Idea No.

6610

Garden Party 4yr - Paint Bird Houses

Award

Date

June 2003

From

Erin in Leawood, Kansas, USA

Honorable Mention

Garden Party

Garden Birthday party - 4 years.  Our daughter wanted to include boys at her birthday party, so we needed to come up with a "gender neutral" birthday theme.  After reviewing several ideas on this website, we decided on a garden theme. 

The invitations were white with a green scalloped border and a pink gingham bow.  They read "Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Ellie's turning 4 and wants to invite you. . . To her Garden Birthday Party."  (I got the language off this website!)  When the children arrived we had a large table set up with a red tablecloth and yellow placemats. 

On each place mat we had a galvanized bucket filled with a gardening set (small watering can, shovel, spade and hoe), candy and a flower lollypop sticking out.  Each bucket had a nametag tied onto it with a big red and white gingham bow.  Next to each bucket we had a "bug box" (pink for the girls and green for the boys).  The bug box included a small net and tweezers for picking up the bugs. 

In the middle of the table we had her "cake" which was two catepillars made out of hostess snowballs (6 each), pipe cleaners and lollypop eyes sitting on a cookie sheet covered with green coconut - darling!  (I got that idea out of "The Secret Life of Food" by Clare Crespo) 

The children played for a while on Ellie's birthday present - a BounceAround from ToysRUs.  It is like a small moon bounce that is really easy to set up and take down.  It was almost the same price as renting one, so we bought it and can bring it out when she needs to burn off some energy! 

After they played for a while, we started the organized games.  First, we had the bean bag toss where the children tried to throw bean bags into brightly colored flower pots.  Of course, everyone won a prize and got to pick something out of a garden basket filled with carnival prizes.  Then we had the catepillar hunt. 

Each child got their bug box off the table and searched our back yard for catepillars.  Ellie and her daddy made the catepillars out of brightly colored pompom balls and glued googly eyes on them.  The children had a ball finding the catepillars and putting them in their bug boxes.  Each child got a bottle of bubbles for finding the bugs. 

Then, we had another table set up where each child could paint a miniature birdhouse.  After the birdhouses were done, we lined them up along the fence to dry.  It was a darling sight.  While they were painting, my sister and I assembled the "dirt and worms" dessert in plastic flower pots.  I found red and lime green plastic small flower pots with scalloped edges at JoAnne craft store.  I washed them out, then we filled them with "dirt" (crushed oreos and a mixture of chocolate pudding and coolwhip) then garnished with gummy worms.  We then put a big fake flower into a straw in each flower pot.  We set these at each place setting, alternating red and green flower pots.  It was a very colorful table!  Some of the kids really thought it was dirt and refused to eat it!  For the parents, we served the same concoction in clear plastic cups. 

After everyone ate, Ellie opened her presents in our garden.  I took pictures of Ellie surrounded by all her friends and their presents on the stone steps in our back yard with flowers on each side.  I then had the picture copied and used it as the cover of her thank you notes.  The party was a huge success - the kids stayed entertained and Ellie had a blast.  It was a lot of fun to plan and easy to be creative.  The children went home with their buckets full of gardening supplies, their trinkets and bubbles from the games and their bug boxes filled with "catepillars."

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