Thursday, May 31, 2012

Child's Play

With school ending soon, the kiddies are ready for three months of playtime. Their parties and play dates may not have the same budget as your wedding or charity gala (if it is…please adopt me!), but the goal is the same: make sure everyone has a darn good time.

There are plenty of routes you can go to make sure that you’re keeping your little guys and gals entertained. From games and colors to sound and food, you can do a lot to make sure the party matches your child’s personality.

The Perfect Pillow Party
First things first: Remove everything you can! For security reasons, you don’t want your child and their buddies hurting themselves on any sharp corners while they’re playing games. And on the other hand, you don’t want your new 64-inch plasma TV to be the casualty of a pillow fight. For those bigger items that you can’t get out of the way, use some double-sided Velcro to stick pillows onto the surfaces, or grab a pack of corner cushions and place accordingly.

Send out pillowcases as invitations, using fabric pens or paints from any art supply store. Get some iron-on letters and pre-customize one for each guest! If the kids want to get artsy, buy some extra ones for them to design their own at the party to take home as a keepsake. 

For snacks, if your pride and joy wants to go for the campy feel, get some marshmallows and get messy with Rice Krispie treats. If you want to stick with the cushiony theme, bake a tray of individual angel food or sponge cakes. 

And of course, end the night with a huge pillow fight!

Dynamic Dance Party
The two most important parts of a dance party are lighting and music. Both of which are easy to take care of.

Dim lighting is essential. Bright lights will make the little peeps self-conscious, which is definitely what you want to avoid at a dance party. One thing you can do to enhance the boogie down feel is to replace your white light bulbs with colored ones. Grab some deep red, orange, or pink ones to make the dance floor feel more like a nightclub. You can even add a disco vibe by buying ones that have reflective surfaces in their glass to give a cool reflection onto the walls.


As for music, it’s as simple as making a playlist on your iPod. Start it off with some current tunes (a little Justin Bieber is always a hit) and then let the kids add their own throughout the night since…well let’s face it, they probably won’t want to groove out to your Madonna and Chaka Khan choices.

Sweets for the Sweets
Give in to your kid's sweet tooth for one day (and then use it against them all year long when they ask for extra dessert!) Grab your significant other and your older children and set up a candy shop right in your living room or backyard. Each table can have a different treat for the children to enjoy.

At one spot, have a variety of ice creams and toppings. Have Oreo crumbs, sprinkles, caramel, chocolate syrup and your favorite candies out for the kids to choose from. You can even add fruit options, to add a smidge of health into the mix.

Next, set up your very own bakery, complete with cookies, cupcakes, and frosting galore! If you want a hands-on activity, give everyone a plain cupcake and put out bowls of different colored frostings and sprinkles for them to decorate with.

Use construction paper and create a Candyland trail going from spot to spot! Make sure to get lots of different colors. And maybe even play a human version of the game to see who finished the whole course first. Treat them with an extra scoop of ice cream!

You can also have jars of candy set out and have the children guess how many pieces are in it. Whoever is closest gets to keep the whole jar!

Whether it’s a pillow fight, boogie down, or sweet talk, it’s easy to take a few simple concepts and take your kids party to a whole new world.  A visit to the art supply store, a walk down the junk food aisle, and an iTunes playlist can go a long way. And hey, if you want to do this with your own adult friends, go for it! I’m ready for a good pillow fight any day. Bring it on!

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