E will turn two soon, which means I’m in party planning mode. The boy loves balloons, but I didn’t want to duplicate V’s rainbow birthday. So I thought of ways we could have tons of balloons but make it different. Then I realized, balloon animals!
I like to start with the invitation and let things flow from there. So, here’s the invitation we’re sending out.
Now I’ve got to figure out the rest of the party. And learn how to make balloon animals. Any ideas for a balloon animal themed party? Food suggestions?
26 thoughts on “Balloon Animal Birthday”
what a fantastic invite. love the graphics! so clean and simple.
Animal crackers and maybe things you would feed animals…peanuts, bananas. Maybe that is more zoo themed?
Find an easy idea for making balloon hats for the guests. You could play games with balloons. Like try and keep it off of the ground for 10 seconds. Whoever does it wins. I would have stickers and let the kids decorate their balloons. (That would be something he could do at his age. It would also help build his confidence and decision making skills because he could make choices in what he wants to add to his balloon. He wouldn’t need much help to do it. That kind of stuff makes kids feel soooo good!) When I think of balloons I think of hot air balloons, and macys thanksgiving day parade. Does that spark any ideas. You are so creative, I know you will think of something great. How exciting!
just curious here, wondering why you’re saying no to gifts and yes to clothes?
I don’t know why but I immediately envision hot dogs or (little sausages) somehow assembled to look like the animals. Could be really ambitious but the balloon body parts look hot dog-ish to me 🙂 Or those circus peanuts?! Good luck, can’t wait to see pictures!
Oh what a fun invitation and theme! I’m also clueless about making balloon sculptures of any kind, but the idea above about making hats is great! I think that decorating balloons would be fun too. It might be neat to do portrait balloons. ??? You could have face type add-ons like sticker eyes, mouth, etc to make faces and then tie them to something to hold them This idea just struck me as something that would make them laugh- a bobbing head on a table, ya’ know?
At my Little Guy’s outdoor island 2nd b’day party last year we made a quick change when Hurricane Irene hit, so we ended up clearing out the formal living room and bringing his kiddie pool inside. Rather than adding water we blew up a bag of different sized balloons and filled the pool. The kids had an awesome time just jumping in and knocking them around the room. We were surprised at what a hit it ended up being.
For food you could do those pocket sandwiches where you cut off the crusts and press the edges to hold in the fillings- like PB & J. I have seen round ones at Target. You could stick red licorice whips in one side like the balloon string hanging down. ??? this one is tough. You will think of something- you are so creative.
Can’t wait to see more!
Hey Irene! Thanks so much! I think it turned out pretty cute. 🙂
Hi Kate, Ev loves animal crackers, so that’s definitely a possibility. Zoo themed would have been much easier. Haha.
Hi Tiffany! I LOVE the balloon hat idea. I’ll have to see what we can find. And balloon games are fun. Maybe I can make some stickers for the balloons… Hopefully I can think of some fun decorations. 🙂
Hi Alex, Well, I wrote no gifts on Vincent’s invitation, but everyone still came with a gift. So, I figured limiting the gift selection to clothes (something Ev needs) rather than toys that take up space. But I don’t want people to feel obligated to buy gifts because they’re invited. That’s not the reason they’re invited to the party. Does that make more sense?
Hey Beth, Ha, I love the hot dog idea. We’ll have to see how much of a pain some things are. Haha.
Hi Chic Tweaks! Love the portrait balloon idea. 🙂 That balloon filled pool is such a neat alternative to the water. So glad it was a hit! I thought about shaped sandwiches, too. Who knows what we’ll end up with. 🙂
Actually, it says no toys, but is asking for clothes, even the size is stated. I would feel offended to receive an invitation like this. People should feel free to bring fun gifts to a child’s birthday party, not obligated to clothe them. That’s the responsibility of the parents.
Hi Annie, I understand what you’re saying, to a certain extent. But, we’re inviting our immediate family and they give the boys toys and such so often that they don’t need anything else. And, Everett is two, he thinks opening any sort of gift is fun, whether a toy, food, or clothes.
I don’t think gifts are necessary to make a kid happy and often kids are completely spoiled these days. And if the gift giver wants to do something fun, they could take Everett to do something fun. In my opinion, experiences are just as much fun as a gift, and they’re more likely to appreciate and remember that than a toy. Of course if you don’t like this policy, you don’t have to do this for your invitations. 🙂
Ummm… did you make the invitations yourself????
What program did you use?? You’re fantastic!
That’s the best invite I’ve ever seen! I wish I could be creative like you!
Hi The Changing House!
