Awesome College Send Off Party Ideas

College Send Off Party Ideas

Are you sending a kid (yours or a niece or nephew) off to college this fall?  I am dreading the day.  But least I have 10 years to go and I am hoping those years go slow.  And when the time comes, I’ll be referring back to this awesome College Send Off Party Idea.  It comes from my cousin, Jody.  Her family planned this great night for her nephew last summer before he went off to school.

I love not only that it gets the whole extended family involved, but it also shows the college student how much they are loved and supported as they start a new chapter in their life.

This College Send Off Party Idea has three parts:


Story time!

Have aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins and siblings email a personal story about the college student to the party organizer before the night of the party.  Then at dinner, read the stories and have the guest of honor try to guess who wrote each story.  Impose a penalty for incorrect answers.  Jody’s nephew had to lick a dollop of ketchup each time he guessed wrong.

And the Answer Is…

Let family members answer questions about the college student, from serious to silly.  Some of the questions Jody’s family asked were:  how many instruments her talented nephew could play, what was his first girlfriend’s name, what is the mascot of his college, what is his favorite music album, how old was he when he started walking, or what was his record for number of pancakes eaten…

Advice for the Journey Ahead

Every family member wrote one to two lines of advice for the college student on a note card and put them in a decorative jar.  Each day at school, Jody’s nephew was to pull out a card to read and enjoy.

Entries included Bible verses and words of wisdom as well as jokes and fun statements like, “May the Force be with you” and “Nephew, You’ve got to know when to hold them and know when to fold them.”

college send off party ideas -

Don’t you just love this supportive way to send off a student to college?  This was the first of among Jody’s nieces and nephews to head off to school.  What a wonderful family tradition to keep through the years!

What do you think about this college send off?  

Enchanting Collection of Cinderella Party Supplies

44 Enchanting Cinderella Party Supplies (1)

With the new Cinderella movie’s recent release (read my review), I am confidently guessing there will be many girls across the country looking forward to beautiful Cinderella birthday party.

So to help you get started on planning that fairy tale of a party, I have put together several collections of Cinderella party supplies.  From decorations and table top accessories to favors, I am sharing my 44 of my favorite items (both licensed and non-licensed).  And don’t miss the gift ideas I have included at the bottom.  They are so cute!  (All links in this post are affiliate links.  Thank you for your support!)

Take a look and tell me, what do you like?

Cinderella Party Decor

Party Decorations:

Light Blue Tulle // Blue Rocks Vase Fillers or Table Scatters //  Glitter and Sequin Pumpkin // Paper Lanterns // Carriage Frame  // Light Blue Festooning // Glitter Tulle // Glass Pumpkin // Pom Poms // Antique Silver Beaded Small Cake Stand // Unfinished Wood Spools // Blue & Silver Twirly Whirls // Champagne Glitter Pumpkin


Cinderella Table Top Accessories

Table Top Accessories:

Blue Candy Kit // Silver Round Charger Plate // Light Blue and Silver Polka Dot Candy Cups // Cinderella Place Card Holder Favors // Light Blue and Silver Straws // Silver Chevron Treat Sacks, Light Blue Straws and Blue and Silver Candy Cups // Baby Blue Plastic Table Cover // Wilton Princess Cookie Cutter Set


cinderella party favors

Cinderella Party Favors:

Mini Carriage Treat Boxes // Colorful Princess Tiaras // Princess Crayons – Set of 4 // Mini Star Fairy Princess Wands // Princess Party Favors Crown Cupcake Rings // Kleancolor Nail Lacquer Mini Collection // Cinderella Slipper Favor Charms // Glass Slippers (plastic)


Cinderella (licensed) Party Supplies (1)

Licensed Party Supplies:

Cinderella Invitations // Cinderella Party Products Box // Cinderella ‘Dreamland’ Favor Boxes // Cinderella Balloon Bouquet // Cinderella Favor Pack // Cinderella Paper Tiaras // Disney Princess Mini Bubbles // Cinderella Sparkle Table Decoration Kit  // Disney’s Cinderella Sparkle Loot Bags // Cinderella Sparkle Tablecover // Cinderella Sparkle Jewel Rings (not pictured)


Cinderella Party Games and Coloring Sheets

Party Activities:

