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Circus Animal Cookie Inspired First Birthday Party

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animal cookie themed first birthday party

What’s fun & sweet with rainbow sprinkles all over? This Pink & White Circus Animal Cookie First Birthday Party, of course! Machelle Vanderhoeven of A Joyful Riot was inspired by a very strong pregnancy craving she had and re-imagined these adorable little treats into a seriously DARLING party theme (which was also little Stella’s first Halloween costume — I’m dying at the cuteness!).

To see how she pulled it all off, make sure to check out all of the DIY links below. I’ve already started coming up with ways I can incorporate that custom marquee light in future projects! :)

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • Ticket shaped invitation + rainbow polka dot & fringe decorated party hats
  • Fun circus games like balloon pop, bucket toss & a rhino shaped tissue paper punch
  • Rainbow polka dot backdrop made from paper lanterns and tissue circles
  • Fried bread “elephant ears”, circus lion hummus, and PB & ‘Stelly’ sandwiches
  • Rainbow sprinkle cake with DIY polka dotted animal figurine toppers
  • First birthday time capsule (to be opened on her golden birthday!) + confetti popcorn favors

pink circus birthday party tablescape decor

DIY birthday party circus game ideas

rainbow sprinkles birthday cake

circus lion dip

animal cookie shaped marquee light diy

animal cookie party dessert table

polka dot party hats - animal cookie colors

DIY circus birthday party games

first birthday time capsule

animal cookie smash cake

animal cookie party favors

PARTY DETAILS, as told by Machelle…

When I was 9 months pregnant with my daughter Stella, I had this day where all I could think about was those pink and white frosted Circus Animal Cookies. I hadn’t had them in a very long time so it was kind of weird that I suddenly wanted nothing but them but I could not get them out of my mind!

I was at work that day and my husband had driven me so I didn’t have a car to run to the store and find them and after work we had to rush and meet my family for pictures so no time to stop! That night I designed a birthday party invitation featuring the little treats but it didn’t quite fill the need, surprisingly ;) The next morning I still really wanted the cookies but we were rushing to get to my baby shower so we couldn’t make a stop. But then something magical happened!

I showed up to my shower that my twin (the other half of A Joyful Riot) had put together and there on the favor table was a huge jar of animal cookies!! She had no idea I’d had this intense craving, she just decided they’d look cute at the party (and they did)!

Ever since then, I’ve had this fascination with those cute little cookies and even dressed my daughter up as one for her first Halloween! So what better theme than pink and white and sprinkles for her first birthday?!

I didn’t focus too much on the circus aspect of the party because, let’s face it, that’s been done before! But I did include a few circus/carnival elements like tickets on the tables and on these adorable confetti filled balloon wands! The invite was ticket shaped and there were tons of carnival games with prizes for the kids to play.

One of my favorite parts about the party was the time capsule we had where guests could guess what Stella would be like when she grows up! That will be such a fun activity when the time comes for her to read them. You can read more about that project and how to set up your own on the blog.

Another favorite element was the garlands I made of her monthly photos. I made an effort to get a photo of her every month with the same blanket under her and blocks spelling out her age. I got them printed and strung them up for guests to see how much she had grown and changed in the first year of her life.

I made all the food animal or Stella-themed with a lion face of veggies, “elephant ear” fried bread and “peanut butter and Stelly” sandwiches. Having the guests all sit at one long table made up of several picnic tables put together made it less awkward, more fun and easier to decorate! Gotta love that!

I had so much fun planning for this party and even more fun throwing it and experiencing it with friends and family! I love that this theme works so well for a girl but throw out most the pink and just focus on the white cookies for any gender! Or base it off the chocolate animal cookies or even the jungle ones for a party more fit for a boy!

You can find the DIYs for that rhino punch game here, my animal cookie piñata here, the fun animal cookie marquee light here, the animal cookie plastic toys (seen on the table and on her cake) here, and the animal cookie clay necklaces that we gave away as prizes here. Also grab the free printable art seen behind the food table here, free animal cookie clip art here (perfect for making cupcake picks), and the DIY and free pattern for the sprinkle-y hats here! Whew! I told you I had a little animal cookie obsession right!?

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  1. @honestywedding August 7, 2015 at 1:07 pm

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  2. @JSGEvents August 7, 2015 at 5:31 pm

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  3. @CreatEventWeds August 8, 2015 at 2:05 am

    Circus Animal Cookie Inspired First Birthday Party http://t.co/Dt4PbQVWkI

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