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Butterflies and Flowers First Birthday Party

Planning a spring party gives you many themes to choose from such as bugs, butterflies, gardening and flowers, baby animals and baseball!  I chose a butterflies and flowers birthday party for my little girl’s first birthday.  Sure, there are naysayers that insist parties should not be given for a baby since they will not remember the event.  I say, boo hiss, a first party is given for family and friends to celebrate friendship, community and surviving that first year with no sleep. So, I had to plan for various ages and food for whole families.

I started with the invitations and sent out 3 weeks prior to the party:

I learned to smile and laugh, then sit and stand
And I can walk if you hold my hand,

But the fun has only just begun
Because next I will be turning ONE!

You are invited for food and cake
And to help us celebrate!

Then listed the date, time and place.

Many store bought invitations are cute and save time for you to plan the activities and shop for food!


Pot Painting

I purchased terra cotta pots for each child, outdoor acrylic paint and sponges and brushes.  I had this activity first so the pots would have time to dry before we planted flowers.Use a permanent marker to write names on the bottom of the pot before they start to paint.

Pot Flowers:

This is a two adult operation with little ones.  I had a tarp out for this activity which had potting soil, shovels, watering cans and blooming flowers. You could plant seeds.


Egg Hunt:

We did an Easter egg hunt since it was the weekend of Easter.  The eggs were filled with butterfly and spring themed items.  A special section was just for the one year old’s that had fish crackers in them.  It may not sound exciting, but they liked it.

Bubble time:  What little one does not enjoy a few bubbles.

Butterfly Waltz (preschool): Need balloons with butterflies drawn on them. Music. 1 balloon per child. Kids keep the balloons in the air until the music stops, then freeze with their balloon when off.

Butterfly Flutter:

Version of red light, green light where you flap your wings to run.

Coffee Filter Butterfly:

Use an eye dropper to drop paint onto coffee filter, allow to dry and then wrap pipe cleaner in the middle of filter making the butterfly wings. Leave two ends of pipe cleaner up to look like the antennaes.


Snow in a Jar

Shake, shake, shake, little ones love to shake and this activity is perfect for anytime of the year!  With help from an adult children can make a winter scene or any theme throughout year in a jar or bottle.

 Materials Needed:
Empty small jar (like a baby food jar) or plastic water bottle with cap

Hot glue gun or Epoxy glue

Small plastic toy animal (depending on scene)

White rocks for winter scene

Glitter (small cuts of ribbon can be used)


Food coloring, if desired

Use hot glue gun to glue rock and animal to the bottom of jar.
Fill with water and add food coloring if desired.
Spoon in some glitter and glue lid onto jar.
Shake to make it snow!

Other Themes:

Birthday: Find cake toppers such as balloons and use colorful confetti, ribbon or glitter.

St. Patrick’s Day: Use green food coloring, green glitter and you may find small items such as shamrocks to glue to bottom.

Easter:  Use a cross to glue to bottom with gold glitter or use red to represent the blood. Pastel colors can also be used with any Easter confetti.

Homemade Play Dough

This recipe is a good one for the little ones, just in case they feel like tasting it!


2 cups     flour

2 cups     water

2 TBLS    oil

1 cup        salt

2 tsp         cream of tartar

Food coloring and/or glitter, the color you desire to make.

Stir ingredients and place over medium heat in a pan. I like to use my large fry pan, it seems to cook more evenly.  Cook until the dough pulls away from the side of the pan and is not sticky.  Cool the dough and then knead thoroughly.  Store in plastic bag or airtight container.  The dough will keep for about three months unrefrigerated.

I like to double the recipe if we are planning for playdates or classrooms.

The play dough can be used for free play, making letters, shapes and number or small gifts for friends.

Olympic’s Birthday Party

Go for the Gold with this fun party theme. Plan a fun summer get together or a birthday party using the summer Olympics as your theme. Children will enjoy being a part of their own Olympic games!


Start by sending the guest their first gold medal. Cut circles out of gold poster board or cardboard sprayed with gold paint. Attach a colorful ribbon so children can wear their new medal around their neck. Write the party details on one side and “winner” on the other side. Or you can write the invitation on a separate piece of paper and have the child wear their medal to the party.

