Covid restrictions have finally been lifted so let the party planning resume!
After months of indoor gathering limits, we can finally get back to planning parties for any occasion and celebrate with our family and friends.
Regardless of what your favourite holiday of the year is, there is something about birthdays that stand out as extraordinary and fun. In fact, they are a slice of cake above the rest.
Birthdays don't discriminate. They are a holiday that everyone has in common regardless of religion or race.
It's the one day a year that is all about YOU.
You don't have to take turns opening gifts.
You don't have to buy gifts for anyone.
You're not being judged by an oversized mystery man in a red suit.
You have the opportunity to celebrate surrounded my family and friends. IF that is what you want.
You are serenaded by your guests in off pitch notes as they sing happy birthday to you. It's awkward, but it may make you reconsider pursuing your childhood dream of being a singer. You can do it!
And you even get to make a wish! Results not guaranteed, of course.
Cake. Did I mention Cake?
Life should not only be lived, it should be celebrated - Osho
Birthdays are a BIG deal around here because they are the perfect opportunity to celebrate life and showcase my love for crafting.
Like in all aspects of my life, I tend to overdo it and overextend myself when planning a birthday party.
Pinterest boards are created months in advance, I become obsessed and get into crazy pinning mode. Everything must be colour coordinated even though I am fully aware noone probably notices or actually cares if my plastic cutlery matches the streamers perfectly. #timewellwasted
Crafting Party Perfection
Themed birthday decorations are my favourite thing to craft:
🎉 Cake toppers
🎉 Loot bags
This past June, my youngest son turned 7. Like most children his age, he became obsessed with Minecraft. Even though this was his second Covid birthday, I didn't skimp on the party planning. In fact, I needed to make it even more special since he could not invite his friends and celebrate like we usually do.
So, I combined his love for crafting with blocks and my love for crafting with my Cricut and started brainstorming to plan the best Minecraft themed party ever!
With the help of my Cricut, I am now able to host birthday parties like I wish I could have when my older sons were growing up. In fact, some of my favourite memories are now planning birthday parties with my youngest son Mason.
Regardless of the theme, I always create an activity that my son can do to help prepare for his birthday party. This helps build his excitement for the big day and lets us spend time together doing something we both enjoy.
Fun, fun, fun
We have also made it a tradition to celebrate birthdays with a pinata stuffed with candy and toys. It's fun to watch the kids and the young at heart adults take turns hitting the target.
The scramble to pick up the goodies is fun and takes me back to the days before everyone was declared a winner in everything they do. Kids needs some competition in their life to motivate them to try hard and learn new skills. But, that's a topic for another day.
You might not always be able to find a pinata that matches your theme, but that doesn't mean that you have to settle for a party without one. Get crafty instead!
For Mason's 5th birthday party we worked together to decorate his pinata. The thrifty and crafty side of me didn't want to pay for an "official" Pokemon licensed pinata but, I also didn't want to make one the old fashioned way with a balloon and sticky strips of newspaper.
Instead, to save some money and create an activity that my son could do to help prepare for the party, we decided to convert a simple soccer ball pinata into a Pokeball. Due to the soccer ball pinata's unpopularity, it was in stock at our neighbourhood Bulk Barn and a less expensive choice. What a score!. Mom: 1 point, Soccer Ball Pinata: 0 points
I carefully removed the black markings from the soccer ball pinata so we would be left with a simple white ball. Then I applied black tape across the middle of the ball to separate the top from the bottom.
To complete the transformation, he painted one of the halves red and we left the other half white to make it look like a Pokeball. Voila! Easy pinata makeover for the win!
Scavenger hunts are the perfect way to keep young kids entertained at a birthday party. They will run off together excitedly to try and find everything on the list. It will keep them busy for approximately a half an hour.
Believe me, you will need this pause for a moment of peace. Mingle with the parents, have some of the themed snacks or sit back and admire all your colour coordinated hard work with pride. Once they return from the hunt, they wil be hungry and the chaos will ensue.I made this one by downloading a Minecraft grass block pattern to use as the background and then added Minecraft characters and icons what I wanted the party guests to search for outside. The Minecraft font was downloaded from dafont.com and uploaded into Cricut Design Space. Click here to see for yourself and add it to your font collection.
You can adjust the level of difficulty for your party scavenger hunt by choosing less icons for younger children or children with shorter attention spans.
To make things a little easier for my Minecrafter, I tried to put the icons in places that were associated with the icons. It also helped me remember where they were located just in case he didn't find one and needed a clue and to make cleaning up a breeze.
Children learn best with hands on activities and associating the icon with the located it was hidden in added an educational element to the party game. In perfect mom style, I like to sneak learning in everyday activites as much as I can. Shh, don't tell him.
The "fish" was put near water or in this case, our pool.
The "wheat" was hidden in the wheat field. This one was obvious.
The "spider" was put in the location that we found a spider's nest the week before. #countrylife
Have a Minecrafter in your life? You can use my Minecraft Scavenger Hunt template. Send me an email and I will share it with you.
I also like to create a few games for the kids to keep them occupied and having fun before the cake is served and the sugar kicks in.
Punch games, obstacle courses and water games really engages children of all ages. Busy kids = happy kids.
Everyone loved the "Pokeball Punch" game at Mason's 5th birthday party. Each cup was filled with little toys or treats as prizes with either Pokemon bracelets, tattoos or other surprises. In this game, everyone got a prize. Watching them take turns was MY reward.Sweets and Treats
This year I decided to push my limits and make his birthday cake. Crazy, right?
In the spirit of overdoing it, I didn't just plan to bake a small, round basic cake. Oh no. Instead I planned to create a double decker Minecraft scene. It was the obvious choice for an obsessive, over extending party planner and novice baker.
Suprisingly, it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be.
To make the cake, we used two boxes of Duncan Hines Confetti cake mix. The sprinkles inside were perfect to replicate the redstone, diamonds and other gems that are in Minecraft. Accuracy is key.
Mason helped me decorate the cake with "grass" icing and strategically placed the Lego figures on his cake. He even placed two gummy dolphins in the blue Jello water. So cute!
The cute TNT birthday candle on his cake is my favourite part. Fun fact: Red candles are very, very hard to find.
Click here for our Minecraft cake inspiration.
In my opinion, you can never have enough desserts at a birthday party. Why stop at just cake?
Cookies and Cream cupcakes from Quest for Cakes in Orangeville is my go-to for parties for any occasion. They are delicious, moist (for lack of a better word) and, just like LAY'S® chips, I bet you can't eat just one! I know I can't, so I always order more than I actually need so I don't have to. There, problem solved!
If you're looking for absolute cookie perfection, then Elise from @stuffelisebakes. is your gal. She is the most talented cookie artist I have ever seen. I discovered her by chance on Instagram and I am happy I didn't just scroll on by.Believe it or not, these amazing custom cookies taste even better than they look. Just, look at the detail!
She's always on my birthday party planning list. No party is complete without her cookies. Follow her on Instagram. She's groovy!
The cups kept his drink separate from others and also doubled as a loot "cup". Fill it with treats and the guests can take home something from the party that they can reuse that will make the party extra memorable.
Remember...The Best Gift is TIME!
Regardless of how you choose to celebrate, take time to enjoy the process and have fun. After all, it's the little things that count. The memories made spending time together will last longer than the expensive gifts that may break and get forgotten about.
Will your children remember the fancy present you bought them for their 5th, 6th or 7th birthday? Not likely, but they will remember the time and love you spent together having fun and cherishing the moment.
I will always remember the conversation I had with Mason while decorating his birthday cake.