Warning: Today's post is going to be photo-heavy!
"E" has always been my nature girl,
she loves snails, owls, sting rays, fish, jelly fish, octopi, you name it.
When she was 2 or 3 years old she announced that her favorite thing in the world is,
"plants by water." For her 3rd birthday we had a "fish and ocean" themed party.
For her 4th birthday she had a "frog" theme.
For her 5th birthday she asked for a microscope.
So, I wasn't surprised when she asked for a "terrarium themed" nature party
this year to celebrate her 9th birthday.
"E"has had a pet garden snail named "Tiny" since she was 5 years old.
He has lived in a terrarium (she made and maintains) in our house for the past 3.5 years.
The invitations were based on a drawing she made of Tiny the Snail's terrarium.
We found these adorable recycled paper folders at Target
and decided to use them instead of "favor bags"
The mini notebooks, pens, and pencils were picked up at the Target Dollar Spot.
The butterfly coloring sheets were printed out from this website onto Vellum paper.
As the girls arrived, they picked up their folders and got to work
coloring their vellum butterflies (to be cut out and taped up to windows at home)
It was a nice little ice breaker and allowed the girls to visit and get to know each other a bit.
Coloring butterflies in the art studio with pens and Crayola Twistables.
"E" labeled each folder with these adorable tags I picked up at World Market.
She matched each folder and critter tag to match each of her friend's personalities and likes.
After they colored their butterflies the girls enjoyed a pizza lunch.
Yes, they're making weird faces for the camera -- so pretty.
They also enjoyed fresh veggies and fruit - "E"'s favorites.
After lunch, it was time to clean off the kitchen table and make terrariums.
For the centerpieces, we planted some spring bulbs in assorted jars and vases
and started them in our sunny playroom windowsill.
We also had some lovely fresh tulips thanks to lovely Aunt Darby.
Potting soil was out on the deck for scooping - not in the house.
I picked up these adorable jars at Walmart for less than $8 each.
They were roomy and nice for terrariums as well-- and also a mini version of Tiny's Terrarium.
"E" drew this diagram to show her friends how to layer their terrariums.
We prepped and collected supplies and "elements" for the terrariums
so the girls could have fun personalizing them.
We spread out some newspapers, gave each girl her own jar
(pre-layered with gravel, spaghnum moss, and organic potting soil.)
We also gave each girl an ice tea spoon to use as their mini-shovel for planting their plants.
Seashells collected from trips to the beach.
Polished river stones from the craft department at Walmart.
We picked up these little gnomes at JoAnnes (with a coupon!)
Geoff and I both helped the girls build their terrariums.
There was a lot less mess to clean up than I anticipated!
When they were finished with their terrariums,
we did a mini photo shoot using our playroom curtains as the backdrop.
I took a portrait of each guest with her finished jar -
to be included with "Thank You" notes.
Then, the girls all went outside to play hide-n-seek in our backyard,
it was a beautiful afternoon.
Some friends hid in the trees...
Others were hiding around corners!
Then, we headed in for birthday cake and presents.
"E" and I made the cake together.
My sweet 9 year old.
E's best friend (and her mother) knit her this adorable Pig with Wigs set!
It was her favorite birthday gift.
Balloons were all blue and green - "E"'s two favorite colors.
Our family Happy Birthday banner.
The birthday girl and her best buddies!
To send each terrarium home safely, I saved boxes in our garage
and packed up each jar so no one would have a spill in their car!
Happy Birthday Sweet Girl.
Pink and Green Mama