Music boxes that opened to reveal twirling ballerinas were once the mainstay of little girl gifts (in our day, at least). Now, there's a modern version that offers an experiential twist: the ballerina birthday party.
After all, there's something magical about the timeless appeal of satin shoes and the flounce of a fitted tutu. Ballerinas are glamorous, graceful -- and perfect for a birthday party theme. We'll look at some pretty ways to make this party come to life.
Of course, the best way to launch any kind of party is with eye-catching invitations. There are plenty of places to order customized invitations online, such as TinyPrints or AmyAdele. If you enjoy a hands-on project, you can opt to create your own embellished invitations. Using pink scrapbook paper, cut out a leotard and affix it to pre-folded card stock. Then, cut tissue paper into a strip about 4 inches (10.16 centimeters) wide and 12 inches (30.5 centimeters) long. Fold the tissue paper into accordion pleats and paste it to the leotard at the waist. Top it off with a piece of pink satin ribbon at the waist, which has a twofold purpose; it hides the edge of the tissue paper and adds decorative touch.
Now that you've got a birthday theme -- and the invitations -- it's time to do some party planning. We've got entertainment that's just right for budding ballerinas, next.
Ballerina Party Ideas
The best thing about being a ballerina is --and rightly so-- the dancing. Taking a cue from the popular Angelina Ballerina children's books, you can foster some real-life dreams by hosting your ballerina birthday party at a local dance studio. Decorate the room with pink and white balloons. Dress the table with a white tablecloth and a runner of pink tulle layered over twinkling lights (a string or two of small, clear Christmas lights work wonderfully). Tie a bow of pink tulle around the back of each chair.
As guests arrive, outfit them with tutus made of 12-inch wide by 36-inch long (30.5 centimeters by 91 centimeters) tulle. It's very inexpensive; you can buy a bolt of tulle at a fabric store for just a few dollars. To make the tutus, gather them at the waist with heavy-duty thread and a darning needle. A little Velcro at the opening will help each tutu stay put around the waist. If this sounds like too much work, there are a number of stores that sell "dress-up" tutus for less than $10 each.
And, because you're already at a dance studio with a barre and mirrored walls, you've got built-in entertainment. Your little guests will love to see themselves twirling in their tutus. You can also hire a dance instructor to offer a simple ballet lesson or a demonstration.
What other activities can you plan? Just read the next page.
Ballerina Party Supplies
You already have most of the ingredients for a successful ballerina birthday party. There are twirling tutus, twinkling lights and, of course, dancing. However, no party would be complete without a few take-home favors.
You can opt to buy pre-assembled party favors, available at stores like Target and other online retailers. Or, you can get all the supplies for your prima ballerinas to make their own. Purchase canvas tote bags with handles; the plain bags that come in a variety of colors cost $2 or $3 each. Before the party begins, affix iron-on transfers to the bags. You can find these online or at fabric stores, and a ballerina image shouldn't be difficult to locate. Keep in mind that doing this step before the party means you won't need to deal with the hazards that crop up when children are near a hot iron.
As your guests settle in, give them the bags to decorate. Fabric markers or paint, stencils and rhinestones with pre-glued backing will keep them busy for quite some time. Be sure each girl puts her name on the bag as well. These ballerina tote bags are perfect for storing tutus and prizes.
Of course, all this crafting is sure to work up an appetite. What will you feed your hungry ballerinas? We've got some adorable -- and tasty -- ideas on the next page.
Ballerina Party Menu Ideas
The icing on the cake, as it were, of any ballerina birthday party is the dessert. You can delight your guests with a beautifully decorated cake from a pastry shop, or make your own. A simple sheet cake frosted with pink icing makes a big impression.
Or, you could make edible ballet slippers. Nutter Butter cookies are just the right shape. To transform them into slippers, dip the cookies one at a time into a melted coating of pink Wilton Candy Melts or white almond bark, and place them on wax paper or cooling rack. Smooth the coating with a knife as needed before placing the cookies in the freezer to harden (this only takes a few minutes). A paring knife can be used to shave off any drips or bumps in the coating. Fill a pastry bag with a small round tip with store-bought icing and pipe on the details, such as a bow at the toe.
For more substantial fare, chocolate-dipped strawberries or finger sandwiches will help fill hungry tummies. Keep in mind, though, some children find birthday parties far too exciting to be able to eat much of anything.
As your guests dine, you could read an excerpt from "Put Your Best Foot Forward: A Young Dancer's Guide to Life." This book is perfect for aspiring ballerinas and covers everything from accepting applause graciously to good posture to healthful snacks. There's even a guide to common dance terms. As you read, ask your party guests for input to keep them engaged in the conversation.
From invitations to party favors, your ballerina birthday party will have all the right moves -- and create a slew of memories. Just be sure to take a lot of pictures. Once the party has ended, you can create a photo collage postcard to send each guest as a "thank you." It's the perfect ending to a wonderful theme.
- 10 Ideas for a Unique Birthday Party
- 10 Fun Kids' Birthday Party Themes
- Top 5 Arts and Crafts Birthday Party Ideas
- 5 Edible Birthday Creations
- 5 Fun Party Craft Ideas
- 5 Princess Birthday Party Ideas
- 5 Fun Places to Have Kids' Parties
- 5 Themed Kids' Birthday Parties on a Budget
- 5 Things You Should Know: Birthday Party Entertainers
- 5 Things Kids Should Know: Party Etiquette
- 5 Cute Cupcake Ideas for Kids' Birthday Parties
- How to Throw a Healthy Birthday Party
- How to Throw a Superhero Birthday Party
- Lester, Melissa. "Ballet Slipper Cookies." (Dec. 26, 2010). ALittleLoveliness.blogspot.com.http://alittleloveliness.blogspot.com/2009/05/ballet-slipper-cookies.html
- Party-Ideas-Galore.com. "Ballerina Birthday Party Invitations." (Dec. 26, 2010).http://www.party-ideas-galore.com/ballerina-birthday-party.html
- Schorer, Suki. "Put Your Best Foot Forward: A Young Dancer's Guide to Life." 2005, Workman Publishing. (Dec. 26, 2010).http://www.amazon.com/Put-Your-Best-Foot-Foward/dp/0761137955