Party Newsletter – August 2011

 

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August 2011

In This Issue…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Late Summer Pool Party

Late Summer Pool PartyAugust is a great month for a pool party! School will be starting again soon for your kid(s), but they still have one last month to celebrate summer and go out with a bang! A pool party is a fun way for kids to get together one last time and enjoy a hot summer day splashing around in a pool and just having plain old fashioned fun!

If you have a pool in your backyard or community, or if you have access to a public pool, you should throw a pool party for your little one(s) and all their little buddies. There’s not a ton of planning involved because playing in the pool will give the kids plenty of enjoyment and keep them busy all afternoon.

Definitely invite the children’s parents, not only so they can enjoy the fun, but also so that there are plenty of eyes watching the children at all times. I would suggest providing the main food dishes, sandwiches, chips, fruit and veggies, and maybe some punch or juice, but also invite the parents to bring a dish to share with everyone. You can even make a list of additional food items and have the parents sign-up for whatever dish they’d like to bring.

If you have access to an electrical socket nearby, I would also suggest bringing a blender and making fruit smoothies for the kids! Bring plenty of fresh fruits, fun drinking cups with bendy or crazy straws, drink umbrellas, and whipped cream. Also, if you can get a hold of those little plastic swords, the kids will have a blast having mini sword duals with each other!

The kids (and parents) will have a great time basking in the sun, playing in the pool, eating and drinking yummy foods and smoothies, and just plain enjoying the last month of summer!

View more pool party ideas …

Drive-in Movie Party

Drive-in Movie PartyThe days of the drive-in theater have all but come to an end. I can remember going to the drive-in with my parents when I was little and even a few times with friends when I was teenager. It wasn’t so much the movie itself that made the evening, it was the whole experience! This is an American summer pastime that our children will most likely never experience…unless we recreate it for them!

Why not host your own version of a drive in movie theater experience for your children and their friends? Granted, there won’t be any cars involved, but you can definitely re-create the atmosphere and share this favorite pastime with you children. Here are some tips on how to do it:

  • Rent a movie projector from a local appliance rental store and set it up outside.
  • Invite all of your kids friends and tell them to bring a blanket and pillows to lay/sit on.
  • Rent a popcorn machine, slushie machine, soft pretzel machine, hot dog roller, etc.
  • Purchase movie theater type candy and set it up on a display case
  • Decorate with movie themed items—posters, film reels, director’s clapboards, Hollywood stars, trophies/awards, megaphones, etc.

Plan for an evening party (and hope for good weather!) If the weather doesn’t cooperate, have a contingency plan to move the party inside. If you’re trying to keep a low budget, you can of course serve microwave popcorn, blended slushies, store-bought soft pretzels, etc.–but half the fun of the movie experience is the ambiance of paying way too much for every day foods, right?!

Pick a fun movie that everyone will enjoy—maybe something new or a classic hit all kids will like. Invite the parents too; I’m sure they’ll enjoy the throw-back nostalgia just as much as you will. Now…lights, camera, ACTION!

Birthday Centerpieces for Island Themes

Birthday Centerpieces for Island ThemesThere’s just something about summer that makes people want to celebrate all that is tropical. It makes sense with the sunshine and the warm weather that you have the perfect backdrop to celebrate an island or luau themed party. If you happen to love the islands or just adore this theme, then you want to really embrace it. The perfect way to do so is to have centerpieces adorning the venue that give off the feeling of a warm tropical paradise.

Beautiful Tropical Flowers

When you visit a tropical island, you are often taken with the beauty. Much of this is based on the surroundings and a major factor in that is the beautiful flowers and lush greenery that make it up. So why not use these gorgeous flowers as the perfect centerpiece for your tropical celebration? Consider getting a few special or exotic flowers for accents such as orchids or day lilies. These can tend to get a bit expensive so just use them as accents and for effect. The key to a gorgeous tropical centerpiece is to utilize very vibrant and brightly colored flowers. These will help to set the scene and make for a gorgeous centerpiece at your party.

Read More Island Centerpiece Ideas…

Host a Back to School Fashion Show!

Back to School Fashion ShowThe end of summer is an exciting time for children. They’re looking forward to going back to school and seeing all of their friends, meeting their new teachers, and most of all, showing off their new clothes! What? I can’t be the only one who felt that way when I was a kid! I loved school shopping—getting new outfits, the trendiest shoes, the latest accessories—the first week of school was all about show-and-tell!

A cute idea for an end of summer party for your kids is a Fashion Show Party! Kids love to show off– that’s not a secret. And most of them love to be the center of attention—at least for a little while. So why not invite your child’s friends and parents to a little cat walk show?

Tell them to bring a few of their favorite new outfits to wear while they strut their stuff in front of their friends. You can build a makeshift cat walk with plywood, set-up chairs on either side of it, hang some “spot lights”, and playing some edgy techno type of music to inspire the kids to do their best runway walk while showing off the latest fashion trends.

After the fashion show, serve snacks for the kids and parents, but keep it light and try to serve foods that won’t stain if anyone has an accident. Or you can advise the parents to bring “play clothes” for the kids to change into after the show, before the snacks are served.

I guarantee you, the kids will have a blast showing off for each other. And yes, while we don’t want our children to become too attention hungry, I encourage you to let them shine in the spotlight for this party!

