Best Kids Parties: Mathilda and the
Orange Balloon

My Party

Name: "Q" (2)
Location: Silver Spring, Maryland

For Q's second birthday, I drew inspiration from one of her favorite picture books, Mathilda and the Orange Balloon, by Randall de Sève, and illustrated by Jen Corace. It's a super sweet story about a young sheep who sees an orange balloon float by one day and decides that she's one too. When the other sheep contradict her, Mathilda convinces them that indeed, she has all the qualities of the orange balloon she believes herself to be.

With such a rich theme, I found everything clicked into place very easily. Decor: orange balloons, naturally, both helium filled and just blown up and scattered around. Food: anything orange! Pizza, goldfish crackers, baby cheeses, orange slices, carrots,orange juice boxes (and mimosas for the grown-ups). I made pumpkin cupcakes with an off-white cinnamon buttercream frosting (Paula Deen's recipe) decorated to look like sheep. I even found a "2" candle with an orange balloon on it at a party store. The centerpiece was a pull-string piñata of Mathilda as an orange balloon.

We were lucky enough to get a beautiful, warm fall day, so most of the activities consisted of the kids eating and playing with the balloons and on the moon bounce I set up in the backyard. (I'm shocked at how few balloons we lost to the sky, considering.) Of course, once the piñata was opened, it was all about the stickers, bubbles, and candy necklaces inside.

Everyone had a blast. I highly recommend balloons at kid parties -- they work for both decor and entertainment.

Lovely - thanks Diana! Readers, say hi at Diana Peterfreund.com.

(Images: Diana Peterfreund)

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Family, Entertaining at Home, My Party

As Apartment Therapy's Family Editor, Carrie covers design and modern homelife with children. A lapsed librarian, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kids and is in contention to break the record for most hours spent at the playground.

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