Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Daniel Tiger's 3rd Birthday Party!

Having a little kids party is always fun but when it's a member of your own family it can be a blast! However this theme is a fairly obscure one in the animation world and really obscure in the party goods world! So finding stuff for this party was a real challenge and some of it had to be custom made or DIY'd in order to have it fit the theme.
 First off were the invitations! Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood is an animated version, sort of, of Mr. Rodger's Neighborhood on PBS. While he is very loved by every kid we know, he's not yet loved by the mass marketers. So we turned to Etsy for help!

 When people arrive you need to make sure that they know where to go. The family had just moved so it was the first time a lot of the guests had even visited the new house! We put out a sign and a couple of balloons to wave in the wind to get the guests attention.
 This door sign was printed on a computer and then backed with a few different colors of scrapbooking paper. 
 After guests were greeted at the front door they were led into the main room where this custom printed poster (thanks to an Etsy vendor again!) was waiting for them to enjoy. And, no, that isn't a typo. Parker calls his Mama, Moggy instead of Mommy! 
 Tory hand made the banners for over the fireplace and food table. Printed circles were backed with two types of scrapbook paper and then tied together with ribbon for hanging. She added a Daniel Tiger book as well as a Trolley toy to dress the mantle.
 The grand display was in the dining area. Dollar store plastic tablecloths were draped from different areas in the dining room into the center, secured with push pins, and then coordinating balloons were added to the center. Number 3 balloons in orange were paired up with red ones to flank the food table which was filled with pizza, garlic bread and fresh strawberries!
 We tied the balloons together first before securing their strings to a hook in the middle of the ceiling and then we let the strings hang down a bit before trimming them off just at head level.
Tory made custom water bottle labels (her specialty) and there were also sodas and juice for the guests.
Most of the kids were under the age of 3 so we kept the activities to the outdoors and simple. Sidewalk chalk, bubbles and little kid basketball were a hit with all of the kids.
But they each seemed to love the sidewalk chalk most of all. Even the oldest of the kids grabbed a piece of chalk and drew their own works of art!
The grown ups got into the act as well. Both boxes of chalk were purchased for under $8!
 Then it was time for cake! The cake table was decorated with one of each type of balloon, more of the Daniel Tiger squares as well as other sweet treats for the guests. 
 The "Tiger Tails" were a DIY project. Pretzel rods were dipped into orange candy melts and then drizzled with dark chocolate candy melts, set up in the freezer before being bagged up. But there was a lot of the chocolate left over so another cookie sheet was covered in parchment and the left over pretzel pieces were crushed and then covered with the left over orange chocolate. Finally the left over dark chocolate was dizzled over that and all of it was put in the freezer to set up. Once set it was chopped up into long thin pieces and bagged up for the guests as well! These were a huge hit!
 The main favor were these wonderful Daniel Tiger themed cookies from Snickerdoodle Sweets! We really can't recommend this vendor highly enough. The artistry is amazing and they are SO yummy! She even ships so if you don't live in Northern California you can still get these! Check out her site and you will find yourself amazed at her artistry!
 The cake is, of course, from Cat's Cakes! The benefit of having a Nana that is a cake artist is that you will always get a great cake for your birthday! The big Daniel and the Trolley are actually edible transfers and the other characters are licensed figurines. 
 The inside of the cake was "tiger" too! It's actually a very simple technique where you start with one color of batter and place a ladle full of another color onto the center of the first color and then just alternate till the pan is 2/3'rds full. Something about the way a cake bakes and rises makes it stripe up like this!
The favors had a coloring sheet, a tiger tail, some tiger bark, a few Hershey Caramel Hugs as well as a Daniel Tiger cookie for the boys and a Katerina Kitty Kat cookie for the girls.
All of these goodies were placed into tiger striped goodie bags right as they were leaving the party as a sweet little Thank You for Joining us gift for each little guest!

It does take a little work to have a great "At Home" party but if you are willing to do a little DIY then you can not only save money but also be able to have a theme that may not be readily available in stores! Just make up some "accent pieces" and then use solid colored paper goods to coordinate with your theme!

See you next time!