Silly Lily's Clown School Party 1yr
Laurel in Somerdale, NJ, USA
July is a busy month for our family. Our oldest daughter just turned ten with a 10th birthday bash in early July which I have shared with your site and now our youngest just turned one at the end of the month. And my oh my what a July... Turning one is so much fun! As our daughter's first birthday approached, we decided to plan a small, more intimate gathering of family and close friends. I love planning birthday celebrations so I knew I had to come up with something fun and special for our daughter (she is our fourth child). Our other children and guests ages ranged from 2 - 10. We were expecting about 20 children. I considered hiring a clown & then came up with the idea for her party as I browsed Party City. I was inspired by the clearance items available in the graduation section which promote school spirit. Our daughter's name is Lily & I got to thinking why not have our own clown school. So Lily's 1st Birthday became Silly Lily's Clown School. Invitations: Invitations went out prior to my finalizing the idea but they fit in perfectly. I used decorative paper that I bought at the dollar store a couple of years back that had a party hat and colorful border. I printed the invites myself. We had a Friday early evening celebration. The invites included a saying I found online; One little candle, one little cake, one first year to celebrate and then I included a clipart picture of a cupcake with one candle. We noted on the invitation that appetizers would be served at 5:00, sweets and treats at 6:00 and sweet dreams to our birthday girl at 7:00. Decorations: In lieu of spending money on helium balloons, I decided to use flowers, curling ribbon and the sweet treats as the decor. We made a sign on the front door that read Welcome to Silly Lily's Clown School with a cute clipart picture of a clown. As the guest approached the front door, a bubble machine was blowing. I also had a table in the foyer with a floral arrangement with pinwheels (left over from my 10 year olds birthday party a few weeks earlier) and a homemade sign from Microsoft that had a bubble effect with colorful letters that read Lily is 1! The sign was framed and displayed on a stand. (All things we had around the house). We also had Lily's picture taken the day prior to her party which was her actual birthday. We displayed the picture of the birthday girl in her beautiful sunflower and daisy tutu holding a #1. The tutu was purchased at Violet's Velvet Box online. What an amazing purchase! The tutu was exquisite. Sunflowers were the theme from our wedding so I could not resist the adorable tutu. Plus the tutu was in navy blue with white daisies which was the same color scheme for our other daughter's first birthday dress. She just turned ten. It was perfect! Our birthday girl was wearing a cute one piece 1st birthday girl outfit purchased at Target as the guest arrived ( a gift from her aunt)! She then changed mid-party to the tutu with a simple white onesie with ruffled gatherings on the arms. I used all of my fine china and crystal vases to display the flowers purchased at our local food store for $10.00. The flowers were all white and yellow. The most unique idea I had was to display some of the flowers in our daughter's bottles. Since we were preparing to say bye bye bottles, I thought how cute that would be. The bottles posed as vases. Everyone commented on how adorable and creative that was. The dining room was where we displayed the giant cupcake handmade by her aunt with colorful sprinkles. The sweets table also included cute long stemmed lollipops in bright summer colors displayed in a vase and adorable cookies in the shape of the #1 in pink and yellow sprinkles with polka dots which were handmade by a friend who has a business ($1.00 a cookie). We hung the curling ribbon in pink and yellow from the chandelier. I also placed a large party hat purchased at Party City on the table. It was very festive and complimented the sweetness and silliness of the day. Activities: Since we had a wide range of ages, I had a niece and her friend help out. I bought some tattoos and used bubbles to entertain the children as we got settled and ate pizza. It turned out to be one of the hottest days of the summer so we had to improvise a little to keep cool and move in and out of the house. Once the children were settled, I explained that they were going to be participants at Silly Lily's Clown School. My niece had on a large clown bow tie which squirted water and large silly glasses. I bought some clearance clown items like an oversized comb, scissors and boinking hammer to enhance the silliness as I explained what we would be doing at Silly Lily's clown school. We talked about what clowns do and how they looked. So first, all of the children were given items to dress up like a clown. These items were the spirit wigs made with pompom string in different school colors along with spirit beads in different colors(purchased on clearance from Party City). Then my seven year old son demonstrated the rest of the clown essentials which included clown noses and silly eyeglasses. My son had a red squeaky clown nose and everyone else got a kit with a red sponge clown nose and glasses (purchased at the Dollar Store). Each child also received a party hat to wear. You can only imagine how excited all of the children, big and little, were to put on the goodies to look like clowns. After everyone began to try on their clown essentials, I explained to the children that in honor of Lily's 1st birthday they had to come up with a silly clown act. The children were so excited. We had a couple of jugglers, a lot of the girls did a silly dance routine, and the boys even sang and did silly dancing. It was so much fun. We announced each act. After the acts, I brought out the birthday girl and had a big surprise for the kids. I had also purchased blowup #1 hands from the school spirit section (also on clearance at Party City). Everyone got one and sang happy birthday to Lily and cheered Lily is one with their blowup hands. How precious! It was priceless. I did spend a bit of time the night before using an air pump to blow them up but it was well worth it. By this time, we moved in for the sweets and treats. Appetizers: The adults had plenty of appetizers to pick from inside and the kids had pizza outside. Sweets and Treats: The birthday girl had a medium sized cupcake with one candle to feast on while the large cupcake made by her aunt was served to the adult guest. The children had small cupcakes decorated with colorful sprinkles purchased from Sam's Club. We also had some other homemade cookies made by a friend. As we gathered around the dining room, we took off the birthday girl's tutu and placed her in her high chair with her own personal cupcake. She also wore her big sister's birthday princess hat with pink marabou. It was a very sentimental moment for us as the house filled with the sweet sounds of Happy Birthday Dear Lily! Favors: The children left with their clown essentials, the blowup #1 hand, a #1 cookie and a small paper bag with polka dots and a cupcake (purchased at Michaels) which contained bubbles and a lollipop. And off to bed the birthday princess did go. It was a memorable party for everyone. It was so silly!!! The thank you cards are a collage of pictures from the party while we sang to Lily and then as she began to eat the cupcake. The collages are entitled; Turning one was so much fun! The thank you pictures also include a certificate congratulating each child who participated in Silly Lily's Clown School. The message also reads thank you for sharing in my first celebration of fun, laughter and love. Everyone is still giggling about how much fun they had as well as how the children still love dressing up as clowns. Overall, the party favors might be considered costly but I figured I would have spent that money if I hired a clown and once I came up with the idea I couldn't resist hosting Silly Lily's Clown School as a celebration of Lily's 1st year of life with smiles and giggles.