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Thursday, October 3, 2013

American Girl Birthday Party

September was a busy month.  It felt like one party after another.  The Babes turned 3 and we had a Ladybug Picnic party for her and a few of her friends.   I attended a Vintage Themed Bridal Shower for my sister.  Then it was Sweetie Pie's turn.  For her 9th birthday she requested an American Girl Doll Party.

The first thing I did was go to Pinterest and draw inspiration from here, here and here.  We decided to decorate in pink and red and go with a star theme.


I hung up pink and red streamers and balloons.  I used a Wilton Star shaped cake pan (affliate link) to bake a cake and I made cupcakes with candy stars on top.  Sweetie Pie requested peanut butter cake with peanut butter icing and that's what I did for the star cake (I also tried to dye the icing pink).  However, for the cupcakes I used a chocolate cake and put peanut butter icing on top.  I added some red sprinkles and pink and white star candies on top.  I wanted to find one larger star candy to place on top of each cupcake.  I went to four different grocery stores and couldn't find anything.  So I bought the multi colored star shaped candy sprinkles and picked out all the white and pink ones.  Yes, I am that meticulous.

I'm getting ahead of myself, first we made the invitations.  After searching through Pinterest for ideas, we designed the invitations based on this idea:


We invited all the girls in her class plus a few good friends from her class last year, for a total of 18 girls.  I figured they all wouldn't come, but I never thought we'd have such a high turn out.  15 girls showed up, plus my 2 girls.  So what did I do to entertain 17 girls?  We made crafts and played games.  I had several stations set up with labels so the girls would know what to do.


As the girls arrived my daughter or myself would direct them to place their presents in the living room and then come into the kitchen to set down their doll and decorate their goody bag.

Once their goody bag was decorated (with their name on it too), they went into the dining room to make their crafts.   Three stations were set up, each on a separate table.

They could make their own necklace using a dog tag kit:

Here they could make Popsicle stick dolls (based on this idea):

And they could make bracelets for themselves and their dolls:


As for games, we played American Girl Bingo and Find the Star.

I printed out the Bingo game from this site.  The girls played several times and even took turns being the 'caller'.

Find the Star was a simple game.  I used two star shapes cut out of card stock.  The girls left the room in pairs while we hid two stars under the American Girl Dolls.  Then they came back and tried to find the stars.  This game was also played several times so each girl could get a chance to find the star.

I did have another game planned but forgot to pass it around so the girls never got a chance to do it.  I just had slips of paper (one per girl) with questions on them.  The girls were to pass around the bowl of papers and take one, read it and answer it.  Some of the questions were:
If you could be any age for the rest of your life, what would it be?
If you could be any American Girl Doll, which would you choose and why?
What's your favorite food?

While they were playing games, we added some extra goodies to each girls goody bag (stickers, a star shaped doll size wand, and a thank you note).  All the crafts they made had also been put into the goody bags.

Each girl also got her picture taken as the latest American Girl Doll.  I was going to make a life size American Girl Doll box (like this one) for the girls to have their picture taken in.  However, I lucked out and found one already made at a yard sale for just $5.  I couldn't believe it when I saw it.  I stopped the car so quick and practically jumped out and ran to the sale.  For just $5, I saved myself the hassle of making one.  And all the girls looked so cute in it.  Of course I couldn't let the girls have all the fun.  Even I had my picture taken as the newest American Girl Doll.  After the party, I added the girls names to each picture and printed it out to be put in with the thank you cards.

And what birthday party is complete without cake.  I even had little cupcakes (with mini plates and napkins) for the dolls.

Present time was hilarious.  All the girls swarmed my daughter and couldn't wait to give her their gift.  The popular item was a Rainbow Loom (affiliate link).  She actually received 3 of these.

The girls zipped through the crafts much faster than I anticipated so the last half hour (it was only a two hour party) was free time.  At first they played with their dolls, and then I put on an American Girl movie.
Not all the girls wanted to play dolls or watch the movie, so some played in our playroom.  It all worked out and everyone had fun.

Of course I couldn't have done all this without some help.  Special thanks go to my mom and sister who helped make this party a success and a great time for our Sweetie Pie!

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