Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Party!

So I'm on the board for Richfield/Bloomington Parent Advisory Council - a really awesome group of people that organize and run these fun events for kids.  It's like the PTA for Early Childhood.  I'm in my 7th year on the council - I just keep having babies and renewing my contract! (If you're in Bloomington (or nearby) and have kiddos birth to kinder, check out our Facebook page for info.)

We meet once a month and have a theme for each meeting.  Our theme this year is "children's storybooks." Our first meeting was The Very Hungry Caterpillar -- because I went Pinterest crazy and really wanted to try some of the fun ideas I found!  Some are my original ideas and some (like that adorable balloon caterpillar) are not.

Unlike the out-of-this-world amazing decorations I found on Pinterest (and some of those crazy awesome cakes - wow!) mine are clearly cheap and homemade.  But that is exactly why I share them with you - because it's doable.  You can totally replicate this without going insane!

I think I'll go with this theme for Bruce's first birthday! He crawls like a caterpillar/worm and loves books.  This is Dean's fave, so Bruce has had it read to him a hundred times!

The girls helped me make egg carton caterpillars and butterflies.  Dean used his colored pasta and helped me glue pasta rings on cardstock for this butterfly.  I thought the coloring was perfect, so we made one.  

I made 4 chocolate cake signs (I got to use my laminator!!) (I found the printables from this website) and stuck them in bowls of wrapped chocolate candies.  I searched long and hard for the chewy Sprees but I KNEW they would be a hit! I love that they fit the color scheme and I am totally eating the leftovers right now!  The other candy is chewy Sweet-Tarts. 

 Here's our food:
strawberries (I meant to poke holes but forgot to bring the skewer with)
an apple to hold the sign (hole poked through) in a bowl of apple chips and dried apples
sliced pears, with one kept whole to hold the sign (hole poked)
sliced oranges
sliced watermelon (with the hole - slice into triangles to match the story)
cheese slices (several kinds, but Swiss of course!)
summer sausage
mini cupcakes (with the food sign in one of them)
chocolate candy
lollipops (some shaped as ice cream - to take the place of an ice cream cone) stuck in styrofoam
chewy Sprees

Seriously, how cute are these suckers?! And they can be lollipops AND the ice cream cone the caterpillar ate through!!

The tables didn't turn out as fabulous as I had hoped. They have a paper butterfly, clear glass of candy, a green leaf cut from construction paper with 5 holes punched in them (needed to fold in half and punch half a hole - couldn't reach the center of the paper otherwise), a bowl of chocolates with a food label, and an egg-carton caterpillar my daughters made.

I wanted to have colored tablecloths and hang the butterflies from the ceiling and use nice bowls, not plastic cups.  Here's the deal.  My 7 month old had surgery at 6 am.  I was up since 2:30 denying him the breastmilk he wanted and consoling him while he screamed at me.  I simply didn't have time to manage all the details.  I don't think anyone cared! :)

I used green play-doh to stand up the signs.  They were made from printables that I laminated and cut, and taped a craft stick to.  Since I didn't have plums or pickles, for example (I have some homemade pickles the girls and I made, but I wasn't sure I got the recipe right, so I left them at home) I used the extra signs to decorate the tables.

So my super talented, hard working friend Heather (our President this year) made this super adorable construction paper caterpillar! I love it! She had each PAC member write the last name of the family on a large circle (caterpillar's head) and each family member and kids ages on smaller circles.  When we get them all taped up there will be a bunch of caterpillars adding flair to the room and showing the names of our families.

And check out these adorable hats handmade by Eden Isabella Boutique!!