Tightening the Dress Coloring Sheet // Disney’s Cinderella Sparkle Party Game (Pin the Shoe) // The Stairs at Midnight Coloring Sheet // Cinderella “Dreamland” Bingo Party Game // Fairy Godmother & the Pumpkin Coloring Sheet


Cinderella Gift Ideas

Cinderella Gift Ideas:

Light Up Glass Slippers // LEGO Cinderella’s Dream Carriage // Disney Cinderella Princess Doll // Cinderella Eau De Toilette Spray // Cinderella Romantic Waltz Figurine // Play-Doh Magical Carriage // Disney Princess Little Kingdom Cinderella Giftset // CINDERELLA Wedding Celebration Tiara and Ring Costume // Cinderella Sketch Design Decal Kindle // Cinderella Rotating Carriage Jewelry Stand // LEGO Cinderella’s Romantic Castle // Princess Cinderella Horse and Carriage (not pictured)


44 Enchanting Cinderella Party Supplies-


What will you take to the ball?  

Little Mermaid Party Games & Activities

Little Mermaid Party - Games & Activities


We’re back Under the Sea!  Today, we’re talking about Little Mermaid party games and activities.  My daughter recently turned 5 and these were the three activities we did at her party.  I’m saving the best for last!

Little Mermaid Party Game - pin the shell on Ariel

1.  Pin the Shell on Ariel

Simple, classic and well-loved by children.  It was the perfect (and inexpensive) choice for bringing a large picture of Ariel into the grotto.  I found this game at Shindigz along with all the items for the next activity.

Little Mermaid Party Activity - Create Sand Art for the kids to take home

2.  Sand Art

Sea…Sand…Sand Art.

This was a great little activity for the children.  I had five colors of sand and these cute plastic corked bottles.  Add the funnels and a little hot glue at the end to ensure the bottles aren’t “mistakenly” opened indoors, and we were set!

My confession:  after the kids were gone, I made my own sand art.  Who can resist???


This is a GREAT activity for a Little Mermaid Party! The kids will love it!!

3.  Make a Necklace for Ariel

This was a last minute creation but I could’t have loved it more.  When I work on children’s parties, I enjoy bringing in a little imagination into the activities.  The kids suck it right up.  Who doesn’t want to enter the imaginative world of his or her favorite characters?

What You’ll Need: 

  • string for jewelry
  • enough pearls to string together into a necklace
  • a lot of shells
  • a bubble machine for added effect.

The Premise:  Prince Eric wanted to make a necklace for Ariel, but he needs our help.  A string of pearls is sure to make a beautiful necklace and Ariel would love the thoughtful gift.  But Eric doesn’t have enough pearls.  We need to help him find more pearls.  All around, you’ll see shells and under some of them are pearls.  Once you find a pearl (ONE pearl) run it back to _[the helper]__ and she will string them together to make Ariel’s necklace.

We were on our deck and I knew one or two might roll away.  If this happened, we told the kids to yell, “Flounder, don’t be such a guppy.”  It brought levity to sad moment of a lost pearl.

Thanks to years upon years of childhood seashell collections, I had over 350 shells spread out over our two decks.  The kids ran around, lifting shells to find a pearl and then took it to my niece who was stringing them together for Ariel.  Eric would be so happy!

The game is great because it is active, imaginative and constructive.  It doesn’t get better!

 What kinds of party games and activities do you like to do at your children’s parties?

Related Posts:
Little Mermaid Party Decor:  Creating Ariel’s Grotto
Little Mermaid Food, Favors & The Rest of the Sea

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.  I received the products from Shindigz at no cost.  All opinions are my own and I loved everything received and recommend these without hesitation.  

Octonauts Party Games the Kids Will Love!

octonauts party games

It wasn’t too long ago that we were on the beach celebrating my son’s birthday.  And I think I can now say that the beach is my favorite location for a party, probably because it is very conducive to a variety of activities.  Not the least of which were our Octonauts party games:  a traditional treasure hunt and obstacle course.

Whether you are hosting an Octonauts party, an Under the Sea party or other beach event, these games were so much fun.  And I will let you in on a couple lessons learned along the way.

