Cool Penguin Party -1yr- Waddle Race
Kristina in Columbia, TN, USA
For my son's first birthday party, we decided on a Penguin theme since his birthday is at the end of January.
I found an adorable penguin onesie, and sweatshirt at Old Navy for him to wear. I found cute penguin iron-ons at the craft store and made matching shirts for myself, my husband and my daughter.
The invitations were printed on white cards with silver snowflakes embossed on the edges as a border. I found these at the party supply store after Christmas for less than $2. The weather's turning colder, and our little man's grown a year older. Slip, slide or waddle to our igloo, to chill out with us on January 22. We'll enjoy some Polar friends fun, Zachary_____ is turning one! Chill out with us for an hour or two, if you can't come waddle we do?
To set the mood, we lined our walkway with snowflake decorations (the kind that light up and that are usually hung for Christmas decorating). A penguin crossing sign at the bottom of the steps was a nice touch too. We decorated with silver and blue snowflakes from Old Navy (they gave us their holiday decorations). I hung 2 huge ones in front of each window. We also painted a large box white and cut out 2 doors to make a snow tunnel. I hot glued the rest of the old Navy snowflakes on the box. I used tulle to cover the entrances. The kids really enjoyed crawling in and out of it. And we got some great pictures. We also hot glued some of the silver snowflakes to the front of my son's highchair, and I added white tulle to the back so it looked like he was sitting on a snow throne. We also hung cardboard snowflakes (also found on clearance) from the kitchen chandelier and the living room fan. Snowflake garlands were hung between the living room and kitchen. We had our guestbook on a table with snowflake place card holders. Each one held a photo of Zach from his first year. This was great because the place card holders are nice and can be used with our regular holiday decorating in years to come.
I decorated the cake with a snow/ocean scene and topped it with an igloo and penguin set that I bought from Oriental trading. I cheated and we ordered the cake from a bakery. I just had them frost it white. I then did all the decorating. They even gave us a free cake for my son to dive into. They also gave me an extra tub of icing for my decorating. I would definitely do this again. It seems like small thing, but it really did save me a lot of time. I sprayed blue cake decorating paint" on the cake sides and also for the ocean. Then made snowdrifts with the extra icing and added a little blue to those. I added the igloo then sprinkled it all with edible glitter. I was really pleased with it. For my son's cake I had the bakery spray the top blue and they wrote Happy First Birthday with my son's name around the edges. I added a piped snowflake and we put his candle in the center of the snowflake.
We got a $3 bubble machine at dollar general and had that going nearly the entire time. The babies loved it. And even the older kids had fun with it. I set up a penguin toy on the coffee table that I found on eBay. The penguins slide down and then waddle back up the top. The baby's loved this and it is a toy that my children can enjoy long after the party is over.
As guests arrived they made themselves snow cones. That was truly the hit of the party. It gave the little guys time to play and really helped break the ice (no pun intended).
On the kids table I put a pale blue table cloth with lots of fake snow in the center. I added a sugar cube igloo that I made (and yes I did often wonder WHY I chose to do that!!). The adults were asked to guess how many cubes it took me. (424). The prize for the winner was a 100 piece penguin puzzle. I also added a penguin S&P set that I found at cracker barrel. We had another kids table for the older kids. This one had the same table cloth and fake snow with a large polar bear and 4 smaller polar bear candles. They were on clearance after Christmas. This was really a great theme for a winter party because you can get so much on sale after Dec. 25. I hot glued foam snowflakes to disposable sippy cups. I found plates and napkins on clearance after Christmas that had penguin and polar bears on them in pale blue and purple. They were so cute.
For food since Penguins eat fish we served goldfish crackers and layered seafood dip with Triscuits. I also added veggies and dip nuts and of course the cake. Instead of ice cream serve snow cream! I had found the cutest recipe for olive penguins but they did not work out very well. The olives kept splittin and I just didn't have the patience after building a 400 cube igloo!
We had older children as well as the babies so for games we played musical polar bears on icebergs. I just laid down one of my blue tablecloths and placed icebergs that I had cut out of poster board. When a child was eliminated he/she got to choose a stuffed polar bear seal or penguin from the prize box (oriental trading). We also played pin the nose on the penguin ( I hand drew this and the kids loved it!) Our last game was so fun. Each child was given a "penguin egg" that I made by filling white balloons with flour (you don't blow the balloon up just use a funnel to fill them with flour). They had to hold the egg between their legs and race. It made them waddle like penguins. We all enjoyed watching that one and we ended up letting them play it several times. Prizes were penguin puzzles (dollar store) arctic animal books for the babies (dollar store) Playdoh and koosh balls.
For goodie bags we filled snowflake party bags (also on clearance) with an igloo penguin paddle ball craft (Oriental trading) candy penguin and polar bear stickers. For thank you notes we included a photo of my son eating his birthday cake. It said "Thanks for coming to my party. I loved chllin' out with you!""