Toddler and Schoolage Birthday Party Ideas: UPDATED

April 14, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Party Planning

Guess what Moms? Our party idea list has been expanded! Check out a few of our newest ideas for great kid birthday parties. Don’t worry all of our original ideas can be found here.

Still planning for infants? Don’t miss our birthday party ideas for babies click here!

A HARD KNOCK LIFE PARTY

movie inviteIf you love the movie classic Annie, this party is perfect you! First pick movie themed invitations. A lot of party stores are carrying these now so they are easy to find. Be sure to tell the guests in the invite to dress the part as an orphan. This does not require buying anything new, just get creative! Suggest wearing button-down shirts, cardigans over a sundress, boots, and do a little “dirty” makeup to make your guest extra scruffy. You’ll want your little darling to be the star, Annie, so save that part or her. Serve popcorn in classic containers (also available at many party supply stores) and have a showing of Annie playing for your guests. The kids will have fun dancing to the songs, especially “A Hard Knock Life”. Serve cake and juice boxes, open presents, and your classic Annie party is complete!

A DAY AT THE ZOO

What child, especially toddlers, doesn’t love animals? A day with their friends at the zoo would be a perfect way to spend a birthday. Many zoos offer birthday party packages that include cake, drinks, and zoo passes for you and your guests. This idea is a little pricey but, if you can afford it, it makes for a very memorable party. But, what if you want to do the zoo boxzoo on a budget? This is a great theme for an at home party too (or even a party that can be held a local park). To plan a zoo party at home, get crafty. Create a game of “pin the nose on the lion” and provide bowls of peanuts in the shell for guests to snack on. Fill cute treat bags or boxes with zoo themed favors. We love, love, love the treat box we have pictured (find it at birthdaydirect.com). For added fun, send your little explorers on a safari hunt. This can be done through a scavenger hunt (don’t forget to let the adults help if it’s a toddler party). The objective can be to find the lost tiger, lion, etc. and the winner will get to keep their new stuffed animal treasure! Facepaint tiger whiskers on the girls and zebra stripes on the boys. If the neat freak in you doesn’t like the mess of facepainting, check party stores for animal masks that the guests can color on their own. The party animals will all love getting wild with your little one at this party!

TAKE A TUMBLE

Is your little one an aspiring gymnastics star? A party at your local gymnastics studio is a great way to celebrate another milestone. It is good gender neutral them and good way for all your party guests to get their wiggles out. Thisgym. party is super easy to plan because there is minimal planning involved. Find some cute invitations (lots of variations are offered at many paper product vendors online) and then let your guests have fun tumbling around. After they’ve all had their fill of jumping and tumbling, open presents, and eat cake with your guests. For favors keep it simple. We love the idea of making ribbon dancers for guests. Just hit up your local craft store for 12″ wooden sticks and colorul ribbon. Cut the ribbon into 3 ft. long pieces and hot glue one end to the top of the wooden stick-VOILA! Instant ribbon dancer! We love this party idea because it is great for a boy or girl! Who wouldn’t love to rough and tumble with their friends for their birthday?!

ICE SCREAM, YOU SCREAM, WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM!

This delicious idea is a wonderful party theme for spring and summer parties. We think it’s most ideal for ages 3-7. You can host it at home or once again take it to your local park and keep the mess out of your house. You can buy invitaions, but if you want to be thrifty, search clip art through your word processing program and print out an ice icecreamcream cone with one or two scoops on top. You can type your details on top of the scoops before you print. We like “I scream, you scream, {Child’s name here} scream’s for ice cream!”. For party favors buy cone shaped party hats and cover them in brown paper. Use pink blown up balloons for girls and white blown up balloons for boys. Turn the party hats upside down to make a cone and place your balloon scoop on top (keep in place with tape). Write party guests names on the cone. The kids are sure to love their own personal “ice cream cone”. Don’t forget to give the guest of honor extra scoops (3 scoops for 3rd birthday and so on).  For fun, have an ice cream relay. Three teams will compete: chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. You can pair up the kids and let a few compete at a time. The winners can go make their sundaes/cones first. Have an ice cream station set up on a table and be sure to include bowls filled with all the toppings-sprinkles, M&M’s, nuts, syrups, etc. Wind down the guests with a story that goes along with the theme. We like Curious George Goes to the Ice Cream Shop!

Starbucks Make a Difference Campaign Freebie

April 14, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Deals & Steals

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Calling all coffee lovers! On April 15, bring a reusable travel coffee mug to Starbucks and receive a free cup of coffee.  Starbucks is making this offer as part of their Make a Difference campaign.

Spring Cleaning in a Snap!

April 12, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk

It’s that time of year. Time to dust in places that haven’t been touched in months. Wash things that never get washed. Time to take the old out and bring in a little something new. Spring cleaning is a little overwhelming for some, but if done right, it can be rewarding in the end. SharpMoms has a few ideas to help you make spring cleaning a not so big chore on your to-do list!

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1. Keep a binder or one of those accordion style portable files handy. Fill it with note cards, bills, and other things you need to review and complete. Take the binder with you to the doctor’s office or car pick up line at school and work on things while you have a few extra minutes on hand.

