PJ/Stuff Animal Party -5yr- Decorate Pillowcases
Stacie in Atlanta, GA USA
For my daughter's 5th birthday, we went all out but stayed in! She wanted to do Build A Bear" but I like to do birthday parties at home. So we combined the two and held a "Sorta Sleepover" which included having her guests stuff their own new bedtime pals! Here was what we did:
The invitation: Using scrapbook supplies I cut out a paper doll and added purple printed pajamas using white puff paint to outline the shirt and pants and tiny buttons glued down the front. I used googly eyes and made the dolls look like our intended guests with similar skin color paper googly eyes and the right colored hair. I even drew in glasses for one of the guests! I also glued on bunny slippers I printed out. Then I created a folded 5X7ish sized card cut to look like a sleeping bag. I used rickrack ribbon along one edge as a zipper had the top edge folded down and had a pillow cut out and glued on the inside. There was a small piece of velcro holding the sleeping bag closed and the doll inside. The pillow said "______'s 5th Birthday!" The outside of the sleeping bag said "You're Invited to a 'Sorta Sleepover'!" The inside left side read: "You'll need your sleeping bag and your pillow too!/ _____ is having a Pajama Party and inviting you!/ You're invited for an exciting pillow fight / And everything else except spending the night!/ Games cake and a new special Friend -/ But the sleepover part is what's pretend! The inside right (under the pillow) said: "_____'s 5th Birthday is a "Sorta Sleepover! Date:______ /Time: 5:00pm (in time to have dinner here!) until 8:00pm (in time to go to bed at home!)/RSVP: _______/Please wear your favorite jammies and slippers and bring a sleeping bag or blanket and pillow!" Note that I forgot to say where! So I added a sticker teddy bear holding a printed lovie blanket that had the address and directions to our house listed on it. These were mailed and I printed out return address labels that had 5 counting sheep jumping across the top with our address underneath and for the guest's addresses I used a clipart moon wearing a PJ hat. These invitations turned out so cute that we took pictures of all of the "guests" in and out of their sleeping bags before mailing them out!
Decorations: We kept the decorations simple since we knew the main event would be pricier. We used bright purple green pink and turquoise solid table clothes napkins plates balloons etc. We had lullaby music playing as the girls arrived. A friend had rented two children's height long tables and chairs for a party earlier in the day so we set these up in the living room to keep the kids all together for the activities and eating. We used the basement to lay out the girls' sleeping bags (or blankets) for the games.
A) On arrival the girls decorated a pillowcase with fabric markers on which we had ironed on a picture that said "Sweet Dreams and Best Wishes ______!"
B) Each girl picked a present out of a basket containing a necklace I had made earlier (each necklace was different in color combination for use later the necklace was ribbon with pony beads on either side of a pastel star 9 for $0.99 from the Christmas ornaments at Walmart).
C) We recited the poem "Star Light/Star Bright" and then played the song "When you wish upon a star" and I had someone carry out a covered basket that had a gold mylar star balloon attached and floating above. I had all of the girls wish for something to help them sleep and when they opened there eyes there were all of the unstuffed sheep (purchased on Ebay for about $6 each) each wearing a necklace that matched one the girls' were wearing to identify whose was whose.
D) I had set up five stations for the sheep stuffing with signs and adult manning each station - 1 Stuffing and Fluffing (stuffing box bowl of hearts to add) 2 Splish Splash (toy bath tub blowdryer to blow off extra fuzz lavendar spritzer) 3 Name that Sheep! (small office supply tags with an added mini cow bell - girls decorated with markers with their sheep's name one side and their name on the other side) 4 Adoption (measuring tape for height postage scale for weight Papa at the computer entering info and printing little forms for each girl that said Adoption Certificate/ (sheep's name) is hereby adopted by (girl's name) on (date) for the occasion of (birthday girl's name)'s birthday! There were also spaces for height and weight to be entered. 5 Sheep Need Sleep Too! (Photo opp on my daughter new's bed - she moved out of a toddler bed for her 5th birthday present from us read a story "When Sheep Sleep" and received a sheep sized sleeping bag made from $1 store fleece blankets to use for the sheep and for goody bags.
E) We then ate Breakfast for Dinner (see below).
F) After eating the girls trooped down to their sleeping bags where we played a slipper relay (all girls put their slippers in a pile divide in teams and race to get their own from the pile and put them on); musical sleeping bags (could also use pillows for this instead as the sleeping bags proved a bit slippery!) used the song Mr. Sandman and Goodnight Sweetheart; flashlight limbo used the song The Lion Sleeps Tonight; and a pillow fight freeze dance used the song Dancing in the Dark.
G) After games we came up and had cake (see below) and opened presents I followed a tip from another submission for this one and set up to chairs by the presents. Each child held their present until their name was called and they went and sat next to my daughter while she opened their gift. We got cute pics of the birthday girl with each child individually this way and she hugged each friend and said thanks etc. right away. I personally don't believe in saving presents for after because I feel like this is how kids learn to be gracious and also because the children giving the presents often don't understand why their gift isn't opened or feel like it wasn't wanted if they don't see it get opened.(Sorry for the soap box speech but the two chair method worked really well!) Costumes: All of the girls wore their pajamas as did many of my daughter's dolls and stuffed animals. My neighbor her teenage daughter who helped at the party and I also wore our pajamas!
Party Snacks: We served breakfast pancake bar with toppings of butter fruit and syrup; bacon; sausage bread rolls; mandarin oranges; and different juices. We also had sugar cookie Zzzzs and Teddy Grahams. Cake: My mom who makes fantastic realistic cakes made a replica of _____'s new bed using graham crackers dipped in white chocolate for a head board and fondant to make the quilt.
Favors: The girls went home with their Sheep and sleeping bag for the sheep as well as prizes from the games (everyone got all of the prizes) toothbrushes (5 for $1 at the $1 store); bath poofs and body wash (8 for $5.99 at Big Lots); and lip gloss rings (4 for $1 at the $1 store). In addition we passed out To Go brown lunch bags with a banana mini cereal box apple juice box napkin and spoon for each girl to have breakfast in the morning since they weren't spending the night.
After the party we printed Thank You notes with a photo of everyone with their sheep on ____'s new bed using a Walmart photo card with purple polkadots on a green background and then added a personal message to each card. We also sent out a slideshow of the photos taken at the party using Snapfish. This birthday turned out to be very special and too cute! My daughter and her friends are still talking about it. All told it probably cost the same as going to the mall store to make a stuffed animal but the girls got a greater variety of activities as well as the food etc. that going to the store would not have had. "