As I mentioned the other day, I did a Gardening theme for Hendrik’s 3rd birthday party. I had originally walked around Dollarama with a shopping cart full of Cars party stuff, but I didn’t really know what Cars-themed activities I could have the kids do. I walked past some clay flower pots and thought, Yes! That’s what we’ll do for the party! And thus, the Gardening Party was born.
Invitations - I just invited everyone via facebook, and used PicMonkey to make some collages.
The cake was pretty easy – I searched vegetable garden cakes on Pinterest and came up with this cake (head over here for deets on how to create this yourself). I served it with home-made Fudge Cheesecake Ice Cream, just a modification of this delicious (and VERY EASY) Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream, a scoop of ‘dirt’ (oreo cookie crumbs), and gummy worms.
The first activity, which inspired the party theme, was also easy. I picked up a clay pot for each of the kids 2 years and up. I grabbed a brightly coloured plastic table cloth for $1 and taped it down to the table. I set 1 pot out for each child, took out the paint brushes, doused some Styrofoam trays with paint, and let the kids get to it (after I robed each of them in a paint shirt, of course!).
We found out that the younger ones don’t really ‘get’ the concept of painting the outside of the flower pot, not the inside of the flower pot, so an easy solution to that problem was just turning the pots upside down for those kiddos. Remember to write the child’s name on the inside of the pot before you move it. I moved them to the newspaper lined counter, threw the table cloth in the garbage, and that activity was cleaned up!
The second activity that we did was “Pin the Bee on the Flower”. I just took a sheet of the brown paper that Dollarama had wrapped my flower pots in, cut out a very rough flower, stem, & leaf, and glued them down.
For the Bees, I took out my 1″ circle punch from Micheal’s (I highly recommend having circle punches around for child-crafting stuff – they save so much time & trouble!) and punched a bunch of yellow circles. With my trusty jumbo Sharpie, I drew three curved stripes on each circle, then gave each an eye. I punched as many black or grey circles as I had yellow, cut them in half, and glued them at the top of the stripes to make wings.
Earlier in the week, I picked up a few packs of pre-cut letters on clearance at Target and I used those to letter the game. So easy. I pinned the game up at a child-friendly height, placed a bit of rolled up tape on the back of each bee, and stuck them to the wall above the chart.
It was the first time each of the five kids at the party had played a ‘pin the ____ on the ____’ game, and they all loved it. I used a sleep mask to put over their eyes, gave them the bee, then spun them around in circles and helped guide them to the wall – we had a few pieces of furniture they could have walked into. I didn’t hand out prizes because the kids were having a great time just playing the game.
Supper consisted of Hot Dogs & french fries for the kids and Sausages for the adults. That was it. No mess, no fuss.
For the Goody Bags, I wanted to give the kids things to do rather than just to eat or play with & break. From Dollarama, I grabbed potting soil, some seed packets for flowers & veggies, child-sized gardening gloves, and a ‘carrot’ filled with orange Reece’s Pieces (you could also create the same effect by filling the corner of a large clear cellophane bag with fish crackers, but this was easy & cheap, anyways…). From Target, I picked up some shovels, spades, & rakes (only 1 of the three per child). And, since I’m a #KinderMom and get to spread the Kinder Egg Love around, I threw one of those in for each kid.
And that was it! It was an easy and fun afternoon, though a little chaotic with 14 adults, 5 ‘big’ kids, 3 toddlers, and 2 infants in the house. As much as we could pretend that it was spring during the gardening party, it was simply too cold to spill the party out the front door and onto the porch & yard!