2. Make something old new again. Don’t hide that old bowl or serving dish in your cabinet. Bring it out and use it as a catch-all for pens, mail, your watch, cell phone, etc. or even use it as a dish towel or pot holder container.

3. Pile it up. Designate a laundry basket or bin for clothes that no longer fit. As you empty the dryer toss your smaller or unwanted clothes into the basket. When it’s full, haul it off to charity or use it for sale items in a spring yard sale.

4. Create picture perfect photo albums. Rather than developing or ordering digitals of all your photos, make a CD of all the photos and only develop your favorites. Store the CDs in a nice case. Then, put your best photos in an album. This is the perfect way to showcase your favorite memories.

5. Tang anyone? Sprinkle a few drops of Tang drink mix into your toilet bowl before leaving for work or the school drop off line in the morning. When you come home, flush, and VOILA! Sparkling bowl!

6. Save the date. Keep a day planner handy. If you’re a mom then you know this is a must. You can find one that is as big or as small as you like. Keep track of your child’s activities, family appointments, date nights, and playdates.

Our first giveaway winner: Lauren R.!

April 11, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Featured SharpMoms, Girl Talk

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We recently ended our first giveaway. The prize was a $25 R Us giftcard. SharpMom Lauren R. was the winner! Lauren lives outside of Nashville, Tennessee. She is a mom to one little boy and has another on the way. She plans to use the giftcard towards the purchase of a Moby Wrap to use with her new little one. Thanks to all the SharpMoms who entered our first giveaway. Remember, you will automatically be entered into our next contest! Enjoy your giftcard, Lauren!

SharpMoms First Giveaway! FREE Toys R Us/Babies R Us Giftcard

April 7, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Deals & Steals, Girl Talk

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Our FIRST giveaway is here! Entering is simple. Just follow these few easy steps and you could be the winner of a $25 R Us giftcard, good at any Toys R Us or Babies R Us retail store and online! It’s FREE to one SharpMom! Here’s how to enter:

1. Visit our homepage (or look to your right) and grab the official SharpMoms sticker.

2. Add the SharpMoms sticker to your blog or website (and, if you have a blog, add us to you blog roll).

3. Email melissa@sharpmoms.com with a link to your blog or site donning the sticker.

**All entries must be recieved via email by Friday, April 9, 2010 at 9:00pm EST. One SharpMom will win and recieve email notification, so make sure your email is sent from a valid account.

Freebie from The Disney Store

April 7, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Deals & Steals

disney

Every Mom loves a freebie, right? SharpMoms thought their readers might be interested in this free gift from The Disney Store. All you have to do is go into any Disney Store on Earth Day, April 22nd. Bring 6 empty plastic water bottles or soda cans to be recycled, and receive a FREE Eco-Friendly Baseball Cap. There is a limit of 1 cap per person.

Egg Carton Caterpillar Craft

April 6, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Arts & Crafts, Kid Connection

This is a super easy spring craft that is great for school age children ages 4-8. Best of all, the end result is cute caterpillar!

CAT

What you’ll need:

cardboard egg carton

scissors

green craft paint

6 small yellow pom-poms

pipe cleaners

2 small green pom-poms

2 stick on eyes

Instructions:

With an adult’s help, remove the lid of the egg carton and cut the bottom in half. Trim away excess. Paint the egg carton green and let it dry completely. Glue small yellow pom-poms to the top of each of the six egg cups. Cut two 2-inch strips from the pipe cleaner. Glue the pipe cleaner pieces to the top of the first egg cup to create the antennae. Glue the 2 small pom-poms on the front of the egg cup for the eyes. Finally, glue the eyeballs to the green pom-poms.

Start Planning Spring (and Summer!) Fun!

April 1, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Kid Connection

It isn’t too soon to begin thinking about how to spend those lazy summer days. In fact, it is warm enough now in many parts of the country to begin enjoying many outdoor, spring activities. Here are a few SharpMom ideas for spring and summer fun:

1. Create an Obstacle Course: For some fun on the cheap, use hula hoops, jump ropes, bounce balls, blow up baby pools and water hoses to create an outdoor obstacle course. Your kids are sure to love the challenge!

2. Animal Fun: Visiting a local petting zoo or even a local pet store. Kids love animals so this is sure to be a fun outing. For information on what your state has to offer, visit www.pettingzoofarm.com.

3.  Bring on the Neighbors: Host a game night indoors and take the activities to the streets. Create games to play for just the kids or team up kids vs. parents, mom vs. daughters, etc.

4. Online Game Time: When April showers or summer storms rain on your parade, hop online with your child for an hour or two of fun. Some of our favorite sites are nickjr.com, pogo.com, and funbrain.com.

5. An Afternoon at the Movies: Many movie theaters offer a free movie viewing every Tuesday and/or Wednesday throughout the summer. To check your local theater visit regmovies.com.

6. Get Crafty: Many home stores such as Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, Lowe’s and Home Depot hold kid workshops at least once a month. Many times these are FREE! Check your local store for event times.