Your little girl is turning six next month, and you want to do something different and memorable for her birthday. You could take the easy way out and pile all the birthday guests in the minivan and head to a fast-food restaurant with games and jungle gyms. Or you can invest a little time and have a party that she will remember forever.
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Prissy Missy Tea Party
Most little girls love a tea party. You can make your little girl's party different in several ways. Look for invitations that evoke the theme you are using. You can sometimes find blank notecards that have pictures of teacups and print them yourself using your computer and printer. Another option is downloading pictures of teacups that can be printed on blank cardstock. Invite the girls to come in their Sunday-best dresses. When they arrive, let them decorate inexpensive straw hats with silk flowers, ribbons, broken costume jewellery, beads and tulle. Serve lemonade or punch in real teacups, which can be borrowed from neighbours and family or purchased at a thrift store. Finger sandwiches and miniature cupcakes could be served on doily-lined plates. As party favours, let the girls take home the hats they designed.
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A treasure hunt will take a little more time and preparation, but it's so much fun. Prepare simple maps that fit the children's reading levels. As they arrive, separate them into teams of two or three girls, and let them use the clues to find the things you have hidden around the house and the yard. Everyone's maps can be a little different, or the clues can be arranged in different orders, so that everyone is not looking for the same things at the same time. Refreshments can include hot dogs roasted over a campfire and punch served in coconut-shaped containers. Send everyone home with a small treasure chest, an eyepatch and a tri-corner hat.
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South of the Border Fiesta
As the children arrive, give each one an inexpensive sombrero purchased from a party supply store. You could also make striped scarves for them to wear over their shoulders. Since most children love tacos, let them make their own. Set up a taco bar, including soft and hard tortilla shells, seasoned meat, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, sour cream and salsa. After Pin the Tail on the Donkey, let the children have a swing at a piñata. Then, as party favours, give them small bags in which to take home the candies they collect from the piñata.
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When you send out invitations for this unusual party, ask each child to bring something different to help make "stone soup." One could bring a potato, another a carrot and another might bring a stalk of celery. Have the ingredients on hand, just in case the children forget. Then you can give them the ingredients as they arrive. Read the story "Stone Soup," and then enjoy making a pot of fresh soup with the children. Grilled-cheese sandwiches and a birthday cake complete the refreshments. For party favours, send each child home with a goody bag which contains a recipe for her own stone soup that she can make with her family.