Gold Medal Cake:

Bake two round layer cakes and cool. Use yellow frosting to decorate and then place second layer on top. Cover the top layer with the yellow frosting as well. Attach a large ribbon to make the medal’s neckpiece. you can write “Happy Birthday, Winner!” or Go for the Gold for a summer party. You can find tiny country flags to decorate around the cake.

Or, you can bake three round cakes and color three separate colors with ribbons to represent the Olympic medals.

Ideas for Prizes or Gift Bags:

• Ribbons and trophies
• Chocolate gold coin medals
• Inexpensive sporting equipment like hula hoops, frisbees and balls.
• Any items you may find relating to the United States or other country flags or olympics.


• Any Olympic memorabilia or posters.
• Posters or items from around the world to create an international atmosphere.
• Hang medals and ribbons or make a large one out of paper to decorate.
• Use a trophy as a centerpiece.
• Make place mats out of different country flags.
• Red, white and blue streamers (or the country colors you are from)
• A podium with three levels, you can use steps or stools for this.
• Make a banner with the Olympic rings on it to welcome guests.

Use sports, patriotic or Olympic themed plates and decorations. All available at party stores or on-line stores like Birthday in A Box. Click below to see more themes and ideas.


Games and Activities:

Decorate Flags
Have outlines of country flags available to color for a beginning activity to keep the children involved while waiting for all of the guests to arrive. The children can use these to tape to a wooden dowel to use in the opening ceremony.

Opening Ceremony
Have the birthday child lead a parade with a torch, a paper towel tube wrapped in foil and stuffed with orange, red and yellow tissue paper. The other guests follow with their country flag. The birthday child ends up where the games will begin!

Olympic Games
Set up a series of games or events for everyone to complete. Depending on the age of the children you can design an obstacle course or mini-games. Some examples are crab walk, hopping on one foot ten times, walking on a balance beam (or a piece of rope or tape), throwing a ball through a hoop, long jump, etc.

Silly Olympics
Use fun games to create a silly Olympics such as pie eating, wheelbarrow races, balloon popping, egg toss, three legged race, sack race etc.

Pass the Sand
Divide the group into 2 teams and line them up. Have the person in each line grab a handful of sand from a container. They must pass the sand to the next player, who passes it to the next, and so on down the line. The last player pours what is left of it on a plate. The team with the most sand wins the game. (You may have to weigh the sand on a food scale.)

*Try to include group games so everyone has a chance to win and make sure everyone gets a medal throughout the party.

Horton Hears A Who Party

This popular book and movie has made Horton a fun themed birthday party and now it is so simple to plan a great birthday party with companies that sell all that you need in one package!

Horton Hears A Who

Click on Horton to see the available product and more party ideas.

Choose a few activities for the party and plan one more “back-up” activity. This can be as simple as a large piece of butcher paper and crayons or having music available for freeze dance.

Decorate a Pot

Terracotta pots are easy to find at any of the craft stores or garden centers and then buy several colors of outside paint. I found paint at Michael’s and written on the label it says for use on terracotta. Write the child’s name with a permanent marker on the bottom before painting. Decorate at the beginning of the party so the paint can dry before planting a flower. I suggest potting the flowers outside, so the children can do most of the activity on their own. What a neat little gift to take home.

Pin The Trunk on the Elephant

Your good old pin the tail on the donkey with an elephant. This can be made with an elephant or if you have the talent make Horton and his trunk. For the little kids, you may want to let them do this without the blindfold. Other versions, pin who-ville on Horton’s trunk or pin the tail on Horton.

Save Who-ville Obstacle Course

Set up an obstacle course appropriate for the age of children attending the party. Each child gets an inflated balloon, otherwise known as Who-ville and they must complete the obstacle course while hitting the balloon in the air and not allowing it to touch the ground. The little kids can just hold the balloon.

Horton Hatches an Egg Contest

Use water balloons for an egg toss, or do the traditional egg race with an egg on a spoon. Split the children in two groups and have a relay race.

