This was a fun one to plan, albeit a new challenge! Last year was the first time my eldest daughter (my middle child) joined in on the party prep. This time, she was ready to be involved in some of the actual planning! It was new version of mother-daughter bonding and a sweet glimpse into the fun ahead of us as she continues to grow and develop her own creative personality.
This year, she has been very much into fairies. It was one of her favorite themes during pretend play this year, and trust me when I say we’ve role-played all iterations (mother-daughter, big sister-little sister, mother-baby, big sister-baby, twin sisters, etc! 😆)! So naturally, she wanted her birthday theme to be fairies. She had also been playing “afternoon tea” with her nanny regularly, as it was their favorite go-to theme while waiting for her brother during his extra-curriculars (over snacks of course). This would work out well, I thought, as a garden tea party fit in easily with a fairy theme!
The planning was going easy, until she had a change of heart at the end of the summer and wanted to pivot to a pool party. That shouldn’t be a problem, I thought. But she didn’t mean to change the theme; just that she wanted it to be a pool party also. When I mentioned that swimming would be hard to fit in with fairies or a tea party, she exclaimed, “I know, we can be water fairies! Pleeeease!” 😭
Well, I couldn’t say no to my sweet girl who has the biggest heart. So, water fairies it would be! 💗
In case you’re wondering, to my knowledge, I’m not sure anyone has ever planned a water fairy party before. Pinterest and google turned up dry for “water fairy party” and “fairy pool party”. So I had to come up with something fresh. I was a bit stuck for a while. Finally, I did some exploration on what water fairies might even look like. These two images stood out to me and ended up inspiring the party concept.
With that, I landed on purples and blues with a hint of wet mossy green being the key theme colors. The main florals would be water lilies, with small accents of pink and white like there are in the bushes of that first image (and to help tie back to the garden party concept we were still trying to weave in). I also thought blue or purple butterfly wings could be a nice way to merge together the garden and river/water idea.
For food, we were keen on still going for the afternoon tea theme. Since we wanted to keep it kid friendly, we used non-caffeinated herbal iced tea and also had a sparkling lemonade option. We did also set out some hot tea options for the grown-ups as well.
The morning of the party was a tea sandwich factory day! Luckily, I had some help from my mom, sister- and brother-in-law while hubby helped hang up the decor outside.
As for activities, I always try to think of at least one craft or have a couple stations that could keep the kids occupied. In this case, I set up two stations that would be a little easier and encourage more independent crafting, and one station that would be more involved.
To keep with the theme of fairies, one of the easy stations was a “make your own magic wand” station. I didn’t want to have to man this station so I kept it neat and simple with gem stickers, pre-cut ribbons, and pre-glued wands.
The other self-directed station was a fairy-themed coloring table runner. My daughter is super into coloring, so I figured her friends would be as well. And the novelty of getting to do it on a huge table-length coloring sheet kept them interested!
The featured craft was definitely more involved. I came across this concept when initially browsing for fairy themed party favors on Etsy. It was pretty unaffordable to buy a fairy night light for each child. It didn’t look overly difficult to make, and I began wondering if we could just do it on our own.
It did take quite some research on different ways folks have made these. The kids in attendance were mostly ages 6 and 7, and I didn’t want the craft to take up the entire time. Being only one person, I also had to somehow make it simple enough that the kids could do most of it on their own.
I ended up landing on a simplified adaptation of this version for the craft. To make it easier, I pre-wrapped and glued twine around all of the mason jar lids, and only had the kids do one layer of mod podge.
The main activity of the party was swimming. I got a couple fairy-themed floaties (basically a ring floaty with wings) for the kids to play with in the pool.
Now, the week leading up to the party, we suddenly heard there was going to be a downpour that day. That was definitely going to throw a wrench in the plans, as one main craft was not going to be enough to entertain so many kids on its own. As a last minute contingency, the hubby thought we should maybe hire an entertainer to help lead the kids in some games. Amazingly, I was able to find a “purple fairy” character with only two days notice who would come do face painting, magic tricks, and singing and dancing.
We were so blessed that on the day of, our prayers were answered and it ended up being a clear day! It was too late to cancel the fairy, so we ended up having extra support. The kids were thrilled to get to do ALL of the activities!
Finally, as a take home, I found these adorable little butterfly favor boxes on Amazon. I got the purple ones to go with our theme, and filled them with some butterfly gummies, a non-toxic kids nail polish, and a little butterfly friendship bracelet.
In the end, it was an action-packed and memorable afternoon. What was extra sweet was that it seemed that the parents all enjoyed the party as much as the kids, as many of them stayed and were able to relax. But the sweetest part of all was at night, when I asked my daughter if it was everything she dreamed of. As she was drifting off to sleep, she snuggled in close, smiled, and said, “yes mama, it was so much more.”