Girls birthday party ideas: barbie party

Planning a Barbie birthday party will bring out the child in anyone. Here are some ideas on how to make it a party to remember!

Planning a child's birthday party can be one of the most fun and rewarding activities for a parent to do. When you're thinking up things to do, you can really roll your sleeves up, dig in and think about what would be fun and exciting from the child's perspective. Plan the party that you wish YOU had had for your birthday when you were young. And for girls, what better party could there be than one featuring the doll nearly every girl has at least one if not many more of - Barbie!

To start planning a fun Barbie party for your birthday girl, you should first decide on which Barbie you want to build the party around. There is the traditional Barbie we have all known and loved for many years - she has different dresses, jobs and hairstyles, but underneath it all she is the same original doll she has always been. Then, in the past few years, there has been a new trend in the Barbie line - Barbie as a character in a movie. This has included Barbie in Rapunzel, the Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Princess and the Pauper and, most recently, Barbie in Fairytopia. Each of these Barbies plays the role of the central character in an animated story and has an accompanying movie, costume and cast of supporting characters. Deciding on what type of Barbie you want to focus on will make a difference in the type of decorations, accessories, favors and games that you select for your party.

If you decide to go the traditional Barbie route, there many options for decorations, favors and tableware that can be found in your local party or stationery store, as well as online party suppliers and retailers. These Barbie accessories are typically pink and/or purple in color and feature Barbie and usually one or two of her friends on the items. You can usually pick up an entire party ensemble, from plates to napkins to centerpieces, all at one location and this way you can be sure that the color and theme all match perfectly. As with most other "theme" parties, there are typically favors that can be purchased as well that will coordinate perfectly with your theme. In the case of Barbie, these may be items such as pretend mirrors, combs, jewelry, stickers or other fun girly toys and trinkets.

If you decide to go with one of the special Barbie movie themes, you may have a harder time finding party supplies featuring that particular Barbie, unless it is one of the most recent ones such as Princess and the Pauper or Fairytopia. What you can do, however, is design your own decorations around that specific Barbie theme. For example, if your daughter really wants a Barbie as Rapunzel party, you can use the actual doll as part of the centerpiece, have the movie playing in the background as guests arrive and use complementary colors such as pink, white and lavender for the rest of the decorations and tableware such as plates, napkins, etc. Favors could include hair ribbons or bows, little brushes, some fancy pretend jewelry, and some simple bubbles, stickers, etc. You could even use the video or DVD cover from the movie to help create signs or banners, enlarging the pictures on a photocopier and coloring them to be placed on the walls throughout the party area.

Another idea that would work for both the original Barbie as well as the "specialty" Barbies is to throw a Barbie tea party for your daughter and her friends. On the invitation, invite the girls to bring their own Barbie for a special Birthday tea party celebration. You can decorate around a tea party theme, setting out real place settings for each of the girls and using a small child's tea set to set a place for each girl's Barbie right next to her. You can offer both iced tea and lemonade to drink and serve mini-quiches and tea sandwiches cut into triangles. Some great sandwiches to serve at a tea party celebration are egg salad, chicken or tuna salad, and cream cheese with a little lettuce or cucumber on top. You can play classical music in the background while the girls and their Barbies take tea and when they are finished you can play games such as pass the teapot and musical chairs. Favors for a tea party celebration could be small tea sets for each of the guests (these are often easy to find at dollar stores or discount toy stores very inexpensively), or just a single teacup, perhaps with their name written on it. Other suggestions are fancy napkins, straws, lemonade or hot cocoa mixes or small purses or other trinkets.

If you are not doing a tea party theme, you will want to decide on a menu that coordinates with the d├ęcor and party favors that you have chosen. For a regular Barbie party, you may want to go with simple fare that is as all-American as Barbie herself. You could serve sandwiches, hot dogs, pizza, or if the weather is warm, perhaps a barbeque. Other side dishes could be pasta or potato salad, fresh fruit or veggie trays, potato chips, and fried mozzarella sticks. Of course, you will want to tailor the type of food to fit the age of the birthday child, so keep that in mind when preparing the menu.

For the other specialty Barbies, try to incorporate some elements of that story into your food choices. For Fairytopia, for example, you could cut sandwiches into the shape of butterflies or flowers by using a cookie cutter, or for Princess and the Pauper you could have one side of the table be "fancier" food, such as making the sandwiches on croissants, and the other side could be more simple, with sandwiches on regular white or whole wheat bread. If you think creatively, there are many more ideas that you can come up with to help tie in the menu to the overall theme of the party.

One of the focal points of any party is the birthday cake, and for a Barbie birthday there are several options for fun and beautiful cakes that you can make. One of the most impressive cakes for displaying is to build the cake around an actual Barbie doll. This is actually fairly easy to make on your own and it is sure to delight the birthday girl and her guests. All you need to make this cake is a glass baking bowl, cake mix and frosting of your choice, and a Barbie doll. You simply prepare the cake in the glass bowl - this will serve as the skirt of Barbie's dress. Let it cool and remove from the bowl, then take an unclothed Barbie and insert her in the middle of the cake, up to her waist (it is easiest to make a small hole for her first). Next, you make Barbie's dress by applying frosting to the cake, which soon starts to be recognizable as the skirt of her dress. You can make it as simple or as elaborate as you wish. You will want to save some frosting to pipe onto the actual Barbie to form the top of her dress, and then she will be ready to go! More complete directions for this type of cake can be found on the internet and it is definitely one that the novice baker can complete. Of course, another option is simply to make or buy a regular sheet cake and decorate it with a picture of Barbie and a birthday message. You can ask to have the colors of the cake be the same as the decorations that you have used so it will all tie together nicely.

Another important aspect of the party planning that you will want to consider are the types of activities and/or games to have at the party. Many of the traditional birthday party games can be adjusted to fit the Barbie theme. Examples are "Pin the hat on Barbie's head" or "Pass the Barbie." You could also have a Barbie fashion show, either with Barbies that the girls have brought with them, or if you happen to have extras available for them to dress up. For activities, there are several crafts that you can have the girls do. One option is to have them decorate picture frames. You can put out Barbie stickers, and then some pretend jewels, beads, silk flowers and other decorations and let them glue or stick these items onto the frames and make their own creations. To really finish this idea off, you could take a group picture of all the guests and the birthday girl and let them know that you will send them all a copy (this can be done with the thank you note). You could also have them make small bead bracelets or necklaces, complete with Barbie charms. These can be easily made by using having them color pre-cut Barbie shapes out of shrink plastic, and then putting them in the oven or using a heat tool to shrink them. Then you simply attach them to the jewelry they have made (you must be sure you have pre-punched a hole in the shape so they can be easily attached) and then they'll have their own Barbie jewelry to take home with them.

Last, but not least, they should have some small party favors to take home with them in addition to their craft creations. It is a fun idea to have something for them to hold their treasures in. This can be as simple as small bags with handles that have been decorated with their names and Barbie stickers or drawings. Or if you wanted a more elaborate idea, you could purchase some small inexpensive purses that can double as a fashionable carrying case for their Barbies. If you have picked out some Barbie themed favors that match the decorations, those could also be included. Other ideas are Barbie clothes and accessories - you can typically find these for relatively little cost at most discount stores - coloring books (either pre-printed or you can make your own by downloading and printing Barbie images from the internet), pencils or pens, notepads or fun pretend jewelry.

It takes some planning and organization to pull off a successful Barbie party, but you are sure to have fun in the process. And nothing will bring a smile to your face more than seeing the wonder and excitement of your birthday girl as she enjoys her special Barbie party!

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