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Monday, 25 August 2014

Throwing a Rainbow Themed Birthday

I love rainbows.  Seriously, love them.  They are joyful and bright and when observed in the sky make people stop and take notice of the beauty they hold.
And, gentle readers, I am so fortunate to have a daughter who also loves rainbows. I was pretty thrilled when, given three options for a third birthday theme, Audrey decided on rainbows.

This turned out to be a pretty big event with 31 children in attendance, plus parents.
I am just going to take a moment to say how glad I am that we have birthday "celebrations" for our kids, not birthday "parties" (the only difference being that we ask for no gifts at our events). My kids live in a daycare.  They certainly don't want for toys or books or craft supplies.  And seriously, if we had 31 kids bringing gifts yesterday where would we put it all?! All that stuff would have taken over our modest house!
Instead we accept non perishable food and hygiene items from the guests that feel weird going to a childrens birthday empty handed.  Tomorrow, when Community Care is open, That Guy will take Audrey down to donate everything she received.

 We had a budget of $200 for this birthday and we managed to stay close to budget; we went over by $5.  We like to host our kids birthdays between either 1-3 or 2-4 because between those hours no one is expecting a full meal spread (read: cost savings) just light snacks. We spent $75 on food for this event, $90 for decor/games/activities and $40 on guest favours.

Here is how that all broke down:

We kept it basic. Just water to drink. We bought two cases of water, 70 bottles total.  We covered the labels with rainbow streamers, then covered the streamers with clear packing tape to improve durability.
Rainbow water!
I dyed some jumbo marshmallows (for a how-to check this previous blog post) and arranged them into a pretty rainbow on one of our white trays. A bowl of Colors Goldfish Crackers and some Veggie Chips.
A few rainbow goodies
We also did simple fruit and veggie trays.  
Strawberries, oranges, pineapples, kiwis, blueberries and red grapes for a lovely, tasty fruit rainbow. 
Tomatoes, carrots, yellow peppers and cucumbers on the veggie tray.  I had intended to use blue chips and purple carrots to finish off my rainbow.  However, the blue chips look much more purple than blue and I ran out of time to cut up the purple carrots.
But it still looks delectable and fed many happy guests. 

Rainbow fruit and veggie trays
That Guy was going to make a stunning rainbow cake for Audrey. However, when we looked over our staggering guest list we decided it would be unfair to ask 31 three year olds to wait patiently for cake to be cut. So he did these adorable rainbow cupcakes instead. Everyone was thrilled!

Rainbow cupcakes!
Guest Favors:
Because we do not accept gifts at these events, I feel justified in giving small tokens of thanks for guest favours rather than elaborate and expensive loot bags.  This year I was thrilled to find rainbow pinwheels at Dollar Tree for $1.25 each.  I added a small tag thanking our guests for coming. 
This is what 32 rainbow pinwheel guest favors look like
A single pinwheel with guest favor tag
Without gift opening to suck up a good portion of the event time slot I have to make sure that I plan events to keep the kids at least mildly entertained and engaged. 

Using some poster board and sticky tack That Guy made a "Pin the Prism" game that all the kids really enjoyed.  Sometimes the classics really come through.

Why yes, it does look a little like a Pink Floyd
album cover ;)
Some free printable rainbow coloring sheets with crayons kept everyone happy and busy while people were still arriving
Everyone loves to color
We also made rainbow hand kites. Looking for something circular as a base for these kites I found six packs of plastic bracelets at the dollar store. I bought spools of the 59 cent ribbon from Micheal's Craft Store. With the help of That Guy and a darling friend we got the ribbon cut to length, heat sealed the edges to prevent fraying and sorted into rainbow order.  
The kids chose the bracelet color of their choice and whatever color and number of ribbons they wanted.  Then with a simple loop knot attached the ribbon to the bracelet.  We saw some beautiful and wonderful shows of creativity here.
Rainbow hand kite station all ready to go
We also bought six bottles of bubbles and prepped the backyard.  The kids could go out there, play with the toys, run with their kites and blow some bubbles.  It was joyful. 

I needed to make as big an impact as possible on my budget. When originally planning for a rainbow birthday I had forgot to factor in that it would mean buying six packs of streamers and six packs of balloons and six packs of paper plates- each a different colour in the rainbow. *DISCLAIMER*-Yes, I do know there are actually seven colours in the rainbow.  And Audrey does love indigo.  But indigo was hard to find in balloons, streamers and paper plates.  So we made the decision to stick with the basic six colours.  I don't think anyone but Audrey and I were overly bothered by the omission of indigo. 

With basic curling ribbon I tied the balloons into groups of three then tied them to the rails on our banister. Since our stairs are right by the front door this was pretty as guests walked in.  
Balloon rainbow

 Streamers strung in rainbow order on our piano (for a how to on painting your piano please check out this previous blog post).  Yes, that is my beautiful tulip shade Scentsy warmer on the piano...isn't it lovely?! Contact me for all your Scentsy needs!

Rainbow streamers on our green piano
Here is the lovely, cheerful canopy That Guy creates for each of the kids birthdays.  Just $1 for each of the different colored plastic tablecloths, and streamers in between. Then balloons hanging from the light fixture in the center of the room.
Photo 1

Photo 2
We own the white table cloth and chair covers, so its nothing for us to add them to our events.  I like to tie coordinating streamers around the chair covers for a pop of colour. I used the same streamers that we used on the water bottles.

Our dining room set for the birthday to start
 Outside I ran some streamers around the front porch pillars.  Then with packing tape, I attached more streamers to each other and taped them to the porch ceiling. A few balloons on the railing because, as we all know, balloons out front is the international symbol for "birthday over here!".  I also made a little rainbow sign for the front door that says in gold glitter (although you cant read it in this photo) "Welcome to Audreys third birthday".

And thats how we celebrate rainbow-style at our house!!


  1. Was a great party! :D

  2. It's been almost a year. I keep coming back in hopes of another post but there hasn't been anything. I hope everything is alright.

  3. So beautiful! This is what I'm looking for ideas for my child birthday.
    Thanks for your post.