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Goodnight Moon Theme Birthday

Details of how to create your own Goodnight Moon birthday Party
Goodnight Moon has been a staple throughout my Son’s lives.  I have to admit that I originally did not see the appeal but after reading the book 6+ years I have grown to love it.  It seemed fitting to have a Goodnight Moon theme party for our last son’s first birthday.

However, have you ever tried to find goodnight moon themed items for parties?  Apparently, this book hasn’t reached massive commercialization.  I found some good items on Etsy but instead of purchasing I decided to DIY it.  Never underestimate the power of a scanner!

One of the most notable parts of the book is the color scheme.  Can we say “Great Green Room”?  The shades of green, red, yellow, and blue are unmistakable.  I used those colors as the base for my decorations.  We purchased matching plates, napkins, and silverware in a mix of those colors.

Details of how to create your own Goodnight Moon birthday Party

Since I wasn’t using the book for my own commercial gain I felt inclined to scan away and looked through google images to find source material.  I printed out some of my favorite scenes to place in frames and make a centerpiece for the buffet.  I also sat out the tattered copy of Goodnight Moon and Our World (the companion book).  Adam, filled out that buffet space with lots of yummy grilled items!
Details of how to create your own Goodnight Moon birthday Party

It is possible to purchase some adorable mouse wrapping paper.  However, by the time I found it, it was too late to get it shipped to my house.  You know what does work?  Tiling images in Picmonkey and taping together sheets of paper.  Trust me, no one year old actually notices his present is made of lots of small sheets of paper.  For that matter I do not think anyone noticed and it added a pretty pop of on theme color.
Details of how to create your own Goodnight Moon birthday Party

Obviously, at a Goodnight Moon theme party you will need a moon of some sort.  I looked through my cardstock stash and found some metallic white and silver paper.  I used a plate to make a nice circle and cut out a moon and then hand cut lots of stars.  The cutting took a bit but it was fun.  I lightly drew lopsided stars in pencil and then cut out a couple of sheets at a time.  The book has all kinds of wonderful and playful star shapes so my hand cut items matched perfectly.  I simply taped them to fishing wire and hung everything from the light fixture Adam hand crafted.

Details of how to create your own Goodnight Moon birthday Party


No first birthday party is complete without CAKE!  Well cupcakes in this case.  You may think what you like but I ordered them from Sam’s Club.  They were super helpful matching the colors and they tasted great.  To make them extra special we printed out tiny scenes from the book and made toppers with similarly colored toothpicks.  Keaton got a special moon on top of his too!  I would say he very much enjoyed his treat!


Details of how to create your own Goodnight Moon birthday Party


Finally, I made a fun game for both the adults and kids in attendance.  I printed out 10 1/2″ images of the elusive mouse from the books.  I then took the tiny mouse and taped him throughout the downstairs to windowsills, doors, Keaton’s highchair, etc.  Everyone spent the day trying to find all 10!

With just a little ingenuity and a lot of Goodnight Moon inspiration we were able to come up with a creative and affordable theme party to celebrate the last first birthday in our house.  Well that is until we have the grandkids.  :)  If you are not into DIY like we are or wanted some great gifts Amazon has some adorable merchandise.  Affiliate links below.


Details of how to create your own Goodnight Moon birthday Party

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Color Mixing for Kids: St. Patrick’s Day Activity

Color mixing with food coloring is a fun activity for kids and adults

Do you have kids at the age to learn colors and color mixing? Do you need a rainbow activity for St. Patrick’s Day? Do YOU need an activity, using household ingredients, that will teach both colors, color mixing for kids, scientific theory, and potentially cause 4 boys six years and under to pause for more than 10 seconds? You don’t? Good for you for making that life choice that shrinks the human population. For the rest of us breeders read on!

Color Mixing Activity for Children

Mixing color activity for children
Let’s not ask why we have so many pint glasses from so many breweries…


Coffee (optional)
Husband (Can I say optional? This post certainly wouldn’t have happened without him)
Kids (Needed unless you just love color)
Way too many pint glasses for adults to own (regular glasses will do)
Liquid Food Coloring*(Yellow, Red, Blue)
Paper Towels*
Post-it Notes* or Scratch Paper

Step 1 The Set-up

Groggily slug down coffee while the kids tuck in breakfast and vaguely note that husband is exclaiming that today we will “Science”. Watch as Adam starts setting out 7 glasses, fills 4 with water, and raise eyebrow as he hands you paper towels.

Joking aside, line up the seven glasses and fill every other one 80%-90% full with water. Since we aren’t doing rocket-surgery (yes, you read that correctly) I think we can combine all the set-up in one step. Fold 6 paper towels lengthwise twice. Set out your droppers of food coloring and call over the kids.

Step one in a color mixing activity for kids
Picture just in case anyone needs help folding paper towels. See optional coffee above if this step is hard to complete.

