Children's Parties, Do-It-Yourself, Party Supplies

A Dragon Party: Tips from the Trenches

My son recently had his third birthday party, and he got to pick the theme. He is currently obsessed with dragons, so I had to get to work on creating a three-year-old friendly party without any dragon images that might be a bit scary for some of the little guests. I ended up using an old Peter, Paul and Mary song that my mother used to sing to me as a point of inspiration—Puff the Magic Dragon. Which again goes to show that inspiration can come from anywhere!

For this party, I learned a few new tricks and also used some that are tried and true.

Thrift stores are Mecca for inexpensive party props. I found a ledge shelf and a candle holder that I painted and repurposed for my dessert display. I created and painted a few cake stands as well from candlesticks and plates from the local Goodwill. The pieces displaying the party favors also came from some thrifty shopping and were perfect after a few cosmetic adjustments. If you don’t plan to use the items again and again, don’t invest in expensive serving pieces—look for something you can repurpose. I knew bright purple and lime green don’t come up in my color selections very often, so paint was the perfect way to achieve my design look!

Boxed lunches rock! The three-year-olds found opening the lunch boxes nearly as exciting as opening a present, and the moms and dads there totally appreciated not having to juggle plates and children while having to serve them. You can buy paper serving boxes.

Kids love being crafty. The younger the party guests, the simpler you need to make the activity. For Brennan’s party, they helped complete the assembly for little wooden boats (we put most of them together beforehand so we didn’t frustrate our little guests). Afterwards, they sailed them in a baby pool we had set up out back.

Your dessert table doesn’t have to be huge, and a favor table also makes for a great themed party display. With a scaled down dessert table, I was grateful not to have a ton of sweets leftover, and the kids loved picking out all sorts of treasures to fill their boxes with. You can see the rest of the party pictures and more details on this party in the gallery.

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    I really love the details for this party. I like the idea of lunch boxes and I intend to do the same for my kids’ birthday parties. I also like the little boats activity. Putting sails on the little wooden boats sounds really fun!

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    Purple, lime green and magenta are a really great color combination! Fits the theme perfectly. I have to say this party is one of the most well-planned and well-detailed I have seen.

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