My daughter turned 7! Wowizers! This year we went with an Art theme Birthday Party since she is all about arts and crafts. I wanted to make sure that we included different mediums throughout as well as some games so this is what I came up with!
Above you can see part of our Art Gallery. I took 3 diaper boxes, wrapped them up and taped on some artwork my daughter had done. Then when the guests came, we put up their framed work. For the invitation I sent home an empty picture frame clipart that said to return it when you came to the party. I had a portion that you cut off with all the party details. Surprisingly, everyone remembered! It was fun to see all the different styles. Everyone liked looking at each other's work. I made the invitations so that it was a half page so it was big enough to draw inside but not huge.
To set the mood for the party we covered the driveway with chalk art!
One of the activities that I had set up when people were coming, was the above butcher sheet of cut out pictures. My daughter and I went through old magazines and cut out pieces of cartoons, animals, etc. We either did just the head or cut the picture in half so they were pictures that needed to be finished. I put some colored pencils by it and the kids went to work. On another wall, I had a plain sheet of butcher paper with stickers nearby and smelly markers. I also had the table covered in butcher paper with stamps and crayons. The last opening activity I had was a count the candy jar. This gave people lots to do while we waited for everyone to show up.
Once everyone got to the party, we started with painting since they needed to dry! I got lucky and found a ton of little wooden shapes at a garage sale so I had a ton to pick from and everyone painted a few. I also found old Mary Kay makeup palettes to use for the paint palettes at a garage sale but if I hadn't I would have just used little paper plates. It would have been nicer if I had all the paint palettes ready to go but I didn't which allowed for the kids to pick colors more. I noted in bold on the invitation to please wear clothes you didn't mind getting colorful so I didn't have to provide aprons for everyone. I did offer it though since some didn't like the idea of getting dirty. I also had extra trash bags on hand just in case I needed to make lots of impromptu aprons. It wasn't a big deal though to most. As you can see above, I have a plastic tablecloth that is very colorful. Its our art tablecloth that I get out for our projects at home which makes things really easy for me. I also designate a few cups and containers just for painting water because things happen and its nice to not have to worry. Having the art tablecloth made it really easy to transition to the next activity too. We just moved the finished projects somewhere to dry and folded up the tablecloth.
We then moved outside (that way any extra clean up needed could be done by the other adult while everyone was outside) to play a paint game. This was a game that I had lots of trial and error which continued during the party. I originally wanted to just have water type of balloons with enough paint to just throw but those didn't seem to pop well enough and were hard to fill (but if you figure it out, TELL ME!). I decided to just fill up water balloons with mostly water and a little paint. If I were to do it again, I'd put more paint in but its really hard to fill balloons with paint. Does anyone know how they do it??? So after all my hard work of filling balloons up with paint, I hung them up outside on butcher paper that I stapled to our fence. The idea was to take a pin or dart and pop the balloons get paint on the paper and yourself a little. Well, it turned out to be really, really hot and and sunny day and the paint dried up super fast! It became a game of who will be lucky to get a paint filled balloon that isn't dried up. It was a fun contest in the end. Thankfully, I had a backup plan which was squirt bottles filled with homemade paint. The squirt bottles were fun to use and then smear with your hands all over the paper as you can see above. On the other side of the yard, I had chalk out to draw on the fence. We also just ran around a bit in the backyard.
Then we came in (I like to change rooms, it helps set the tone and get everyone listening again) and did some freeze dancing. Dancing is an art form and when the music stops, you freeze in a fun statue position.
Next, we tried playing Simon Says Art but it was too complicated either for this age group or do at a party. The idea was Simon Says tries to explain the picture that only they can see then see what people end up with. It didn't get great results though as people got really frustrated so we quickly ended and went on to cake!
Or I should say, cookie! My daughter wanted giant cookies with fruit and frosting filling and a paint palette on top. I tried my best! We did rainbow colors for the fruit so I had purple grapes, red strawberries, oranges, yellow pears, green kiwi, and blueberries. The cookie was just a sugar cookie cooked big and flat with a little less sugar than normal to compensate for all the cream cheese frosting. It was really delicious but has to be assembled close to party time as the fruit will get the cookie mushy otherwise. My daughter drew a paintbrush out of frosting on top of the cake. We had flowers in different colored water for decoration as well.
After cake we played with homemade play dough. I made 2 colors and put out jewels and other objects to mix in and make a statue. By the time those were done, it was almost time for the party to be done so we did activities that wouldn't matter if they had to leave. They could play outside or do one last art project. I cut out dragonflies and butterflies from cereal boxes and got out fake leaves and flowers to glue on for one last spin on art.
When everyone left, I had my daughter put together their favor bag and say Thank You as they left. Favors included a fancy pencil, her favorite candy, a paint brush, markers, and an art book that I made. I used the following printables and shrunk them down to 1/4 a page and stapled them into a book: I'm an Artist,Roll-a-Miro, Origami Fox, How to Draw a Bird, Finish the Face and other fun finish the picture pages.
Also see how we surprised her with an Art Attack on her birthday!