Idea No.

8257

Garden Party 6yr - Plant the Marigold Seeds

Award

Date

March 2004

From

Julie in Tyler, Texas, USA

Runner-Up

Garden Party

For my daughter's 6th birthday, we had a garden party.  Our city has a wonderful, large rose garden so we decided to have it there.  Most of the roses were not in bloom yet but other flowers were blooming beautifully.  I rented a room there with a huge glass window overlooking the garden. 

The invitations had a pink smiling daisy, a butterfly and a ladybug and read "A garden party is blooming for (name)'s 6th birthday!  Please join us on February 28 at 2:00 to 4:00 at the Tyler Rose Garden Rose Room". 

For decorations, I had tissue flower decorations set up around the room and of course helium filled balloons.  I had a smiling pink daisy mylar balloon.  We blew up a lot of balloons and had them scattered across the floor for a festive look.  The cake table had a vase of real flowers set on it.  I used a tablecloth on the cake table to match the theme with pink flowers, butterflies and ladybugs.  Pink plastic forks were set out in a pink wicker and wire butterfly shaped basket. 

The cake was made at a local bakery and had a pink smiling daisy, a butterfly and a ladybug on it.  There was a sink but no refrigerator in the room so I was limited in what I could serve.  I put out pretzels, daisy shaped cookies decorated with pink sugar, and pink flower shaped candies made from Wilton candy melts. 

On the gift table and activity table I just used pink plastic tablecloths from the dollar store.  On the kid's eating table I used white bulletin board paper.  I ordered a large cardboard coloring playhouse (called My Very Own Playhouse) from Ebay.  It looked like a little garden cottage with flowers and trees and birds and cats to color on it.   The playhouse was set up in the middle of the room with a lot of markers. 

When each child arrived they were given a flower bead necklace of their color choice.  Every one of the fifteen children wanted to wear one, including the six boys (they chose blue).  They were told they could color the house while we waited for everyone to arrive or color at the table, and each could have a turn getting their face or hand painted (I hired a face painter).  The face painter painted different garden things on them - like flowers, snakes, butterflies, ladybugs, etc.  They looked so cute! 

There was an inflatable frog magnetic dart game set out they could play with during free time also.  I had also stapled together 5 pages of flower coloring pages, dot-to-dot pictures and mazes.  The top page was a smiling daisy and at the bottom in cute font I added, "Friends are the flowers in the garden of life!"  Each place at the table had a flower cup filled with: flower stickers, a flower blowout, a small magnifying glass, an insect stamp and a box of 5 crayons.  They had a ball playing with the balloons together and coloring that playhouse.  I asked each of the kids to sign their name on the house.  In fact, the playhouse was more of a hit than I anticipated. 

They enjoyed it so much I had a hard time getting them to give it up to play the games!  My teenage niece helped and we ran the first two games at once so they wouldn't have to wait too long for a turn.  One was "pin the bee on the flower".  I got a flower cutout for bulletin boards from a learning store and some bee stickers.  I put numbers on each bee and had them remember their number. 

The other game going at the same time was a spider game I ordered form Oriental trading.  It is a bean bag spider on an elastic cord with Velcro on each of its legs.  There were 8 felt bugs.  On the back of each bug I wrote a number in black marker.  I had 8 numbered paper sacks with different little garden type prizes in them.  Whichever bug they picked up with the spider's legs on their turn we turned over to see what number was on the back and they got to pick a prize out of the sack with that number on it. 

Next, we went out to the garden.  Our room had a door that led right out onto the balcony.  We then went in a line down the stairs and over to an area right by the "Camellia Garden" section.  The camellias were gorgeous, and in our area the daffodils were in full bloom and also very pretty.  There was a sidewalk area with a maze of short hedges.  I gave each child a list I had made on the computer.  The list said 2 frogs, 2 snakes, 2 butterflies, 1 spider, 2 turtles and 2 lizards.  I put a picture of each item next to the words since they are only learning to read now.  I gave them flower cellophane bags with handles.  The items were on the sidewalks and hidden easily on and in the hedges.  They needed to only get what was on their list.  I thought that this way everyone would get the same things. 

After everyone had found their items we brought over our doughter's red wagon filled with garden things.  We let each child pick out a pair of kid's garden gloves and put them on.  I had small 4 inch plastic flower pots with drain holes and each child picked one of the pots.  I brought along several plastic kid trowels and each child filled their pot with potting soil by themselves.  Next, we moistened the soil by watering from a watering can.  Then each child made 2 holes for seeds and put a marigold seed in each one and then covered them up.  (It is important to moisten the soil before planting the seed.  Also, do not plant the seeds too deep or they will not come up.  Marigolds come up quickly which is why I chose them.)  Finally, we put each one in a quart size plastic zip lock bag so that dirt wouldn't get on anything else.  The kids really enjoyed the outdoor activities and had time to run around before going back inside. 

Once back inside they all sat at the table and worked on their coloring pages or played with the other things in their cup that had been set at each place.  I had clear plastic cups and served green punch with pretty pink silk flower straws.  We called the punch bug juice.  It looked really pretty.  Then we sang Happy Birthday and handed out the cake.  I also gave each child one of the pink flower candies that I had made. 

For goody bags:  each one had a foam butterfly glider, a smiling flower pinwheel, a smiling flower fan, a clear plastic flower candy holder with gummy worms in it, a small package of Sweettart gummy bugs, and a sticker with the smiling daisy and butterfly on it that said "Thanks for coming to (name)'s party!"  The children had a lot of fun and went home with lots of garden things, including the garden gloves and the pot with the seeds they had planted, the garden hunt items, the coloring pages, the flower bead necklace and of course, the goody bags.  Everyone told me what a cute idea it was and how nice the party was.  My daughter loved it and is inspired to garden now too!

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