Animal Crafts

Animal crafts such as animal safari puppets, animal foam frame and animal beaded bracelets can be bought from an online birthday store, just click Horton below. You can also check any craft store for related craft ideas.

Make an Elephant Trunk

Gray Paint
Paper Towel Roll

Paint the paper towel roll gray. When they are dry punch two holes near one end and tie on some yarn to tie around head.
Elephant Ears Headband

Construction Paper
Crayons or Markers
Stapler or Tape

Cut a strip of paper about 2 inches thick and long enough to wrap around child’s forehead (make sure you make it an inch or two longer so you can staple the ends together.) Now, fold another piece of paper in half and cut out a set of large, floppy ears.
Put the bottom edge of each ear up against the strip of paper and staple or tape them in place. Once the ears are attached, staple or tape the ends of the strip together to snuggly fit around forehead.

Food For A Car Themed Birthday Party

Think round and round for this fast and fun party!


Stop Lights
Frost graham crackers or other rectangular-shaped cookies with yellow icing. Add red, green, and yellow M&Ms to make stop light snacks. This was abig hit at our four-year olds party.

Tortilla Roll Ups or “Wheels”

I took out the seasoning and green chiles for the chlidren.

2 8oz. pkgs cream cheese
1 packet taco seasoning
black olives, chopped
green chiles, chopped
shredded cheese
package of large flour tortillas
Allow cream cheese to soften. Combine first five ingredients and spread on tortillas. Roll up and chill.
Slice into 1 inch rolls and serve with salsa.

*You can add thinly sliced deli meat such as ham or turkey to your tortilla roll ups.


Use a car cookie cutter to cut out sandwiches and serve. Peanut butter and jelly work well. Another option is to buy wheat and white bread and cut out the car shape and swap the cut outs. The wheat cut out would be placed in the white bread and vice versa.


Wheel Pasta – Use the type of pasta that looks like wheels and serve plain, with butter, mac and cheese style, or just add into your favorite pasta salad recipe.

Bake a sheet cake, and frost it white. Use black gel frosting to draw a road around the cake. Place small toy cars on the road as cake toppers. In addition, you can purchase miniature road signs to add to the cake.

Click on picture below to buy race car cake mold and decorating ideas.

Cars – The Movie


Use a round object (e.g. a cookie/biscuit cutter or the top of a glass) to cut out green, yellow, and red “Stop Light” Jell-O Jigglers.

Cars Birthday Party

When my son was turning four he was really into Cars, the movie but has always loved all vehicles. So the theme was easy to pick and I knew he would love it. These ideas can be for all car themes such as hot wheels, speed racer or just cars!

I started right away with buying the gifts and preparing the race track because these things take time! So, for the goodie bags we decided to give two of the Cars characters to each friend along with Cars stickers and other little things. We just ordered these direct from the Disney Store. It turns out these cars were a bit smaller than the ones we bought at KB Toy Store. Oh well. Then I contacted my dad to ask about how I could make a down hill race track, I was thinking wood. He had some really heavy cardboard and took over the task of race track maker and he did awesome. He painted the heavy cardboard black, applied wood to keep it sturdy and painted a strip to have two lanes. This was supposed to be out in our lawn area but the weather was cold and it snowed that day, we live in the desert so the likelihood of snow was not even a chance. What a birthday present! Anyway, we put the track on the patio and moved the rest of the party and arts and crafts inside.

Decorating Ideas:

-Checkered flags put outside or throughout party area.

-Make road signs and put throughout party area, or use smaller ones to write the food items on if hosting a lunch.

-Use chalk to make a road to your front door from the street to welcome guests.

-Using large (appliance) cardboard boxes make the Radiator Springs town or make cars for children to race around in. These can also be used for a game.

-Use plastic trophies to serve snacks.

Click on “Race Cars” or “Cars-the Movie” to view some of the decorating items and party favors available.

