Back to School! Breakfast

A Feteful Life: Back to School Breakfast

Woohoo! It’s back to school for my kiddos today! We were actually all so excited about it that I thought it’d be fun to have a low-key “back to school breakfast” for my loves. And it forced me to finally “interview” both of my kids, which I’ve really been wanting to do, so I’m going to pretend it was my plan all along to do a back to school interview. It’s all up over at Honest to Nod today — check it out!

Want to hear your own kids say sweet and funny stuff? Just click right here to download our free Back to School Interview printable!

And thanks to The Land of Nod for gifting us the Meri Meri Toot Sweet Collection items and the growth chart!

A Feteful Life: Back to School Breakfast

A Feteful Life: Back to School Breakfast

A Feteful Life: Back to School Breakfast

DIY Kids Party Favors

I know some people are anti kids party favors, but I have to say that I am firmly in favor of them. I think it is important for my kids to understand that having friends attend a party, whether or not a present is involved, is something they should be thankful for and show their appreciation. And I feel like they get that and truly want to show their thanks to friends and family for helping us celebrate. That said, I always try to have my kids help me make party favors for their party and generally provide something either consumable, educational, and/or not just more plastic toys. I happened to LOVE the DIY rock candy party favor we had at our science club last month, which got me thinking about what favors I might get together for upcoming kids parties. Here are some of my favorites!

A Feteful Life: DIY KId Party Favors

1 / What kiddo doesn’t love making art? Lovely Design put together these adorable collage packets to send a little art project home with each child. Perfect for post-party-sugar-rush winding down at home.

2 / I’ve wanted to make story stones for my kids for some time now and I think a little muslin bag with a few stones would be the perfect thing to help keep a kiddo occupied on the ride home.

3 / OK, so this one is candy, which I try not to do since I’ve inevitably just filled up kiddos on sweets at the party. BUT sending this bubblegum necklace home in a little kit for each child would be a great consumable activity.

4 / It looks like tasty salt water taffy, but this one is ingeniously disguised sidewalk chalk. What a perfect favor for a summertime party!

5 / Another win for Lovely Design with these personalized pennant flags. I like to try make party decorations last by using them in my childrens’ rooms. I love that Lovely Design took this concept to favors and I can imagine all the littles so excited to find their own initialed flag.

Kids Science Club

A Feteful Life: Kids Science Club

In case you missed it, we shared our fabulous Kids Book Club last week over at The Land of Nod’s blog, Honest to Nod. We all had such a blast at Book Club that when The Land of Nod asked what else we were cooking up for our kiddos this summer, we knew instantly that we had to expand our club idea to a Kids Science Club. And, fortunately for us, The Land of Nod has the most perfect party supplies available for our meetings. We got together for a few fun experiments, some sweet snacks, and lots and lots of fun. And we’re sharing it all over at Honest to Nod today.

We love our club so much that we think you should have one too! And to help you out, we’re offering a few free printables that coordinate well with the Meri Meri Fundamental Party Collection that we used — links to the downloads are below! The supplies are so, so cute, that we couldn’t help but think how super easy it would be to turn our little science club into a birthday party. So we went ahead and designed a printable invitation and party pack (including the straw flags, 2″ party circles, and milk wraps you can see at our club) all easily customized for your little scientist with a big day coming up. Take a look and gather those summer loves for some science fun!

Fete on!

Free Printable Links:
Science Club Labels — can be used as place cards, food labels, experiment labels … the options are endless.

DIY Rock Candy Favor Tags — see how we used these to put together a little tasty take home experiment! these are sized to fit 6-ounce mason jars, but you can adjust the size when printing to fit your own needs.

A Feteful Life: Kids Science Club

A Feteful Life: Kids Science Club

A Feteful Life: Kids Science Club

Kids Book Club

 

A Feteful Life: Kids Book Club

I love how excited my kids get over simple celebrations of the things they love. It really doesn’t take much to make them happy, and one of the things they love most is reading. So I thought it would be really fun (and educational) to get a kids book club together over the summer. Suzanne was on board immediately and we invited some other friends to join, too. We had our first book club meeting last month, with a little party too of course, and had a total blast. Head on over to The Land of Nod’s Honest to Nod to read all about it!

5 Tips for a Fabulous Kiddo Party

A Feteful Life: Kids Party Tips

Yes, I’m that mom. I’m that mom who loves to throw elaborate (in the sense of matching decor and food, not live pony rides — but I wouldn’t count that out) birthday parties for her children. So, here’s the thing. It’s pretty obvious that I just like to party generally. And I always view my children’s birthday parties as a celebration for them AND us — I mean, we kept it together for another year! Yay us! Plus, it is always incredibly touching and special to see friends and family come together from all over the country (literally) to celebrate our children. And we love hosting them at our house!

Now that I’ve thrown almost 10 of these parties for my own children (plus several others for friends kiddos), I’ve got it down to a science. I know how to make simple things look great, style simple recipes beautifully, and use simple crafts to keep kids entertained so their parents can have a cocktail or two. Always simple, never plain — right!? And I’m sharing my best tips with you today, along with photos from our latest shindig.

A Feteful Life: Kids Party Tips

1. Get your kids involved — it’s their party! The involvement of your love bugs can vary widely depending on age and personality, but it makes for so much more fun. I always try involve my kids in a few ways:

A Feteful Life: Kids Party Tips

2. Find an age-appropriate, easy craft or activity — I love to do complicated projects with my own children, but trying to do them with a large group of sugared-up three-year-olds just isn’t going to happen. I usually purchase easy, inexpensive crafts (frequently from Oriental Trading Co.) and then repackage or style them to look nicer — check out the cute seahorses we made at my daughter’s 3rd birthday or the tattoo parlor my son helped me make for his 5th birthday party.

A Feteful Life: Kids Party Tips

3. Keep the food simple — to keep your sanity, make easy things and outsource anything complicated (or ditch the complicated all together). For example, I’m not a baker. I’m just not. I’ve learned through many a cake pop disaster, to ask for help from my very talented baking friends for the cake — this edible gold gilded ombre number really, well, took the cake, at my daughter’s last party. Whatever I’m cooking myself, I do as much prep as I can before the actual day. And I try to take super simple things, like the microwavable pancakes above, and style them to look more festive.

A Feteful Life: Kids Party Tips

4. Go for minimal effort decor that has maximum effect — to be fair, this sounds easier than it is. And it’s taken me some trial and error to find out which things work best in my home. I like to do a mix of DIY and doctored store-bought decor and I’ve learned (despite the ruffled streamer debacle of 2013), that crepe paper is my new best friend. It’s versatile, inexpensive, and easy to hang. Get some and get creative. Suz and I put up this enormous tasseled wall in about an hour — hands down the easiest statement focal wall I’ve ever done.

A Feteful Life: Kids Party Tips

5. Make a darn good cocktail for the parents and make sure it’s clearly labeled! — what can we say? We enjoy a good cocktail and my husband and I love coming up with a cleverly-named, theme appropriate drink for the adults. I liked our recent batch of “Potent Piggy Punch,” but the “Blue Lagoon Punch” for her mermaid 3rd birthday party was also a big hit. Just make sure it’s clear that it is for adults only!

*bonus tip — be realistic about your home and your expectations of party damage. if you have white furniture and don’t let your kids drink juice outside the kitchen, a large in-home birthday party for toddlers might not be a great idea. if you can deal with some party wear and tear, think about which things might better weather the festivities out of sight and reach of tiny hands (art, special toys of your children, furniture, pets, etc.). everyone will be happier, trust me.