Kwazii & Captain Calico Jack’s Treasure Hunt

If you watch Octonauts (find out more of what I think about this show in the first party post), you probably know that Kwazii is a pirate cat and his grandfather was a brilliant pirate named Captain Calico Jack.  Don’t you love the play off of Captain Jack Sparrow?

On the party table was the message in a bottle.  I told the kids that Kwazii left this for us and I read them the note on their first treasure map.

octonauts treasure map

Ahoy, Me Hearties,

My grandfather, Calico Jack, buried treasure on this here beach many years ago.  Follow the map in search of his long lost treasure and remember:  you must share the plunder!

Your friend,

Kwazii    (yeow!)

treasure maps

Dan and my nephew set the treasure hunt up before the party, burying the treasures at each stop.  Using the maps, the kids found visible markers (the fish, crab, shark and pirate ship made from my Cameo).

The treasures were buried below these markers in ziploc bags.  And a kind thank you to those people on the beach who didn’t unearth our plunder before the kids found it.

shark marker for treasure hunt

4 Maps – 4 Markers – 4 Spots of Buried Treasure

The first three spots had treasure buried along with the next treasure map.

1st Spot – Pirate Eye Patches

2nd Spot – Mini Telescopes

3rd Spot – Plastic Gold Coins


The 4th Spot housed the final and real treasure chest (a pinata).  However, Dan and my nephew buried this plunder so deep that my nephew had to help the kids get it out.  Lesson learned:  the deeper you go in the sand, the damper it is which will yield a somewhat mushy pinata.

buried treasure

But, truth be told, the kids did not mind a bit.  The last event of the party was to break the treasure out of the pinata.  Lesson #2:  Any candy not completely sealed will get sand in it when the candy hits the ground.  Gritty Smarties, anyone?

treasure chest pinata

Peso’s Mission to Save the “Turtle” Eggs

If you are familiar with Octonauts, you know that Peso is a medic who helps all creatures.  Dan and I dreamed up a little mission to save the “turtle” eggs and return them to their mothers.  (Yes, I know you aren’t supposed to move turtle eggs in reality, but it suit our game and the kids had a blast.)

Each child was lined up and given a number.  With a staggered start, the child then ran to the grass line to find their numbered hard boiled egg.  (Plastic eggs would have sufficed, but I couldn’t find mine.)

octonauts obstacle course

Protecting their egg, the kids had to run through the obstacle course.  Climbing through hula hoops, crossing the pit on the plank, hopping hoop to hoop and finishing with a tire-like run that football players do.

obstacle course 1


beach obstacle course

Last was to safely deliver their turtle egg to the proper mama turtle (and corresponding number).

turtle egg rescue obstacle course

I already shared that I don’t do cakes for the kids parties anymore.  See the Octopus Cupcakes here.  But I thought I would share the cake I made for my son’s actual birthday.  Themed toys make decorating so much easier and faster!!

octonauts birthday cake


And now, it’s time for the “Dance Break!”  Check out previous posts from this party here:

A Disney Octonauts Party (Part One)

Octopus Cupcakes

How to Make Treasure Map Paper in 2 Easy Steps!

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.  Please see the About Page for more information.

How to Make Treasure Map Paper in 2 Steps!

make your own treasure map paper in 2 steps

Do you love a good treasure hunt?  I do!  For my son’s Octonauts party, we put together a Captain Calico Jack treasure hunt and the kids absolutely loved it.   But to make a pirate’s treasure hunt authentic, you need to make treasure map paper.

And it is so easy!  You can take a simple piece of white printer paper and transform it into worn, old-looking maps and you can do it in 2 simple steps.

Getting Started:  I printed my maps first.  You may want to draw your map by hand once your treasure map paper is prepared.

making paper look old for a treasure map

 Step One:  Burn the edges of the paper.  Obviously, be very careful with this step of the process.  Work in small segments and I suggest doing it outside.  😉

diy treasure map paper

Step Two:  Make a small amount of strong coffee.  I didn’t even heat it up.  I just mixed warm water and coffee grounds.  It really is that easy!

Then dip a paper towel or rag in the coffee and begin to rub it on the paper.  You can splotch it, spread it, rub it . . . create whatever look you want.  The stronger the coffee and the more you apply, the darker your paper will get.

treasure maps


You can add more dimension and age to your paper by rolling it or folding it.  Just crinkle it all up and you’ll have the best looking treasure map paper!