Yep, I made it in Photoshop. Thanks so much for your kind words! I do take custom requests for invitations and stationery. If you need anything, give me a shout. 🙂
The invites are so freaking cute! love them 🙂 Love the colros you choose for the invitations so pretty 🙂 Sadly I have no tips on how to make balloon animals
Amanda, naturally I would never ask for specific gifts on a birthday party invitation, because it is rude an defies common etiquette; therefore, your response “Of course if you don’t like this policy, you don’t have to do this for your invitations” is also rude and flippant. It is considered bad etiquette to even mention gifts, as in “No gifts please, your presence is the present”, etc. because it then creates the expectation of a present by merely mentioning it; rude. A gift is just that, and it is up to the giver what s/he wants to give; not what the receiver’s parents desire at a birthday party. It is perfectly acceptable to answer if asked when someone is RSVPing, but it is not acceptable to put it on the invitation. Since this is a home decor/lifestyle blog, I did think it would be an issue to point out the faux pas, as did another poster. If you put something out there and ask for comments/suggestions, and they are made in a sincere manner, as mine was, sarcasm is not necessary in your response. And since you do make custom invitations as part of your business, I would think that part of this would entail informing clients what is and what is not acceptable in terms of etiquette……….but I can see your bad manners are not just limited to wording on invitations, which is a shame.
Whoa Annie – a little harsh aren’t we?! First of all, I have never heard of the ‘No gifts please’ on invitations as being rude, so not sure where you are getting that from. If Amanda is sending to only immediate family, then I’m sure the family understands her request. My cousins used to say the same thing to me when invited to their kids’ parties. yes, it’s up to the guest to buy a gift or not and of course, we all want to buy toys and such for kids. But as a mother of 2 young girls I can tell you they have WAY too much stuff as it is and most times what they get they only play with for a short time until it’s ‘forgotten’. I think Amanda is just trying to save her family the time/money of buying another toy that will be ‘forgotten’ eventually and saving everyone from having to call to find out size. And honestly, lighten up – it’s a blog, not a Miss Manners column!
Oh and Amanda – love the invitation! I do my own too and it means so much more to me and our kids than buying them sometimes.
Kim, its standard etiquette, you can Google to find out. And no, I dont think its harsh. If a blog host/owner cannot respond to their guests without sarcasm, they shouldn’t invite guests to comment. Not everyone is going to agree, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be handled in a gracious manner. I also have children and have thrown many large birthday parties, inviting family and friends, and I would never dream of putting something like that on an invitation, Frankly, I cringed a bit when I read it here. Constructive criticism is not disrespectful, but snarky answers are. This has been kind of a hot topic with moms lately, and the best advice I saw about how to handle it was to let the guests bring what they like as a present, as it really is and should be their choice. If you feel your child has too many toys, go through the old ones and donate them to charity to make room for the new ones; a win/win. It was also suggested that making specific requests for gifts, unasked, is indicative of the ‘gimme’ mentality that people seem to have these days, in that the giver of the gift is not allowed to really choose what they want to give, but are being asked for what parents feel THEY need for the children, and is not in the true spirit of gift giving. I hope that clears it up for you, because manners are never out of style 🙂
Hi Annie, I honestly wasn’t being sarcastic when I made my comment. I’m sorry that you took it that way. Written word isn’t the best way to accurately explain a view point because so much is in a tone of voice. I think this is an area where new standards of etiquette are being set, just as it used to be the standard for women to wear only dresses in public.
Before writing no gifts at the bottom of Vincent’s invitation, I did a Google search and found this article about it: http://www.etiquettedaily.com/2009/06/no-gifts-please-what-to-say-on-an-invitation/ Everyone still brought gifts though. To counteract this, I gave parameters for gift giving, which I think is reasonable and have had guests thank me for. I understand you don’t feel the same way, and you don’t have to.
As for your suggestion to make room for new toys around birthdays and holidays, that’s fine. However I think it is better to limit the incoming gifts to necessary items, such as clothing or a hand-made/special toy. I think this is a win/win. Attendees don’t have to shell out money for a toy that will likely fall apart soon, and the parents don’t have the clutter in their home.
I don’t want to teach my boys the ‘gimme’ mentality, which is precisely the reason I encourage party attendees to give clothes. Everyone needs clothes (little boys go through it quickly) and it’s something most kids don’t go crazy over. I think it’s much the same as going to only five houses on Halloween. The kids don’t need a big bag of candy, but they’re always excited to get a little.
Either way, I know our guests have not been offended at the no gift/clothes only request. I’m sorry you have been offended, but it works for us. To each his own.
I hope this helped explain my view point without seeming rude. 🙂 I do try to be as polite and gracious as possible. I genuinely appreciate reader comments and feedback.
