I threw a birthday party for a lamb. Lamby-lamb to be exact, my five-year-old’s well-loved stuffed lamb given to her as a baby. Take note mamas – this was a FUN three hour stay-at-home activity for both kiddos – and a great (sneaky!) way to get some educational lessons in.
Now, this wasn’t just any stuffed animal’s pretend birthday party. The celebration included a real cake and candles, a wrapped present for Lamby-lamb (what’s a birthday without a present?) and decorations.
I am a mama on the go. My babies and I are always out and about, doing something. But, sometimes rainy days, sick munchkins, or even just overtired kids (or mamas!) require a day at home.
I found myself staring down one of these days, wondering how to entertain my two very active little ones.
My little girl had mentioned that Lamby-lamb had recently turned four (she loves imaginative play and is always making up stories for her animals and dolls), so I suggested we throw a real party. The kids were beyond thrilled (probably because I mentioned birthday cake).
This is what we did – you can vary to cater to whatever you need (or already have at home):
1. Make a small, one-stop outing for supplies
First we raided the kids’ piggy banks and they each clutched two dollars. Teaching moment: have them count out their money.
Then we went to the Dollar Tree, but you could find the same products at the Target dollar spot…or your local store of choice.
They each had two dollars…and they each got to choose one card and one present…not for themselves, but for their friend Lamby-lamb.
My oldest actually counted all of the money to the cashier. They took this step very seriously. (What would a lamb like, anyways? They each had ideas.) Teaching moment: how to shop on a budget.
Mommy’s present to Lamby-lamb was cake mix and frosting – for the birthday cake, of course!
2. Make a birthday card
Next came coloring at home in their birthday cards – I asked my older one to practice writing her name and a personal message.
Crayons, stickers, and a good 20 minutes of fun. Teaching moment: coloring works on fine motor skills, plus letter recognition and practice.
3. Time to bake!
Each put on an apron, got their little step stools and we started cooking together. Teaching moment: read the instructions together, have them measure, stir and talk about setting the timer for the correct amount of time.
4. Wrap your presents
While your treat is baking, wrap your presents!
Teaching moment: practicing with safety scissors, working on fine motor skills and learning how much tape to use.
5. It’s time to decorate!
We have a birthday box in the garage with leftover or recyclable birthday decorations – get as crazy as you want!
We always include hats, plates, napkins and banners. Teaching moment: talk about the colors on the decorations, where to place them and count out the correct number of hats/plates/etc.
6. Get on your party clothes
I always frost the cake myself (it just gets so messy and crazy with two kids trying to do this with me) – so while I was frosting, they went to get dressed up for the party.
Teaching moment: pick their outfit and use their imagination! My little girl actually dressed up Lamby-lamb, too!
PARTY TIME!!! Light candles, sing happy birthday, have a treat, let their friend “open” their presents, read them their cards…and take LOTS of pictures!
Happy party planning!