Race Cars

Cars – The Movie

Games and Activities:

Paint a Car

When the children enter have them decorate a wooden car of their choice with paint. It is important to do this first and to not use too much paint so they will dry for the race track. You can have a few pre-made just in case someone arrives late or uses too much paint. I found wood cars at Joann’s and Wal-Mart and used acrylic paint. You could use paint pens to make things easier and less of a mess.

After the crafts, activities and eating have the children race their new cars down the down hill track. See above on how to make.

22.jpg 19.jpg

Make a License Plate

Materials Needed:

Metallic poster board
Paper punch
Glitter glue and letter stickers

1. Cut metallic poster board into 6- by 11-inch rectangles and use a paper punch to make a hole near each top corner.

2. Put on sticker letters and add glitter glue borders. (To make the glitter glue stick more readily to the glossy surface, first rub the area you plan to cover with a pencil eraser.) Then you can tie string or wire to attach to their bicycles.


Car Relay

Cardboard boxes
, Paint
, Tape
, Aluminum foil

Beforehand, you’ll need to make a car for each team. Trim off the top and bottom flaps of a cardboard box and cut a handle hole in each door panel. Paint the cars, add racing numbers. Then tape on yellow paper headlights and front grills fashioned from 3/4-inch-wide strips of aluminum foil.

At race time, the first child from each team wears a helmet and goggles and steps into his team’s car. On cue, the drivers race around a designated landmark, such as a picnic table or tree and back to the start, where they quickly give their gear over to the next person. The race continues in this manner until all the members of one team finish the course and win the game.

Make Your Own Car-Centers

Each guest gets a xerox box (which should be spray painted and a head and arm holes cut out on the bottom and sides of the box.)

The “drivers” go to the detailing center to decorate their box with name, race car number, tape mini flags or just color their box with markers. Next, they go to the tune up area, which play tools were set out.

A tire changing area, paper plates with a small circle in the middle of the plate to look like the hub cap and then put velcro on the box and the back of the plates to change their tires.

A gas station to pump their gas, You can use a rope connected to a box or cone to pretend to pump gas.

Last, a car wash. Cut strips of paper (2″x 36″) and staple them to the tops of the xerox boxes used to make the cars. When turned upside down they look like real car wash strips moving back and forth. Hang these somewhere where the children can go through them. Then let them race around!

This fun activity would be good for a smaller number of children.

Red light, Green Light

All children know this game but perfect to get children running and it goes with the theme! If you have the cardboard cars at your party this would be great to use with their cars.

Bean Bag Toss

Use a real tire for children to throw the bean bag through.

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Barnyard Party Games and Activities


As each child enters the party welcome them with a cowboy hat and bandana or animal nose to wear.

Piggy Race

Blow up pink balloons and tie curled pink ribbons on the end. With a permanent marker make the face, or you can glue on foam or paper noses etc. For little ones, have them swat the balloon across the yard or room with a fly swatter. For older ones, divide into two groups and set up like a relay. Have them swat piggies around a certain point and back.

Duck Pond

Number the ducks 1,2 or 3 on the bottom with a permanent marker. If you only have two different prizes then only number 1 and 2′s on the bottom. Fill up a baby pool or large tub with few inches of water and place floating ducks in pond. Of course, watch children around any amount of open water!

How to Play:
Children pick a duck and look for the number on the bottom.
Children win the prize that corresponds to the number on the duck.

Have some toys that are considered “safer” for young children such as mini beach balls, sand molds or even small packages of fish crackers that you can have on hand to pass to younger children.

Hay Find

You will need hay, make it into a big haystack with lots of toys mixed in, I ordered plastic farm animals, bouncy balls and other toys. Have each child design a bag when you first come to party or just give bags to collect toys. I had the youngest children start first.


Hay Rides

Use a wagon or wheelbarrow with hay in it to pull children around yard or if you have a tractor, you can do the real thing.

Petting Zoo

We had to hire a company which also had options for pony rides. Be sure the petting zoo owner has access to water and shade for the animals. Also, don’t forget to verify that the petting zoo has current business insurance – ask for the phone number to the insurance company to make sure their coverage is up to date. If you live in an area where your neighbors may have pigs or horses then you are lucky.

