One of my favorite parts of celebrating Zachary’s birthday is the party. This year, we went all out with a Snoopy birthday party. That boy loves his Snoopy! While our guests were amazed by all of the detail around the theme, the truth is, it was so simple!
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We always like to keep things simple. I thoroughly believe kids parties have gotten to be too much these days. Celebrating your little one should definitely be a big deal, but you can throw an amazing, themed party without all of the cost, extravagances, and overwhelm!
A birthday celebration should be about the child and quality time with them. Not about party favors, elaborate cakes, and entertainment. The key is to stop trying to live up to the unrealistic expectations we see. We do not have to live up to the birthday party hype.
A child’s birthday party should celebrate them. Our love for them, their growth through the year, and the blessing of having them in our lives!
Here’s how we threw an amazing Snoopy birthday party without breaking the budget, stressing out, or being completely overwhelmed. It let us enjoy our boy, our family, the beautiful day, and of course, tons of Snoopy goodness!
The good and bad of our Snoopy birthday party theme
A Snoopy birthday party theme was totally a no-brainer for us. This boy loves his Snoop, as we call him, or Snooka as he calls him. That was the good.
While he doesn’t watch much tv, he will point to the DVD on the shelf and sing his version of the “Snoopy Come Home” song. He loves it.
Zachary has five Snoopys. That’s right. Five. Big Snoop, laughing Snoop, dancing Snoop, real Snoop (his first Snoopy), and the Snoop-poster (we tried creating a replacement…it didn’t take).
This obsession came completely naturally. When he was big enough to have a little snuggly in the crib with him, we gave him this Snoopy that my Grandmother (his GG) bought him on a whim. We gave it to him purely because it was the only stuffed toy he had that didn’t have any eyes or buttons or anything he could accidentally chew off and choke on.
It hasn’t left his side since.
The bad, unfortunately, is that we were about one year too late to actually be able to find anything Snoopy related for birthday parties anywhere. Snoopy was really popular when the recent Peanuts movie came out, but since then everything has been cleared from the stores. There is nary a Snoop to be found. (But if you’re looking for holiday themed Snoopy, there is a TON!)
Picking a theme that is not readily available definitely makes your job of designing a rockin’ party much harder. But where there is a will, there is a way. Rest assured, you’ll still be able to have a party to please the masses. And your discerning little Snoopy lover.
Snoopy is still popular enough to be available very selectively. So with a little extra searching, we were able to find what we needed. And of course, we got creative.
It was still relatively easy to throw the party with the Snoopy theme, but imagine how simple it really would have been had it been a year ago!
Decorating for a Snoopy birthday party
Decorating for a Snoopy birthday party, like any theme, means you need lots of Snoopy. The great news is that you don’t have to spend lots of money or time doing elaborate craft projects to get it! Here are a few simple ways we decorated. Loads of Snoopy goodness without loads of overwhelm and cost!
A Happy Birthday banner
I found a clip art image of Snoopy on his doghouse on Google. I saved it and imported it into Microsoft word. Then, I just added a large text box and inserted each letter I needed and printed it out on white cardstock. I added two holes, one on each side of the top of the house, and strung them together with black yarn.
The only part that was a little time consuming was cutting it out because of all the detailing around Snoopy himself. You can opt to use just the plain doghouse without Snoopy. Another option is to have an image of just Snoopy at the beginning and end with plain doghouses. Even with all of the Snoopys though, it still only took me about an hour and a half to cut out, which I did while we watched a movie.
A party table
Some people call this a party table or theme table, either way, it’s a great way to make the most impact with the least work for any party theme. The idea is that you focus most of your energy on one area, or table, of the party. Center most of the decorations there, have the cake on it and put the gifts near it.
It really draws the eye and is striking to guests! We hung streamers in our theme colors (red, blue, and yellow) and strung the banner in front of it. A single balloon bouquet, one of each color in the theme, and a fun Snoopy balloon. I got him on Ebay for about $4! And then I found a super fun “Perfect Friend” Snoopy poster for just a few dollars. It was the perfect addition, and now that the party’s over, he can keep it!
This one was actually the most cost effective. The theme was already something Zachary loved, so he had a lot of them. Remember I mentioned he had 5 Snoopys? Well, we used those Snoopys, strategically placed throughout the room. Everywhere you looked, there was Snoopy! Here he is hanging out by the snack food!
Snoopy at the entrance
We had Snoopy everywhere, but I wanted one before people walked in. Andy drew this Snoopy on a poster board and we cut him out. I got one more set of balloons and we taped the ribbon to his hand so it looked like he was holding them! Then, we stuck him to the wall right above a bench. It looked like Snoopy was right at the door welcoming everyone in!
Snoopy birthday party treats and eats
I don’t know about you, but my favorite part about parties is the food! It’s all so yummy and it’s fun to plan it around a theme. Adding just a few special touches with the food that goes along with the theme can really bring everything together to create a unified feel and amaze your guests. Birthday parties are even better because they have a delicious cake!
Snoopy Birthday party cake
Finding a Snoopy cake was no problem at all. I’m a big fan of finding dual uses for anything I buy. When it comes to birthday parties, the cake decoration is such an easy way to add wow while having a dual use. For Zachary’s first birthday party, we did the same thing with the “Sesame Street teaches colors” theme. It always works out amazingly!
