Fancy Nancy Birthday Party Ideas

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So Fancy Emma turned six in June and seeing that her absolute favorite books are the Fancy Nancy series, we decided to throw our girly-girl a Fancy Nancy birthday party and I wanted to share some of the ideas I found in case anyone out there might want to consider a Fancy Nancy theme!

I love having a theme, it makes party planning so much fun! And this girly-girl mom had a LOT of fun putting together this fancy soiree!

Invitations: I ordered this custom printable Fancy Nancy invitation from Amy at Party Invites on Etsy. So very darling and she was amazing to work with! I would highly recommend her.

We decided to do our first drop off party for the girls ~ which made them feel oh so grown up!

Having girls that like to dress up, the rest of the decorations were fairly easy given the fact that I could use many of the items we already had in our dress up box like boas, jewelry, purses and dress up shoes.

Decor: I rented four 6′ children sized banquet tables and kid sized chairs and did two long tables for the crafts and then two table for dining.

Of course, all the decor was done in light and dark pinks as well as purples! The pink fluffy hanging decorations were found at Party City, along with these tissue paper centerpiece flowers.

On top of the pink table clothes, I put two of these inexpensive Eiffel Tower centerpieces. The clip on butterflies were found at Michaels.

I also had Amy make a sign that said Welcome to the King’s Crown as we were going to be serving pizza for dinner (EASY!)

Activities:  I had three different crafts for the girls to work on ~ but first the fun started at the “Accessories Station!”

As the girls arrived, we invited them to come and “Accessorize!” I had my babysitter “work” this station to help all the girls get fancy so we could be free to greet our guests.

I bought a bunch of cheap accessories from Oriental Trading, along with some cheap make-up from the dollar store. Being a germphobe mom, I made sure to also buy Q-Tips and a bag of sponges, so the make-up application was done with disposable items, and not reused. I was also able to find sets of inexpensive jewelry in the $1 bins at Target.

After getting fancy, it was time to craft! The first one we did was based on the Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy book.

I found these adorable mini pink poodles on Birthday Express, only $19.99 for 8.  These also doubled as a party favor for the girls to take home as well.

We had an “Accessorize Your Posh Puppy” station where the girls could make collars for their puppies and embellish with beads and jewels.

I cut pieces of bracelet strings (Michaels), self adhesive rhinestone jewels, bag of beads for bracelets (Michaels) then displayed markers and got metal rim tags from Staples so the girls could name their dogs.  The love charms were found in store at Joann Fabrics.

The second craft we did was an idea I got from the Fancy Nancy Tea Parties which, incidentally, has a ton of fabulous ideas for tea parties for little girls! I bought pink foam sheets from Michaels, cut them into the shape of a butterfly, then glued a white doile in the center.

The girls they decorated the outside of the butterfly wings with self-adhesive jewels and feathers (bag bought at Michaels) and they made their own placemat for dinner.

The third and final craft was inspired by the Fancy Nancy Spectacular Spectacles book- Emma’s favorite.  I started by reading the girls the story so that they were familiar with it.

Then the girls made their own Spectacular Spectacles using these PERFECT plastic glasses I found on Oriental Trading and they decorated them with sticker jewels and feathers.

Amy from Party Invites did all my cute signs in size 8 x 10 so they were easy to print on the computer. I stuck them all in $1 frames I found at the  .99¢ Only Store.  I loved setting the tone at the door with a Bonjour sign wrapped in a boa!

I also dressed up like the mom in the original Fancy Nancy book and made my husband wear a top hat and homemade boutonierre. He is a very good sport.

Food: I kept the food really simple. While the girls were doing crafts I had fruit skewers (on frilly toothpicks of course!) and then did some Chex Mix and put them out in cupcake wrappers, along with simple cheese and crackers. My mom made a fancy sherbert punch but I didn’t get a photo.

And of course for dessert, we did a Make Your Own Parfait station (that’s fancy for ice cream sundaes).  This might have been the biggest hit of the entire party!

Basically this just included Neapolitan ice cream and then toppings like sprinkles, fruit, crushed graham crackers, Oreos, chocolate syrup and whipped cream.

Here is little sis enjoying her sundae.  I was able to find the CUTEST bowls for the ice cream in the $1 bins at Target (2 for $1).

Favors:  I love a non-edible favor that kids can use, so I thought a Fancy Nancy book would make for a great favor.  As luck would have it, on the Scholastic website through my daughter’s school, they had the Everyday is Earth Day on clearance for $2/each since it was right after Earth Day. Score!

I had Amy make me a cute book plate sticker that I printed on these cute labels I found at Staples.

In addition to the crafts, we also did a fashion show at the beginning when all the girls were dressed up, as well as a dance party with Emma’s favorite dance party play list.

Everyone had a fabulous time, and Fancy Nancy was such a fun theme for a girl’s birthday party. Thanks for reading!

[Main graphic above adapted from our Party Invites invitation.]

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Monster Removal Guide Children’s Book

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How many of you have done a routine monster check before bedtime? I remember putting my mom through this drill (closet and under the bed monsters being my most feared species) many, many years ago so I guess the monster check must be a multi-generational ritual. So when I read the new children’s book, Monster Removal Guide, written by Garett Gruber I thought it was such a silly and clever way to combat kids’ monster fears!

The idea for the book came about when Garett and his son were going through a de-monstertizing effort one stormy night through the house. With each monster-removing technique they invented, he saw his son change from scared to empowered and thought, “I am onto something!” and thus the idea for Monster Removal Guide was born.