Don’t forget to give a point of reference on your maps.  For our Octonauts party on the beach, I made sure to include both the shoreline and the Octonauts HQ (party table) on each page of the treasure map.  The younger the kids, the stronger the points of reference need to be.

On Wednesday,  we’ll be wrapping up all things Octonauts with a final glance at how we used our treasure map paper and Peso’s obstacle course.  Hope to see you there!

Related Posts:

A Disney Octonauts Party (Part One)

Octopus Cupcakes

Octonaut Party Games (Part Two)

A Camping Party {part 2}

Camping Birthday Party part 2

Last Wednesday, we had the fun of peaking in at Lynnette’s Camping Party for her son’s 6th birthday.  Today, we are going to finish up with the children’s activities and s’more cupcakes.

The Fishing Hole:

Lynnette hot glued magnets to the fishing line and to these Hobby Lobby fish and then sent the kids a’fishing in her kiddie pool.  She said it occupied them for at least half an hour.

Camping Party 10

Camping Party 16


Scavenger Hunt:

Lynnette created this fun nature hunt for the kids in photo shop.  As I mentioned last time, all the edit-able printables came from printmagic, an etsy shop.  Love the added crayon and natural twine look!

Camping Party 13

Camping Party 11


S’more Cupcakes:  

Lynnette compiled recipes and ideas from Pinterest for her cupcakes and cake.  (See the cake in the last post.)  Her inspiration came from 6 Bittersweets and Thrifty Decorating.  Don’t they look delicious?

Camping Party 15

Camping Party 14


Thanks, Lynnette for sharing this great party with us!

Miss the first part?  You can grab your flashlight and head to last Wednesday’s post here.

A Peter Rabbit Party {part 2}

peter rabbit party 12

Yesterday, I was over at Redeemed Reader talking about How To Throw a Book-Themed Party.  Are you looking for a creative idea for a party theme?  Why not pull from a classic and loved story.  Oh, there are so many ideas whether you are planning a children’s party or a baby shower.  If you missed it, head over and read the post.  I have lots of suggestions for you!


For this feature party, I settled on Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit.  Here is what I didn’t share yesterday:


peter rabbit party 6


Simple Invitations:  printed on cardstock, perforated by my Silhouette Cameo (helpful, but not necessary) and glued around a packet of pea seeds.  Did I mention I got these seeds for 20 cents a packet?  Inexpensive and perfect for our garden theme.


peter rabbit party 13


peter rabbit party 8


peter rabbit party 11


peter rabbit party 9

Carrot Cake Cupcakes, of course.

I used the cupcake toppers from this Meri Meri Peter Rabbit Cupcake Kit.


peter rabbit party 14

 One of the Activities:  Acting out the story.

peter rabbit party 15


peter rabbit party 7


Cardstock Carrot Favors filled with CORN from Mr. McGregor’s Garden . . . ok, it was really buttery, salted popcorn.  I did get a couple weird looks from the kids when I handed them out (which in my book, means success!).  I made these with my Silhouette Cameo.


It was a lovely party.  Peter Rabbit was a great theme to work with.  The activities (read more at Redeemed Reader) were fun and engaging.  The cupcakes, delish and good enough to eat more than just one.  😉



New Year’s Eve Tradition: Games for Cash

New Year's Eve Tradition. Games for Cash

What is your best New Year’s Eve memory?  One that comes to mind is from when I was a teenager.  My brother and I didn’t have any plans, so my mom brought up a ton of games from the basement.  She spread them out over the dining room table and started laying cash on them.  Winner of the game took the cash.  It was an absolute blast!

So with that in mind, last year I pulled out some of our “fun money!”  My college-aged niece came over and played games with us until 3:30am.  I was exhausted since I rarely stay up that late anymore, but the competitive nature in me came out!

We vary the purse money from game to game.  Since some games may take longer or are tougher to win, they are worth more money.  Cheap and easy games only need a round or two to declare a winner and may only be worth a couple bucks.  And just to clarify, we are not promoting gambling.  We provide all the cash and just play for the prize (and bragging rights).

And this year, the tradition continues . . .

What are your fun New Year’s Eve traditions?