- Lenexa, Kansas
- Party Albums:
A Very Hungry Birthday (23 photos)
Our theme was “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Custom-made invitations and address labels were purchased through Kelli Nicholls Designs (http://www.etsy.com/listing/90378449/very-hungry-caterpillar-invitation).
Decorations included a balloon caterpillar on the fireplace mantel and a “photo-pillar” showing my daughter’s growth through her first year. The balloon caterpillar was made from five green balloon and one red balloon strung on a piece of string. I then taped eyes, a nose, and two antennae made from construction paper to the red balloon to make the caterpillar’s head. The “photo-pillar” was simply twelve circles cut from different shade of green construction paper, each one featuring a photo of my daughter at each monthly milestone (I had taken photos of her at each “month birthday” throughout her first year). I made a head from red construction paper and then added eyes, a nose and antennae. The “photo-pillar” was assembled using packing take to attach the circles to a piece of fabric draped over the front of our dining room hutch. The “photo-pillar” made a fantastic backdrop for our food table!
When deciding what food to serve at the party, I knew wanted to utilize the fruit that The Very Hungry Caterpillar eats through in the book. But I also wanted to serve fruit that I KNEW kids would eat! I ended up making rainbow fruit kabobs (raspberry, mandarin orange, pineapple, kiwi, blueberries, and red grapes on a stick) and fruit dip, but then I also got apple, pear, plum, strawberry, and orange-flavored JellyBelly jelly beans to represent the fruits the caterpillar eats through in the story! The kids had so much fun with the jelly beans, and everyone got to take some home as part of their treat bag.
I also wanted to incorporate some of the delicious treats the Very Hungry Caterpillar eats through “on Saturday,” so snacks included cheese and sausage (with crackers), large rainbow-colored lollypops, and ice cream cones – made from Oreo truffles! To make these, I started with a batch of Oreo truffles (combine one package of crushed Oreo cookies with one 8 oz package of softened cream cheese – roll mixture into tablespoon-sized balls and freeze until firm). I dipped the rim of “Mini Cups” made by Joy Cone (I liked them because they had nice flat bottoms that would allow me to stand the ice cream cones on a platter!) into pink-tinted melted white chocolate and then pressed an Oreo truffle into the top of each cone. Once the chocolate had set, I dipped the entire cone into the pink-tinted chocolate and sprinkled a tiny bit of rainbow-colored sprinkles over the top of them. When the cones had dried, I spooned some chocolate ganache (melted semi-sweet chocolate chips mixed with a bit of heavy cream to make it more like chocolate syrup) over the top of each cone. I topped each ice cream cone with a Skittle and stored them in the refrigerator until party time! (I used red, orange, yellow and green Skittles to top my cones, but you could use just red if you really want it to look like a cherry on top of your ice cream cone.)
In keeping with the fruit/bright color theme of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, we also served lemonade and Izze soda. I also made some Very Hungry Caterpillar water bottle labels to brighten up our drink table! To make these, I used Microsoft Word to create 2” x 8” labels. I printed them onto cardstock and then used clear packing tape to attach them to the bottles. The packing tape doesn’t make the labels waterproof (it’s not a great idea to stick these in a bucket of ice!), but it sure works well for bottles that are refrigerated right up until party time!
Our cake was made by a friend of the family, and it was spectacular! The three-tier cake was pink lemonade-flavored and decorated with lemon-flavored icing. The marshmallow fondant decorations were different on each layer. The top layer featured a yellow-frosting sun with my daughter’s name on it. The second layer had a beautiful fondant butterfly on it, and the bottom layer had a fondant caterpillar crawling across the front of it! The sides and back of each layer were decorated with fondant replicas of the many foods that the caterpillar eats through in the book. Brightly colored gumballs surrounded the top two layers of the cake – these were a huge hit with the older kids!
Entertainment at the party was pretty low-key. We offered “free butterfly rides” on my daughter’s butterfly rocker (from Rockabye Rockers), and we had a caterpillar-to-butterfly photo op for the kids. To do this, I painted a caterpillar on an old sheet using acrylic paints. Then I cut a hole in the caterpillar’s head for the kids to stick their face through! Once the kids had been a caterpillar, they earned their butterfly wings to wear for the rest of the party. I got very lucky and found the wings in the dollar section at Target, but they can also be purchased here: http://www.amazon.com/Butterfly-Antenna-Headband-Halloween-Costume/dp/B005F5GD88.
One final party detail was a guestbook (a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar) for friends and family to write special notes to my daughter. It was placed on a table decorated with one of my daughter’s favorite baby toys – The World of Eric Carle Activity Caterpillar made by Kids Preferred – and a butterfly made from my daughter’s footprints.