Friday, February 28, 2014

A Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday

Even though Will's birthday party was 5 months ago, I still want to get the party documented on here so that I don't forget any details later on. We went with "A Very Hungry Caterpillar" theme. I really liked this theme particularly because it meant that I didn't have to come up with any kind of menu on my own, I could just go with the foods that the caterpillar ate through in the book. It also helped that Will liked the book.

I made the invitations in Picasa photo editor just using some of the pictures from Will's one year photo session. I special ordered his hat from a local lady to go with the theme of the party.

 We planned to have the party in our back yard originally, but the forecast for that day was not looking so good, so the day before the party we moved it to an outdoor overhang at our church, and it was a good thing that we did, because it was a wet and rainy day.

I got a lot of the ideas for the party from the blog polkadotsandpuppies, but sadly the site isn't active anymore (she even had some free printables!) but you can still find a lot of pictures from it on pinterest if you look around. I also tweaked a few ideas I found as well as adding some touches of my own.

We had a craft table for the kiddos to make caterpillars out of circles, with green ones for the body and red ones for the head. We also had some eyes cut out and we put all the pieces in a zipper bag so that all that needed to happen was the circles get pasted onto the paper. We also had butterflies that we had cut out on my sis-in-law's cricut that the kids could color and glue onto toilet paper rolls. The craft table was a pretty big hit, and it was nice to have something to occupy the bigger kids with for a while.

As I mentioned, the food was all dictated by the story, so we had cupcakes as well as strawberries, oranges, pickles, apples, (summer) sausage, and cheese. We served lemonade for and water to drink and used mason jars to drink out of. There were small "jelly" mason jars for the kiddos that we drilled holes in the top of and added a straw to in order to help with spills. I found the colorful pinwheels on clearance at Target, as well as the felt "Happy Birthday" banner, and the polka dot napkins, and I thought all the fun colors fit well with the theme. The big stuffed caterpillar on the table was an early birthday gift to Will from a lady in our church, I think she got it at Kohl's when they were featuring the book.

We hung up pictures of Will around the tables on "clotheslines"; some of his one year pictures as well as his monthly photo project pictures, newborn pictures, and just some other random pictures that I love of this kid.

The birthday boy had a special outfit that my mother-in-law made for him, but if you don't have an amazingly talented Grammy on hand I have seen similar shirts on Etsy, like this. She also made him a little bow tie to go with the shirt and I just hot glued some puffy craft balls on his birthday hat to make it stand out among the other birthday hats.

 Will got to Skype with his Aunt Liesl in Romania before the party, and then during the party Liesl hung out over on a table so that she could watch the festivities. Will even got to open his present from her with her watching.

We had a little time at the beginning of the party where everyone was just able to sit around, chat, and eat, and the some of the kids used this time to do their crafts as well. Will especially likes any time when he gets to eat.

After eating we opened up some presents. We asked people to donate to Will's college fund rather than give presents since Will would have a good time either way, but some people still chose to give gifts as well. My parents have a tradition of getting a Radio Flyer wagon for the first grandchild's birthday in each family. The wagon is meant to be shared and passed down as more kiddos are added down the road, so this wagon was not only a gift for Will, but for all subsequent children we have as well. Will LOVES riding in his wagon, and he opened his gifts and cards while sitting in it. The kids all crowded around to see Will's presents too.

After presents it was time for cake. It was the first cake that Will had ever had, and I think it's safe to say that he was a fan.  Will is not one of those kids that is shy about digging in to his food, much less his birthday cake. Also, we thought it best to strip him down to his diaper and bow tie for the cake eating; he was a very cute little Chip n' Dale.

Warning: long line of gratuitous photos of a baby eating a cake coming up.

And I'll leave you with my favorite cake photo of the day. 

Update: I just found another blog that has the printables from polkadotsandpuppies. You can find the printables, as well as another very cute Very Hungry Caterpillar party here.

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