Throw a garden-themed birthday party

With spring finally here, let’s celebrate green thumbs, little bugs and blossoming buds.

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To get your teeny gardeners prepared for a horticulture-themed fête, start them off with some crafting. First, have them make insect headbands they can wear during the party. Next, using empty Mason jars, soil, twigs, pebbles and acorns, kids can create their own mini terrariums.

Once they’ve washed their dirty hands, it’s time for a game of bug-style I Spy. Create a bug wall by using sticky tack to fix plastic toy bugs from the dollar store and seasonal greenery in place. (Spray some of the bugs green for camouflage!) Hand out magnifying glasses and have the kids refer to their printable insect checklist to find all the bugs on the wall. Once all the creepy-crawlies are accounted for, have kids add them to their terrariums. After they’ve finished admiring their findings, playing a few rounds of hot potato will send the kiddos into uncontrollable fits of giggles.

Your gardeners are going to work up quite the appetite, so to keep with the theme of getting wee hands messy, get the kids to dig into some nachos, a plate of fresh veggies and mini sandwiches for lunch. Offer up freshly squeezed pink lemonade to wash it all down. For dessert, serve sweet potted-flower treats, and if the kids ask about worms, say you’ve already eaten them!

FUN

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Terrarium
Use empty Mason jars, soil, pebbles, acorns, twigs, leaves and other outdoor finds. Kids will enjoy creating their own little worlds.

Bugs-to-find list
Print our list from todaysparent.com/printables. Kids will learn about insects and leaves as they sleuth for the ones they need.

Pass the critter
Try this twist on hot potato: Seated in a circle, have kids pass around a plastic beetle as they sing a song, or as music is playing. When the music stops, the child holding the beetle leaves the circle. Keep going until only one person is left!

TREAT

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This edible flower is as delicious as it is pretty. All you’ll need to create it are mini custard cups, chocolate pudding, Oreo cookie crumbs, pretzel sticks and Fruit Roll-Ups. Find the instructions to make it here.

How to make a bug headband:

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1. You will need two green pompoms, a strip of black felt, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, a headband, a miniature green boa, scissors and a hot-glue gun.

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2. Cut small circles from black felt the size of the pompom; set aside. Glue googly eyes to one side of pompom, then glue pompom to pipe cleaner. Glue felt to back of pipe cleaner to keep eyes in place.

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3. Wrap the pipe cleaner ends around the headband (add a dollop of glue to secure). Finish by gluing the boa to the headband.

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Ta-da!

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A version of this article appeared in our May 2015 issue with the headline, “Garden party,” p. 20.

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