By Shelly Radic
Imaginations will soar as guests delve into a plethora of creative projects designed for birthday fun.
Invitations: Purchase inexpensive three inch paint brushes. Write party information on the handle with a paint pen. Request that guests dress in old clothes and wear an art smock.
Decorations: Use streamers and balloons in primary colors. Purchase a few art posters to hang on the walls. In one corner, set up an easel to display a masterpiece created by the birthday child. Cover food table with a paint-spattered tablecloth. Fill a plastic tub with art supplies to use as a centerpiece.
Food: Serve shape sandwiches (sandwiches cut into circles, squares, rectangles, stars, and ovals), multi-colored slushies (freeze orange juice, limeade, and cranberry juice in separate ice cube trays, crush cubes in blender, and layer each color of crushed ice in clear plastic cups), and a Palette Cake. To make the cake, cut a sheet cake into an oval shaped palette. Cut a two-inch circular thumbhole at one end. Frost the palette in white, and then create five paint-filled circles using colored gel icing in five colors. Shape a piece of green fruit roll onto the end of a red licorice rope to create a paintbrush. Lay new paintbrush across one end of the palette.
Costumes: Decorate a painter’s cap for each child. Write names with a paint pen, and then spatter with several colors of paint. As children arrive, help them don their paint smocks and caps.
Sidewalk mural. On arrival, provide guests with sidewalk chalk and direct them to create a mural on the back patio or sidewalk.
Paint stick puppets. Provide guests with paint sticks, paint pens, yarn, pipe cleaners and fun foam to create silly puppets.
Clay sculptures. Provide play clay in a variety of colors and plastic knives, rolling pins, a garlic press, and cookie cutters in varying shapes.
Food fun jewelry. Give each guest a long red licorice string and an assortment of colored cereal, marshmallows, and candy to string into a necklace or bracelet. Tie the ends together when finished.
Creative painting. Give each child a large white sheet of paper and a straw. Put a teaspoon of paint on the paper and have guests blow the paint across the paper. Add a dollop of paint in a different color and ask guests to drive a small car through the paint, tracking color across the paper. With a feather, encourage guests to paint a third color across the paper. Finally, make a thumbprint border around the artwork in a fourth color.
Color crayon toss. Place two or three paint cans in a line. Several feet away, place a tub of old color crayons. Challenge guests to see how fast they can toss all the crayons into the paint cans.
Twister. Since most preschoolers don’t know right from left, simply ask guests to put a foot, knee, elbow, hand or bottom on a certain color. Use one Twister mat for every three to four guests.
Party favors: Watercolor set, sidewalk chalk, painter’s cap, and play clay, all art projects.
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