Butterfly Party 2yr - Butterfly in the Sky Invite
Katrissa in Janesville, WI USA
Butterflies are a WONDERFUL theme for a spring/summer birthday party! My daughter was turning 2 at the end of June, and we decided on a butterfly theme so we could incorporate the bright, fun colors of summer!
Invitations: For the invitations I purchased a 12-pack of big, life-like butterflies (the wings were feathery) from Michaels craft store. I got sky" paper (blue with the appearance of clouds) from the scrapbook store for the backdrop. I made the cards standard invitation size (1/2 a piece of 8 1/2x 11 paper folded in half) with the sky pattern facing out (I also had this mounted on cardstock so the invitation would be heavier). On the front of each invitation I glued the body of the butterfly down but left the rest sticking out so it was 3D and very lifelike - as if it was flying through the sky. I used silver glitter to make a "trail" behind the butterfly. I found a cute whimsical font and printed "Flutter on over on the front of the card and then the inside read "to celebrate L's 2nd birthday. I found a butterfly font with all different butterflies and I used four butterflies as four bullet-points to list the date time address and RSVP info. I also had sparkly butterfly stickers in varying sizes (purchased at Michaels craft store) on the inside of the invitations and the outsides of the envelopes and I lined each envelope with butterfly paper.
Costumes: When the guests arrived we had butterfly balloons and a butterfly windsock on the front porch and my daughter the birthday girl greeted them. She was wearing a pink smocked dress with a butterfly on the bodice a coordinating butterfly hairclip and the best part sparkly wings purchased from the dollar store! Everyone loved having the little butterfly greet them and she enjoyed flying around with her wings!
Activities: The party was a lot of work but so worth it! People are still raving about it including people who weren't actually there but who saw pictures! We were having a large group of all ages - familes with children ranging from 2 to 13 and several adults - so we tried to come up with activities that would work for a wide age range. For the children we had two structured activities. The first was making "candy stick" butterflies. I cut butterfly wings out of cardstock (you can find a variant of this idea on the Family Fun website although I used my own pattern for the wings) and then I laid out a variety of stickers stamps pom poms markers foam shapes etc. for the children to decorate their wings as they arrived. I cut slits in the center of each butterfly and they were then able to pick any flavor candy stick (the old-fashioned kind - I purchased them at a local Cracker Barrel) and insert that as the "body" of the butterfly. They all had fun with this - even the boys and it was a good activity for them to do upon arriving since people got there at different times!
Next we had a butterfly scavanger hunt. Most of the things for this were found at the local dollar store. I purchased containers of mini butterfly erasers pretty pencils (which I decorated with mini butterfly stickers) foam butterfly stickers big foam butterfly shapes (from Michaels) and candy - Smarties with foam butterflies (from JoAnn fabrics) glued to them Jolly Ranchers with mini butterfly stickers on them and bright colored suckers. A few of the adults helped me scatter everything around the grass in our backyard while the kids played over on the swingset. Each child was then given a butterfly cellophane bag (purchased in a pack of 30 from the $ Store) and they ran around collecting items as fast as they could! They were given a few rules ahead of time - like only collect one of the bigger items (pencil big foam butterfly) each but they could collect as much as they wanted of the other things. It was a good group of kids so the older ones helped the smaller ones (as did some of the parents) so everybody got a good amount of stuff.
To avoid losing any of their treats I collected all the bags when they were done(each bag had a label with the child's name so siblings wouldn't mix up their bags) and put them into the big family favor bags. For the favor bags I had two different kinds - a "family bag" for the families with children and then smaller bags for the singles and couples (grandparents etc) without kids. The family bags were huge gift bags from the $ store with swirls in the party's colors - pink purple lime green yellow etc. I cut big butterflies out of coordinating colored foam and glued those on the front of the bag. I wrote each family's name on the butterfly (i.e. "The Jones Family). Inside were a variety of butterfly things - a butterfly net (shaped like a butterfly) and bug cage (both from the $ Store) mini kid's board book about a butterfly ($ Store) butterfly bib (Target $ section) bright-colored butterfly fly swatter ($ Store) and home-made butterfly suckers. I used candy molds to make pink yellow and purple butterfly suckers (candy melts and sucker sticks purchased from Michaels craft store) which I wrapped in clear cellophane.
In addition to the family gifts each child had their individual bag of things collected in the scavanger hunt as well as the candy-stick butterfly they made. For the bags for people without kids I purchased solid color gift bags in pink lime green and yellow and pasted smaller foam butterflies on the front of each one in coordinating colors. Inside was a cellophane butterfly bag (same as those used for the scavanger hunt) filled with a chocolate bridge mix a box of butterfly stationary ($ Store) a miniature butterfly windchime (JoAnn fabrics) butterfly fly swatter and molded suckers.
