Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Colors Playdate Party

So I love hosting playdates!  It's fun for me to think of simple ideas that the kids would like and run with it.  Today I was suppose to host a "favorite colors" playdate....but all of my kids got sick last night so there is no playdate today.  However, I had everything set up and ready to go last night so I'd still like to share with you all how to do a very simple "colors" party.

Decorations & Activities:

  • I just used the most impactful, colorful toys I had....large cardboard blocks.  You could also use legos, dolls, or a collection of toys that were primary colors.
  • I printed coloring sheets for the kids of crayola boxes of crayons as well as pages to help them learn their colors.
  • We were also going to watch Blue's Clue's "Color's, Color's Everywhere" DVD.
  • I bought large crayons and put them in clear cups.
  • And I used red serving trays that I already had.
  • I used red placemats that I already had to give a good base.


  • I purchased flavored/colored water for kids.  They were $.50 for four so I got them, otherwise you can just make different fruit punches and kool-aid.
  • I purchased containers of colored jell-o.  Again, they were on sale, otherwise you can just make your own.
  • Fruit is always colorful as well as any veggies.  I did dye the ranch dressing blue just to add a punch of color.
  • I diluted some food coloring and washed tortilla wraps in the colors and make meat and cheese pinwheels.  I mixed whipped cream cheese with a Ranch dressing packet and used that instead of helps the pinwheels keep their shape.
  • Lastly, I made rice crispie treats out of Fruity Pebbles to provide a lot of color.

The kids were all going to come dressed in their favorite colors.  Even though my kids are home-bound and sick, we will still enjoy all of this and wear our favorite colors's COLOR DAY!!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mardi Gras Kid's Party

Mardi Gras is on February 16th this year and refers to events of the Carnival celebrations, beginning on or after the Epiphany and ending on the day before Ash Wednesday…basically it’s the day before Lent starts and the fasting begins. Mardi Gras actually means “Fat Tuesday” in French.  It’s the day to celebrate and eat all you want before you begin a 40 day fasting period for Catholics.

Kid’s obviously don’t get all the religious meaning, so for them it’s just another day to celebrate!  So here are some tips to help you and your child celebrate Mardi Gras:

First of all, the color scheme for Mardi Gras are as follows: purple (representing justice), green (faith) and gold (power).  Keep those colors in mind when deciding on decorations and food.

  • Gold, Purple and Green Banner to say “Happy Mardi Gras” or “Fat Tuesday”
  • Decorate some cardboard cut-out shapes of the theater masks, tragedy and comedy.  Use glitter, sequins and feathers.  You can hang these from the ceiling or put on the walls.
  • Purchase lots of noisemakers and beads
  • Have crowns for all the kids to be Kings and Queens of the parade
  • Draw or paint, on large paper, a wall mural of bourbon street or the parade
  • Have a centerpiece of a large mask with feathers and glitter!
  • Scatter table with gold coins
  • Balloons are always festive
  • Costumes, wigs, funny hats, glasses or masks are always a hit
  • New Orlean style Jazz music playing or Cajun music


