Creating a Library of Good Children’s Books: #3 Host a Book Birthday Party

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I’ve been posting lately on how to create a library of good books for children. If you’ve missed my posts, check them our here and here.

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):

Invitations

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:

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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.

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Food
 
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.

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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.

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And for the cake, why not a storybook? This simple sheet cake decorated as an open book would be perfect.
 

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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) 🙂

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If you choose one book or author, then you could pretty easily create a menu based on the foods or characters in the story.

Book-Themed Parties
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.

Decorations

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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Favors

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.”

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 I also loved this cute idea — Bubbles lined with book pages!

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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! 

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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.

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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! 

Other related posts:
 Creating a Library of Good Children’s Books: #1 Establish Criteria
 Creating a Library of Good Children’s Books: #2 Find Them   Frugally 

Blessings to you,

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Comments

  1. I think this is a great idea! I’ll have to look into all those links. It’s funny, but I have a similar problem. Not with books, but with clothes. Every Christmas I tell family that I’d rather have them get our girls one dress from Lands End (they last forever!) than lots of other clothes/toys that don’t last as long. Oh well. Anyway, thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

  2. I ADORE this idea, Keri! For years, our children have asked for books for birthdays and Christmas yet rarely do they receive any from aunts and uncles and grandparents. Wonder if this would convince them? 🙂 Sharing to FB and Twitter tomorrow.

  3. What a fun idea! Did you see my Hungry Caterpillar cupcakes a month or two ago? They were super easy to do! I’m new to cake decorating, so if I could do them, anyone can. I’m definitely keeping the book theme in mind for future birthdays.

  4. These are adorable ideas! We just had a Dr. Seuss themed birthday party for our 1 year old over the weekend. It was really easy to do Seuss related snacks and decor since there are so many different Dr. Seuss books from which to get ideas.

    http://crunchyfry.blogspot.com/2013/09/dr-seuss-first-birthday-party.html

    Hopped over from The Homemaking Party.

  5. LOVE the ideas! And what great pins. Planning a book party is definitely on our bucket list! Thanks for sharing on Tina’s blog hop.
    -Reshama @Stackingbooks.com

  6. Keri, I absolutely LOVE this idea! My little boy will be 1 in February and I may have to do something like this for his party. I’m pinning your post for the future! Our kids get way too many gifts, and books are something that will inspire their imagination and grow their learning – without making them materialistic like an abundance of toys can. Thank you for this great post.

    Blessings,
    Nicole @ WKH

  7. Keri, I absolutely LOVE this idea! My little boy will be 1 in February and I may have to do something like this for his party. I’m pinning your post for the future! Our kids get way too many gifts, and books are something that will inspire their imagination and grow their learning – without making them materialistic like an abundance of toys can. Thank you for this great post.

    Blessings,
    Nicole @ WKH

  8. I love this idea for a birthday party!! Thanks so much for sharing. I found you through the Better Moms Monday link up. Pinning! 🙂

  9. This is a fabulous idea! Another book idea I’ve seen is at a baby shower: instead of a baby shower card, buy a children’s book and write your message on the inside cover.

    My daughters would love this idea! Thanks for sharing all of the links! 🙂
    ~Lisha

  10. This is so cute! I really love this idea. We are a family of book lovers, and our two little boys are definitely following suit. I think they’d love this kind of party. Pinning now! Stopping by from the Titus 2 Link Party.

  11. I love this idea, unfortunately, I doubt it would work. We’ve tried to convince the grandparents that the kids don’t need toys, but as my dad said, it’s a grandparent’s job to fill their grandchildren’s house with toys 🙂 Another idea for a book party is to host an Usborne Books book party. Your children can choose books from the Usborne catalogue and people can choose which ones they want to buy for them. The bonus is, you can then get extra books with your hostess rewards from the party 🙂 I use to sell Usborne Books and I had a family do that and it went really well!

    Thanks for sharing this! Now that you’ve got me thinking about it, maybe I’ll try again 🙂 Books are awesome gifts!

    I found your post through Raising Arrow’s Welcome Home Wednesday link-up.

  12. Fun! Fun! Fun! We did a Little House on the Prairie birthday party in January and it was great, but I’ve never thought to do a more generic book one. Might have to try it soon! Sorry I’m so late to pop over! Thanks for sharing this post at Booknificent Thursday last week! Looking forward to seeing what you have to share with us this week!
    Tina

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