Also for the adults we wanted to have some kind of game but I needed something that wasn't interactive as several of the people invited were quite shy and not really into group games. So I purchased a large glass vase ($ Store) and I filled it with the Smoothie Mix Skittles (unlike the normal Skittles which are primary colors this mix was more pastel and went along better with the color scheme of the party). I decorated the outside of the vase with butterfly stickers in colors that matched the Skittles perfectly! I counted the Skittles ahead of time (654!) and then decorated little papers with butterfly stickers. The adults were able to study the jar at their leisure and write their name and their guess as to how many Skittles were in the jar on the slips of paper and put them in a bowl. The winner received the vase of candy.
Cake: The meal and cake were probably the highlights of the party as they were visually very impressive. We purchased butterfly partyware from the Dollar Store and it was very cute and fun whimsical butterflies in bright pink orange lime green yellow light blue and purple. Using the partyware as inspiration I made a huge butterfly cake and decorated it in those colors. I used a total of 3 9X13 cakes (1 ½ funfetti cake mixes per 9X13 pan to make the cakes extra thick). I used one 9X13 for each wing (cut out into a wing shape of course) and part of the 3rd 9x13 for the body/head. I used different decorating techniques for the different parts of the wings smooth in some areas stars in others swirled etc and of course used all the colors of the partyware. I used yellow Twizzler licorice for the antennae and then put a very fine coating of edible orange glitter over the whole thing (I did a thicker layer over the orange icing parts) to give the cake a sheen.
The cake was at the center of our kitchen table that was completely decorated in the party's colors. I used a bright pink tablecloth and at the very top of the table I had a clear vase filled with orange-colored water and an arrangement of green purple yellow and pink flowers (all coordinating with the partyware colors) and an orange butterfly on a metal stick hovering among the flowers. Directly in front of the vase was the huge cake and below that I had two tin-foil covered sheets with butterfly sugar cookies (one on the left and one on the right) with the partyware napkins and plates in between the sheets of cookies.
For the cookies I used three different butterfly cookie cutters (purchased at Michaels and Woodmans) for different shapes/sizes and these were outlined with all six of the icing colors on the cake (and partyware). Below all of this at the foot of the table I had some pink orange and green plastic serving pieces filled with edibles (all colors were still coordinating with the partyware). A lime green plastic glass had the bright-colored Twizzlers spilling over the sides (almost like a fountain effect). I had never seen these colors Twizzlers before but it was a lucky find the colors were bright pastels just PERFECT for the color scheme! Two bright pink bowls held mixed nuts and butterfly graham crackers. The graham crackers came in a box (Keebler brand I believe) with other bug shapes and I got two boxes and just picked out the butterflies.
Finally a flower shaped orange dish held the same Smoothie Mix Skittles I had used for the adult game. Scattered around the table were mini life-like butterflies (same as those used for the invitations except smaller purchased at Michaels) and round votive candle holders in the party's colors. It's hard to describe but the overall visual effect with all the bright coordinating colors was stunning.
Snacks: Before devouring the cake and desserts we served dinner hot dogs and brats (a neat idea is to take the kids hot dogs and use the hot dog as the butterfly body w/crescent rolls for wings. Split the top of the hot dog for the butterfly antennae) and we also had a LOT of butterfly sides! We had pasta salad with bowtie pasta to look like butterflies butterfly crackers (Sociables brand) to go with either the spinach dip or butterfly cheese (I used a very tiny butterfly cookie cutter to cut out mozzarella cheddar and colby cheeses) chips pretzels jello salads--a lemonade jello mold as well as butterfly shaped CREAM Y jigglers (creamy so that the colors would coordinate with the partyware) in light blue light green purple and pink-- veggies and dip a lettuce salad and perhaps one of the most fun things to make - a butterfly fruit tray.
For the fruit tray I cut out a big butterfly shape from cardboard covered it in tin foil and built up the sides with tin foil. I then used pieces of tin foil to make different shaped rings for the spots on the butterfly rings. Each part of the butterfly was filled with a different color fruit. The body was a mix of dark purple grapes and blueberries. Cubed watermelon served as an outline around the wings while the inside was filled with pineapple. Inside the upper spots was cantaloupe and strawberries and green grapes filled the bottom spots respectively (each wing was a mirror image of the other). Everyone LOVED the fruit tray and it really wasn't that hard to do!
To serve the food I had bright colored servingware in bright pink orange and lime green so that was still consistent with the party's colors. We served a variety of beverages in the matching partyware cups and we used light yellow plasticware. Everyone ate their fill we had tables inside and out so people could sit wherever . To cover the folding table outside I purchased a sheet of butterfly-print vinyl from Walmart (fabric department) and it looked really cute! After dinner we opened presents and the sang Happy Birthday before cutting the cake and eating the desserts.
All in all everything went very well and the guests all emailed after getting home raving about how cute and fun the party was! For thank you notes we took purple notecards and decorated them with butterfly stickers and used silver embossing for embellishments. I think this was one of the most fun and visually stunning parties I've ever thrown and I hope some of my ideas will help others looking to do the same theme! "
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