An Earth Day Birthday Planning

We started with invitations that were printed on paper bags. They not only sported a little poem about saving the Earth, but also listed seven fun things to do with the bag, including wrapping the birthday girl’s present inside.

For decor, we lucked out because we had just done an eco-friendly Bar Mitzvah and had a ton of really cool moss products in a variety of shapes, including bowls, balls, and funky little bubble-shaped patties. 

My sister Freda also made an amazing manzanita branch “tree” to use as a centerpiece (although it ended up being so tall I had to place it on the ground). To add a bit of whimsy, Freda made little birds’ nests out of moss, and placed a Cadbury egg in each one for the kids to eat.

My favorite item was a handmade birthday banner that Freda fashioned from paper bags. I printed out backwards letters for her on full-sheet sticker labels. She cut those out and put them on the back of fun patterned scrapbook papers. Once cut out, she glued those to the paper bags and simply strung the bags by hole-punching the tops and stringing a silky ribbon through the holes. When all was said and done, nothing was thrown away, not even the scraps from the letters (we used those for another project)!

Recycle Relay

This is a great relay race to play in conjunction with our “Paper Wars” game, or to make cleanup after a party fun! Teams vie to clear the playing field of debris. Which team can gather and sort the neighborhood trash the fastest? For fun, create a “cash for trash” sign and give each team member a gold chocolate coin for participating.

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How to Make Grow Buddies

These adorable friends will keep you company and enthrall you with their daily growth! Grow Buddies are also a simple and fun way to enjoy the great outdoors inside your home. You can start entire family: papa, mama, and little sprout!

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 At the food table, I chose to go with metal water bottles with the kids’ names on them instead of glasses or paper cups; the kids got to take the bottles home with them as part of their goodie.  I also had three dispensers for drinks: water, milk, and lemonade.

Instead of a cake, my birthday gal opted for a sweet treat that celebrated land and sea. I made tiny glass flower pots with pudding “dirt,” and little glass bowls filled with blue Jell-O to represent the ocean. The recipe is really simple!

“Dirt” pudding
You’ll need chocolate pudding, Cool Whip, Oreo cookies, and gummy worms.

  1. Follow the standard directions to make your pudding. At the end of the mixing time, add 1 cup of Cool Whip and mix thoroughly.
  2. Spoon into cups and place in the fridge to set.
  3. For the dirt, take a bag of Oreo cookies and place them in a food processor. Grind them up until they take on a dirt-like look (you can use vanilla cookies for a more sandy look).
  4. Right before you are ready to serve the treat, place a couple spoonfuls of cookie “dirt” on top.
  5. Insert a gummy worm so that he looks like he’s crawling out from the dirt.
  6. Yum!

Edible ocean
You’ll need blue Jell-O, Cool Whip, and gummy fish, plus a sharp knife (adults only).

  1. Prepare the Jell-O as directed, and pour into little cups or bowls.
  2. Place in fridge and let set.
  3. Right before you are ready to serve, add a thin spoonful of Cool Whip and spread across the top of the Jell-O.
  4. Use the knife to make a small slit in the top of the Jell-O.
  5. Insert a gummy fish into the Jell-O with the head facing up, so it looks like Flipper peeking out from the waves.
  6. Double yum!

We also served meringue cookies as “clouds” to represent the sky, but we bought those from Trader Joe’s!