Step 2 Paint the Town Red

I’m not sure there is anyone in the world who doesn’t like to watch food color mix into water. The kids will love to come watch. In the glasses of water drop 6 drops of red in the first glass, 8 drops of yellow in the next water, 6 drops of blue in the following, and 6 drops of red in the final water glass. Your line up will be: R0Y0B0R

Step 3 Patience and Hypothesis

You are going to take your wicking paper towels and place them from glass to glass as seen in the next photo. Adam could weigh in on why the paper towel needs to be a certain length, as I never read the original info on this activity. Suffice to say it is better if it touches near the bottom of both glasses.

Our small children immediately got ants in their pants because the process takes a bit for the colors to start moving. This is the perfect time to grab some post-it notes and teach kids about having a hypothesis. First, we discussed what they thought might happen. I may have mentioned the words water and cohesion and then realized that was a little nerdy even for my kids. So we decided that maybe the colored water would magically move. IF that happened we took guesses on what color each glass would turn. I stuck the sticky notes down in front of the empty glasses and wrote everyone’s guesses. Found out that no one knew what colors mix to make secondary colors… I have failed my art degree yet again!

Color wicking and mixing in a child friendly activity

Step 4 Free Play

Let the kids go play, use their imaginations, etc. Not very moment needs to be structured with activities! About the time someone is getting annoyed that someone else is smacking them with a lightsaber, ‘borrowing’ their toy car, or knocking down their carefully crafted block tower it will be time to look at the results. Even though they were in plain sight the whole time, the kids were so excited to see that the water had moved and mixed colors. They simply had forgotten to look!


Color activity for children
These are not photoshopped! I was so surprised this color mixing activity worked so well.

Side Notes

I found it incredibly interesting that each of them had thought they guessed all the colors correctly. I had to show them their initial guesses on paper… I sense that I may not be the only person who will have to be right in this household.Color mixing with food coloring is a fun activity for kids and adults

Color mixing activities for kids

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String Art Project: Kids Names

String Art Child Name

This string art project… Well I need to fess up.  I was the assistant! However I watched the painstaking process and tied lots of little knots.  Use this ‘how to string art’ as a guide so you can skip all the mistakes we made.  The final project was much easier than our initial attempts.

We recently moved into a new house, and have been so focused on making sure all the essentials are in that any artwork has been neglected.  Yes, I chose to be able to have a shower curtain rod and blinds over something pretty on the walls.  Where are my priorities?!  We have been working hard to blend our family structure and Adam wanted to make each of the kids a special name decoration for their rooms.  In comes lots of string! On to the project:

String Art Children’s Names

String Art Child Name

Materials Needed:

  • Base for Nails(2.5-3 ft long): You can use wood, if you really are insane and like nailing hundreds of tiny nails.  Our suggestion: Foam Insulation or Double Layered Foam Board
  • Paint: For the Base
  • Lots of tiny nails as known as Wire Nails*
  • String: Embroidery Floss* was cheap, easy, and came in tons of colors. 3-4 skeins are needed per name.
  • Print Out of Letters (2.5-3 ft long)

Step 1: All about the Base

We tried wood.  Painted lovely planks.  Then started nailing, and nailing, and hammering, and nailing some more…  And here was the final result:String Art Fail

Oh yeah, that is one letter… Just one letter! and we had four children’s names to complete.  I had the idea to use something else.  Searching the web turned up cork as an alternative.  Have you priced out that much cork?  Oh. hell. no.  Cork was not going to work.  We had mostly resigned ourselves to weeks of nailing when taking the kids to the craft store I spotted some foam board.  While it was not thick enough as is, I said “Hey!  Let’s laminate this together.” Adam look dubious, but I took the sheets home, cut out rectangles, and sprayed adhesived those beotches together.  Of course they curled up, but I remedied that by laying lots of heavy art books on top of the panels over night.  Who says I never use my art degree?

Though after doing all that we realized the giant panels of foam insulation at home improvement stores would work just as well. Doh!

Of course the finish of the panels is very plastic looking.  So we just took some paint and rolled it on.  Then dry brushed the surface a bit to give it some brush marks and texture.  Much better and looked like the original wood panels.

BONUS: The panels were so lightweight they could be hung using command strips

Step 2: Just Lay It All Out There

Yes, we had to print out the letters a bunch of times.  Basic math seemed to be beyond us (even though one of us has a math degree) and the letters were either too big or too small.  Once we had the font the right size we cut them apart so work with the panels and letter spacing a bit.

Laying out the text for string art

Step 3: Nail’er? I barely even knew her.

I know in the above fail-photo the nails were driven through the paper.  Unless you like the idea of pulling out 100’s of tiny pieces of paper DO NOT do it that way.  Simply take one nail and poke small indention around the outside of your letter.  Remove the letter and then press the nail into the foam.  Then repeat, and repeat, and repeat.  Keep pushing nails until your fingers are bloody tips.  Get smarter about it and use the hammer to lightly push them through.

