Idea No.

9159

Care Bears 1yr - Entertainers and Photos

Award

Date

July 2004

From

Melissa in Brownsville, TX United States

Honorable Mention

Care Bears Party

I decided on a Care Bears 1st birthday theme for my daughter, Athena.

My  husband and I bought simple items like invitations and thank you notes, napkins, dessert plates, candle, and a cute little memory book from Party Dec-O-Rama.com. We bought solid color plates and coordinating tableware and balloons to save money. Being an eBay fanatic, I found some great party favor items in the care bear girl theme. I bought candy bar favors that had Athena's birthday info and a thank you message on it, as well as a pic of love-a-lot bear on it. The wrappers went over Hershey's or Crunch bars and cost about $6 for ten. I gave these to the party guests as they were leaving.

I also found care bears address labels and bought two sheets for less than $2, printing them in Athena's name,and giving the invitations and thank you cards a very personal feel. Although my husband and I were very aware of the fact that Athena would remember little, if any, of this party, I really wanted to make it large and special to celebrate her first year of life. Athena had also been very ill leading up to her birthday, and in a way I wanted to make it up to her : )

Since our family currently lives in an apartment, my older sister let me have the party at her house, which is very large and spacious. I rented tables and chairs, and centered the party around the patio area of the house.In our culture, we have very large parties where it is customary for adults to come as well as children. Our city also borders Mexico, which allows us unique customs not followed in other places (as easily). In our town, "children's shows" are very popular, although very pricey.

For two hours, three to four individuals will entertain the kids dressed up as today's most popular characters. They sing and dance and give the kids prizes for certain games. Keeping the guests entertained gave me a chance to serve the food and spend time with my daughter. I served the kids hot dogs, chips, and juice and served the adults brisket, potato salad, Spanish rice, and frijoles a la charra (pinto beans served in a spicy broth with tomato,onion, cilantro, and bacon).

My family helped make the food as well as serve it, which was a great load off my mind. I went to our local Wal-Mart SuperCenter and gave them one of our care bear napkins, which they used to make Athena's cupcake cake(or whatever it is called), which is a lot easier to serve than regular cake. For something like 50 cupcakes, I paid $30, and the whipped frosting is so much better than the other kind. As I mentioned earlier, we live on the Mexican border. I bought a Care Bear pinata that was a full foot taller than me (a little too big)for $10, filled it with candies, and as the kids finished hitting it, I handed them their treat sacks.

For centerpieces, I went to Michael's Craft Store and purchased plain wooden frames. They cost $2,but were on sale for  $.75 each. I bought deep pink acrylic paint, some stencils with message like Happy Birthday, Party, Celebrate, etc, and some wood decorative pieces like birthday cake, party hats, and presents (these run 5/$1). I paid $25 for everything. After painting the frames, I stenciled messages all around the edges, adding the wooden cutouts to the corners.

There is a pretty pond down the street from our complex, with a great waterfall, and rock formation in one corner. I dressed up my daughter in her birthday dress, sat her on the rocks, and with the waterfall as a backdrop, snapped away as she happily posed and smiled for the camera. I am not a photographer and the pics weren't perfect by any wild stretch of the imagination, but they came out natural and the background looked beautiful and exotic, and I certainly spent a lot less than if we'd gone to a professional photographer.I made sure no two were alike and they were a big hit with everyone.

All in all, between the show (which included characters like Dora, Spongebob, and the Care Bears), the pinata, the singing and dancing, and the great food, everyone had a great time especially my daughter. She wasn't overwhelmed or cranky at all, and best of all, she was as healthy as a horse : ). My guests admired the frames and the candy bars for their unique touch, and my husband admired the fact that his wallet didn't get too thin.

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