It’s no secret I love fairies. I dressed up as Peter Pan last Halloween and I relate to this classic character in so many ways. Being the owner and having a creative outlet like Green Planet Parties has been a gift – the ability to reach a large audience of parents looking to make better environmental choices at their children’s birthday parties is wonderful. I’d like to share the planning and results of my twin daughters greener birthday party and the hope was to capture the magic of a fairy walk, through our nearby woods and test our woodland creativity. I’m writing about this party because when I was researching forest walk party ideas on the internet…I started to feel nervous because the elaborate and beautiful examples I was reading through were out of my budget and amount of time I had to make some magic happen. The results from our fairy party were amazing and although many of the Green Planet Parties fairy products were integrated into the forest walk and eye-spy – I also used my imagination and borrowed items from friends which is attainable for anyone planning a fairy themed or woodland party. A very talented photographer lent her eye and captured some great pictures and her name is Tamsen Ogden. You can view the all the pictures on the updated Gallery page of Green Planet Parties located here.
The forest setup and eye-spy was the best part of my day. I had my sons to help me and it was so much fun climbing trees to string felt garland to mark the entrance way into the forest and the end of the walk. My boys loved helping attach the fairy window and fairy chimney to one of the trees in the forest. These were the first items to spot when the girls would enter the forest. They are such cute items….with the fairies having a window box with flowers and fireplace to enjoy inside the tree.
We collected and setup ‘gifts’ that the fairies might have left in the forest to show they are happy living in the trees and to also work as an eye-spy game to keep the young guests engaged. The length of the trail or forest walk would depend on ages and time-frame…our walk lasted about 10 minutes for each guest which was perfect for 4 and 5 year olds. Every 10 feet there would be a gift left by the fairies. There was a tea-set in an abandoned tree house built into the forest, felt acorn capped ornaments hanging from branches, a beautiful fairy house borrowed from a friend, wooden bird houses hanging in branches, a bucket of wooden wands that each little girl enjoyed keeping, and my favorite – the outdoor fairy door. These outdoor fairy doors have such huge W-o-W factor because they open, are a really big size (11″ high), are handcrafted with amazing quality, and treated so they are can be used in the garden after the party as a year-round decoration. Here are some pictures of these special fairy treasures.
Once the forest was setup, we led party guests to the entrance of the trail. The girls went into the forest in sets of two and were told to look for signs or gifts from the fairies. They had to remember these items and tell the helper at the end of the trail all the things they remembered. My niece helping wrote down the items that they remembered. I loved watching the reactions of party guests finding a hidden treasure in the forest and knocking softly on the fairy door. A few eco-friendly tips for setting up the fairy walk and helped keep things on budget was picking up a new paint can from a local paint store and painting the outside of it to hold the wooden wands. I loved the effect and thought that pinning fabric around the can would be beautiful too. I also wanted an earth friendly glitter to sprinkle and lead guests to magical forest items. Earth friendly glitter doesn’t exist because traditional glitter is produced from plastic and I didn’t want to be putting that on a forest floor so I hoe-punched seed paper. I loved the effect of having something contrasting with the soil that caught their eye (pictured in the fairy door photo). I didn’t have to worry about leaving any of this material behind once the party was finished because the paper is compostable and embedded with wild flower seeds.
My girls wore silk wings that are so incredibly earthy and they loved how the wings floated behind them when they ran through the forest. After the walk they seemed pretty happy with what the fairies created. After we arrived home the fairies were busy with more surprises. The tabletop was set with more earthy fun, starting with compostable heart shaped palm leaf plates, borrowed tea cups for lemonade and ice-tea, cloth tablecloth with acorn appliques, and two toadstool cakes that were made by a local bakery and decorated with wooden toys by the birthday girls. The only party decorations really needed inside were the name banners that are such high impact for adding a festive feel to a room. Both girls picked out their own fabrics and they loved the result – Green Planet Parties banners are a wonderful keepsake and heirloom decoration that will last for many birthday celebrations.
The goodie bags were really well received from parents and party guests. It’s always so refreshing for parents to receive loot bags that don’t contain plastic and dollar store items that tend to break right away. For the girls party I integrated the outdoor fairy vibe by using Toadstool cloth goodie bags containing organic sweets, butterfly kerchiefs, twig inspired pencils, and earth friendly notepads (made from 100% post consumer recycled material). It was wonderful to spend a few hours outside and although parties hosted at home are always lots of work, there is a big sense of pride when they are over. Parties hosted at home are probably a little darker shade of green that most parties because you’re able to utilize your own dishes, tablecloths, etc. I’m hopeful that this party is one my girls will always remember because just like them – it was unique, full of surprises, and a joy to be with!