Ladybug Party -3yr- Ladybug Beanbags
Laura in Columbia, MO USA
LADYBUG PARTY For my daughter’s 3rd birthday I planned her party around a ladybug theme, which I think is a great theme to work with because there are so many possibilities (depending on age, gender of guests, specific ladybug party versus general bugs party, gardening theme, variety and availability of treats, gifts, decorations, and games, etc.), and you can make it simple or put a lot of creativity into it, yet still have it be a success. This website and a few other websites offered many great suggestions, plus I came up with a few ideas on my own. I couldn’t incorporate all the creative ideas, but here is a summary of what we did.
Invitations: At Hallmark I found ladybug cards with wings that opened to reveal the inside of the card. Similar invitations can be made using card stock and brad fasteners, but I was happy to find the Hallmark cards, which saved me some time in preparation. On the computer I typed the text of the invitation, which read: Have you heard the buzz?! Little Lady Emily is turning 3 And would like you to come to her Bee-day party Bee there [date] at [time] [address] Give us a buzz at [phone number] with any questions Part of the text was black and part was red, with black dots separating the sections. I cut out the text in an oval shape to match the ladybug cards and glued them in the card. Then I sealed the envelope with a ladybug sticker.
Decorations: Decorations were very simple. From a discount party store I purchased a package of black paper plates and cut out the flat inner circle from several of them. I taped these ladybug spots throughout the house on the walls. The kids had a great time running from room to room to find all the spots. Also, the birthday girl wore a cute outfit of denim and red gingham with ladybugs on it.
Activities: To start the party each guest got a white gift bag to decorate for their take-home treat bag. I stamped a couple of ladybugs on the bags and put each guest’s name on their bag with red stickers. I also taped on a red heart cut out of card stock onto which I drew a black line for the center of the wings. I put a black oval (from card stock) sideways on the point of the heart to be the ladybug head and then added google eyes. I colored each child’s fingertip with a black washable marker and let them put their own spots on the heart-shaped ladybug on their bag. While I was helping one guest put on ladybug spots, the others could continue to decorate their treat bag with a sheet of ladybug stickers that was inside their bag.
The next activity was to send ladybugs home to their leaf. I cut out a large leaf shape from green felt I purchased at a fabric store and put it on the floor. At a reasonable distance (depending on age), I put a black circle on the floor (again, cut from a black paper plate). Each guest had a turn to stand on the black circle and throw five beanbag ladybugs and try to get them to land on the leaf. Because of the ages involved in our party, there were no losers. Each participant received a container of ladybug spots, i.e., red and black M&M’s. The next activity was story time. I spread out a red plastic tablecloth on the floor and I had taped black (paper plate) circles to it. On the underside of each circle I had also taped a picture of a bug book (which I had scanned). Each guest chose a circle to sit on and I then read the book Ladybug’s Birthday. When I was done reading that book, I talked about all of Ladybug’s bug friends and that the guests were all Emily’s friends and she had a gift for them. Then the guests were instructed to pull up the black circle on which they were sitting to find out what bug book they were to receive. We had a little free time then to allow the kids to look at their books or play with the ladybug beanbags, and to allow the adults to get the food ready.
Food: The table was covered with the red tablecloth with black dots that we had used for story time, and we had bug-themed plates and napkins. The centerpiece was simply a ladybug balloon and a bug viewer with real ladybugs inside. I had found a large red plastic ladybug shaped divided serving tray at Dollar General and used it to serve the cupcakes. The cupcakes were decorated with chocolate icing and red sprinkles and I placed the cupcakes in the wing sections of the serving tray. In the tail section of the tray I put mini Oreo cookies and in the head section was chocolate chips; each guest got to put their own spots on their ladybug cupcakes with either the cookies or chocolate chips. For drinks we had ladybug juice, i.e., red fruit juice. I served it in small clear plastic cups onto which I had put black circle stickers (so it resembled a ladybug with the red juice and black spots on the cup).
I made a ladybug cake for the family birthday celebration to be held later in the day and had it on display during the party. I baked the cake in a Pyrex bowl and inverted it on a cake plate. The front third of the cake was iced in black icing and the remaining two-thirds was iced with dark pink (I couldn’t get a true red with my food coloring). I used licorice to make the divider between the wings and also for the antennae. I used mini Oreo cookies for the spots on the wings. For the eyes, I melted a small amount of white chocolate and put it in muffin tins to harden. Then I was able to pop out two white eyes to stick on the ladybug’s face. Using icing I also a stuck mini Oreo cookie on the white of each eye. To finish the cake I used green icing and a leaf decorating tip to put grass all the way around the bottom of the ladybug.
Treat bags: The treat bags were filled with a chocolate ladybug, ladybug or bumblebee coin purse, ladybug hair barrettes, ladybug or bumblebee book, bumblebee pad of paper, and ladybug coloring sheet. For a couple of slightly older guests, I gave them a bug coloring book, ladybug pencil and ladybug stickers. Each guest also got to take home one of the ladybug beanbags and the book they received following story time.
Thank you cards: For simplicity, I bought thank you cards with a ladybug on the front. On the inside I wrote a standard thank you note and included Thank you for bee-ing my friend and helping me celebrate my special day. I also stamped a bumblebee on the inside of the card and signed it Bugs and kisses, Emily. I bought things over the course of a few months as I saw them and I don't think the party was very costly, though I didn't add up all the costs. Most of the items were purchased from dollar stores and party supply stores. The party was a great success and I had a lot of fun planning it. My daughter and her friends loved it too!
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