All American Bash 1yr
Holly in Andover, NJ
For my son's first birthday, we had an "All American Birthday Bash". To get guests into the spirit of the day, we filled flag invitations with lots of flags and star confetti. We asked the guests to show their American spirit and wear red, white, and blue. For decorations, we used lots of star balloons and lots of red, white, and blue confetti. We also raided the dollar store for lots of flag banners, flags, and pinwheels and spread them throughout the yard. We set up various tables throughout the yard. When the guests arrived, we had a table set up with a popcorn machine on it ( we did find real popcorn bags at oriental trading). Next to the table, we had a collage set up with the birthday boy's picture throughout his first year. As each guest arrived, they were given an Uncle Sam hat and a patriotic lei. We had a basket set up on a table with a birthday program on it. We used the computer to make a program with a welcome letter, a menu, a facts about the birthday boy page, a photo collage, a schedule, and to end it all, a thank you from the birthday boy (a GREAT hit.)I posted a schedule up and the kids loved watching to see what was coming next. For food, we served the children hot dogs from an authentic hot dog cart and had lots of snacks scattered throughout the grounds. Everything was served in patriotic serving dishes. Every dish, plate, napkin, cup and utensil carried out patriotic theme. We served drinks in patriotic sip bottles that were labeled. For a craft, we gave the children a choice of either making an Uncle Sam Flower pot or for the younger children, a patriotic picture frame. Of course, we had an Uncle Sam piñata but when it came to games, we had a variety of ages (1-12) so instead of traditional party games, after the piñata, we had huge bins filled with yoyos, hula hoops, beach balls, and bubbles. We dumped them out and the kids had a ball. When they were done, they were allowed to bring all the great stuff home. I did purchase an Uncle Sam bean bag toss but they were more excited with the bin to even notice. I have learned that kids love lots of cheap stuff. I did not forget the adults when in came to the games. I had several poster boards made up with games for them such as "Guess the birthday boy's current weight" and "birthday boy trivia." For prizes, I gave out lottery tickets. For a cake, I purchased a first birthday plate with bears and had the baker redo the colors to the party colors. Of course, we also served apple pie and ice cream. For favors, I filled red/blue buckets with cars, necklaces, patriotic pencils, notebooks, headbands, and lollipops. For the toddlers, I even found patriotic Playtex sip cups, (parents loved these). To close the night out, I had coloring sheets (which were downloaded) and crayons out on a picnic table to help the kids wind down. The kids had the best time and can't wait to come back for my other ones fourth birthday (in the Jungle). One word of advice when planning a party like this, you find that Oriental Trading, the internet, and the dollar stores are your best friend.