Our Kennedy girl is now in double digits! And of course we went all out to celebrate! She decided on a softball themed party. The main event was going to our local water park plus a slumber party for all her friends to follow. Easy enough right?
Now… quick disclaimer. We are aware we often handle ourselves wrong (in hindsight) with K for two reasons. 1) We have no previous experience leading up to parenting an elementary aged child, so we’re guessing everyday with what to do. 2) We over compensate for her past and try and over show our love and support for her. We know both excuses are wrong, but we also know both are understandable and very hard to correct.
With that being said, last year we successfully had a sleepover birthday party so we were feeling confident in doing it again. Last year, she invited four friends and only two stayed to spend the night. Completely manageable! This year she invited six friends and ALL of them stayed to spent the night.
Add to that our three other children and we had 10 kids sleeping under our roof!
Complete c h a o s.
However, now I’m writing this as the girly screams and chatter have quieted and our normalcy is back in place. Looking back we survived. Our daughter had a fun filled birthday. She had a blast with her friends and we were the ones to give that to her. She is another year older and we are all the more wiser.
So aside from the craziness and sheer volume of people, the party went smooth.
I loved watching K play and interact with her friends. Friends from her new school and new life with us. I loved how she was so caring and thoughtfully included her little sister who so desperately wanted to be part of the group. I loved every time she whispered “thank you” to me in appreciation. I loved the whole party (in spite of all the madness).
And of course all the little details I thrive on came together perfectly making it all the better. The decor was minimal, but the prep was detailed as always! Here is an inside look to Kennedy’s softball slumber party!
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As an Etsy seller myself I love shopping there when I can. Party invites are a great place to start grabbing inspiration for a party theme. Etsy has a massive variety of talented shops that I love browsing their invite selection! I narrow the choices and let the birthday girl pick her favorite. As kids get older I think it is so fun and rewarding to get them involved! Her invite became the color scheme and really hit home (see what I did there 😝) the whole theme she wanted.
Softball (unlike baseball) is not the easiest theme to find materials for. I will admit I my decorations were lack luster and minimal. However, between K’s age and low need for many decorations, it was okay. Most of our time was spent at the water park or in the basement for the sleepover. My normal main floor go to decorating needs were not necessary.
Nonetheless, I found ways to add in the softball theme and bring the party together. I gathered as many ideas and inspiration from Pinterest, and of course saved all my finds for you, my readers, in my Birthday Party Ideas board!
One spot I could not skip was the dining room backdrop. It is a fun tradition that the kids get to sit at the head of the table for the day (or party) and are the focal point of the room. With traditional birthday cake photos it has become a great place to decorate! With no luck finding fabric to create my own banners and not the best paper selection either, I took to Amazon!
One search for softball themed birthday decor and these amazing lanterns came up. I instantly put them in my cart and had my backdrop idea ready.
As the party got closer I realized I was going to need a little something more for the photo decor. A quick Walmart run and $2.00 later I had a fun girly pop of color (perfect with her invitation inspiration) and a more filled out backdrop.
I tied clear crafting string to the lanterns and flowers and simply taped them to the top of the window casing. It was fun, festive, and a great way to showcase Kennedy’s party theme as we watched her blow out her candles.
Along with the decor, food is typically a high priority at any party! With dinner at the water park (ordered pizza for the win!) I did not need to prep a big menu. I did however prep for dessert!
After the girls tired out from swimming and consumed a good amount of pizza, we headed back to our house for traditional cake and ice cream. I once again outsourced our baking needs to our friend and neighbor.
Kennedy found an inspiration cake on Pinterest with me. However, she wanted to incorporate some changes. We drew up her thoughts and our baker friend knocked it out of the park!
After our younger daughter Peyton’s birthday I knew (very selfishly) I wanted more of our friends amazing sugar cookies! And I thought there would be nothing easier than a softball!
We ordered extra, it was amazing.
Something different between our girls’ birthday parties was that Kennedy invited friends! So, we got to give out thank you gift bags!
This is one area that was new to me and one I most likely went over board on. But to my defense, gift giving is my love language and I had so much fun creating these bags!
To start, I knew I wanted simple softball bags and the size needed to be large enough to hold all the contents. Pulling again from my Pinterest inspiration I wiped up these simple and easy gift bags!
The bags themselves I found in two packs at the Dollar Tree. I splurged and bought a king size sharpie to ensure nice bold lines. And that’s it!
I drew curved lines on either side and then little hash marks to make it look like softball laces. I am not an artist by any means and yet these bags were so simple to make!
Once the bags were complete the fun part was next… filling them! I tried to curb my enthusiasm and find ideas that would be fun yet practical, and both girly and age appropriate. Some items I had intended to use during the party and some were simply a thank you gesture.
Kennedy came to me with an idea for softball chapstick. Where she got that vision from I have no idea, but I thought it was so creative! I did a little brainstorming with her and came up with a great idea.
We found yellow EOS lip balm, round and perfect to be made into a softball. Using a red permanent marker I simply drew lace marks (just like the gift bags) on one end of the lip balm.
Next we needed something to hold the lip balm to make it a little more noticeable and fun. After some Etsy and Pinterest research I decided on a glove to “catch” the lip balm!
I found a easy pictures on google and printed it on brown card stock. Next I cut out the image and a hole big enough to fit the round lip balm but small enough to where it would stick. Another super easy craft for any range of DIYer but I think it made a fun impact. I have to say I loved how they turned out!
Last year we gave water bottles in Kennedy’s party favor bags and it was genius (yes, I am bragging but it really was). For the party it was so helpful to have closable water bottle that each girl can have during their stay. They were spill proof, and were great for keeping each girl hydrated without lots of random half empty cups being left about.
This year I took it one step further. K found one water bottle she liked and wanted them all to have the same ones, which happen to match her color theme.
Now, for the added brilliant idea… millennial mommas get ready for a blast from your past… snap bracelets!
Each friend got a unique colored bracelet to use as their water bottle “label”. It worked so well, plus the girls had so much fun the bracelets as well!
Some of the girls used their hair ties as “labels” too. With many options it was fun to watch the girls customize their bottle to keep track of.
Something fun and girly I added as a token of thanks were softball themed hair elastics. I found an adorable set on Etsy and they were perfect!
Lastly, we included some M&Ms because they are a family favorite for movie nights. The girls settled down from all the fun with a movie before bedtime and it was the perfect end to the night.
After the girls finally crashed (way later than this momma is use to staying up!) all that was left was breakfast and some playtime until pick up!
Another Pinterest find inspired our breakfast choice. Our local bakery made the perfect delicious softball/baseball donuts that were one last bit of themed fun to send the girls home with.
All in all I’m happy with how everything turned out. Yes we went overboard and will need to reign it in more next year. But it was an adorable and super fun party!
You only turn ten once right?!
Here is an extra look at some more fun from the party!
BONUS: Check out these softball themed thank you cards I created for Kennedy to send her family and friends! Now available in my Etsy Shop 🙂
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