swarming Season (date): Infestation Time (time): Habitat (address); Buzz if you can Bee here (phone) - and my fav, Pest Control (parents names!) I matched the invites colors to the nets and also made matching return address labels titled, "The Jackson Swarm" with our address.
Decorations were fun and simple. Color scheme was Purple and Green. Purple vinyl tablecloths, then added Green "Grass" placemats (cut edges on all 4 sides of construction paper close together) and double sided taped to keep put. Centerpieces were Teracotta flower pots with shooting out Green celephane and these awesome Pottery Barn Kids large rubber Pray Mantis' glued on (make sure to get the right glue; glue gun will not work). I filled these with pretzles on each table. Another helpful hint for any outdoor party - clothespins for the tablecloth bottoms in case of wind! Didn't have any wind, so I used wood ones with colorful paper napkins to form butterflies!
Next, the main food table, here I used ASTROTURF as a tablecloth (looked GREAT), flower pots to hold the utensils, large bugs to hold the napkins down, plastic shovels for salads. We opted to keep food simple by not having a BBQ. We had 67 guests and spending the very hot day at the grill was no good. So we did hoagies, fried chicken, 2 salads and PB&Js. I ordered both a 3' and 2' hoagie and then a sandwhich platter. Converted the 3' Italian hoagie into a CATERPILLAR! Used pickle slices for legs, Green Olives for eyes, Green pepper slices for antenea - super easy and came out awesome! The 2' was a BEE! Lettace wings, cheese slices to form stripes, Red pepper antenea, Black olive eyes and pickle spear for "stinger". The only trick was platters for these critters, so I made my own and it was simple and quick. Thick cardboard wrapped and stapled with vinyl tablecloths. Believe it or not, I actually found tablecloths that were, get this, GREEN GRASS (apparantly it was for a sports theme!) It worked perfectly and I formed both platters as rectangles, cut to size. I also did the same for the cake, mentioned below. PB&Js were formed with bug cookie cutters (Spider, Dragonfly and Butterfly) and really cute was the Wheelbarrow (which I lined with a vinyl tablecloth and used for a giant ICEBUCKET for sodas and juice boxes!)
Afterwards? DIRT PUDDING of course (pudding concoction in flower pot with gummy worms and shovel), CATERPILLAR KABOBS (adorable) melonballs with raisin eyes, but the best was the CATERPILLAR CAKE!!! I do not bake a lick so I purchased premade cupcakes from local wholesale club. Next, my friend and I used the spray frosting to make each top totally Green and also added Green sprinkles. For legs I used licorish laces. There was no way at all to stick these to each side of each cupcake (no way, no thanks) so I purchase large needle from craft store with a large eye hole. This worked great and we pushed the laces ALL the way through the paper of each cupcake then snipped (instant legs!) Did this the night before and then put them all back in original packaging and in the fridge. As stated earlier, I made the cupcake platter the same as hoagies and this one was 5 feet long! Took cupcakes and formed a graceful up and down "S" pattern, repeating down platter (cupcakes touching) then added the same licorish laces for antenea and M&Ms for eyes (adding a dot of red to each with icing pen). It was so cool, long and cute - plus NO cake cutting and distributing! For candles I opted for the individual letter candles from the party store to form their names, since there was no "writing"!
OK, had to have some fun games! The "BUG TOSS" was a hit! DIFFERENT SIZE Teracotta flower pots, each with different prizes and I purchased a set of Ladybug bean bags from Oriental Trading Co. Toss, and whichever gets in, gets prize at bottom of pot!
Another inexpensive fun game was the "FLY SWATTER RELAY RACE". Dollar Store fly swatters with large rubber bugs and plastic cones to form obsticle course (also $ store) kids loved it! "PASS THE GARDENING GLOVES" (Kids Gardening Gloves from Dollar Store) played same way as musical chairs, less chairs. Found awesome CD with tons of bug songs and when music went off, whoever was holding the gloves were out (constelation prizes).
Last one left kept the gloves! "PIN THE SPOT ON THE LADYBUG" so adorable for little ones! Made a LARGE Ladybug out of Red and Black foamboard, simple and less the spots of course (pipe cleaners for antenea). We hung it on our fence. The kids unscrewed Oreo cookies, licked and stuck them on. Definitely buy bulk in the Oreos - they went FAST!
Had to find the perfect pinata - pinatas.com is awesome (we got the black spider, they also have a bee!) and then came the PARTY FINALE…LIVE LADYBUG CATCH! Dollar store bug box kits (came with nets and tweezers.) I made on the computer "LADYBUGS ARE LUCKY" CARDS to put in each one, with some interesting ladybug facts (in color, plus Microsoft Publisher even has a ladybug border!) at the end I wrote for them to bring the ladybugs home to their garden and thanked them for coming to Ben and Sam's Birthday Bug Bash. Another plus was that since the cards were in each box, I just wrote each child's name on the back, so there would be no confusion on which one belonged to who!
Live ladybugs are all over the internet! Purchased 1600 for $7 (but $25 to ship due to hot summer weather), WORTH EVERY PENNY! They arrived and I put them in fridge to "hibernate" and they TOTALLY came right back to life after removing them a couple of hours before releasing! The kids went wild and totally loved this, their little faces were priceless! WE HAD SUCH A TERRIFIC TIME WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS (after our Firetruck Party, Dog Party and Carnival) this one is everyone's new FAVORITE!
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