Ever since our first daughter was little, I knew the best gifts for her: quality time and books. We have always tried to discourage family and friends from giving toys for birthdays and holidays, gently suggesting a new book or maybe spending time with our daughter instead. However, as we all know, sometimes our good intentions don’t pan out.
This year we’re trying something different as we plan our older daughters’ joint birthday party. The hope is to encourage friends and family to help build our library rather than buy more toys.
Sounds a little nerdy, I know, but I’m hoping just a smidge that the theme (and invitation) just might encourage books for gifts rather than toys. Even more importantly, my girls are super excited about it. Cora wants to be Angelina Ballerina and Kate hopes to dress up like Amelia Bedelia
After much research, here are some great links to inspire you if you, too, are interested in a book-based birthday party (or if you’d just like to encourage guests to give books instead of toys):
I love these invites typed up on library cards and enclosed in yellow envelopes, reminiscent of the old pre-electronic days of checking books out at the library:
But the invitation seemed a little too adult for a child’s birthday party, so I found this one instead that I’m using as inspiration. I really like how it reads: “Please bring your favorite book to add to the LIBRARY.”
If you have time and crafty genes (I don’t), then these invitations made with card stock and vintage paperback book covers would be pretty nifty.
I love how each of the party foods is based on a favorite children’s book: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie cookies, Diary of a Worm dirt cake, One Fish Two Fish gold fish crackers, and A Bad Case of the Stripes striped birthday cake, among others.
And more book-themed foods: Scruffy’s salt water taffy and Dr. Seuss’s green eggs and ham. Perfect and playful for a child’s party.
And for the cake, why not a storybook? This simple sheet cake decorated as an open book would be perfect.
My girls are big Fancy Nancy fans, so this parfait station would be right up their alley. FYI–Fancy Nancy loves parfaits (that’s French for ice cream)
If you choose one book or author, then you could pretty easily create a menu based on the foods or characters in the story.
A Little House on the Prairie Birthday Party
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Party
A Fancy Nancy Birthday Party
An Are You My Mother? Baby Shower
A Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? Birthday Party
The Cat in the Hat Birthday Party
The best link for children’s book-themed parties that I’ve found is here, featuring 40 popular ideas.
This lovely banner is made with pages from Wind in the Willows (picked up in the Target Dollar Spot), twine, and card stock. I love the look, and it seems pretty doable.
While I don’t have the knack for making this amazing book wreath, maybe you do. And the Scrabble-inspired and book illustrated banners above it are equally neat.
Not only is the banner below super-cute, but I love the framed pages from the book Are You My Mother? With cheap frames from the Dollar Store and a few inexpensive children’s books from Goodwill, you could do this easily and for very cheap.
For an even easier decoration, simply stack books and tie with a ribbon and balloon. These would make great centerpieces on tables. Simple but sweet.
These accordion paper flowers made from what else–book pages–look easy to make and add a touch of class to your party scene. Find the tutorial here.
Leave it to Martha Stewart to create these adorable miniature books suspended as garland to enhance the storybook theme. She even shows you how to make “enchanted garland” here.
Book plates, pencils, & gummy “book worms” are great favor ideas.
Bonus: The goodie bag has this lovely quote from Dr. Seuss:
“The more that you read the more things you will know. The more that you learn the more places you’ll go.”
I also loved this cute idea — Bubbles lined with book pages!
These goodie bags made from two pages of vintage children’s books hand sewn together are cute, but even cuter are the nerdy “reading glasses” and “book worms” that go inside. How fun!
Or what else would be more appropriate for a book-based birthday party than a book! These Little Golden Books are classics and very inexpensive too.
Of course, Pinterest offers a wealth of ideas. Check out my board “For the Birthday Girls” for these and other great ideas.
I hope this post inspires you to consider hosting a book-based birthday party yourself. Depending on how ours turns out, I hope to share our own book party with you next month!
Blessings to you,
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Linking up to these lovely parties.