Frog Party -4yr- Lily Pad Dip & Breadsticks
Beth in Tacoma, WA USA
My four-year-old is obsessed with frogs. I am obsessed with birthday parties. This year, the stars aligned so that we could each be in our element.
I sent out frog "pop-up" invitations (you open the card and the frog's pop-out red pipe cleaner tongue is popping up with a toy fly glued to it.) All the usual info and the highly expected "Hop on over for a good time" painted on the front. Lilypads lined our front walk and various frog decor greeted our guests on our front porch. I let the kids stamp frogs on all the windows with poster paint and frog stamps; we wrote Hoppy 4th Birthday" all over, as well. When you entered the house, it was broken up into sections: craft, game/circle, and food.
Crafts: each child decorated a frog I had cut from green fabric and ironed with "wonder-under". I later ironed these frogs onto a wallhanging quilt I made for my son to hang in his room to commemorate the party. The other crafts were frog visors (made myself), frog bookmarks (a worksheet I had leftover from teaching) and a foam frog thermometer (kit purchased from orientaltradingco.com).
Games: Hop Frog (we measured how far each child could make a origami frog hop), Leap Frog and Lily Pad Leap (Tape lily pad shaped paper of 3-4 different colrs on the floor in a circle, play music, when the music stops, you yell out a color. Each child standing on that color collects a trinket.)
We had a circle time about 30 minutes into the party. My son and I sang and acted out "Five Green and Speckled Frogs" from behind the couch with stick puppets I made. The guests quickly joined in. We read "Frog In A Bog" and sang other frog songs.
Snacks were fun! I made Lily Pad dip (spinach dip) with logs (breadsticks). Veggie platter, cheese tray and chips with green pepper frogs holding various dips and spreads. To make the pepper frogs, cut the bottom off of pepper, clean inside thoroughly, cut bottom piece in half to make haunches (secure with toothpicks), and create eyes and wide mouth with cream cheese and sliced olives. We also had lily pads cut from spinach tortillas with a bloom of pink smoked salmon cream cheese and frogs made from mozzerella balls cut in half.
The cake was a triple layer chocolate cake with a blue pond ringed with green fruit leather "rushes" and mini marshmallow cattails. I had to add a waterfall of blue frosting down the side of the cake at my son's insistence. I cut fruit leather lily pads out and placed a small green toy frog on each, along with a water lilly candle. To accompany the cake, I made frog sundaes. A scoop of vanilla ice cream, rolled in green sugar, with white jelly bean eyes dotted with black icing. They had black icing mouths with a red licorice whip curling out to form a tongue (so they looked a little like the invitation.)
Decorations: All of my sons frogs came to the party (luckily they are all plush) decked out with party hats and lined our mantle. My son helped me make a small army of toilet paper tube frogs that were scattered around the house, as well. Small "squishy" frogs hid everywhere: houseplants, furniture, windowsills. etc. I used frog fabric to swag the kitchen windows and built cardboard rushes and cattails for the living room to set the mood.
Finally, the favors. I hand made 6x6 felt bags and ironed on a handcut frog applique. I painted their names on each, and filled them with froggy fun: tattoos, glow-in-the-dark frogs, bath squirting frogs, and light up keychain frogs (really, if you don't know about orientaltradingco.com, you are missing out), gummy frogs and the like. I highly recommend frogs as a theme. There are so many options out there as they are such collectible little fellows. It was so much easier than last year, when my sons insisted on worms for his third birthday theme.