Sesame Street -1yr- Pin the Nose on Elmo
Madelyn's in No. Haven, Connecticut...USA
When my daughter, Madelyn, turned one we choose the "Sesame Street 1st Birthday" as her theme. She absolutely loves Elmo! I purchased most of the paper goods through Birthday Express online.
The decorations, colors and balloons were wonderful! Very bright and cheerful. To make this easier to share my ideas with you, I listed what else I did, rather than write a paragraph. I hope you are able to use some of these ideas. I got compliments on how great everything was, and it really wasn't a lot of work. Most of my ideas I researched and found on the internet. See what works for you.
Please note: we had about 9 children attend that ranged in ages 7 months to 10 years old. There were also lots of family members and parents of little ones who attended. About 40 people in total... I know that's a lot, but my family is Italian and my daughter is the first grandchild. My family is HUGE! Okay... here are my ideas:..............................
1. We worked our party time around my daughter's morning nap time. So the party started at 12:30pm. By having an afternoon party, this cut down on my food cost because I served lunch items, rather than dinner food. (I made sure I had enough time to feed Maddy lunch and dress her for her party before guests started to arrive.)
2. I had all lunch food platters out when guests arrived, so they could pick and eat throughout the day. I served simple things that I made the night before. Our menu included: Buffalo Wings, Breaded Chix. Cutlets, Baked Ziti, Pasta Salad, Regular Salad, Cold Cut Platter with Rolls, Cheese Platter, Mini finger sandwiches with tuna salad, egg salad or chicken salad, Fresh Vegtable Platter, Fresh Fruit Platter, Hot Rolls, Focaccia Bread (Red & White), and then your picky stuff... chips, dip, salsa, guacamola ...etc. We offered Beer & Wine for the adults and soda and juice or milk for the kids. ONE EXTRA FOOD THING I DID: I offered a bowl of "Fruit Puffs" and "Cheerios" for those young teethers attending. I also offered a plate that had a mix of "Bitter Biscuits" and "Zwieback Toasts." It was so cute to see those items on the buffet line amongst everything else.
3. My husband and I hired "ELMO" himself to visit our daughter and her guests. This was something I researched thoroughly. It would have cost way to much to rent the suit and then have someone in our family dress up. So I looked long and hard. I found (locally) a woman who dresses up as a variety of different characters and visits for a much more reasonable fee. She does a half hour as Elmo, dancing to different songs with the kids (30 minutes)...etc. and then changes into "Rageddy Ann" or some other character and does face painting and animal balloon making for an hour. If you live in CT... check her out at www.partyonwheels.com. She is wonderful and I would use her again in a heartbeat!
4. My daughter's invitations I went to JCPenney and had her portrait taken and we ordered "Look Who's One" invitation cards. I also used one of the photos (5x7) we took and put it in a frame with a vary large mat. I put this on an easel by the doorway and asked my guests to sign the mat leaving her a birthday message. This will be a wonderful keepsake for my daughter years down the road.
5. Because ELMO was only staying for about an hour and a half (and I had older kids attending the party) I cleared out the furniture in my dining room and made it a play room for the day. There were tunnels to crawl through, all of my daughter's toys that she shared, tables to sit at with ELMO coloring pages I downloaded, (I am a teacher, so I also had a huge resource bag to dip into to provide my guests with different crafts they could make). I also had a TV set up in the corner of the room with tons of throw pillows on the floor so everyone could sit. I rented about 5 different ELMO movies that we ran them consistently. I am not a big advocate of TV, but because it was my daughter's birthday and many of the ELMO mvies were educational, I allowed it. (ELMO 1-2-3, ELMO A-B-C, ELMO DANCE & SING, ELMO'S WILD WILD WEST, ELMOPOLOOZA...etc.) The kids came and went as they pleased. But it was wonderful to offer them their own little spot at the party. Please know... I had so many adults helping me supervise all the children, it made it so much easier!)
6. I also purchased a "My 1st Birthday" music Cd that played throughout the day as background music for the party. It was pleasant... also available at Birthday Express. I use the CD for car rides now.
7. I had a small ELMO birthday cake that had a special ELMO candle. It was made by the best bakery in my area. I couldn't have been more happy! BUT I also made "Sesame Street" Cupcakes. I got the recipes online and used food coloring to die the frosting. I used marshmellows for eyeballs. and other color frostings to make the faces of ELMO, BIG BIRD, OSCAR, & COOKIE MONSTER. They were a huge hit! I also made suger cookies and used a cookie cutter to cut out the number 1... I served "1" sugar cookies as well. I decorated and frosted these cookies with my daughter's name on them. I got compliments on these too. I also made Carrot Cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, because my husband and I love carrot cake. It was nice to offer a variety of desserts. I also purchased vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream pints for those who wanted it.
8. I offered one activity for the adults... I filled a clear jar up with cheerios and asked each adult guest to guess the number of cheerios. They had to write their guess down on a little piece of paper. The perosn who came the closest was given a $20.00 movie gift card.
9. Inside the kids party play room, I did set up the game "Pin the Nose on Elmo"... although this game was primarily for some of the older children. I had an adult supervise this game for me. Small prizes were given to the winners.
10. When our guests started to leave, each child was given an ELMO party favor box that had a variety of different things in there from a rubber ducky, stickers, pencils, bubbles, and a few other odds and ends. The box itself looked like ELMO's head. I purchased these from Birthday Express also. All in all it was a wonderful experience for my daughter. We videotaped throughout the day and took tons of pictures. Although she was thrown off schedule by taking a later than usual afternnon nap, I wouldn't have changed anything!