0

How to host a memorable playdate with some Disney Magic

blog cover picture

This post is sponsored by Disney as a part of the #DisneyKids Play Date campaign. All opinions are my own.

I love hosting playdates, so Miss Crankles and I decided to host a special Mommy and Me Disney Princess party for Mother’s Day a few weeks ago!

We started off by adding a bit of Mickey and Friends to our play space! We have a fantastic homeschool room that also houses quite a bit of our toys. It is right off our kitchen and made it so easy to have everything in one place!

20170511_112911

It would not be a princess party without princess costumes. As luck would have it, I had some extra princess dresses to share with our friends! I also cleaned out the craft bins to find some Melissa and Doug craft kits, some photo crafts from Michael’s, and some stamp sets from Target! We had a card making kit from HP, so we used that with our Mother’s Day craft!

20170511_112919

 

Next, I made sure I had some colorful finger food for the little ones. I was going to make cupcakes, but Miss Crankles wanted cookies, so I took my Disney themed cupcake liners and used them to put little treats that our small guests could easily grab!

20170511_114315

As our guests arrived, some of them dressed up in their finery!

20170511_114948

We had fun making crafts for moms!

20170511_122927

Someone was having fun pretending to be Cinderella!

20170511_115212

A few of the girls decided to have an impromptu tea party!

20170511_123545

Even their big sisters got in on the fun!

20170511_121021

The best part is that we all had fun! The girls had a magical time. I made sure to keep toys like play food, dolls, and blocks to inspire imaginative play. We kept the toys in the homeschool room, so it was fairly easy to clean up once the playdate was over. We made sure the snacks were easy and asked about food allergies before everyone arrived.

The most important thing to remember when hosting any playdate is to be relaxed and flexible. I love themed playdates because the focus is on certain toys or costumes. It is easy to get the kids engaged. At this age, organized playdates with lots of activities mostly falls flat. It is just too much for the little ones. I like to keep it simple to mostly playtime and sometimes an optional, yet simple craft because we moms should be able to have fun too (instead of finishing the crafts for our kids)! Keeping the food simple and in one place is nice because it means less mess. If you want your guests to eat food in only one area, just make sure you let them know when it is time to eat.

Most of all, have fun! Enjoy the magic of playtime and friends!

What are some tips that you could add to hosting a preschool aged playdate? Please feel free to add in the comments below!

0

2014 Last Minute Toy Gift Guide

last minute gift guide headerAre you still struggling to find last minute gifts for kids on your list? Fret no more, I am here to help you find some great toys and games without breaking the bank!

Arts and Crafts

artsandcrafta

Creativity Can– The Creativity Can contains pipe cleaners, googly eyes, foam, or other materials to create fun little projects. Use your imagination to create a spectacular creation! Find them at your local craft store like Michael’s and Jo Ann Fabric

Faber-Castell Crayons and Art Supplies- Quality Art supplies for your budding artist! Can be found at Michael’s and Jo Ann Fabric.

Crayola Products- Crayola has everything from markers and crayons to watercolors and crayon makers. Find them at your local Walmart or pretty much any local store.

Sands Alive– Sands Alive is moldable sand that you can play with indoors and doesn’t make a mess. Find it at Toys R Us, Amazon, and Walmart.

Beados- Beados are magical beads that bond with water. You can create all sorts of things with them. Get an activity pack, some refills and the Drying station and you are set for hours of fun! Find them at Toys R Us, K-Mart, and Target.

Doh Vinci– Doh Vinci from Hasbro is a line of fun DIY projects for kids like the Style and Store Vanity kit shown above. You can find them at Target and Toys R Us.

Melissa and Doug Arts and Crafts– Melissa and Doug has a whole line of great arts and crafts projects, including the Paint With Water projects as shown above. You can find them at my store: http://www.bearhavenboutique.com

Educational

educationalc

Tiggly- Tiggly makes educational toys for pre-schoolers and toddlers, as well as learning apps. You can find their products on Amazon.

Thames and Kosmos Dinosaur Skeleton Dig– Learn how paleontologists find, dig, and assemble dinosaur skeletons with this great set! Find them at Toys R Us or online at Amazon.

IQ Twist-  IQ Twist from Smart Games is a single person game for ages 6 and up that makes you use your brain to solve the challenge. Great for on-the-go. You can buy them from Fat Brain Toys online, Barnes and Noble, and Toys R Us.

Goldie Blox- Goldie Blox are designed to get girls interested in engineering and building while helping to build confidence as well. You can find their sets at Toys R Us and online at Fat Brain Toys.

Leap Band- Leap Bands let your kids track their activity and fitness levels while providing incentive with interactive games. Find them at Toys R us, Amazon, Walmart, and K-Mart.

Fashion

fashionCharmsies- Charmsies are iron-in hair charms. They are a great fashion accessory. Find them at Nordstrom.

Fashion Angels Mini Mani- These kits are great for your tween who loves to be fashionable and do her nails. They are easy to use. Check out the full line of Fashion Angels products online at Amazon.

Games

gamescBananagrams WildTiles– It’s a fun spin on Bananagrams for up to 8 players! You can find it at Target or online at Amazon.

Reverse Charades and Telestrations- Reverse Charades is a fun new spin on Charades, and Telestrations is a fun game involving sketches. Both are great for the whole family and can be found at Barnes and Noble or online at Amazon.

Birds, Bugs, and Beans- This is a fun card game for the whole family. You have to think quick in order to win. You can find this game on Amazon.

Suspend- Suspend is a fun hanging balance game for the whole family. You can find it online at www.bearhavenboutique.com

Must Have Toys

musthavec1All of my “Must Haves” in this section can be found at Toys R Us and most of them will fit in a stocking, which is great if you are stumped for stocking stuffers.

