Bugger-rific Party 5yr - Caterpillar Limbo
Laurel in Somerdale, NJ, USA
For my daughter's 5th birthday, we planned a birthday picnic in our backyard. My daughter is fascinated with bugs and since a lot of her cousins and neighborhood friends are boys the theme of the party was bugs! We had such a "bugger"ific time with the party! We combined many ideas that we found on this site with our own to make a memorable 5th birthday!
First, our invitations read 'Jumping Jitterbugs' It's a birthday picnic! Butterflies, Bees and Ladybugs, OH My! Gabrielle is turning five so fly on by followed by location, date and time. The RSVP read give us a buzzzz by The picnic was after lunch so our menu at the Caterpillar Café included; fruit kabobs made to look like caterpillars with grapes and blueberries put on fancy toothpicks, soft pretzels, caterpillar crunch (mini pretzels, fruit snacks shaped like bugs, raisins, animal crackers and mini marshmallows) (we did have two children with peanut allergies so this was taken into consideration when preparing the menu), bananas, apples, individual bags of chips, love bug fruit snacks on clearance from oriental trading and chiken ceasar salad wraps for the grown-ups. And of course gummy worms were placed on the picnic tables for guest to snack on. Bug juice (little huggy juices) were chilled in a cooler for easy access (straws to punch a hole in top to help avoid spills).
Decorating for this party was so much fun we used many of the crafts that my daughter had made during the spring and the end of school to hang around the inside of the house (bees, flowers, butterflies). We hung a giant life size sunflower that measured my daughter's height outside along with a butterfly windsock purchased for $2.00 at Family Dollar. I also made a butterfly princess palace with tuelle, sunflowers, embroidery ring and ribbon found in Parents magazine (July 2005) as a play house for the children in the yard in between activities. We used sidewalk chalk to write the names of all the guest along the path that led to the backyard with bugs and critters (my favorite!)
So as the children arrived they could find their names along the path!!! Our activities included preparing the children to be entomologist for our bug hunt. I had two girls from the neighborhood help with all the activities. The children decorated visors purchased on sale at AC Moore with their names and foam peel off bug stickers. Once the children finished with their visors they moved on to the butterfly tattoo station (oriental trading). Then the games began; tag team relay bug race with a critter on a fly swatter decorated with a big flower (purchased at dollar store). Everybody was a winner and one big hit of the party was the prize bug jar that had a light up glow lollipop bug inside (great dollar store find). After the children ate the lollipop, they could collect bugs in the jar!
Then they played pin the spot on the ladybug ( thanks for the idea from this site), I bought store brand oreos and the kids had so much fun licking the cookie and sticking it on the cut out that I traced and made of a ladybug. Then we got the parents invovled & played the coccoon wrap with toliet paper. We had so much fun as parents and kids broke out of their coccoons and let their 'wings spread'.
Now it was time to go on a bug hunt, each child got a bug collector kit with their name on it (dollar store). The kids could each find four plastic bugs which were spread around the backyard. After they gathered the bugs, we joined back together for the most magical and memorable part of the party. I had purchased live ladybugs from www.ladybuglady.com.(kit with instructions) We talked about Gabrielle's favorite bug the ladybug and then I gave each child a tube with live ladybugs. The kids and parents loved it!!!
We talked about how to care fot he ladybugs and their job in the garden. I asked each child to release them at home after a day or two. We got a sack with extra ladybugs so I talked to the children about how I always heard that ladybugs were lucky so I told all of the children to make a wish, hold it in there hand & then we would let the ladybugs and the wishes go & the birthday girl made a special wish and we all sang happy birthday as I let the bugs fly away!!! Then it was time to do the caterpillar limbo in which the children got shakers (H20 bottles with beans) or paper towel rolls to use as horns as they went under the caterpillar (green pool noodle with pipe cleaners for antennaes). The children got spider and ladybug glasses to wear as they limboed into the house for happy birthday!
Our cakes were made at the local Acme a butterfly and a ladybug (very inexpensive) and then I made 24 cupcakes decorated with green icing like a caterpillar wiggling across the table. We sang happy birthday, ate cake and sent our friends and family home with goody bags made from brown lunch bags decorated with their names and critters. The bags had butterfly fans for the girls, pencils, butterfly rings and plastic bugs. The boys had similar bug related items. The children also got a plastic cup shaped like a flower pot with a crazy straw shaped like a flower (dollar at Family dollar).
The favors and prizes did add up monetarily but I love having good old at home parties. I try to budget what I may spend if I were to have the party out. We had so much fun and a couple days later my daughter said, "Mommy, I just loved everything about my birthday!" Our thank you cards were pictures I printed for around 25 cents each that had my daughter with her bug glasses on saying thanks for getting "buggy" with me! And of course the birthday girl wore an adorable skirt with butterflies on it and a hair clip that had a beuatiful butterfly to match (sale rack at Gymboree). I, as madame butterfly, also wore a butterfly tank top and my niece who helped as party coordinator wore butterfly wings. What a party to remember! My daughter and I had so much fun planning her party together!!!