Recipes: Spicy Salsa and Garden Guacamole

SalsaSalsa is so easy to make, and you can find most of your ingredients from the garden. For guacamole, though most people likely don’t have avocado or lime trees nearby, over half the ingredients can be from your garden.

Try these simple dips for your next party:

Spicy Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 2 red onions
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 green jalapeno pepper
  • 2 pomentos or green peppers
  • a couple twigs of fresh cilantro
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

Chop up everything, de-seeding the jalapeno pepper first (unless you want extra, extra hot!) I have a manual food processor – basically, a hand crank that spins blades. I find this more versitile than electric ones, which spin too fast and often turns everything to mush.

Otherwise, simply chop everything up. Because the tomatoes are fresh from the garden, they will be very juicy. Otherwise, add a bit lime juice if you need to make it thinner.

Mix everything up, place some sprigs of cilantro on top, and serve!

Garden Guacamole

Ingredients:

  • 3 Avocados, mashed
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • One ripe, but firm tomato, cubed
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, mashed

Directions:

Mix everything up. Serve!

Summer Camping Sleepover Party

Having sleepovers are such a fun part of being a kid. And another fun part is camping. So I say, why not combine the two? A fun idea for a party to throw for your kids is a Summer Camping Sleepover Party!

If you have a big enough backyard, or if you live near a public campground, hosting a party like this for your kids is a cinch!

Be sure to invite a few parents to come along too so that there is plenty of supervision. Here are tips for how to have a successful evening:

  • Be sure to have the kids bring a sleeping bag and pillow.
  • Ask around and borrow a handful of tents for the kids to sleep in.
  • Buy or obtain firewood so you can have a bonfire (Also have a fire extinguisher handy for safety reasons.)
  • Be sure to purchase hot dogs, marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate bars (S’mores of course!)
  • Have flashlights and electric lanterns handy for bathroom breaks.
  • Do a little research online and find a few fun and scary campfire stories to tell.
  • And in my opinion, most importantly, have plenty of bug spray!

The kids will have so much fun camping out! For many of these children, this may be the only time they ever get to camp under that stars, so make it memorable for them. It’ll be fun for the adults too—when is the last time you went camping or had a sleepover?

In the morning, be sure to have all the children help clean-up, being sure to leave the campsite or backyard the same as it was before the sleepover. The children will have fun and learn the importance of treating nature with respect. And you never know, they may enjoy themselves so much that they can’t wait for the next camping sleepover!

Theme Party of the Month: The Smurfs!

The Smurfs theme party suppliesI loved The Smurfs as a kid. Only three apples tall, and blue with white clothing, they lived in a communal utopia of mushroom houses deep in a medieval forest. Gargamel, an inept local wizard, hated their happiness, and his flea-bitten cat and sidekick Azrael (who was, indeed kicked to the side a lot) was forever hopeful that he could capture and eat one of them. Smurfette is the only female Smurf, and even as a kid, I wondered why that was? Then there was their la la la-la la la theme song. Yes, I own the first two seasons of the cartoon, and I got my kids hooked on them. In fact, they’ve taken all my little Smurf figurines as toys, and won’t give them back!

Invitations:

In the fun world of the Smurfs (come on — who wouldn’t want to live in a mushroom?), the word “smurf” serves as a noun, verb and adjective and is a part of many different words.

It’s easy to download some Smurf images and include them in a document or a card-making program, so go ahead and create your own invitations. Your kids will love helping you with this. (I mean…your smurfs will love smurfing you with this.) Use Smurf language on the party invitations. “Ready for a smurftastic time? Then smurf on down to our house!” is a great way to get guests in the Smurf theme party mood.

Toss a little blue confetti into each invite before mailing.

Food Ideas:

Smurf sandwiches: Buy a mushroom-shaped cookie cutter on Ebay, at your local grocery, dollar or bakery store. Assemble sandwiches with whatever ingredients your guests will like. Cut out each sandwich with the cookie cutter.

Blue tortilla chips: Yum! Blue corn tortilla chips can be found in most major grocery stores now, and probably in your local health food store. Serve with salsa or cheese dip.

Easy mushroom or all-blue cupcakes: Use any vanilla cupcake recipe. Add drops of blue food dye, one at a time, until you have a deep blue color. Stir until the color is uniform (do not over-stir — this can ruin most baked recipes). Bake as directed and cool completely. For mushrooms, glaze cupcakes with vanilla frosting and add large dots of frosting in different colors. For all-blue cupcakes, add blue frosting a few drops at a time to vanilla or white/sugar frosting until the desired color is achieved. Frost cupcakes.

Read more ideas for this party …

Sales and Coupon Codes for Online Party Merchants

Birthdayexpress.comOYA-020 – Save $10 on your order over $75. Discount is applied before taxes, shipping or duties, and can not be combined with any other offer. Use coupon code at checkout. Good until August 24, 2011.

Shindigz.comSZFKUK– Save 15% on your order of $85 or more. Order is for ground shipping in the continental US, and can not be combined with any other offer. Expires at the end of August 19, 2011

Birthdayinabox.comPersonalized lollipops – a dozen for $9.99! – No coupon required.

Next issue in mid September. See you then, and thanks for reading!