If you’re like me you probably never really believed the ‘old’ people in your life when they talked about how fast time flies as you get older. Well, take it from me – it does! It’s pretty surreal how quickly the time goes as we get older and when you have a child, forget about it – blink and 2 years have passed!
My son turned two the first week of March. Last year, I was still in such a new, work-outside-the-home, pumping, mom haze that his 1st birthday wasn’t ultra planned. We did a monkey theme and it was cute and all but I didn’t go all out (except he did have an awesome cake – my dad’s cousin owns a bakery).
This year however, THIS YEAR, we went all out! I was pretty excited because this year he would have more of an idea of what was going on and could get excited about the decorations, etc. I think it goes without saying, the party was also so much more fun to plan due to the existence of what else…Pinterest!
Over the summer and early fall Campbell was really into Elmo and Sesame Street, like so many other toddlers. After coming across so many cute Sesame Street images on Pinterest I was sold and started pinning away! By starting the planning so soon I was worried his interest would wane so I would periodically ask him “are you excited for your Sesame Street party”? And I always got an enthusiastic “yes!” I even showed him a printout of all the photos I had pinned so he could connect. In January, my mom started talking about giving him a Mickey Mouse party, and I even thought about Thomas the Train because he really loves them both too. Although I was pretty much not going back, we did offer him the choice, and he kept picking Sesame Street – whew!
So, without further ado, here’s how we pulled it together! Oh, let me say up front, I got pretty much all my ideas from Annie’s Eats who did this theme for her son’s 3rd birthday, this awesome blog that Jess told me about who did it for her daughter’s 2nd birthday, and this great party planning website. I had a ton of help from my mom and aunt. They did most of the hard work actually; I did a few special things, and of course was just the mastermind who pulled all the ideas from the Internet! As expected, everything didn’t turn out like they did it, but we were happy.
I got the invites from this Etsy shop (note: they seem to be not in business at the time of this post but they may be just on a break). This was definitely the best way to go, they were $12 bucks and I could print as many as I needed – which was 21! The downside was that they were 5×7 and I had a little bit of a hard time finding envelopes.
My aunt made this sign for the door, it doesn’t look quite like the one from the G&D blog but it’s close!
We blew up balloons and twisted them onto a stick to line the drive way so everyone knew where the party was.
I made his birthday banner just like I did last year, super easy with my Cricut!
We set up a coloring table for the kids since all the kids were under 5 I knew it would just be scribbling, but as long as it kept them busy I didn’t care! I printed the pages from here.
My aunt also made this cookie stand. I was so impressed. The idea originally came from Annie’s Eats and was meant for cupcakes but I wanted it to be for the cookies that would be favors for all the guests.
The cookies were Paula Deen’s Monster cookies – get it? Monsters – Sesame Street characters are monsters? Okay good. That idea was another from Kara’s party planning site photos. I made stickers for the cookies that said “Thanks for coming to Campbell’s party. Enjoy your Monster Cookie!” I made the ‘Thank you’ logo in the middle to look like the Sesame Street sign using MS Publisher – super easy. I made sure to wrap them and note on the sign that they do have peanut butter since so many are allergic (including my bff and her kids).
I love me some tissue paper pom poms! I was excited to make them in bright colors for the party. A lot of the parties from Kara’s party planning website used them. My cousin ended up making them, and we fluffed them up at the party. She made 16, and we bunched them in groups of 4.
I think most of the creative food ideas came from photos from Kara’s party planning website. Many people have done these though. Since the party was at 3:00, I kept it pretty light. I made a spinach and herb dip with Wheat Thins, rainbow fruit skewers, individual servings of veggies (carrots, celery, sugar snap peas), and goldfish – in honor of Elmo’s pet goldfish, Dorothy (they were served in a fish bowl and we used a shovel as a scoop). I made all the signs for the food – similar to those that Annie had made.
I got the water bottle labels from this Etsy shop. Everyone is doing these nowadays but they were still a big hit. We just printed them on a laser printer, cut them out and wrapped them around our water bottles attaching with double sided tape. We just kept them in the fridge overnight as opposed to in a bucket of ice so there was no risk of smearing. We also had juice boxes and sodas -the G&D website had such a cute idea for identifying your cup with labels and a sesame street sticker, using a crayon to write the name!
So the game…I was not thrilled about having to come up with a game that 13 kids under 5 could play. I was very happy to come across the Oscar’s Trash Can Toss idea that Annie’s Eats did. My mom just bought this Rubbermaid bin and we balled up some newspaper! We got a whole bunch of random small prizes and put them in a bag, and after each kid had their turn they got to pick something from the bag. It was so cute when Campbell came running to me to open his prize (yes, I had my mom and aunt facilitate the game – delegate on your child’s birthday!)
The one downside to my trying to keep things simple thought was that my husband said when the game was over the kids asked what game was next! Sorry kids, this show keeps moving, time for cake!
This year we bought the cake from Wegman’s. I think it came out really cute, and it tasted good so I was happy!
In addition to the cake, the real show stopper were the cake pops! My aunt made these, and everyone loved them! She followed the tutorial from Bakerella. They came out so cute. We put them in little decorative trashcans from the dollar store and stuffed it with strips of newspaper.
Although it was no Academy Awards, I wanted great Goodie Bags! I kept finding lots of ideas on Pinterest so had to whittle the contents down to a few fun favorites. Tell me these bags are not amazing?! I got the idea from here and I think ours turned out just as good! My cousin drew the shapes and my mom, aunt and cousin cut them out and assembled the bags. I got the little Play-dohs from Target, I got the stickers from Walmart and this site (same stickers are on the cups). The coloring books came from the local party store where they were on clearance for under a buck each! The crayons came in a pack from Target. And the bubbles were from the dollar store.
We let the kids have their goodie bags during the party in case some of it would keep them busy and interested while we opened presents next! We chose to open presents last (after the game and cake) so if people needed to leave early they could – we opened the presents from those people first. I just didn’t want people to miss out on cake!
Campbell loved eating cake and had a great time opening his gifts. He is such an animated gift opener (like his mama) and said “Wow!” and “Oh nice!” when he opened the gifts – even clothes! There was only one toy he wanted to stop and play with that minute but continued opening the presents nicely. I think he just enjoyed being the center of attention.
All in all, it was a great party. When I would talk to my husband about the plans for the party he started worrying that I was trying to do too much, but once I delegated some items I knew I couldn’t handle and made all my lists and mapped everything out it was fine. I was excited for the day to come and watch it get all pulled together and see how excited Campbell would be. I wasn’t disappointed, he and our guests loved it! If you have any questions about how I made something just let me know!
Oh, and a big thank you to Melissa for alerting me to these Sesame Street shirts for the whole family! My husband was a good sport in wearing his for the party :). Campbell thought it was so cool.
I almost forgot, the thank you cards were bought from this shop on Etsy – she made me a special listing though because I wanted to include a picture of him with his big kid hair cut.