  • Anything seafood to represent the New Orleans menu!  Gumbo, jambalaya, mini crab cakes or steamed craw fish!
  • Don't forget the dirty beans and rice.
  • Make colorful punches out of fruit juices, ginger ale and sherbets for your guests.
  •  You have to have a "king cake"! This pastry cake is decorated with icing and sprinkled with colored green, yellow and purple sugars.
  •  In Europe this day is also known as Pancake day so make lots of these for breakfast.
  •  Make Mardi Gras masks! You can purchase pre-made plastic, cardboard or foam mask shapes, and have out an assortment of decorating materials: craft glue, beads, markers, fabric scraps, and a big bag of assorted colored craft feathers. They can then wear their masks for the party.
  • Costume contest
  • Parade
  • Musical chairs
  • Coloring pages
  • Mardi Gras book from library
  • A Jester
  • Fake tattoos
  • Mardi Gras Baby Hunt. Hide the same baby that was in the King Cake and let everyone know that the baby is lost!  See who can find it first.
  • Mardi Gras Coin Throwing Contest. Place a strip of tape on the ground to mark the spot for the thrower. Put 5 boxes in various distances from the line.  Each box has different points, the further the box, the more points.  Give guests each 3 coins.  See who can throw the highest number of points.  This person wins.  You can substitute the coins for beads to change things up.
  • Mardi Gras Coin Treasure Hunt. Before the party, scatter colored purple, gold and green coins all over the party room, all over the house and on the party table.  Divide the guests into 3 teams, purple, gold and green. Tell the purple group to collect all the gold coins, tell the gold group to collect the green coins, and then tell the green group to collect the purple coins.  Whichever group accomplishes the mission first, wins.
I hope you enjoy this celebratory day and, more importantly, you have a great day with your kids!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Groundhog Day

So the big holiday rush is over and now there's a withdrawal for parties as well as an eagerness for spring to why not celebrate Groundhog Day?  Any reason to throw a party, right?  Every February 2nd, people all over the US watch to see if Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow.  Phil, the groundhog, comes out of his hole after winter hibernation to look for his shadow. If he sees his shadow that means we get 6 more weeks of winter. If he does not see his shadow, then spring should be arriving shortly!  I always got confused with this one...I thought...shadow = spring, right, Sunshine!  Weird that it's the other way around?!

So let's talk about different ways to celebrate this holiday.  Basically, you can go one of two ways...either you go at it from the "winter vs. spring" theme or just do a "groundhog" theme party.

If you choose to do the winter vs. spring party, then decorating is very simple.  You decorate 1/2 the room with winter/snow decor of white and then decorate the other 1/2 with green spring decorations.  You can mix the food up between those two themes as well.  You could ask your guest to come dressed 1/2 winter and 1/2 summer....a sweater with shorts?  Or you could just go all spring since that's what we're hoping for anyway!

If you go with the groundhog theme, my favorite, there are a lot of options.  For decorations you'll need to use browns and a lot of groundhogs!  Planting little boxes of grass with groundhog beanie babies looking up out of the grass would be very cute!  

FOOD!!!  Well, for breakfast you have to have sausage, gravy and biscuits...why sausage?  Because sausage is "ground" "hog"!  For your dinner, you can either do a beef stew or meatloaf and call it "groundhog stew" or "groundhog loaf".  Or you can do a selection of foods that groundhogs eat, i.e. seeds, salads, nuts, veggies, fruits.  You could also make "groundhog feed" which is basically trail mix.  For the adults, a yummy mudslide would be appropriate since they live in the ground.  And for dessert....cupcakes or a dirt cake (made of chocolate pudding and crumbled chocolate wafers) would be more than fun...especially if you could find a little plastic or fondant groundhog to pop out of it...see below...

Children's activities: There are a lot of fun activities you can do with your kids on this day!  

  • First of all, if your community host a groundhog day appearance celebration, definitely go!  Check with your local parks and recreation community.  
  • But the night before, everyone should write down their prediction of whether Phil will see his shadow.  The next day will be fun going over everyone's predictions.  
  • It would also be fun to make groundhog masks for the kids to wear or do face paintings with brown noses and whiskers.  
  • Of course there is always coloring pages of groundhogs to do...make sure you have a lot of brown crayons!
  • Also, since we're talking about shadows...use a flashlight to help the kids find their shadows, then you can trace their head profile shadow on the wall and cut it out.  You can frame it for years to come!
  • Lastly, if you're looking for some cool groundhog gear, then check out the official website at for some very interesting attire and gifts!
Adult activities:  Well, any reason to drink is a good one right?  So invite your friends over, play some "Groundhog Day" trivia you can find on and party on!  As you settle down, put in a classic "Groundhog Day" movie and dream of spring!