This year, I found a cake idea I loved online for a two-tiered cake that had a grass and sky look. Since two-tiered cakes have huge, unnecessary up charges, I usually opt for a half sheet cake. It generally serves the same amount of people (sometimes more). I let them know what I was looking for and they nailed it with the sheet cake. We bought a set of 10 Peanuts characters and I added them to the cake myself. I let them know that I would be doing this so they made sure to put the writing along the bottom, leaving plenty of space for the decoration! It turned out fantastic and received tons of compliments!
Special treats and foods
Aside from the cake, there are tons of opportunity to use food and treats to add to the theme. For the Snoopy theme, we bought a few red dog bowls for decoration from the dollar store. Then we used them for foods that went along with the theme. I bought a 2 lb bag of BONZ, made a batch of puppy chow, and picked up a bag of Cheeto’s Paws.
We also made dog bone shaped pieces of watermelon, but I failed to get a photo of that. The watermelon was cut into thin slices. Then, using a dog bone cookie cutter I cut out the shapes. To make sure there wasn’t any waste, the bones went to the party, and all of the scraps became snacks for home.
Special touches for a special little person
After the basic food and decorations are decided on, we made sure that there were a few special touches. We have picnics at my parents all the time during the summer. This needed to feel different. It needed to feel not only a birthday but Zachary’s birthday.
These we bought on a whim. We found them at Party City and they were pretty cheap on clearance (about $10 I think). They were rather large so we thought it would be a nice little something extra for the large outdoor space.
This one was an awesome find. I was planning on trying to make one myself from one of the various Pinterest guides, but this was perfect. As you can see from the photo, it’s large enough that Zach could actually crawl inside. And he can color it! There are flowers around the bottom and a dog bowl on one side to color in. He loves to color, so it was part decoration, part activity, and part gift since he got to keep it and bring it home to enjoy after the party! For $25, it was totally worth it. It saved me time, looks perfect, and he can color this one (I don’t think I would have been able to find a white cardboard box).
This one was a little bit of work. I intended to do a big “2” out of poster board and layer the photos from the past year in the shape. It didn’t work out so well. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to narrow down the best 20 or so photos from an entire year? Of course, you do cause you’re a mom (or dad) just like me.
We made the “2” but I didn’t want to have to cut up the pictures just to throw them away. I was going to string them on ribbons and hang them near the party table until Andy came up with this brilliant and oh so simple idea!
We took three photos, laid them out on the table upside down in a straight line. Using one piece of tape on each side, we attached the center photo to the outer two. I took them up, put the two outer photos together and taped it on the inside. Three pieces of tape and we had a tri-sided photo stand. I made about a dozen of them and lined them all around the room, mostly on the tables. People loved walking around and checking out all the different photos. Even Zach was looking at them while he was waiting for his cake. After the party, we just untaped them and they’re in perfect condition.
Turning Zach into Charlie Brown
Since the theme was a Snoopy birthday party, and not a Peanuts birthday party, I wanted to do something special to show that this theme was because of his love for Snoopy. Who better to dress him up as than Charlie Brown, Snoopy’s best human friend?
I got this Charlie Brown costume shirt and he already had the black shorts. Then, just for fun, we bought him these adorable Snoopy shoes. They are really cute, fit perfect, and he loves them. He still wears both since the party. Doesn’t he make a cute little Charlie Brown?
Do not buy into the birthday hype and have an awesome Snoopy birthday party anyway!
Every mama wants to throw an awesome, Pinterest-worthy party. Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving, it doesn’t matter. But birthday parties…that’s where we really want to shine, right ladies?
But, we see all of those perfect, two-tiered cakes, the extravagant decor of draped fabrics and theme pieces everywhere we look, gorgeous rental facilities, professionally taken photos….and it quickly becomes super overwhelming. Do we need a two-tiered cake? Or a balloon drop? What about the hall, surely we need that, right?
And what is with all the crazy party favors? Do we really need to spend $30-50 per kid on some sort of new toy or pet or whatever trend they’re giving away these days? Best thing I ever got at a party was a bag of candy…and I was thrilled to get it.
The answer is no. We don’t have to do any of it. Whatever you do, it’s enough.
Because it comes from love and you’re doing your best. Your child will love you for that. They’ll appreciate the fun party filled with things and people they love. And they’ll have wonderful memories to carry through life. Hopefully, memories they love so much, they’ll want to do the same for their own children.
You don’t have to feel obligated to live up to anyone’s expectations. You don’t have to order the fancy cake, rent a hall, or hire a party planner. And you don’t have to stay up all night making picture perfect decorations, either.
Focus on the child, the family, and do your best. I promise you’ll be happier, and your child will love it. And the outcome will amaze not only your guests but your little one as well.
Do you feel overwhelmed by the birthday party expectations today? What themes other than a Snoopy birthday party are you thinking of trying a low-key, amazing version of?
-To your Better Life-
P.S. Here are some links for a few additional things to make your Snoopy birthday party spectacular! We used a few of these but didn’t take any photos of them!
Peanuts foam stickers: we used these on the back of the invitation envelopes, and Zach played with the rest.