Rabbids are based on the fun video game and tv series.They now have a line of plushies that are adorable and look just as crazy as their animated characters.

Palace Pets are cute pets that belong to your child’s favorite Disney Princesses.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back and have a line of fun action figures and accessories. The figures like the one shown above fit great in a stocking!

Hex Bugs are cool little creatures that crawl around.My son is obsessed with these. He even has a track they run around on!

Care Bears are just as soft as they were when we were kids! Needless to say, the one shown above…well, he’s mine!

Skylanders figures go great with the Skylanders Video game. Use them with the game or play with them as figures!

Crashlings are collectible toys from outer space! They have fun little playsets too!

Hello Kitty mini-dolls are adorable and offer hours of play time. My daughter pointed out that they fit great in her doll house! They also fit easily into a stocking.

Fash’Ems are squishy little figures. They have everything from Hello Kitty to My Little Pony, and even Disney’s Frozen!

Finally, to round out the list, you can’t go wrong with Kidz Bop albums, which are versions of today’s popular songs sung by kids for kids!

Even More Must Haves!

musthavec2Minecraft- If your child is addicted to Minecraft, you can delight them by choosing from a variety of Minecraft figures, cardboard creations, and plush. My daughter is shown above modeling a Creeper Head. You can find them at Toys R Us, FYE, and Hot Topic.

Lum Lums– are light up figures that will light up when they connect with each other. You can find them at Toys R Us!

Itty Bittys from Hallmark– These are exclusive Hallmark plushies. They come in everything from Superheroes to Star Wars and even Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, just in time for the holidays!

Wubble Bubble Ball- The Wubble Bubble Ball looks like a bubble and plays like a ball. It is 3 feet in diameter and can be used in the house or for some outdoor fun. You can find them at Target.

Play Food from Melissa and Doug- Melissa and Doug’s play food is meant to last and encourages imaginative play. You can find lots to choose from at www.bearhavenboutique.com.

Bear Haven Boutique Stuffable Dolls- Bear Haven Boutique stuffable dolls are dolls you stuff yourself and play with. Just in time for winter, they even have a Snow Queen Doll! Shop stuffable dolls and animals at www.bearhavenboutique.com

Pre-School Toys

toddler toysPaw Patrol Toys- If your child is a big fan of Paw Patrol, you are in luck! They have a whole line of toys based on the series! These toys are available at Walmart, Target, and Toys R Us.

Etch a Sketch Doodle Sketch- I included this one because it was one of my son’s favorite toys when he was little. It fits in your purse and is great to give to your child when you are in the car or at the doctor’s office. Find them at Walmart and Toys R Us.

Mega Bloks First Builders Mega Bloks First Builders provide endless building fun to your toddler and pre-schooler. They are made with sturdy plastic and inspire creativity. Find them at Toys R Us.

I hope this list helps provide you with some last minute gift ideas. What other toys do you recommend? Please feel free to share in the comments below.

*Disclosure: I have received many of these items as part of my SweetSuite Blogger Bash box. However, all opinions are my own.

0

Arts and Crafts Birthday Party

Invitations:

If you are going to have an Art Themed Birthday Party, why not start out the experience by making invitations? If you have some stamp sets, use cardstock and make some cute invites. If you don’t have a stamp set, you could also decorate the invitations with stencils and stickers. Make sure you note on the invitation for the children to bring an old t-shirt or smock to wear, so that they do not ruin clothing with the art projects you do.

Decorations:

If you have any children’s easels, set them up. Also take some of your child’s recent artwork and hang it around the room like a gallery. Use Art Paper rolls to decorate the table with paint brushes and paints in the middle so that the kids can color the their seating area. If you have young children or do not wish to use paint, you could also put markers and crayons in the center as well. If you have enough room, you will want to set up stations for your various art projects to keep the chaos under control.

Activities:

Spin Art Fun

Here are some suggested activities for your stations. You probably want between two and four crafts depending on age and attention span. Also save a station area for your food. I will explain that part in a bit.

  • Coloring pages: You can print these for free from Crayola.com
  • Play-doh Station: Let the kids create using modeling dough by making your own and getting some fun tools or save yourself some time and get a kit like a Clay Play kit from Melissa and Doug.
  • Decorate Your Own Door Hanger: It is fun and also doubles as a party favor
  • Spin Art: The kids get to spin their own design onto cards.
  • Beading: Again, another fun idea that is also a great party favor.
  • Sand Art: If you don’t mind the potential mess, this is an activity kids always enjoy
  • Paper Plate Crafts: The DLTK’s website has a lot of fun ideas for paper plate crafts from masks to puppets.
  • Paper Bag Puppets: Using these templates from DLTK, the kids can make fun puppets to take home.

Paper Bag Puppets from DLTK (posted from their site)

Food:

This is where that extra station will come in handy. The food served is edible art in the form of Decorate Your Own Cupcakes and Sundae Bar

Cupcakes: For this, you need plain cupcakes and whipped topping (like Cool Whip).

Ice Cream: Pick One or two flavors for the kids to use and colorful bowls if available.

Using small cups (think paint cups) to hold the toppings, include fun things like sprinkles, colored sugar, gummy bears, crushed graham crackers, Skittles, crushed candy bars, and M and M’s.

The kids will have a blast creating and eating their “art!”

Treat Bags:

You can use the artwork the kids made as the treats or fill treat bags with things like play-doh,mini stamp sets, crayons, coloring books, and notepads.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. If you have tried this party, I would love to hear about it!