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Spring Birthday? Pull Together a Quick and Inexpensive Indoor Garden Party

Looking for an easy, fun birthday party celebration for elementary school-age children? Browse these ideas and pick and choose what works for your birthday girl or boy. You can grab supplies for a garden party at craft stores and inexpensive party stores and be all set up and ready to host after an hour or two of prep (although everyone will think you worked much harder).

In a high-sugar world, this low-sugar party does not lack sweetness and may even spark interest in taking better care of the Earth. These party suggestions work well indoors, but if guests get to go outside and shake some ya-yas out, it’s an extra bonus!

Garden Party Décor Ideas

Twisted Paper Streamers from Ceiling to Floor. The premise is simple: scotch tape colored party streamers to the ceiling, right up against the wall, and then twist, twist, twist each one and tape it to the bottom of the wall, just above the floor. Run a dozen or more of these a couple inches apart for a celebratory backdrop. Try two tones of the same color, like green, or go for colors that match your party theme. Perhaps decorate the wall behind your food buffet or find an empty wall to use as a photo booth backdrop.

Sunburst Wall. Start with a central round yellow object like a large yellow party fan or a yellow paper plate. Mount the disc two-thirds of the way up the wall with masking tape. Then, using scotch tape, send yellow streamers bursting out in every direction. Tape an end close to the central object, then reach each streamer straight out, twisting as you go, and tape it down once you get to the edge of your burst area. You can make a round burst or fill an entire backdrop wall with sun streamers.

Rainbow Wall. Purchase balloons in rainbow colors: Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Use primary colors or pastels to match your party theme. Blow up four to six balloons in each color and tape them to the top of the wall, just beneath the ceiling in rainbow order. Next, tuck matching color streamers underneath balloons and twist each before attaching to the bottom of the wall as in the previous example.

Balloon Flower Wall. Make the centre of each balloon flower white or green. Tape each flower centre balloon to the wall with tape, then surround each centre with five or six colored balloons. Try multiple colors like yellow, pink, and lavender flowers or have all the flowers on one wall be the same color for a more coordinated look.

Garden Party Indoor Activity Ideas

Tape a large plastic tablecloth to the floor and cover a kitchen table or long folding table with another. Put the supplies in the middle of the table with enough room for guests to work on projects all the way around the table. A checkered plastic tablecloth that matches your theme will look great on an activity table.

Fairy Garden Supplies. Shallow plant liner, plastic planter or tray, potting soil, planter moss, glass beads, small polished stones, wooden houses, alyssum starts, plastic animals and figures.

Custom Birdhouse. Wooden birdhouses with hanging strings already attached, acrylic paints, paintbrushes, glass beads, buttons, other ephemera, Crafter’s Pick - The Ultimate glue. When hosting birthday crafts, start activities early to allow for drying time before guests depart.

Potted Flower Planter Supplies. Colored planting pots with liners, potting soil, plant starts like pansies, alyssum, and fuchsia. Glass beads or stones. Wooden stake for each guest’s name.

Garden Party Food Ideas

  • Let guests graze instead of having a sit-down meal. For long parties, set aside time for food breaks.
  • Veggie and fruit cups look great in translucent plastic cups.

For veggie cups:

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • Pea pods
  • Jicama 

For fruit cups:

  • Red and green grapes
  • Strawberries
  • Tangerine slices
  • Honeydew melon chunks
  • Watermelon chunks
  • Cantaloupe chunks
  • Kiwi slices

Simple sandwich rolls can be eaten on square napkins. 

On large flour tortillas, spread a thin layer of mayo, then add even layers of:

  • Turkey, Swiss cheese, lettuce, and garden vegetable cream cheese
  • Roast beef, Havarti cheese, spinach and chive 
  • and onion cream cheese
  • Hard salami, provolone cheese, lettuce, and plain cream cheese

Roll tightly, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour before slicing and arranging on a platter.

