Gluten Free Spring Garden Party

Even though Chicago weather isn't following suit, spring is definitely least that is what the birds chirping at 6am are telling me.
To celebrate this season that brings new life blooming with possibility,
we decided to have a spring garden themed birthday party for my
daughter. We had both gluten and gluten-free guests, so I made two
versions of some of the menu items to accommodate both.

Gluten and Dairy Free Menu
Party Chicken
Easy Roasted Potatoes
Vegetable Quiche
Springtime Butterflies and Flowers Cake
Flower Pot Cupcakes
Bird Nests
Assorted Fresh Fruit, Veggies and Hummus Dip (Tribe brand is gluten free)

We had several games and crafts focused on a spring theme. Most of the
children attending were under the age of 6, so we tried to have games
and crafts that were not too complicated. My daughter and I tried to
show some restraint when shopping for all of the decorations, but it is
hard when you are bombarded with cute little butterflies, spring chicks,
and pastel flowers at these craft stores!
Games and Crafts

  • Decorate and Fill a Flower Pot
  • Face Painting
  • Flower Toss
  • Pin the Petal on the Flower
  • Thank You Flowers

Decorate and Fill a Flower Pot
This is a fun and easy way to get kids excited for spring and express their creative sides.
Supplies Needed:

  • Large folding table covered in butcher/craft paper
  • Small terra cotta pots
  • Spray Paint (whatever colors you choose)
  • Spring-themed foam stickers, foam letters
  • Glitter glue, markers
  • Potting Soil
  • Small stones
  • Assorted Seeds

Spray paint flower pots in assorted colors and let dry. Arrange all
supplies on a large folding table covered in craft paper. When children
arrive, they can choose various foam stickers, glitter glue, and
markers to decorate their flower pot. When they are finished decorating,
let them choose which seeds they'd like to plant in their pot. Place a
stone at the bottom of the pot to cover the drain hole. Fill pot with
potting soil and have the children sprinkle in seeds.

Face Painting
Kids always love getting their face painted. The key to keeping the
party running smoothly is to offer a menu of a few choices (frog,
butterfly, flower) and stick to those options! Hobby Lobby and other
craft stores sell various brands of face paints. I personally like
Supplies Needed:

  • Set of Paint Pots
  • Paintbrush with fairly thin tip
  • Cup with Water
  • Paper Towel
  • 2 Chairs (one for face painter, one for party guest)
  • Menu of available options (I printed out a page with clip-art images of the choices)
  • Hand Mirror (for looking at the finished product)

Flower Toss
This is is a riff on Bozo Buckets, one of my personal favorites as a kid growing up in Chicago.
Supplied Needed:

  • Large flower pot
  • Set of artificial daisies or similar large flower (remove tops from stems)
  • Small stones
  • Hot glue gun

Here, I use one "bucket" which is really a large flower pot. Kids
toss the tops of artificial daisies into the flower pot, seeing how many
they can get into the pot. Each of the daisies are weighted down by a
stone that is hot-glued to the back. The game was such a hit that even
grandma gave it a try!

Pin the Petal on the Flower
This is another riff of an old favorite - Pin the Tail on the Donkey.
Kids are blindfolded and stick their "petal" on the flower stem, trying
to get as close to the center as possible. At the end of the game, we
had made quite a nice piece of modern art.
Supplies Needed:

  • Craft paper (pink, green, yellow for the flower center)
  • Tape
  • Blindfold
  • Chalk or marker

Thank You Flowers
Since writing thank you cards is something that I always have trouble
keeping up with, we decided to give everyone their "thank you" when they
left the party.
Supplies Needed:

  • 14 inch dowel rods
  • Green Paint
  • Flower Graphic with Thank You message printed on it
  • Clear Tape

Paint the dowel rods green, to look like a stem of a flower. Tape
the thank you message onto the top of the dowel rod and insert into each
of the guests' decorated flower pots. Miraculously, their planted seeds
grew into a very thankful flower during the party!

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