Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Allie's Tangled Birthday Party

We always celebrate the kids' birthdays each year with a small family party, but we decided a while ago that on their sixth birthdays we would hold a "friend" party as well.  Allie has known about this milestone for quite some time and began planning her very first friend birthday party in celebration of turning six this past spring. 

The only problem?  She turns six on November 24....meaning, we have had well over seven months of birthday party planning from a very excited soon-to-be six year old.  Now, I know I can be a little crazy in the birthday party planning department, but Allie's sixth birthday party was definitely not on my radar last May (which was extremely troubling to Allie because it has been of utmost importance to her since she turned five). 

Anyway, my birthday party planning lunacy kicked in around mid-October when we officially decided on a Tangled birthday party theme with Allie's favorite princess, Rapunzel.  After lots of brainstorming and looking for ideas online, I think we came up with a pretty awesome party. 

Ready for some pictures? 

First up, decorations.  We decided to host the party in our basement family/play/game/craft/exercise/laundry-folding room.  The space was pretty full of furniture and toys, so we cleared out as much as possible to make room for the dozen 5-6 year old girls that would be coming to the party. 

Here's what we came up with:

This was the sign Allie made to hang by our basement stairs.

I actually don't think the pictures do it justice.  It looked so amazing!  The time I spent sponge-painting those flags was well worth the effort.  Ben was the mastermind behind hanging them all (which took a lot longer than I anticipated), but I'm fairly certain that he felt the same way when it all came together. 

I think the most fun part of the entire party was watching the girls' faces as they ventured downstairs and took their first peak into the room.  Allie was completely thrilled and was more than willing to pose for a few pictures amidst all the Rapunzel decor:

Because several of the girls we invited were from Allie's kindergarten class and had not ever been to our house before, Ben manufactured this cool balloon and flag banner that he set up in the front yard.  Unfortunately, because it was super windy and snowing outside, it was completely destroyed by the end of the party.  Thankfully, it stayed intact long enough for everyone to locate our house easily. 
Once the girls began to arrive, Allie morphed into full hostess mode.  She made sure to talk to every girl, welcomed them to our home, and showed them all where to go downstairs.  We set up the TV with the Tangled DVD so that the girls could all watch a portion of the movie while we waited for everyone to arrive and the official party to begin. 

We planned to begin the party by making paper bag luminaries...reminiscent of the floating lights/lanterns in the Tangled movie.

I made sure to do a lot of the prep work ahead of time:  cutting out the golden tissue paper suns, dividing up beads and pipe cleaners for the handles, punching the holes in the bags for the handles, sorting out tissue paper colors for each lantern, setting out glue sticks and scissors, making sure there were crayons if the girls wanted to color, etc.  I also purchased some flameless battery-operated tea lights so that each girl could take one home and their lantern would really glow. 

I was a little concerned that the craft would be too overwhelming, but it went off without a hitch. 

The girls spent close to 45 minutes decorating their lanterns and the ones that got done early simply colored the Rapunzel coloring sheets I printed online.  When everyone was finished, we made sure to turn on all the tea lights and turned off all the overhead lights so that we could all see everyone's glowing lanterns. 

After the craft, we divided up into two groups for games.  I made name tags prior to the party, ones with pink flowers and ones with purple flowers, so that we could easily divide into two groups.  Ben took one group and supervised a game of toss the bean bags into the frying pan (a frying pan because Rapunzel's defense weapon of choice was a cast iron frying pan) and I led the other group in a rousing game of pin the braid on Rapunzel.  Unfortunately, we didn't get many pictures of the games because both Ben and I were a little preoccupied at the time.  I did manage to get a shot of both the pink and purple groups after playing pin the braid:

Bingo was next up on the agenda.  I managed to find a website that generates free bingo cards and call cards (with words or pictures or a combo of the two) and I would highly recommend it.  It was great to have a game that all the girls could participate in at once instead of having to wait for a turn.

Our last game (which I have no pictures of) was a pass the present game.  I wrapped 15 fun-size packages of M&M's in one small box, nestled in another wrapped box, nestled in another wrapped box, and another, and another....you get the idea.  I think when it was all said and done, there were about 15 layers of wrapping on that box.  We then had the girls gather in a circle where they passed the present to each other to music from Tangled

After all the girls were happily sugaring themselves up with M&M's, we gathered round for Allie to open her presents.

She got lots of cool girly things:  a Barbie doll with pink platform shoes, princess craft items, color-your own stuffed animals, a color-your own book a bag, a horse board game, a Rapunzel figurine, a Rapunzel stuffed doll, a glittery Minnie Mouse t-shirt, a stuffed horse in a purse (called a "Pucci Pet"--haha!), and a walking stuffed dog...to name a few.  She did a great job of thanking her friends after opening each gift. 

Since we didn't have a lot of time during the party, we read through the girls' birthday cards afterward and it was so fun for Allie to see all the pictures they drew and read their kind words.  She is really excited to get started on thank you cards!

Cupcakes followed the present opening:
We all made sure to sing "Happy Birthday" to Allie and watched her blow out her candle:

The girls also enjoyed pretzels and caramel corn in addition to their chocolate cupcakes.  To drink, we served ginger-ale floats with raspberry sherbet. 

By the time we were finished with cupcakes, parents were already arriving to pick up the girls.  Allie happily handed out the treat bags and thanked everyone for coming.  While we waited for the rest of the parents to arrive (the snow had started falling and the roads were getting slick and delaying quite a few parents), the girls continued coloring and watching Tangled. 

In short, the birthday party was a blast.  Upon leaving, one girl even told me to make sure that I send her an invitation for Allie's birthday party next year.  I'm not sure how we are ever going to top this party, but I think Allie and I are already up for the challenge come next year!


Kelley @ TheGrantLife.com said...

looks like a super cute birthday party! the decorations are amazing! great job :)

Jen D said...

Thanks Kelley--I'm actually not sure who had more fun...me or Allie :)