This year we made a goal to take full advantage of our close proximity to Disneyland by getting annual passes. We've been to Disneyland a few times since getting our passes around the holidays and we've been really experimenting with sharing our #Disneyside. Matthew has really taken an interest in all things Disney and Mickey, and with his birthday this spring, we knew that he'd love to get his party on Disney style.
The Prep: We created handmade invitations from cardstock and paper punches, mailing them out and hand-delivering them to neighbors and classmates. We kept it simple with a Mickey Mouse head shape in the center of a circle, mounted to a 1/4 page of cardstock. We printed the party details on white cardstock and mounted that to the back of the one-sided card.
The decorations were part of a fabulous gift pack we received from MomItForward, to help us show our DisneySide! This included plates, napkins, party decor, table cloths, and more, all in a Disney theme, that really helped us to make the party shine “Disney”. The table cloth above was in the perfectly coordinated pack of decor we received – these well-coordinated decor and party items made it super easy to carry the theme throughout the party from our living room out to the patio.
To carry the Disney theme, we made a handmade door decor piece, in the shape of a Mickey head, with Smoothfoam! Everyone who came by loved the Mickey head and it helped them know they were in the right place because it coordinated with the Mickey head on the invites that we sent out. The tutorial to create this door decor is coming up on the Smoothfoam blog later this month.
We then searched Pinterest and found some great games to add to our party game repertoire from this post on Spoonful: 16 Classic Carnival Party Activities.
The kids LOVED a bean bag toss game that we devised using a basic household ladder. I printed 4 score numbers on paper (10, 25, 50, 100) and then Matthew colored them in with crayons. Matthew was so excited about the birthday party that this was a fun way for him to be involved in the planning and decorating. On the day of the party, we set up a 6 foot ladder and taped the scores to the rungs of the ladder. The kids then threw the bean bags into the slots between the ladder rungs to earn scores. The highest score from each round earned a prize from our prize box!
Another game we played was “Balloon Stomp”. With boys we knew this game would be a hit! We tied balloons loosely to each kids's legs with yarn. While music plays, the kids then try to pop the balloons of the other players while not allowing their own balloons to be popped. The 3 remaining players all received prizes after each round of the game. This is a great game to get the kids to use up some energy before the slower activities like cake-cutting and present-opening.
We set up a photo area with a piece of white fabric and a red + black + white ribbon banner as a backdrop. Katie took pictures of partygoers in front of the backdrop and we printed them onto HP Photo Cards for everyone to take home. It was so much fun! I wish I had gotten more photos of the backdrop but you can see it here, behind Matthew as he opened presents.
For the snacks, we made the Disney staple, Dole Whip – yes, you can totally make this at home! Here is the recipe:
Homemade Dole Whip
- 2 c. Frozen Pineapple
- 1/4 c. Milk of Choice
- 1/16 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice
Blend all ingredients together in a blender. Then freeze for 20 minutes until set. Scoop into cups and enjoy!
For more party ideas, check out the Disney Side Celebrations website.
The kids also got to make their own snack packs with Craisins, chips, candies, and fresh fruit, building their own plates at a bar we set up. Everyone left with a goodie bag filled with a Muppets calendar, DisneySide bracelets, and more. To create the bags, we stamped a Mickey head foam stamp onto paper lunch sacks using black craft paint. We also made sure that everyone left with a prize from the games.
We capped the celebration off with a trip to Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure the next day! Matthew definitely showed his #DisneySide in this party celebration!
How do you show your #DisneySide?