Note: This is a sponsored post
We host a lot of birthday parties at home. Why? I like to host parties! I jump on the opportunity to get crafty, bake up some fun treats, and create an experience that I hope my kids will remember and cherish. It ends up being a heck of a lot cheaper than paying for a party elsewhere. (Not that you can’t spend big bucks on a home party, if you want to.)
I also want to do something different which makes me feel unique. (That’s right, it’s all about me.) However, it’s meaningful for the kids, too. This really hit home for me when my daughter was invited to a good friend’s 6-year-old party at Chuck E. Cheese. I told her about the invite thinking she would be excited because at that age, they live for birthday parties. But she turned to me and said she wasn’t going because “Sheesh, Mom, I’ve been there 5 times already. I don’t want to go.” Hmmm. Nothing against Chuck E. Cheese but she became bored with the same old, same old.
I have a ton of reasons why you should have your kids’ birthday parties at home but what I really wanted to share was a “go-to” activity that I have used at a lot of our kids’ birthday parties. It’s easy for Mom, inexpensive, and most importantly fun for the kids.
It’s face painting.
Now, just to be up front, FacePaint.com recently became a sponsor for our site and they sponsored this post. (Yeah! I love sponsors who make it possible for me to keep sharing family fun ideas!) However, I jumped on the idea to write a post for them because we have used face painting a lot at our kids’ parties.
For example, my daughter had a Michael Jackson Dance Party a few years ago. The party activities included dancing along to the Wii Michael Jackson dance game, decorating a white glove with glitter and jewels, and posing for rock star photos. However, the highlight of the party was when we made up all the girls faces like zombies and then watched them dance to Thriller. I helped but the girls had a blast making each other look like zombies with face paint.
In another instance, we invited some families over for a Day of the Dead party this year. We used Face Paint to make ourselves look like “Calaveras” or the skeletons you see in Dia de los Muertos folk art.
What’s great about using face painting as an activity at kids parties it takes up a good chunk of your party time so you don’t need to over plan activities. And, you can add it to almost any theme party. For example:
Princess Party – Make up the girls’ faces with glitter and eye shadow to look glamorous
Rock Star Party – have them make up their faces like Kiss or draw big stars on their cheeks
Race Car Party – Draw racing stripes or their race car numbers on the kids faces
Zombie Party – need we say more?
Superhero Party – paint the kids’ faces to look like Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man, Batman, or make up your own superhero look
Despicable Me Party – Paint the kids to look like Minions
Fairy Party – Glitter and stencils of leaves on their face is enchanting
Zoo or Safari Party – paint the kids’ faces to look like different wild animals
All of the brands of face paint that FacePaint.com carries are child safe and meet FDA guidelines. They carry a lot more than just face paint. They have glitter, stencils, face gems, henna ink, beards and even prosthetics if you are going all out. They have Kids Birthday Party, Halloween, and even Cheerleading face painting kits. So, if you want to add face painting as a fun activity that amuses the kids for a long time at a party, you might want to try FacePaint.com as a one stop source for what you need.
FYI – FacePaint.com told me that they have a coupon available for any online orders.
Have you ever done face painting at a kids’ party? What was the theme and what did the kids paint themselves as?
Valentine’s Day is coming up! Are you hosting a Valentine’s Day party at home or for your child’s classroom? You probably need some party activities and snack ideas, right? I’m here to help with some fun and easy ideas.
Valentine’s Day kid parties are tough because you need to come up with games and activities that boys will like also. But I think I found some that will appeal to both boys and girls.
Get ready to be Mom or Room Mom of the year.
Decorate Valentine’s Day Brownies
I’ve been to a lot of kids parties where they have the kids decorate cookies as an activity and treat combined, but Valentine’s Day is all about chocolate. So, bring in a sheet pan of chocolate brownies and let the kids cut out a heart-shaped piece of brownie to frost and decorate instead. Here’s how easy it is to make Valentine’s Day brownies and the supplies you’ll need for the party.
Mustache and Lip Sucker Valentines Party Favors
Erin from the Strawberry Mommycakes blog created the cutest Mustache and Lip Sucker Valentines for Iheartnaptime.com that are fun party favors but also make for some adorable party photos, as well. Download the printables for free and grab some suckers. The kids could help make these at the party too.
Valentine’s Day Word Scramble
Here’s an activity perfect for a class room party, write Valentine’s Day on the board and have the kids try to create as many new words as they can from the letters.
Using edible markers and extra large marshmallows kids can make a tasty Valentine for a friend or Mom. Kids can draw hearts, flowers, and loving sentiments on their marshmallow then gift it to their Valentine. You can buy edible markers at craft stores or online at http://www.foodoodler.com/. You can see a sample where the kids and I used the decorated marshmallows to top off a Valentine’s Day Chocolate Mousse for Dad. You can make Chocolate Pudding for the kids and decorate the pudding cups with the decorated marshmallows.