Other Ideas:


Duck, duck, goose, blow bubbles, farm animal art projects, ring toss, parachute, musical chairs to country music, etc.


Farm Friends

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Barnyard Party Food

The food you serve at a party depends on the time of day the party is held, when we had our barnyard/farm animal party it was at lunch and we had a barbeque. Beyond the normal bbq items we served piggies in a blanket and other “barnyard” snacks. We ordered farm animal themed plates and napkins.

Piggies in a Blanket

This mini version is perfect for little fingers!


Lil Smokie Sausages or hot dogs cut into thirds
Crescent Rolls

Cut each crescent roll square into 4 pieces, wrap around sausage, cook according to crescent roll package directions. Serve with dipping sauces such as mustard and ketchup.

Cornbread Muffins

1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
3/4 (10 ounce) package frozen corn kernels, thawed
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease or line 12 muffin cups.
In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, honey, eggs and salt. Mix in flour, cornmeal and baking powder; blend thoroughly. Stir in milk and corn. Pour or spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.
Vegetable Platter

You can arrange to make a vegetable garden. Include a sign that says Farmer “child’s name” Garden.

Haystack Snacks

Dry shoestring potatoes found in can. I put these on tables for snacks in little buckets, you could use baskets lines with red and white checkered napkins.

Chicken Feed

Any type of mixed snacks/crereals like Chex Mix or your own creation. For example, pretzels, Cheerios etc.

Decorated Sugar Cookies

Cut in the shape of farm animals, we also wrapped enough for all the guests to take one home as they left the party.

Other ideas:

Baked beans, coleslaw, potato salad, fruit salad, corn on the cob, chili, watermelon slices and deviled-eggs.


We served water bottles, juice and “moo juice” in a galvanized tub.


The barnyard theme gives many choices for cakes or cupcakes. Farm animals like pigs, cows and sheep or a big red barn are popular with children.

Our cake was simple, a bakery designed a rectangle cake with a farm scene and we added the Little People animals. We also made a homemade healthy carrot cake for my one year old and any others that wanted a healthy choice. A cute idea would be to make homemade ice cream old fashion style or have the children make their own.


Simple Homemade Ice Cream


Pint or quart-sized freezer bag
gallon-sized freezer bag

1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)
6 tablespoons salt

Put milk, vanilla and sugar into a pint or quart-sized freezer bag. Seal well.
Fill a gallon-sized freezer bag with ice. Add the salt. (We used rock salt.)

Put the smaller bag into the larger bag and seal.

Shake and mix until the ice cream thickens, about 10 minutes.

Yummy and lots of fun!

For great Farm Animal plates, click the ‘Farm Animals’ link below!

Farm Animals

Decorating For A Barnyard Party

Having a hoe-down in your backyard is a fun party for children of all ages. For our son’s first birthday we wanted to kick up our heels and celebrate with friends and family along with his playgroup buddies. So, we had a barnyard theme with a barbeque for lunch.

Decorating and Preparation:

To decorate for the party we found hay from a local farm and were able to return the bundled hay the day after the party. We used two bails of hay with a blanket for seating and opened one for the hay find. We arranged for a petting zoo, again from a local farm. This cost us about $100 because I did not have the pony, but of course this would depend on where you live. I thought it was well worth it, not sure if my husband would agree.

The tables had picnic and barnyard themed tablecloths and napkins. The center pieces were simply mason jars with raffia tied around it and daisies. I ordered the one year old barnyard theme plates, toys for the hay find and gift bags and the cowboy hats and bandanas several weeks before the party.

You can buy the whole KIT N KABOODLE FARM KIT online and save the running around town.

The cake was bought at a bakery and we used the Little People farm animals on top, but there are some cute cake ideas if you would like to make your own!

With a refrigerator and other medium sized box we made a barn. Give yourself a couple of days for this, to allow paint to dry etc. We taped the two boxes together after cutting out the sides we were placing together, so they could crawl through. Then, cut out the windows and cut slits for a door. Next, we painted the barn with two coats of red paint.


Farm Friends

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