Serve a combo of goldfish crackers and pretzel sticks in cups.

Garden party drink ideas

Cool drinks for a warmish day:

  • If time allows the night before, freeze decorative ice with mint leaves or strawberry slices inside 
  • the cubes.
  • Water bottles wrapped with decorative washi, masking, or duct tape.
  • Lemonade with lemon and lime slices. Make lemonade from powder or scratch, if time allows.
  • One part favorite natural fruit punch and one part natural lemon-lime soda with orange and kiwi slices.

Warm drinks for a coolish day:

Hot Chocolate Bar. Purchase large tins of quality hot chocolate powder in chocolate and white varieties. Heat a gallon of milk and pour into a Crock-Pot to keep warm. Keep a ladle on a spoon rest nearby. Pre-scoop serving sizes of hot chocolate powder into garden-theme mugs or heat-proof disposable cups. Add a few mini marshmallows to each cup.

Berry Herbal Tea. Boil water in a kettle or pot and fill a Crock-Pot to keep water hot. Add enough berry herbal tea bags to create appropriate tea flavor. Remove tea bags before serving. Add sliced strawberries and blueberries to each mug or cup before ladling in warm tea.

Garden Party Cake Ideas:

Party Games With a Garden Twist

Throw Paper Flies’ Through a Spider Web. Use a bedroom or other out-of-the-way door. Use blue painters tape to make a spider web out of the top two-thirds of a doorway, sticky-side facing guests. Don’t tape all the way to the floor or the kids will be tempted to run through the web. Decorate the door frame with plastic spiders. Using old newspapers, have kids crumble newspaper into balls and take turns trying to throw them through holes in the web. Make holes in the web the appropriate challenge for the age of your guests and pre-tear newspaper into throwable sizes. Each guest throws so many each until the paper ball supply is exhausted. Take down plastic spiders to award as rewards afterward.

Pin the Ladybugs on the Flower. Draw a large flower with markers on poster board and tape it to the wall, or cut out construction paper pieces and use a glue stick to compose a flower on poster board. Print out clipart ladybugs (like these: goo.gl/S3gMEQ) and glue-stick them to adhesive foam sheets. Cut into squares ahead of time. Use bandanas as blindfolds for the kids, then one at a time, spin each child and point them in the direction of the flower (make sure to back off for each child’s turn after spinning them). The ladybug closest to the centre of the flower wins!

Bee Toss. Purchase yellow pom-poms, plastic googly eyes, and a black marker. Stick two googly eyes onto each pom-pom and draw two black lines across each to resemble Bumble Bees. Line up plastic or terracotta flower pots six inches from a wall and fill halfway with plastic toys, fruit leather, or small bags of gummy chews. Adjust distance from targets depending on the age of your guests. Let guests take five to 10 turns to toss a bee into a pot and win prizes.

Non-Candy Favor Ideas

Find favor supplies at an inexpensive party or craft store.

Use grosgrain or burlap ribbon to tie items together:

  • Seed packets in a colored planting pot with wooden garden marker.
  • Seed packets in a small watering can with wooden garden marker.
  • Gardening gloves with seed packets.
  • Disposable berry pint with strawberry starters and wooden garden marker.
  • Small garden shovel with seed packets.
  • Small garden tools in cloth apron.
  • Garden-theme mugs with berry tea packets.
  • Potted pansy wrapped in colored foil tied with a ribbon.
  • Small pull-tie bag with seed bombs (mix seed bomb matrix with local wildflower seeds one week ahead of party).
  • Pull-tie bag with rubber snakes, plastic spiders and bugs.
  • Small fairy doll or gnome, all ready to move into the fairy or gnome garden.

Author, journalist, and writing coach Christina has learned that birthday parties don’t have to be expensive to be fun. She also knows that focusing on a theme can help parents pull a party together, quickly!

Calgary’s Child Magazine © 2019 Calgary’s Child