The book is a compilation of the 10 most effective techniques to safely remove monsters.

For example, did you know that monsters are incredibly frightened by any child performing any combination of kung fu moves?  Yep! So the “Kung Fu Kid” technique which involves any combination of mule-kick or double-cobra hand strike will do the trick.

My girls were particularly entertained by “The Little Stinker” technique.  This is where a baby brother or sister still in diapers can come in handy and if not, a smelly sock can suffice.

Parents everywhere will appreciate “The Cleaners” method – because as it turns out, vacuums horribly frighten monsters as they can easily be sucked into the bags, so keeping one’s room clean is a fail-safe method.  Who knew?!

Geared towards kids ages 6 – 11 and their parents (however my girls are 2 1/2 and 5 1/2 and loved it), this book will help magnify the silliness of monsters and has been selected to receive a Children’s Literacy Classics Seal of Approval.

This book would make a great gift for a boy or a girl, and at only $9.99 you can buy a handful to stash in your closet (monsters beware!!!) for last minute gifts!

Visit the incredibly entertaining and interactive site, www.MonsterRemovalGuide.com for more information as well as to see the 12 species of identified monsters.

However, new species are being discovered by little ones around the globe every day, so if you have a new species you have found, you are welcome to submit it HERE using a Monster ID Form and new species just might make their way onto the website and future publications. Too cute.

Stay up to date with the latest monster IDs with MRG on Facebook and you can also tweet with the peeps at MRG Headquarters on Twitter.

Click HERE to buy online and as of right now, the Monster Removal Guide can also be found at Lido Village Books in Newport Beach or A Whale of a Tale in Irvine.

[Disclosure: I received a complimentary book for review. This is not a compensated post and all my opinions are my 100% honest ones. In the process of working with Garett, they became a right column tile sponsor, so look for the MLG tile on our home page!]

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Learning Train Plum District Deal: $29 for $55 worth of books, toys & games

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This is such a great deal for holiday shopping for kids, I had to fit in a post on it!  The Learning Train Plum District deal today is good for $29 for $55 worth of books, toys & games plus free shipping!  You can buy up to 5 vouchers and this deal could seriously save you BIG on toy shopping for the kids for the holidays.

Check out the site, it’s a great place to go for educational learning materials. Learning Train carries many toys, games, arts and crafts (huge in our house!!), and puzzles all which make perfect holiday gifts.

In addition to educational materials in the areas of math, language arts, science, and social studies, Learning Train also offers fiction and nonfiction books, activity kits, and creative play items (also huge in our house!!) You can even shop by age. Love this site, love this deal.

Click HERE to buy it…scroll to the bottom of the page to see the deal.  You might want to buy the $30 for a one-year subscription to US Weekly while you are at it!

THE FINE PRINT

Voucher must be used in 1 transaction* May not be combined with other offers * One voucher per transaction * May purchase up to 5 vouchers * No refunds or cash back on unused portions of vouchers

[Disclosure: Plum District is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor / Affiliate.]

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School Zone Start to Read! Program

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For me, watching my five year old start to read has been one of the most fascinating things I have witnessed thus far in parenting. It is truly amazing to see the wheels in her brain turning as she starts to recognize more sight words and master the different sounds.

It has also made me realize just how CRAZY the English language is!  I mean how many exceptions could we possibly have?  Just when she has her “c” sound down, she asks me how to spell “cereal.”  And then when an invitation comes to a “Princess and Knight” party arrives and she wants me to read it with her, I have to explain the “silent K.” Geesh! I digress…moving on…

So when a representative from www.SchoolZone.com, a company known for their educational workbooks, flash cards & software, contacted me to tell me about their Start to Read! program I was interested in learning more because I believe anything we can get our hands on to give her practice is worth checking out!

The Start to Read! Program uses a 3-step approach to reading: listen, read, review. The 6-book set for each level (there are 3) contains five beginning reader books, a read-along and songs CD, a comprehension workbook and a parent guide.

Level 1 books are designed for emergent readers, ages 4-6, and have limited vocabulary – each book introduces between 9 and 50 words. Utilizing short, one-line sentences, the titles in level 1 provide simple picture clues that significantly support the story.

The five titles in the Level 2 collection feature brief stories that introduce controlled vocabulary, simple sentence patterns and rhyming words and are designed for children ages 5-7. Picture clues provide considerable support for the test. Each book presents the reader with 50-70 new words.

Level 3 features stories with the most new words and vocabulary and are aimed at readers ages 6-7. Many of the words can be read by changing the initial sound (rumbled-tumbled) or by rhyming with a known word (before-roar). Children should learn approximately 45-150 new words with each book.

For my daughter, at her stage in learning to read, which is the beginning stage, repetition is key. All of the books we read in the Level 1 series combined a silly story using lots of simple, repeating words.  I have learned that word repetition is great because it builds their confidence and gives them the “I can read!” excitement when working their way through a book.

Her personal favorite story in this series is Jog Frog Jog, which features a jogging frog pounding water in running shoes on the cover, was such a silly story she laughed out loud. Especially to the song on the CD.

I am a believer in making education fun for kids! This is the perfect activity to pull out when little sister is napping and we can read the books together and have a ball while doing it!

Each of the three levels retails for $24.99; the deluxe kit, which includes all three levels, is available for the high-value price of $59.99. The 15 individual storybooks are available separately for $2.99 each. All products are available from www.schoolzone.com.

Completely awesome gift idea as well!

{Disclosure: I received the Level 1 Kit complimentary to facilitate this review but this is not a compensated post and all of my opinions are my honest ones!}

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