We recently threw a library themed birthday party for our children…yes not 1, not 2, not 3 but for all 4 of our children at once! Before I go on about the theme, I want to talk briefly about the idea of having 1 party for all of your children.
Birthday parties cost money, they don’t have to break the bank, but if you have more than one child and even if the party is in your backyard, there is an additional cost to throwing each party. There are food costs at the very least and if you are anything like us and want to make the day very special, why not save what you would spend on each party and throw a bigger party, this way you might be able to afford that venue you have always wanted or to hire that princess or pirate to come and entertain.
Our middle 2 children, Elijah and Emmy, are 50 weeks apart, share a birthday month, are in all the same activities and have the same friends, so after their 1st birthdays we decided to give them 1 big party, sadly though our oldest and youngest, their parties just weren’t as fun. My 10 year old step-daughter Lilly, only lives with us part time and doesn’t have the friend base in our community as she does her mother’s, and my youngest Landen, who is only 3, hasn’t had the opportunity to make the friends, as our other 2 children have, mostly due to age and not being old enough to be in the same activities as his siblings. Next we had a party for the youngest 3 together and the oldest separate, we thought we had to due to the age difference, but given the circumstances with friends and the cost of renting venues/entertainment like the zoo, the bowling alley, Chuck E. Cheese, taekwondo demonstrations and the like, we considered 1 big birthday bash and decided to go for it.
Having one party for all of your children may or may not be for you, but it was a success this year and with careful planning it could work for you too, and to add to the birthday magic we chose to sill make the kid’s birthday, the actual day, special with a cake and their favorite meal. Just a tip if this is something you are considering, don’t ask or expect every guest to buy a gift for each of your children simply because the party is for more than one child, that would be expensive for the parents of the invited children and might cause people to decline coming. Instead, send invitations stating that the party is a big birthday bash for multiple children, however, each child is inviting their own friends and gifts for other children are not required or expected, and of course if you do this more than once those invited will know the drill.
Ok, on to the Library theme!
My children have an abundance of stuff, some junk others treasures, and probably like your children, need another toy like a hole in the head, so we decided this year to simply add a note on the invitation that our children love books, even before deciding the venue. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against toys but our landfills are full of plastic junk made in China and I wanted things that would last and endure longer than the 6 months after the party. Books are treasures children can return to again and again. While thinking about where to have the party, it dawned on me that if I really want the gifts of books, maybe a Library theme at the Library might sell the point!
One could go crazy with this idea, I thought having it at the Library was a plus but I wanted to tie actual books into the party. My thoughts kept coming to, 2 things…books are colorful and I kept thinking of the book,Green Eggs and Ham, but of course you have to get the invites out first. I just sent colorful, in-stock party invitations, which are for the parents anyway, not the children and I wanted to focus my attention elsewhere, however, here is an example of something easy that could be done for this theme and you can check these out here.
Next, I began thinking about the food. As I mentioned Green Eggs and Ham, was swimming around in my head. Usually deviled eggs aren’t for children but I decided to make them anyway, at least they would love the color and the parents could eat them. Then I thought of the book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, and well it just kept going with Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, A Rainbow of My Own, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish and the Three Little Pigs. I included a book with each food item.
Decorations, tablecloths, plates balloons and so on, I did in a colorful, almost rainbow scheme, tying in the thought that book covers are very colorful. Stacking books as center pieces with ribbons tied around them is a very easy decoration idea, again sky is the limit and I am sure Pinterest if full of ideas, but I was aiming for cool, but simple.
As far as entertainment, I opted not to have any real book or Library themed games, instead I played some fun music, filled the room with colorful balloons, supplied some photo booth accessories (people could post pics on Facebook from the party) and had watermelon bowling, which is stacking full toilet paper rolls in a pyramid and rolling a watermelon toward them, the kids love it! They danced, posed, bowled and those balloons were worth their weight in gold, given how much fun the kids had with them. Of course you could incorporate a book reading into the party here and we had a choice on had for just that, but after seeing the fun they were having, we chose not to and allowed them to just party.
Of course there needed to be sweets and so I gave up the cake and went for cupcakes, chocolate with worms and vanilla with pink frosting to match the books Pinkalicious and Diary of a Worm. We also had cookies with the book If you give a Mouse a Cookie.
All in all the kids had a blast, both ours and those invited. The age gap wasn’t noticed, the parents all loved the theme and instead of toys that would have been sat on a shelf in a few days, the kids got 90% books, and they were fine with that. This party cost less than any other I have thrown, including the buying of all the books, which of course could have been borrowed from the library, and it was really a hit.
We sent home little treat bags with the kids full of small tokens, nothing extravagant. It included a bookmark, pencils, a bag of book worms (gummie worms) and book labels, in brown paper bag.
Thank you notes haven’t been sent yet, but I am thinking old style library book cards with suckers tied to them.
🙂 Bet and Fam