I had bought these cardboard bugs from Oriental Trading Company ages ago, had them laminated, and have used them for everything! They worked great for decorating for the party!
I even hung a few of Maggie's plastic bugs with string, like they were mid-flight!
And stuck bugs in a few other obscure places! :)
I also hung this "HAPPY [bee]-DAY" sign up over her doorway.
On her door was my notice to keep out of Maggie's room until the very end, when they would hunt for bugs there! :)
For the birthday girl, I put this beaded design (bought with a 40% off coupon at Joann's for about $2) on a solid T-shirt.
Then, it was on to more decorating! We bought green and brown balloons (think grass and dirt) and put a natural centerpiece on the table (weeds stuck in a large round vase filled with river rocks and water).
In this other shot of the same space, you can almost see what we did to the ceiling -- 1-foot strips of crepe paper, hanging from the ceiling to resemble grass!
Here is a better photo of our "grassy" decor. (I wanted the kids to feel like they were in the grass, like little bugs! They loved it!)
The only other balloons we got besides our green and brown ones were these red and yellow ones, which I positioned over the bar to resemble a caterpillar! (The face drawn on the yellow balloon didn't hurt!)
Here's a closer look. (Cute!)
For her parties, we always make a thematic playlist. Here's the cover we designed for this year's (a copy of which each family took home).
Then, it was on to the food! Here, I just put together some green cutlery in green napkins, tied on with a brown ribbon and a spider ring. (I know, I know, spiders aren't bugs, but it was cute!)
Our buffet sign ...
For the plates, we cut out "bug bites" as well. I had bought this Fiskars large "Seal of Approval" punch to do the job, but with the first squeeze, the arm broke off!
YIKES! But don't write off Fiskars just yet! They very graciously agreed to replace it within the week with the very first call I made!
So, then, it was time to try out the ol' hole punch and I'm happy to say it worked out great! (I never needed to make the Fiskars purchase, but I'm sure I will use it plenty in homeschooling.) We now had bug-bitten plates! Cute!
So, on to the food! For our beverage, I (of course!) made "Beetle Juice," but first, I wanted to make gummy worm ice cubes, simply made by adding our worms to an ice cube tray, topping off with water, and freezing!
Once frozen, I popped them in this pretty clear glass pitcher and added apple juice!
Aaah, Beetle Juice! :)
We also served "Antennae" (pretzel sticks) and the new (delicious!) green mint M&Ms! (Everybody grabbed more of those!) I added some of Maggie's plastic bugs to the buffet for more decoration.
And (of course!) butterfly crackers ...
... "Snails' Shells" (turkey wraps) ...
... "Ants on a Log" ...
...and "Ladybug Snacks" (cherry tomatoes, a Ritz cracker, Ranch-flavored cream cheese, olives and chives)!
It all turned out so well!
We also had "Caterpillar Kabobs" (grapes on a skewer with blackberry heads and sugar eyes)!
It was all fun, but the best was yet to come ... the cake! Before that though, we did some crafts and played some games. Before our first game, we made ourselves into bugs using headbands (6 for $1 at Dollar Tree) to make antennae. Here, Olivia and Lucy are adding pipe cleaners to theirs.
Sweet Leah and her buggy headband! :)
The birthday girl! :)
Comparing their antennae ...
Olivia, working hard on hers!
Baby Maria! :)
Olivia and her masterpiece antennae! :)
After the antennae were made and our "bugs" were ready for some bug activities, we started our first game ... "Musical Leaves" (like "Musical Chairs," but with big paper leaves)!
The last two left were Olivia and Mags, both circling! Olivia won, but Mags was a great sport! :)
Olivia won the big prize, the Ladybug Playground, but everyone went home with bug stickers!
For the next game, we used our "Bug Eye" (here, Liam's demonstrating) to guess the number of bugs in a jar.
Here's the jar (also the big prize), with the runners-up prizes surrounding it (glow-in-the-dark critters).
Lucy, making her guess. :)
I see you!
The winner? Our birthday girl, with her guess of 20 bugs! (There were 31.)
Then, it was time for cake! And what a cake it was! My husband did it again, this time, with his chocolate grasshopper! I was so tickled! Check it out!
The detail was awesome!
We stuck a candle in him and got ready to sing!
Daddy, lighting the candle ...
Happy Birthday, Maggie!
(She wasn't so keen on being the center of attention, as usual.)
But the cake was delicious!
After cake, it was time for our bug hunt! I had provided these mini nets with their names attached for the hunt. Each child had to find 8 little bugs in Maggie's room to get their parting prize.
And they're off! (Leah's checking low.) :)
Their goody bags were actually goody nets that I found for 89 cents at Michael's in their summer clearance sale. I put these cute tags on them to make them personal.
In each net, I put the following: a bug viewer with plastic caterpillar and tweezers, a grow-in-water bug, a bug lollipop and chocolate ladybug (Thanks, Mom!), a magnifying glass, a bag of Keebler Bug Bites, a sticky wall-walking bug, bug stickers, and the playlist from the party.
What looks more exciting than a net full of goodies?!
Of course, the nets were a hit!
It was like Christmas with everyone taking inventory of their piles! :)
All in all, the day was a big success and I am so glad to have made these memories for Maggie! Happy 5th Birthday, my wonderful girl.