Joss’s Cat Wizard Party was a Success!
We finished off a fairly relaxing Spring Break with Joss’s 7th birthday party! Thanks to everyone who came to help celebrate his birthday! And I’m so grateful that we had a sunny, warm (if windy) day so the party could mostly take place outside, ha.
We spent a lot of Saturday, the day before the party, cleaning. Well, I cleaned and Joss did his own thing. Daniel deep-cleaned the kitchen Sunday morning, which was fantastic. Our house had not been so clean in a long time! Now, it’s back to its usual clutter 🙂
Friday evening, a friend came over to help pack the gift bags for the kids. Each bag came with a set of sequins cat ears, Harry Potter stickers, a lightning bolt scar temporary tattoo, plastic cauldron and wand. We had fun decorating them with additional stickers, and I think they turned out really cute! The cat ears were probably the biggest hit because they all were a different color. And who doesn’t love a set of cat ears? Even Daniel stole a pair.
Here are a tips for throwing a party at home from someone who is by no means an expert:
1. Give the birthday kid a job to do 😉
Joss especially loved blowing up balloons, and helping arrange two different types of Capri Suns. He was proud that he arranged them into an alternating pattern. As the party got closer, I had him raid is closet for stuffed animals that could be used to decorate the living room.
2. Balloons are always a good bet
Not only did Joss like helping blow the balloons up, they were a big hit with the party-goers as well. They mostly just floated around our home, popping occasionally, but were always available for a round of “Keepy Uppy” and whatever else the kids could come up with. So. Easy party decor and entertainment.
3. Photo booth props? Not so much.
This is probably not universally true, but I’ve purchased photo booth props for two or three different parties now, and they have never been used. I love the idea of them, but I think the kids have too much fun just running around and playing to stop for photos. Or maybe our set-up just wasn’t ideal.
4. Think about a main activity…
The absolute highlight of Joss’s party was getting to craft with Sarah Bowen of Tiny Things by Bowen! She is a local polymer clay artist who also teaches classes for kids and adults and does birthday parties. Sarah is very easy to work with, and can help the kids make clay creations to fit a particular theme – wizard cats, for example – or whatever their imaginations come up with on the spot. Look at all these amazing creations!
It was so nice having someone in charge of the main party activity, so I could mingle, finish up cake decorating, etc. The kids loved it, plus, they all got to take home their projects! Each project could be turned into a magnet, keychain or necklace if the crafter wanted.
5. …And maybe have a couple “filler” activities
Since the party was outside, I wish I had some lawn games or something for when the kids were done crafting, as some of them finished their projects before others. But it was easy to run inside and grab some art supplies and a bin of Legos. Eventually, they moved inside and just ran around playing their own games anyway, so it wasn’t a big deal that I hadn’t totally thought this through.
6. Don’t forget the adults!
Mostly, the parents stuck around for the party, which was fantastic! It was a nice chance to socialize and enjoy good company on a beautiful day. I made sure to have some sparkling waters and snacks for the adults – which of course the kids ended up eating as well. So they had a bit more sugar than I intended, but it was nice.
Here’s a picture of Joss’s birthday cake, which we ordered from Big Dipper Creamery. It was blueberry and vanilla-flavored, and so yummy! I drew the cat face on, and Joss was not impressed with my artistry. Admittedly, the pink frosting came out of the bottle less easily than I would have liked! But he ate it anyway 🙂
We had a couple dairy-free guests, and I was grateful to my friend who suggested popsicles as an alternative birthday treat. So there’s a bonus tip 🙂
Anyway, it was a wonderful day altogether. Last year’s birthday was a lot of fun, too, but was limited to his study pod friends thanks to Covid. We just did it while they were at our house anyway for school, which made for easy planning! And the year before that…we had to cancel last-minute as the pandemic got underway. So it had been awhile since we’d done a larger party for him. Just glad everything went smoothly and, as I told my coworker, that we have another year before the next one 😉
Please share your own birthday party tips in the comments! And check out the TulsaKids Party Planner if you’re looking for some inspiration. There are so many ways to throw a creative party in Tulsa!