Hi Amanda, thanks for your response. I do agree the written word and the Internet in general can make communication a challenge. Please understand I am not challenging your parenting. That being said, the article you linked me to references the no gifts only policy; but ultimately everyone does need to do what works for them.
Now, onto the fun stuff! I am an every day reader of your blog, so I did see what you did with Vincent’s party and I thought it was super creative, right down to the cake (especially for a non baker! – cream cheese, nutella, chocolate and M&Ms – yum!) I don’t know if you are trying to go more balloon or animal with this, but I have seen some cute ideas.
– Make a #2 on the wall by arranging colorful forms in the shape of the number using small pieces of Scotch tape rolled for each balloon
– Cupcakes instead of cake and the only thing I could think of that remotely resembles an animal balloon are barley pops in the shape of animals. I haven’t seem them in a while and am not sure how much they cost, but you could put coordinating sprinkles on the cupcake, stick a lollipop in (even a plain, round one) and tie a small piece of curly ribbon to the stick (I would curl a long piece and cut it into smaller pieces – kind of along this idea http://www.marthastewart.com/275674/kids-favorite-cupcakes/@center/276960/kids-birthday-parties#/267200
Or these animal or other shaped lollipops http://www.shindigz.com/party/Zoo-Animal-Lollipops.cfm
– Here’s a lollipop garden cake, it could be modified to look like balloons.
– Here’s a bunch of How Tos for animal balloon making.http://www.marthastewart.com/275674/kids-favorite-cupcakes/@center/276960/kids-birthday-parties#/267200 I think someone mentioned stickers that you can create for eyes, nose, etc.
A major staple on my kids party menu was always a lasagna. You can make it ahead and just pop it in the oven (it actually is better if it sits a day in the fridge, you can even put it in assembled but unbaked and bake it the day of). There’s a really easy recipe where you dont have to boil the noodles- Just layer sauce, noodles, ricotta, chive cottage cheese, sauce and mozzarella (sprinkle other spices to taste if you like) and repeat. You can make a few varieties like veggie, layering frozen wrung out spinach, mushroom and diced bell pepper. I usually did a spinach and mushroom and a pepperoni and bell pepper.
Hi Annie, I think everything was a misunderstanding. Now that we’ve gotten past that, I love the ideas you’ve linked to!
I’m shooting more for balloon animals than just balloons. But it’s proving to be a challenge to have only balloon animal things. I *think* I found a way to make a balloon animal cake. We’ll see how it actually goes, though. I can never guarantee my baking skills. But the lollipops are awesome!
Lasagna is an excellent idea, too. Most of our guests will be adults (only four kids, including Vincent and Everett). So I like the idea of something adults and kids like.
Annie – I didn’t think Amanda was being rude either – she was simply stating her opinion and what she felt comfortable doing with her own family and saying that if you feel differently about the situation then you would do what you wanted. I did google the ‘No gifts, please’ and saw many different ideas and opinions on the whole thing. Frankly, I think it really depends on the situation (not for a wedding, no) and who the invitation is going out to.
Ballon animals strike me as circus-y …even though you’re trying to stick to balloon animal decor maybe you could expand for food? Popcorn station perhaps? http://www.thepartydress.net/2011/09/tpd-magazine-popcorn-bar/. Cracker jacks? Hot dogs?
Thanks for the link, Susan! I did plan on having popcorn, because Ev loves it. I bought cute little bags for it, too. I think Target has little boxes of Cracker jacks in their dollar section, maybe I’ll pick up a few as the treats for the kids… Keep the ideas coming!! 🙂
ah! I am so sorry if my question brought on this banter!
Honestly, I’m an expecting mother of our very first, and I’m just taking notes! We have inlaws that I am terified they are going to spoil our child rotten, and I like to hear how others try to combat that (which is a whole different debate if you can have that conversation in the first place).
Hey Alex, No worries! It’s a good discussion to have. For us, the no gift/clothes only thing works. Maybe don’t put it on the invite, but it’s definitely an okay request. There are certain toys people will buy for your kids no matter what. We combat buy donating/passing down to friends or family. You’ll figure out a system that works best for you through trial and error, but it definitely helps if you have people to pass things down to. 🙂
Amanda, I LOVE your invitation for Everett’s birthday and I’m currently using it as inspiration for my son’s 2nd birthday invites. (Different theme, just love the subway art style typography you used.) I’m curious what font you used for “PLEASE JOIN US FOR”? I need to hunt it down! Thanks!
Hi Trisha, I don’t remember the font name off the top of my head, but when I’m at my computer I’ll check. Glad you like it!