Little girls and princesses… maybe they’re taught to like them or maybe they naturally gravitate toward them. In either case, they go together like tulle and tutus. A popular request over the last few years is for a “Sofia the First” (a Disney Jr show) themed party, which is fun because Princess Sofia wears a lot of purple, i.e. more colors to decorate with than just pink and white. When my daughter requested one, I was happy to oblige!
“Sofia the First” has been on Disney Jr for a while, and this means there are a lot of episodes with great backdrops and stories to incorporate into the theme. Not only does Princess Sofia wear a dress with a large skirt and a tiara, live in a castle, have a pet bunny, and ride in a horse-drawn carriage, she also reads books, play sports (a magical version of soccer as well as competitive horse racing), goes on scout trips, and has great adventures, some of which are even in foreign countries. There’s so much material to use for inspiration, you’re sure to find something that your little girl or boy also loves.
If you’re not the creative type or don’t have a lot of time… don’t worry. There are plenty of store-bought decorations that you can buy for this theme. I certainly did (and still do).
If you don’t have a lot of money… don’t worry. The many elements mentioned above make it very easy to create your own decorations, and customizing the decorations to your child’s favorite activities just makes it more special! Search the internet for crafts around princess, castle, pegasus, dragons, bunnies, etc.
Me? I don’t have a lot of either, although I do love the planning and crafting and decorating. I usually compromise by buying some, making some, and mixing them together so I get the best of both worlds.
This party was for both kids and adults, so I wanted to have it at a time that was good for everyone. To me that means brunch time, i.e. late morning through lunch. This seems to work best for everyone’s schedule because it’s after early practices but before afternoon errands and naps.
Making it a brunch also opens up the food served to be both breakfast AND lunch, which gives you more options. The menu also had to be kid-friendly… with some adult beverages for the grown-up kids. Annnddd everyone is happy.
- Berry French Toast Casserole
- Sausage Kolaches
- Fun Shape Sandwiches (peanut butter & jelly, turkey & cheese, and cucumber & cream cheese cut into hearts, stars, and Mickey Mouse heads)
- Yogurt Bar
- Birthday Cupcakes
- Pink Lemonade
- Assorted Juices
- Bloody Marys
The Yogurt Bar
The food hit of the party wasn’t the birthday cupcakes; it was the yogurt bar! (See our article What Is a Food Bar?.) I wanted the kids to feel special, so I found some disposable plastic champagne glasses on line that little hands could hold and would be just big enough for a decent amount of yogurt and toppings. Colorful plastic “ice cream sample” spoons were great for little mouths, too, and very affordable.
TIP: When ordering plastic drinkware or serving ware, you should anticipate some breakage. To compensate, it’s a good rule of thumb to always order 15-25% over what you need. This means if you have a party of 20 guests, plan on ordering 25 sets. If this brings the cost up too much, you can pick one item to be the focus – like just the glasses or just the plates – and then fill in the rest with matching solid colors, which will bring the cost down.
Catering to all tastes can be a challenge, but that’s where the food bar excels. I had vanilla yogurt, vanilla Greek yogurt, plain yogurt, and plain Greek yogurt. For toppings we had both savory (nuts, granola, and pretzels) and sweet (honey, sprinkles, brown sugar, marshmallow, chocolate chips, Fruit Loops, raisins, and fresh fruit). I think it worked; I saw many return visitors to the yogurt bar!
I admit it: I did not have enough time to create and plan the decorations like I normally do. Instead I bought licensed party supplies online and in stores and added colorful acrylic “gems” scattered throughout the food dishes and centerpieces. I focused the decorations on the tables (dining room table, kitchen island, and living room coffee table), because they are where people are most likely to gather. I also made sure the “Birthday Princess” sign was above the buffet table, aka dining room table, where it would attract the most attention.
The plan had been to entertain the kids in the back yard with lots of bubbles and collapsible tunnels and tents, but unfortunately the rain got there first. Instead I cleared just enough room in the living room to put up one kid’s tent and a tunnel, and the kids had a blast going in and out and setting up stuffed animals in the inside of the tent. They didn’t seem to mind the rain outside at all.
While I might give this party a C+ effort because I felt guilty that there weren’t more homemade decorations, I think my daughter would disagree and rate it higher. She had food she loved, friends to play with in a tent, and gifts to unwrap. And at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.