Celebrate With Kate {Lions, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh My!}

Celebrate With Kate {Lions, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh My!}
Photography by Andréa Winchenbaugh of Open Shade Studios.

Celebrate With Kate {Lions, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh My!}
Photography by Andréa Winchenbaugh of Open Shade Studios.

Celebrate With Kate {Lions, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh My!}
Photography by Andréa Winchenbaugh of Open Shade Studios.

Celebrate With Kate {Lions, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh My!}
Photography by Andréa Winchenbaugh of Open Shade Studios.

Celebrate With Kate {Lions, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh My!}
Photography by Andréa Winchenbaugh of Open Shade Studios.

Celebrate With Kate {Lions, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh My!}
Photography by Andréa Winchenbaugh of Open Shade Studios.

Kate Landers here again, to share with you tips for creating a charming birthday celebration based on your child’s favorite storybook or character. My goal is always to create an experience for the birthday child and their guests, helping them feel as if they are living right out of the pages of their favorite fairytale. In my experience I have found this can nurture the imagination in ways eating off of party plates with images of a character, cannot. Please note that what is most important is providing the child with what makes them happiest on their special day!

  • Include The Birthday Child In Planning Their Party I highly recommend involving the child in as many age-appropriate aspects of the party planning process. This is an incredibly rewarding gift to the child and creates great anticipation and excitement. One way to do this is to have the child help select the theme for their party, based on their favorite storybook or character. Parties based on fairy tales are particularly enchanting, but can also feel overwhelming. Rather than trying to re-create the entire book, focus on just one character, chapter or scene, and use that for the theme. It will also allow you to create a much more cohesive look.

    The beloved character Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz was selected for the theme of this charming birthday celebration, focusing on her blue and white gingham apron, ruby red slippers, and basket carrying Toto to be used as inspiration for elements throughout.
  • Use The Story As Inspiration For Your Color Scheme I recommended sticking with two or three primary colors for your color-scheme. Whether you choose colors from a character’s costume or from book jacket illustrations (or maybe what your child dreams up!), this can help reinforce your theme throughout all the details of the party.

    We selected a light periwinkle blue, ruby red and crisp white color scheme for our Wizard of Oz-inspired party, based on Dorothy’s costume in the film. We incorporated these colors in all aspects, from decorations to party favors and desserts!

  • Create Storybook Costumes For Your Guests Costumes are incredibly powerful for young children. Whether wearing a pair of felt fairy wings and a tulle tutu, or superhero mask and cape, children often feel transformed when they are disguised in costume pieces. I recommend offering a simple costume piece for the birthday child and their guests to wear during the party, and take home as a favor (which they can re-use again and again!

    For our party, we went a bit overboard, providing each child with a pair of ruby slippers, gingham apron and pettiskirt (pettiskirts are enormously popular). This worked because of an incredibly small guest list of all girls. Notice how we tied the aprons to the back of each child’s chair, with a custom printed tag–this created a darling table set up for photos, and the aprons doubled as place cards letting each child know which seat was set just for them (not to mention it helped us make sure each child got the proper size).

  • Use Storybook Elements As Inspiration For Your Dessert Table If you opt to design a dessert table for your party, I highly recommend using the scenery, magical creatures or fabrics from the characters’ costumes as inspirations for your desserts and props. In our case, we used baskets instead of cake stands and platters to display the desserts (since Dorothy always carried that straw basket on her journey through Oz). We also used her blue gingham apron and ruby red slippers (as featured in the film, not the book) to help us dream up designs for the desserts, cupcake toppers and dessert tags. {A VERY special thank you to the fabulous printables designer & party stylist Kim Stoegbauer of The TomKat Studio for creating all of the darling printables you see throughout the party! They are available for purchase in her shop. Also, many thanks to Jessica of Pen N’ Paper Flowers Studio & Design for creating the darling Dorothy silhouette!}
  • Create Activities Based On Story Elements Guests Activities are often important at a child’s birthday celebration, and can be a wonderful way for you to creatively emphasize your storybook theme. For example, for our party the guests enjoyed a felt game of pin-the-badge-of-courage-on-the-cowardly-lion.

For resources used in our Wizard of Oz-inspired party, visit here.

I wish you much success in your child’s next birthday celebration. What storybook or character might you use as inspiration for planning your child’s next party?



Kate Landers | Permalink |

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