Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dance Birthday Party...

There is a short time in our lives, where everything is magical.

It is during this time, that we wait very impatiently for our birthday to come... go to sleep on command for fear that the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus will not visit us...and we believe everything our parents tell us.  Some of my most vivid memories are of that period of time... when I could feel pure joy at the drop of a hat. 

Watching two little girls grow up has helped me regain some of that magic.  In the past, birthdays in our house have consisted of a very large meal for all our friends and family, a themed cake and a very loud rendition of "Happy Birthday" sung to the birthday girl.

Last year was the first year Ava, our oldest daughter, had any opinions at all about her party.  She wanted a singing and dancing party...she didn't give me a lot of details, so I just ran with it, and tried to make it as special as I could.

I made microphone invitations and an accompanying cd of her favorite songs. We made sure to send out the invites early, so the kids would have a chance to familiarize themselves with the songs, if they did not already know them.

 There was one thing I knew would be crucial to pull off a dance party and that was a dance floor.  I looked into renting one, but I could not find exactly what I was looking for.  I ended up making this 8x10 checkerboard dance floor for about $38.  It took a little time, but it was the biggest hit of the party. ( If you want to know how to make this dance floor for your kids, look below.)

For the fun and games, all of the kids made personalized microphones when they first arrived.
  1. I cut PVC pipe into 9" pieces and sprayed them black. 
  2. I then attached a silver glitter ornament to the pipe with a glue gun.  
  3. The kids then decorated their microphones with foam stickers of their names, flowers, stars etc...
The rest of the time was spent singing and dancing, the dj / me taking requests the whole time : )

Ava is not a big cake fan, so I decided to make cupcakes for the kids and a small cake for any adults at the party.  I saw the cutest microphone cupcakes in the What's New, Cupcake book, so I decided to try them out.  I had to make a couple changes, but I think they turned out pretty well.  On the 8" cake, I made a dance floor and a "little Ava" sitting in the middle of the floor.  I made the disco ball out of another Christmas ornament mounted on a dowel.

As favors, we gave each girl a tutu and a flower headband from Halo Heaven.  And of course they took home their microphones.  

Ava's 6th birthday is right around the corner and she has made a few requests- her imagination has taken flight... literally.  The theme is "butterflies".  I will keep you posted...

Birthdays can get crazy, and over the top but I try to keep in mind that kids have this small window of time when they can be amazed and  feel magical.  All it takes is a little time, a little planning and big checkerboard dance floor : )

To make the dance floor:

You will need 3 4'x8' sheets of hardiboard, liquid nails, white semi-gloss paint, roller, painter's tape and black semi-gloss spray paint.

  1. When you buy the hardiboard, have the hardware store cut one sheet in half and then cut one of the halves in half again.  In the end, you should have two 4'x8' sheets, a 2'x8' piece and two 1'x8' pieces.  
  2. Paint the two 4'x8' pieces and the one 2'x8' piece by rolling them with white semi-gloss paint. Let it dry at least 24 hours.  
  3. Decide how big you want your squares and then measure and tape them off with the painter's tape. (My squares were 2'x2' square).  
  4. Spray paint the taped off squares with the black semi-gloss spray paint. Remember that you will have to do this in sections, by skipping rows, so you can re-tape the next row and keep your squares perfect.  
  5. After all the paint has dried, flip the three pieces over (making sure that the black and white squares alternate when flipped), push the pieces together until they are flush with one another, the small piece (2'x8' piece) being in the middle. 
  6. Run a bead of liquid nails on either side of the two cracks and then one of the two 1' pieces on each seam.  You may want to put some heavy books on the joining pieces while they dry.  I let my floor dry 24 hours before trying to flip it.  It took both Jason and I to do it, so make sure you have help when you are flipping it over.  
  7. And then voila! you have a perfect dance floor!  
Happy dancing!