My daughter’s birthday party snuck up on me after several weeks of not feeling the best. I found myself scrambling to make sure we were ready for the party and got out her list of birthday party ideas. Gluten-free cake with homemade buttercream, check. Raspberry lemonade made with sparkling water, check. Cat theme decor? Oh dear. I had nothing! She picked two colors for her birthday – pink and black, and we made a quick stop at Dollar Tree, and I ordered a couple of supplies from Amazon.
Next, she showed me that she wanted to do candy games at her birthday party. Likely much to the shock of some of my readers, I happily took her candy shopping. Sure, we kept the amount and size of the candies limited, but she’s no longer sensitive to food dyes, so we sometimes splurge now! (But we’ve done all dye-free parties in the past – like this one, How to Throw a Frozen Birthday Party without Gluten, Dye or Eggs). I still like my homemade and healthier candies better, but I was happy to buy store bought for her as a special treat. (She ate a couple of small pieces the day of her party and hasn’t had any since. She’s pretty self-controlled!)
Birthday parties appear to my children’s love language, so we try to make it special and memorable. We’ve also learned that we have to make our homemade cakes and cookies sweeter when we serve them to guests as not everyone is as used to our “gently sweetened” baked goods.
Her party was sweet (literally and figuratively) and lots of fun. In fact, she told me it was her favorite birthday party ever! It just goes to show that keeping things simple, but keeping the most important things to your child are what make it fun for both parent and child.
Here’s what we did.
First, our craft which was unrelated to the theme: Mini Terrariums! These turned out so amazing! We bought these little jars from Amazon, and then my husband’s dad supplied us with the rest of the Terrarium supplies from his shop. It was definitely the highlight of the party, and it was fun to send each girl home with their own little terrarium. I made one for myself too.
She chose a Cat and Candy Themed party.
I’m no artist, but I do enjoy arts and crafts. So despite my very apparent deficiencies, I put together some simple decorations. I made this little cat banner using construction paper and this adorable twine .
While not Pinterest perfect, she LOVED it, and that’s what counts.
I recently bought a chalkboard and drew a simple cat outline on it. I also made a little sign for our door that coordinated with the chalkboard and some of the food ideas. Those two things along with streamers and paper pink and black tissue decorations from dollar tree made up our decor.
Food for our Cat Themed Party
- Gluten-free cake with buttercream (Vanilla cake with chocolate frosting, and chocolate cake with vanilla frosting)
- Raspberry Lemonade made with sparkling water
- Cat-themed marshmallows
- Mouse strawberries and cheese slices
To go with the cat theme, I used cocoa powder and powder sugar to make a cat outline on the top of the two cakes. I also made a tiny little banner for one the cakes.
For the mice, I used strawberries cut in half lengthwise and then used dairy-free white chocolate chips for the ears (I would provide a link, but I can’t find the brand online, sadly. You could use regular chocolate or white chocolate chips, or sliced almonds). For the tails we used a sweet and sour fruit roll up we got in the bulk section at a local store. We just had to thinly slice them for the tail shape. I’m thinking that any red fruit leather could work! They were pretty cute!
We used Trader Jo marshmallows to make these cat-themed marshmallows on a stick. We used these edible food markers and these adorable Birch Tree Paper straws. We usually use these delicious and slightly healthier marshmallows!
Again, none of it is very amazing or artistic, but she was happy with all of it, and so I was happy with it too.
Candy Party Games
The candy games were so much fun!
First, we played Candy Bingo.
This is like normal bingo, but we used M & Ms for the place markers. You got to keep your M & Ms and the winner got a candy award.
Then we played Candy Pick Up. Each child was given about 20 Skittles, and they had to use straws to suction the Skittles and drop them into a little Dixie cup. This game was hilarious to watch, and the kids got really into it! The winner was the first one to complete it (We gave them 40 seconds total).
Then we played Candy Memory. Under the Dixie cups, we had single pieces of wrapped candies. Everyone took turns picking two cups up to look for a match and then hiding the candy again before the next person went. If you found a match, you got one more turn.
Finally, we had a Balloon Popping Game! In some balloons were two small pieces of candy, in others were a few sprinkles (you can use glitter, but we wanted to something biodegradable). They took turns popping the balloons with wooden kitchen skewers. This was the birthday girl’s favorite game!
This was one of the easiest parties I have planned because we kept the food simple, and the games simple and because I didn’t try to make everything from scratch. I love to have a completely DIY and 100% healthy parties for my kids, but this year, it was important for our soul’s health and our families health that we didn’t overextend ourselves.
We were rewarded with such a nice party where it seemed everyone had a really fun time, a very happy birthday girl, and parents who were only hustling a little bit to get it ready in time. I call that a huge success – candy and all.
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