Make a Super Hero Valentine Pop
Head over to the Zakka Life blog and use the free templates to print capes and masks to make this super duper cute Valentine that boys will love.
Valentine’s Day Heart Stacking Game
Here’s a super fun idea from TinyTiaraParties. Have the kids grab chopsticks and see how many candy hearts they can pick up and stack in 60 seconds.
Download the free template to make these Valentine’s Day popcorn boxes for a non-sweet party snack.
Valentine’s Day Photo Shoot
Get crazy and creative taking photos of the kids using these Valentine’s Day photo props courtesy of MomitForward.com. Grab some extra hats, boas, gloves, and anything else you think would add to a funny photo shoot of the kids at the party.
Have a wonderful party!
You Might Also Like:
15 Little Ways to Tell Your Family “I Love You” on Valentine’s Day
Easy Valentine’s Day Decorations to Make with the Kids
Valentine’s Day Peanut Butter Heart Cookies
The Sochi Winter Olympics start this weekend and it’s the perfect opportunity for some family fun. Invite some friends and family over to watch the Opening Ceremony this Friday Night or spend some quality time with the kids on Saturday and Sunday watching your favorite events.
My family enjoys watching the Winter Olympics together. We love, love, love the skiing, snowboarding and sledding competitions. During the Vancouver Winter Olympics we started having our own fun during the Winter Games with some Olympic treats and family competition. Here are some Olympic-themed ideas to get you in the mood. Some may appeal to younger kids and some to older but you should be able to find an idea or two to make watching the Olympic Games together more memorable. Let the Games begin!
FYI - The Opening Ceremonies are on NBC starting at 7:30 p.m. EST on Friday, February 7th.
Winter Olympic Game Activities
1. Host your own Opening Ceremony parade. Have everyone choose a different country and march into the room carrying a flag of that country. You can find world flags to print out here. (You can print a bunch of these out and create a banner to decorate your living room.) You’ll also need to whip up some of these Glowing Tea Light Olympic Torches for the kids. Head over to OhMy-Creative.com for the easy instructions. If you really want to get educational, have each family member do a little online research and share some fun facts about the country when it’s their turn to walk into the stadium.
2. Opening Ceremony Bingo Game - Mique over at ThirtyHandmadeDays.com created these super cute Olympic Opening Ceremony Bingo Cards that you can download for free.
3. Olympic Games Mad Libs. More fun from ThirtyHandmadeDays.com. Print out her Winter Olympic Games Mad Libs for some silliness.
4. Snowball Olympic Rings Toss. MakeandTakes.com came up with a cute game to play while watching the Olympics. It’s super easy to make and yet not so easy to play.
5. Driveway Sled Race. Time to take the fun outside and have a sledding race. If you have a sloped driveway you can host your race there. If not, find a nearby hill. We’ve had races on our driveway with the kids racing and others with my daughter’s stuffed animals or my son’s action figures as the drivers. It’s pretty funny to see which toys stay on the sled longest. My son likes to cheat by spraying Pam Cooking Spray to the underside of his sled. Here are more tips and ideas on how to have fun sledding.
6. Indoor Snowball Fight. During the commercial breaks, why not get up and get active by having an indoor snowball fight. Here are the instructions to prepare and make your family room friendly ammunition.
Treats for the Olympic Games
Here are some super fun and easy Olympic-themed TREATS to make to enhance your viewing pleasure.
7. Olympic Ring Cookie Treats. We made these super easy Olympic Ring Cookie Treats out of Oreos during the last Summer Olympic Games. They will taste just as good in the winter.
8. Winter Olympic Cupcakes. Over at UncommonDesignsOnline.com, they made the cutest cupcakes with the Olympic rings. Check out their easy instructions. If you didn’t want to make their edible snow you could use white frosting and coconut flakes for the snow effect.
9. Cupcake World Flag Toppers. If you want to make it even easier to have Olympic themed cupcakes, just make your favorite recipe or pick up some pre-made cupcakes and top them with these adorable World Flag cupcake toppers from HoosierHomemade.com. Just download the file and print them, for free. Make sure you thank her in the comments!
10. Gold Medal Cereal Necklace. Your little ones will love making and wearing their very own Gold Medal. Why? Because they can eat it while watching the games. Click over to My Sisters Suitcase Blog to see how easy it is to make.
11. Fruit Salad Olympic Rings For a healthier snack alternative, create a beautiful spread by making the Olympic Rings out of different fruits. Colorful, tasty and healthy! It’s a snack for champions. SavvyMom.ca shows you how.
