Make Your Own Birthday Party Invitations

Filed under: Activities: Toddlers & Preschoolers

This weekend, my family is going into party preparation mode. My eldest daughter will turn seven in the blink of an eye, and she's downright desperate to get the birthday invitations made and delivered to her friends. Is there a way to spin this task into a project that involves everyone? Cabin Fever thinks so.

Birthday invitations can be bought pre-made, of course, but making them from scratch is an easy and focused opportunity for craft-time -- as long as you're not too picky about the final result. (Welcome to our house!)

The birthday girl herself is the number one contributor to our family's party-planning process -- after all, this is her special day. Would she like a themed party? If so, what is she imagining? She may start off dreaming rather too big, but talking over the practical implications of "miniature horses that we can ride in the living-room" is all part of the process...
This birthday, she's settled on "horses," period. Phew.

"Can't we please please please start making the invitations?" she begs.

"Of course," say I, elbow deep in dirty dishes, radio on, while also supervising her brother's piano practice by means of telepathy. "Why don't you start by making a design?"


Upon return, her next question, naturally, is: "Where are the scissors?"

The answer to that? In the black hole along with the scotch tape and the key to the garage. But that's another subject altogether...

The point is, given a bit of purple construction paper and a pen, and the freedom to create, she's designed her own party invitations, according to her own vision. (Admittedly, the end result could be freely interpreted to be any animal from dog to llama, but this just adds an element of surprise for the invitees).

We locate a pair of scissors, and she draws, decorates, and cuts out nine "horses." I write the necessary information on the first, and she agrees to hand-print the rest, a painstaking and admirable task.

To: Guest. From: Birthday Girl. You are invited to my birthday party! Next Saturday, at our house. Lunch and cake will be served. RSVP.

It's only later that I notice our phone number is illegible due to a few backward fives and sevens. But that's easily fixed.

There are ways to make this craft project more inclusive, and some children are more inclined to welcome help. My eldest son was pleased to allow younger siblings to splatter paint on his painting party invitations this past spring, for example (we printed those invitations off the computer, to accommodate his difficulty writing for long stretches). But this child is more independent-minded, and the rest of the family can participate in other ways.

Next up: delivering the invitations, on foot, scooter, and bicycle. Wish me patience, fellow parents.

Materials needed: construction paper, scissors, pen. Optional: glue stick, paints and brushes, crayons, pencil crayons, stickers, glitter, parents and siblings.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.