this one was a little less involved, but during the busy last week of school, i wanted to be sure that people had it in writing. i changed the shape of the card and the phrase slightly, highlighting the word "different" with the same cream prismacolor marker to call attention to it.
i stuck these on the kids when they arrived--i had similar ones with our address as seals on the original invitation envelopes. it was a great way to say hello and get the party started! (the banana stamp is from another old su! set, monkey business.)
rather than re-invent the wheel, i purchased the martha stewart birthday kit from michaels. with coupons, it was worth it. these monkey heads are the fill-in-the-blank invites included with the kit, but since i wanted to print and stamp my own, i stuck them back to back and strung them on coordinating ribbon to make a garland for the doorway--even more perfect that way!
the monkey party turned out to be a great theme. both the seven year olds and the nine year old sisters had a blast. i had two crafts--making sock monkey heads and bottlecap necklaces--and two games--barrel of monkeys and a monkey tree game from a friend. i also put out all of our monkey books and we played a few group games, too--monkey, monkey, where's my banana? and hot banana! monkeys from the girls' stuffed animal collection were another perfect decoration. the sock monkey activity came from the american girl book i mentioned the other day and was a huge hit. you can see a close up of them with the real sock monkeys on this post--they're made of the red-heeled socks, beans and rubberbands. i punched the monkeys from the bag tags in the ms kit to create the bottle caps for the necklaces--another way to use the fun elements in the kit in a different way.
here's a shot of the party table--i have another close up of the cake below! the napkins, forks, and cups are all from the ms kit, along with smaller cake plates. you can see more of the monkey heads hanging from the chandelier. and bananas were another necessary decoration, both real and candy ones!! the little runt bananas i threw out as confetti disappeared quickly!
one of the lunch options was monkey dogs--too funny huh?! i had real ones for those who didn't care for peanut butter & bananas! and one little friend at the party taught me about banana boats, which was basically pulling off one strip of the banana skin, adding peanut butter and eating it all up with a spoon like a baked potato--another great idea! the "monkey mix" includes banana chips and chocolate chips, too. and how about the cake...
the idea is also from martha stewart. before the kit at michaels, there was an article in ms kids that featured the party idea. it was that picture that caught colleen's attention when she was looking through my idea books for the perfect party. you can also see it here--i just made a basic cake and mine's a little shorter and wider, but it still came out pretty good! i also just realized that i forgot to take a picture of the kitchen island--it had a few chocolate covered bananas and marshmallows on a smaller green cake plate, using the cupcake toppers from the ms kit and some coconut bowls of candy--brown and yellow m&m's and malted milk balls. the kids started arriving from school while i was taking pictures and colleen wasn't here first, so i got a little sidetracked!
finally, here are the favors. the bags came from the kit and i added the same stamped image from the invite along with a name label, so mix ups were less likely. we found lots of monkey fun--stickers, hair clips, banana lip balm, banana candies, runts, and mini barrels of monkeys.
it was a really fun party and, with a few minor changes, i can totally see this party theme for a variety of ages! yes, i'm bananas...