Though I feel a vent/rant coming on, I'm not going to get into the topic of commercialization and children. Instead I will share with you our party ideas as Tyler and our guests had a really fun time!
Tyler loves his teddy bears and teddy bear songs, so a party planned around the book (and song) "Teddy Beat's Picnic" seemed like something he would really enjoy. If you're not familiar with it, the song generally talks about all of he teddies in the world getting together in the woods one day to have a picnic and play together. In the book, the illustrator shows humans dressing up like teddy bears to join the picnic and spy on the bear's festivities. There are several versions of the book, but I highly recommend the one by Jimmy Kennedy and Alexandra Day, linked above.
We held the picnic at our favorite park and luckily had a hot but beautiful day for it. In the invitations, we asked our little friends to bring along their favorite teddy bears. We set teddies in a circle on a blanket with party hats to make it look like they were having their own picnic. Several teddy bear related songs played on a loop. Upon arriving each child was given a party hat for themselves as well as their teddy.
When everyone arrived we sat on the blanket with our teddies and had teddy grahams and fruit and veggie juice while I read "The Teddy Bear's Picnic" book aloud to the group.
Next came the teddy bear cupcakes! I was nervous about making these but I thought they turned out pretty cute. Tyler got a huge smile on his face when he saw them and the kids loved them. I used mini Nila Wafers and M&M's to make the faces. A slightly older child could certainly help make these!
This week Ty and I will work on thank you cards for his gifts. This seems like an old-fashioned thing to do these days as I've never received one after giving anything other than maybe a wedding gift, but I believe it's important to show gratitude for what you're given as well as to express how the gift is being used and enjoyed. This is certainly a little Montessori "grace and courtesy" lesson as well!
In a future post I plan to talk about how we celebrated Tyler's birthday as a family, as well as to do some product reviews around some of the gifts we, and others, purchased for him. I always find it helpful to find out about great (or not so great) products and perhaps you do as well!