Nail layout for string art
So many nails…

Step 4: String them Up

This is the fun artistic part! Weaving the string can take many forms.  We chose a random pattern, but you can carefully lay out the string to make all types geometric forms.  You can look at my craft board on Pinterest to see some other string layouts.  For fun we let the boys pick out their colors.  We may or may not have influenced the selection a bit…  The hardest part of wrapping all the string is just making it look consistent and tying the tiny knot at the end.  That was my job!

The final signs were hung over beds and on doors to give each child a nice piece of personalized artwork.

Completed string art kids names


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Dr. Seuss Themed First Birthday

My youngest son turned 1 last week.  I’d love to say I had it all together, realized that Dr. Seuss’ 100th birthday was occurring and picked the perfect theme for Conlan’s First Birthday.  Alas, I would be lying…  I wanted a Dr. Seuss themed birthday for McClain’s first (two years ago) and ordered the licensed plates, napkins, etc.  The decorations came exactly one day after his party and were promptly shoved in the basement.  I got my Dr. Seuss theme on the second go-around.

Dr Seuss themed first birthday

To complement the purchased party items I made a few decorations.  Some Seussian-like trees for the wrapped box centerpiece and hand-dyed crepe paper ruffles.

While, I imagine that very few people will need to recreate the trees I think I may just give a run-down on how to make them next week.  It might be fun to do something whimsical like that for Christmas.

Dr. Seuss Themed Centerpiece


Dr. Seuss inspired decorations
Balloons and Streamers! Can’t have a birthday without them.

The guests (adults and kids alike) enjoyed the balloons.  They made great decorations in the colors of red, white, turquoise, and yellow & doubled as entertainment.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the basic snacks and of course a color themed cake.  Conlan, seemed to enjoy all the extra attention.

Okay... Maybe Conlan enjoyed the balloons more.  Oddly, he was not smiles about the cake.
Okay… Maybe Conlan enjoyed the balloons more. Oddly, he was not smiles about the cake.

While, the Dr. Seuss theme looked great and added nice color pops to the family photos (yes, I keep my friends off my blog) I did manage to miss getting one awesome picture.  The cake smash! Why?  Because Conlan was totally NOT about it.  He stuck one hand in, and looked at me to wipe it off.  Patrick gave him a taste of the icing, and he promptly made a face like it tasted horrible.  Clearly he is missing some important sweet-tooth gene I should have passed to him.  Anyway, enjoy one more photo of decoration details and scroll down for the connected tutorials.

Dr. Seuss inspired first birthday party


Tutorials to Create This Theme:

Dr. Seuss Inspired Tree Centerpiece

How to Dye Crepe Paper

How to Make Easy Crepe Paper Ruffles

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See other great decor and inspiration at these link parties: My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Lady Bug Blessings, The Gunny Sack

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Camping Birthday Party

Recently we celebrated my sons 2nd, 2nd birthday. Meaning his wonderful relatives in Durham had already had his and his cousin a joint 2nd birthday party. Of course I have next to no pictures of the first or second party since I get so caught up in the moment I forget to take pictures of the decorations. Suffice to say that both events were lovely! Since I had mentioned my idea to throw McClain a camping themed birthday party I thought I would share the very few pictures I had the presence of mind to take.

I made a simple “Happy Birthday” banner by enlarging the Pinewood font and cutting out the letters on my Silhouette craft machine. For a rustic camping look I clamped them to some hemp twine and strung them between branches I anchored in buckets on either side of the buffet table. While the color is washed out in the photo I used blue, red, and green embroidery floss to make friendship bracelet tassels.

We moved all the furniture to the edges of the room to open up play space for the kiddos and places a tepee in the corner near the fireplace. My mother let me borrow a number of plaid and striped wool camping blankets to use on the floor and as throws. Here she is enjoying one with McClain in the tepee.

Chocolate and vanilla cupcakes were topped with moss (green sugar in two shades) and woodland characters. I have to say I used my Silhouette again to find these cute little animals and cut them out. However, there are plenty of cartoon forest creatures available as free clipart you could use. Just print them out and mirror the other side. Then match the two sides and glue to a toothpick.

Here is a detail of the cupcake toppers. I also set (high above the children) candles, with various birds and moss. While not shown, I used mess-kits to serve many of the snacks and lanterns as decorations. The menu kept with the theme by serving campfire chili, cheese log, and smores icecream sandwiches.

McClain’s favorite part besides the obvious attention and presents was a toss up between the tepee and the cupcakes. Though for pure family use I’m going to have to go with the tepee. We kept it up for a week and everyone, including the felines, enjoyed their time sitting in it.