The American Girl dolls are such a fun and age appropriate doll for young girls 6-9 years old. I love the way the dolls provide a view into certain time periods in history with each doll character playing her own role. It’s a creative way to bring a little bit of history and culture into a little girl’s world. A few months ago a neighborhood mom friend asked if I’d be interested in helping with the party favors for her daughter’s summer birthday party. Party favors? Of course! I jumped at the chance. A couple of weeks after that she asked “What if you just do plan the party for me?” A party? Of course! I’d love to do it! I’ve already mentioned in previous posts that my own 3 children have June birthdays so I’m always left trying to come up with excuses to throw parties throughout the rest of the year. Throwing a special birthday for one of the neighborhood cuties was definitely somethign I was interested in. Sign me up!
Theme – What started out as an American Girl tea party quickly transformed into an American Girl Hawaiian themed party. The birthday girl requested each girl bring her doll to the party and her doll, Kanani the American Girl from Hawaii, coincidentally matched the invitations I found on etsy.com. Kanani helps others by sharing Hawaii’s aloha spirit. Kanani and everything Hawaiian became the perfect party theme for this outdoor summer birthday party.
Decorations – Decorations were light pink, dark pink, purple, and a bit of lime green as requested by the birthday girl. I like to use paper tableclothes with a plastic lining on the craft tables because it makes clean up a breeze and helps protect the surface from glue, markers, or anything that might damage the surface. I made a few trips to various local party stores to collect beach or Hawaiian type decorations. In the end I found leis, paper lanterns, and balloons but also added my own Aloha pennant to finish the decorations. The party took place outside on a nice patio with patio furniture and bright umbrellas so the decorations were minimal to keep it from looking too overdone.
Food and Beverage – The party time was 2-4pm so we went with simple snacks for the girls. Keeping with the tropical theme we offered healthy options with mini fruit skewers as well as mini sandwiches on King’s Hawaiian buns. For fun I added cheese puff balls in a bright beach pail and labeled it “Beach Balls”. I also added plain bagged Trader Joe’s popcorn drizzled with pink meltie chocolate and sprinkled with pink jelly beans and confetti sprinkles. The birthday girl’s mom and dad served up snow cones and assorted gourmet sandwiches and chips and salsa for the adults who stayed for the party. For the cake the birthday girl wanted an ice cream cake. The local Cold Stone Creamery was happy to make a few adjustments to one of their beach cake designs to accommodate my special request. I found a few cake top toys online so I was able to add my own beach chair, palm tree, and umbrella to the cake. It turned out so cute!
Activity – The activities for the party were my favorite part of the party. A creative neighbor mom suggested candy leis when I told her about the party. I used the Costco plastic wrap because of the safe cutter that comes on the box. Plastic wrap, curling ribbon, individually wrapped candy, and paper flowers and presto you have a candy lei activity that each of the girls can do and then take home to eat later. The project required some assistance from older party assistants ie the birthday girl’s older sister and two of her friends, but the for the most part once the girls understood how to do the craft they were able to complete most of this on their own. Great project for girls 8-12 years old!
The other party activity was a “decorate your own kukui nut bracelet” activity. I ordered kukui nut bracelets from the ABC Store in Hawaii and had them shipped to me in Seattle. I bought an assortment of colored paint pens and the girls were encouraged to draw flowers, write their name, or do whatever to make their bracelet their own creation. This was another inexpensive but fun party activity that allowed the girls to take home something from the party.
Party Favors – The party favors for this party were extra special with each girl receiving an American Girl book, a bottlecap necklace wrapped in a pink box and tied with ribbon, and a starfish cookie. Any one of these items alone would have made a perfect party favor but allowing the girls to select their own book and receive a pretty wrapped pink box with a surprise American Girl bottecap necklace inside was the perfect ending to a fun day.