Perfect for a toddler's first foray into the birthday zone, this smart little party idea will have you seeing spots--and a lot of smiles. For reader Dawne Carlson, who created the party for her two-year-old, Abigail, the biggest attraction was how simple it was to plan. "At that age," she says, "a little fun goes a long way."
THE HIT OF THE PARTY:
Dawne's guests ooh-ed and aah-ed over the homemade ladybug plates on the party table. Simply decorate a red plastic plate with licorice legs and antennae (or pipe cleaners, for a noncandy version). Four chocolate cookies make up the edible spots.
Anything red and black--streamers, balloons, a tablecloth--will set the stage.
FUN & GAMES:
Simple and flexible activities work best with this crowd.
•At the door, greet each child with a set of his own antennae, made of a headband, pipe cleaners and Styrofoam balls.
•Play "stick the spot on the ladybug." For this age group, you'll probably want to do away with the blindfold.
•Dance the jitterbug. It doesn't matter if the guests don't know the steps; just put on some tunes and let them make it up as they go.
Getting to wear the antennae home may be enough of a treat for this set, but you could also give each ladybug a bag with some black and red jelly beans, ladybug stickers or Eric Carle's THE GROUCHY LADYBUG.
If you serve lunch, make it something familiar, then for dessert make a Ladybug Cake.
1 baked dome cake (made in a 1 1/2-quart bowl or 6-inch sphere)
1 baked cupcake
3 cups red frosting
12 Junior Mints
2 green gumdrops
Black shoestring licorice
Turn the cake and cupcake upside down and frost them with red icing.
2. Place the mints on the body for spots.
3. Add the green gumdrop eyes and the licorice antennae, and the ladybug will fly away home.
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