Planning a Child's Birthday Party

One thing that I look forward to each year is planning my kiddos birthday parties.  I put a lot of thinking and time into trying to figure out what theme would fit their personality the best and making the party fun, yet still trying to keep it simple and within the budget.  My daughter just turned 4 this past spring and she was able to tell me what she wanted this year and she chose butterflies.  It was a lot of fun planning a butterfly party and it fit her personality perfectly.  My son just turned two and I knew in the spring what the theme would be for his party - tractors.  We are not die hard tractor fans of any brand so I decided to do different colors to incorporate different brands of tractors - red, green and blue.  I scoured pinterest for different ideas and then finally decided on how I wanted to design the invitations, decorations, what food to have and how to decorate the cake. 

For the invitations, I found some great wording to go with the tractor theme and simply typed it up in Microsoft Word. I found green grass paper at JoAnn Fabrics and then cut out the tractors with my Cricut using the Boys cartridge.  The 2 I cut out using a Sesame Street Cricut cartridge that I had from my daugher's 2nd birthday.  I printed off a picture of my son and glued that to make him look like he was in the drivers' seat.  I loved how they turned out and that I created them myself.

I made larger versions of the tractor to put up around the house for simple decorations and to tie in the invitations that the guests had received. 

For the birthday boy, I also made a shirt using the same Cricut cartridges as the invites.  I was really happy with how it turned out and it was super easy.  Be looking for a tutorial on how to make your own shirt using your Cricut in a future post.
On our mantle, I made a banner using some thick plain cardstock, gluing a piece of patterned paper on top and a letter for my child's name.  I hole punched the corners and ran a ribbon behind each square.  I use this banner each year and just change out the number for the age and the picture.  After the party is over, I put it up in storage for the next year.  I have one for my daughter too and I love being able to use it for multiple years. 

For the food, I found some cute ideas of 'spare tractor wheels', 'hay bales', 'veggie patch', 'pig pen', and 'apple orchard'. I loved how they gave a farm/tractor feel to the party as a whole. 

Lastly, one of my favorite things about my kids' birthdays are making their birthday cakes.  I hope that they look back on this fondly when they are older knowing their mom tried to make their day special.  It is a lot of work but I love doing it.  I'm no professional by far, but I try my best. 

I love how everything came together.  What are your favorite things to do for planning your kids' birthday parties?

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