So Penguin Kids challenged me (and you) to come up with some birthday party ideas based on favorite books this month. They will be sending me some books to do this with and also wanted us to use our own favorites. I decided our first party idea would be to the theme of the book My Garden by Kevin Henkes. This is one of my favorite books and Hazel loves reading it still. We shared it a couple years ago with a few different crafts and ideas as part of the Virtual Book Club for Children. This story is about a girl telling us how her garden would be different than her mother's. The girl is very imaginative and it includes things like growing jelly bean buses and shells and having only chocolate bunnies. We decided to start with the table settings.
We made flower plates. Since the flowers in My Garden change colors and even designs we used mismatched plates.(A great way to use all those stray plates leftover from other parties.)
To make the plates I cut out some circles (for the cake size plate I used a 3-inch punch and for the larger plates I traced the bottom of a circular stand) and then cut them in half. I found we needed about nine for each plate. I cut the circles from scrapbook paper, but construction paper would also work. Once you have the semicircles you need a plate and a glue stick.
We flipped the plate over and put the glue around the rim of the bottom of the plate.
Then we overlapped the petals (semicircles) around the plate. Make sure the petals are facing forward or you are looking at the back of the paper. Press the petals hard onto the plate to ensure they stick and then you flip it over and it is done.
For the rest of the table I used a green table cloth (I bought one at the Dollar Tree since I did not have one and we are not actually having the party). Then while shopping at AC Moore yesterday I found these neat pieces of scrapbook paper that make the perfect placemats for a My Garden theme. They were on sale: five for a dollar. I wanted them for another use, but figured they were perfect for this as well.
Then I wrapped utensils in a napkin. Yellow was the first color I found. I cut a strip of small scrapbook paper with flowers on it for a band and used some glue stick to wrap it around the napkin and then I attached a fabric flower to the front.
If we were having the party I would decorate with the fluffy flowers like the one we used for Hazel's American Girl Themed Party and the tissue paper flowers we reviewed for Hazel's Minnie Mouse party. I would also have Hazel make some large construction paper flowers to hang everywhere.
For food we would serve vegetables with dip, fruit, and jelly bean bush marshmallow treats like the ones we made in 2012 and maybe some chocolate bunnies or these Chocolate Easter Bunny Cookies. On the list of must haves are strawberries, tomatoes and maybe some carrots even though the book characters mentions them as a dislike. An idea for a cake is to make a cake using a pyrex bowl as the pan (you will probably need two recipes). Flip it over and frost it with green frosting and decorate it with jelly beans as the large jelly bean bush. Or make a sheet cake and frost it with chocolate frosting. Use flower candles or picks to make it a garden.
A craft for the party and a favor would be to make My Garden bracelets. Since we were not making them for an actual party, we bought some small things of beads and buttons, but if we were doing them for a party I would look for better prices. We wanted to have keys, umbrellas (which we did not get), birds, butterflies, jelly beans, strawberries, flowers, buttons, chocolate rabbits (we used lavender ones), shells and tomatoes (which we never found). We found some patterned flower buttons and used some flower beads as our morning glories. The strawberries are buttons as well as are the birds.
If I was doing them for a party I would get the following beads from Oriental Trading: Spring Beads, Goldtone Keys on a Ring Charms, Jelly Bean Beads (we actually used these and will be reviewing them soon), 1/2 Lb. of Fabulous Flower Pony Beads, Polymer Fruit-Shaped Beads, and Leaf Beads. I found some chocolate bunny beads and umbrella buttons on ebay and Esty. I would also get some shell beads which are available many places.
Then for an activity at the party I would use our tomato ball to play hot potato or something of that sort. (I found some large red beach balls on Oriental Trading that would work for this or could be another craft for kids.)
Another fun, quiet activity would be to provide kids with stickers, buttons, etc. to make a picture of what they would want in their own garden. For more ideas to go with My Garden for a party or crafts checkout my Pinterest Board. Now for the challenge! What is your favorite or your child's favorite book? Can you think of some fun things to make a birthday party themed on it? If you can, start a Pinterest Board for it this month. I would also love it if you would share your book and board in my comments! I can't wait to see what you come up with!! I will be doing more book based party ideas all month so make sure you check back with us!!