12. Patriotic Fruit Flag. U.S.A! U.S.A! Support your favorite team with these healthy fruit skewers arranged to look like the American flag.
Does your family watch the Olympics? Which sport do you like best? Do you plan anything special to do while watching?
Sometimes I think kids like New Years Eve more than adults. At least that’s what it seems like in our house. The kids get excited about staying up late, making noise, and watching the ball drop on New Years Eve. I usually want to go to bed early to recover from post-Holiday stress. However, if they are excited about it then let’s jump on their enthusiasm and celebrate.
It’s easier to plan a kid-friendly New Years Eve Party if you have a theme. Whether you celebrate with just your family or you invite some neighbors over, here are 3 easy themes and activities to keep the family occupied and laughing while you wait for midnight.
Get out those new board games you got for Christmas or Hanukkah, find your old favorites in the closet or fire up the Wii for a little family competition. Definitely grab prizes like big boxes of movie theater candy, large chocolate bars, or my favorite, win coupons to get out of household chores. Click here for more ideas on planning a Family Game Night. Here are a few of my family’s favorite games that you can get from our affiliate Amazon:
Mexican Train Dominoes
5 Second Rule
Pajama Pizza Party
Why not have fun cooking together and sharing some laughs in the kitchen by making homemade pizza? If you have a great pizza recipe and a pizza stone, you are good to go. If not, here’s my family’s killer homemade pizza recipe. To make the evening more unique, have everyone wear their pajamas all night. Invite another family over and make it a kids/adult slumber party. Or set up a tent in the living room and the kids can watch the ball drop from inside the tent in their sleeping bags. Here are some more ideas on how to host a fun Pizza Party.
Fancy Schmancy New Years Eve Dance Party
Half the fun of New Year’s Eve is getting dressed up. Who loves dress up more than kids? It’s also fun to dance so why not combine these two into a Fancy Schmancy New Year’s Eve Party? Kids love watching their parents get dressed up for New Year’s Eve Parties, so let them share in the spotlight this year by dressing up in their fancy duds or their kooky dress-up clothes.
If you are dressing up nice, think of it as a prom and decorate the room like your old high school dances with balloons and streamers on the ceiling. Or, for my daughter’s birthday party last year we had a Michael Jackson dance party. You can see how we decorated here.
Turn the New Year’s countdown on the TV and let the kids dance along to the featured bands. Or set up an area in the house as a dance floor and spin the tunes. Create a playlist of the top dance hits of the previous year and groove those holiday feeding-frenzy calories away. Play Freeze Dance where every time you turn off the music the dancers have to freeze in their position. Get your video camera out because the video of your kids dressed up and dancing will be worth it!
Have a fun New Years Eve Party!
My husband and kids LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Peanut Butter Kiss cookies. I make them for birthdays, Christmas and other special occasions to show my family that I love them. And these cookies truly are an act of love because I hate peanut butter! So, I don’t even get to engage in my favorite cookie baking activity – licking the batter. What’s the point of baking cookies if you don’t get to lick the spoon, right? But that’s OK. It’s their favorite cookie and it’s an easy way to make them lip-smacking happy.
For Valentine’s Day this year though, I tried to shake it up a little. I wanted the cookies to fit in with the theme of the Holiday. So I made them pink and used Dove chocolate hearts instead of Hershey kisses.
I love baking these cookies with the kids because they can help out at almost any age. When they are little they can unwrap the chocolates and roll the dough balls in sugar. As they get a little older than can roll the balls themselves. Finally, now that my kids are tweens and teens, they know how to make them all by themselves and don’t need my help at all. How awesome is that!
Here’s the recipe:
Valentine’s Day Pink Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies
1/2 c. butter (or we use Smart Balance spread and it works fine)
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Pink food coloring paste
Dove Chocolate Hearts (milk or dark)
1. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening, peanut butter and sugars. Add the egg and vanilla.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the creamed butter mixture. Add pink food coloring paste. I start with about a 1/4 tsp. of the paste and keep adding until I get the color I want.
3. Shape dough into balls the size of a quarter or walnut. (My husband likes a less cookie, more chocolate ratio so we make our cookies small.)
4. Roll balls in sugar.
5. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. While they are cooking, unwrap the chocolate hearts.
6. Top each cookie with one chocolate heart, pressing firmly into the center of the cookie. The cookies will crack and that is fine.
7. Bake for 2 to 5 minutes longer to soften the chocolate.
Makes about 36 cookies.
For more easy Valentine’s Day Treats that you and the kids can make for Dad, check out:
Cooking with the Kids: Valentine’s Day Chocolate Mousse
Valentine’s Day Heart Shaped Brownies
Chocolate Strawberry Pound Cake Hearts