Ballerina Party -3yr- Ballerina Puppets
Stacie in Atlanta, GA USA
My beautiful ballerina Hollyn turned three years old just before the holiday season. While we had previously had large, open family parties for her, I decided to make this birthday be all about her and her girl friends (age 1 - 4), about 10 girls in all. I held the party at 10:00 in morning to avoid afternoon meltdowns of young kids and it worked super well. Here's what I did to make her party ballet best!
The Invite: Ny husband and I printed out clipart of ballet shoes and traced them onto pretty pink paper with a shimmer. We attached ribbon to both sides and addressed one of the toes in silver swirly handwriting to Miss XXXXX and her Mommy". On the other toe we wrote "You are invited to a Ballerina Birthday Brunch!" On a separate enclosure using publishing software that had a ballerina border we printed the following: "Twirl on over to a Ballet Brunch For Prima Ballerina Hollyn's 3rd Birthday! Dainty slippers a precious face A special event is taking place! We'll pirouette and spin in our tutu and bows While we dance around on our tippie toes! Debut: (Date) Curtain Call: (Start time) Final Bow: (End time) Recital Hall: (home and address). Please RSVP: (phone) It will be "tutu" much fun if you can come! Girls - Wear a pink leotard or shirt tutus will be provided. Moms- remember your cameras!" We then put the shoes and invite into white envelopes with a sprinkle of pink and silver glitter and wrote the girls names in swirly silver on the front. We sealed the envelopes with glittery ballerina stickers. Hollyn enjoyed helping stuff and decorate the envelopes.
The decorations food and staging: At the door it was almost Christmas so I added two ballerina stuffed dolls (Dollar Tree) to our wreath with wire to welcome the girls to our home. I had Nutcracker and Swan Lake CDs playing on the stereo at the entry when the children arrived. In the living room I borrowed several neighbor's child sized tables and covered each with pieces of pink plastic table cloth. I tied the corners with white and silver ribbon around the legs of the table to hold the table cloths in place. On each chair I tied either a pink or white balloon - two each per table. I tied these so that they floated at about 5 feet which created a cloud of pink and white over the children and they loved it! I set the tables with ballerina themed plates napkins and cups.
Also I covered our coffee table with ballerina fabric from a craft store for a present table. In Hollyn's bedroom I set up a ballerina prepping station. I covered a card table with a ballerina table cloth. On two sides there were pink pieces of pink felt. One held several bowls that had individual sparkle eye shadow nail polish and lip glosses (Walmart party items). A basket on the floor held tutus for each girl (Target's dollar section). Hollyn's godmother (who has a little boy and thus would not be needing to watch a child) acted as the beautician and got each child prepped as a ballerina. They then got their picture made at the full length mirror in Hollyn's room that we added a "barre" to by hanging up a thick white curtain rod across.
Next to the mirror is a set of clothing hooks that we hung beads boas and other girly items on to complete the photo look. In the kitchen I decorated the food table with a table cloth pretty platters a multi-level plate stand and feather boas running around the plates. The food included brunch items like mini quiches cut up fruit and other finger foods. Our hutch held the pink punch in a pretty bowl and ladle. The bar was transformed into the cake station and it held the cake more boas a photo of Hollyn from dance class and a bouquet of pink and white flowers in a pretty vase.
My mother baked the cake which was scrumptious (and we are blessed as she does wedding cakes for a living and birthday cakes only for her favorite grandkids!). It was a traditional sheet cake but Oreo flavor. It had purple and pink trim with three cutout standup ballerina little girls on a stand in the middle.
The activities: For this age group I recommend staying away from games especially those with rules and clear winners. Instead I recommend stations or themed activities. Pre-school teacher sites are great for getting party ideas for this age group. Ballerina puppets - As I mentioned each girl got transformed into a ballerina as she arrived. She then was able to decorate a ballerina finger puppet. To make these I printed ballerina clip art and cut the ballerinas out cutting off the legs just above the knee. I hole punched two holes where the legs would be. The reason? This is where the girls put two of their fingers. With their fingernails painted pink their fingers were the puppet's legs and their nails were the ballet shoes! Crayons were out to color the ballerina and I cut out bits of ribbon lace etc. that the girls could select from to glue across the puppet as the tutu.
Ballerina story - I read "On Your Toes: A Ballet ABC" by Rachel Isadora that we borrowed from the library. It was great for this age group because it showed dance moves and equipment combine with ABCs and pictures were very pretty. Ballerina action poem - I wrote out the words to this action poem on poster board for the moms to read along and girls to act out. I found it on a preschool website. The poem is an adaptation by Teresa Chiv of Teddy Bear Teddy Bear Turn Around. "Ballerina Ballerina Twirl around./Ballerina Ballerina touch the ground./ Ballerina Ballerina on your toes./ Ballerina Ballerina lift your nose./ Ballerina Ballerina curtsy now. Ballerina Ballerina give a bow./Ballerina Ballerina arabesque./Ballerina Ballerina take a rest." This was great because it basically choreographed an easy dance for the girls to do together.
Finally I had intended to show a quick ballet video but the DVD we requested from our online movie service two months early never came in so we tried to show part of "Zoe's Dance Moves" but it wasn't the best choice. Also I wish I had gotten the girls together at some point for a group picture. As for schedule eating the brunch was near the beginning then the activities then cake and finally presents.
The goody bags: Again it was near the holidays so we tied in the season by making ballerina shoe stockings out of white and pink felt and pink ribbon that criss crossed up the stocking and tied at the top in a bow. My mom and I made these in a couple of hours by adapting a pattern for felt stockings on Family Fun magazine's website. In each stocking we placed a box of crayons that I personalized and tied into the theme with printed labels that had a ballerina clip art and "Thank you for coming to Hollyn's Ballerina Birthday Brunch." I also included ballet shoe notepads ballerina bear ornaments and ballerina hairclips. The girls also took home their tutus and personal makeups from when they got dressed. I laid out the stockings around the base of our Christmas tree which was already up and decorated but was pre-presents.
This party proved be spectacular and Hollyn is still talking about it months later. The girls and the moms all had fun and pictures turned out to be great memories! "