Celebrate Spring with a Butterfly Ball
Little girls metamorphose into butterflies, flutter their wings, and crawl into cocoons for a sensational slumber party that is easy on the budget.
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At our house, birthdays are a big deal. My children begin planning their parties a year in advance. The only stipulation is that it must be inexpensive to execute. “Next year I want to have a Butterfly Ball,” Abby announced, days after her seventh birthday. “What’s that?” I asked. My daughter rolled her eyes, “It’s where we dress up like butterflies and dance, silly.”
Right. Butterfly Ball. No problem.
When hosting a birthday party at home, one of the challenges is keeping the kids entertained. But parents don’t have to spend a fortune or transform their homes into a petting zoo to create a memorable party. One of the highlights from Abby’s party was a simple maypole. Strips of inexpensive crepe paper in vibrant hues of hot pink, turquoise, and orange were stapled to the top of an eight-foot 2-by-2-inch board. The board was secured into the ground and topped with a multi-colored honeycomb ball. Each guest held one of the crepe strips and danced around the pole.
Music was an integral part of the Butterfly Ball—it was after all a Ball. A version of freeze dance called “freeze fly” and “butterfly seek” kept the girls entertained. Another fun game was the “cocoon contest.” The girls were divided into two teams, and using rolls of leftover crepe paper, in between fits of giggles, they wrapped each other into cocoons.
The games were great, but the creative sweets took center stage. A colorful arrangement of candy-coated marshmallows served as the
centerpiece. Chocolate-covered pretzels were transformed into butterfly wands, and a heart cookie cutter was used to create butterfly cookies. Instead of a traditional birthday cake, cupcakes were topped with ice cream frosting and arranged on a tiered cake stand to mimic the look of a maypole.
Finger sandwiches and strawberry ladybugs rounded out the spread. “My
favorite food was the candy-covered butterfly pretzels,” said Abby. “I liked decorating them. Each one was different, and they looked like wands.”
Seven-year-old Lindsay Moriarity liked the marshmallows. She said, “My favorite is the marshmallows. I loved them! They are so pretty and really, really yummy!”
And I loved that the party was simple to pull together and easy on the checkbook. Inexpensive hot pink plastic tablecloths with orange table skirts transformed ordinary folding tables. The food and entertainment took place outside so clean up was a breeze. Balloons added a vibrant punch of color, and crepe paper draped in the trees gave the patio a festive feel. Votive candles scattered around the yard twinkled like fireflies as the sun went down.
“Everyone said this was the best party ever,” Abby said, after all the girls had migrated home, proving that simple decorations and easy-to-make foods can set the stage for a magical party that children will remember for years to come.