What could be more adorable than a polka dot party? Polka dots will make for a wonderfully cheerful birthday party theme, ideal for young girls, toddlers and even first birthdays. Best of all, they’re incredibly easy to put together. All you have to do is make sure your decorations, favors and food fit the theme of playful dots and circles!
Polka Dot Party Invitations
You will have no trouble finding the perfect invitation as polka dots are always in style. Choose a design in your daughter’s favorite colors and complement it with a fun and whimsical typestyle. Don’t forget to tell your guests to dress in polka dot clothing… You may even want to inspire them by sending a personalized photo card invitation of your daughter in her cutest polka dot outfit!
Polka Dot Party Favors
Provide plenty of wearable polka dot favors so your guests can accessorize as they arrive. Allow them to choose several items each from a selection of bandannas, scarves, headbands and scrunchies. Decorate party hats with dot stickers or circles drawn in glitter paint and use costume makeup to put dots on their cheeks. You can also make bracelets, corsages and other accoutrements from polka dot fabric, and even throw in odds and ends of tulle and other exotic materials. Encourage the girls to be creative as they can be and keep fasteners like tape and hairpins on hand to help them assemble their outfits.
When the girls are all dressed up they’ll love to take turns walking the runway in a polka dot fashion show!
Polka Dot Party Decorations
There’s no such thing as too many dots at a polka dot party, but it may look better to limit your decorations to a few colors. Choose your daughter’s favorite as a primary color and a few others that are complimentary. Red and white, pink and black, yellow and blue and any pastels are popular combinations.
Cut circles from cardstock to cover the walls in polka dot patterns. Use a compass to get them close to perfect, or cut from a computer print-out. To add polka dots to balloons and other decorations use a stamp and paint or an ink pad, or cover with circular stickers found in many different sizes at office supply stores. Try to make the dots as even as possible; using a ruler and a light pencil to help may be a good idea.
Write “Happy Birthday” and your daughter’s name in a series of construction paper circles, one letter at a time. String these together and hang as a banner over the entrance to welcome your guests. Cover the tables with a polka dot tablecloth (or course!) and napkins and tableware with polka dot patterns, or that match the color theme you’ve set. The girls will love to throw “dot” confetti; make a large batch beforehand using colorful paper and a hole punch.
Polka Dot Party Activities
It shouldn’t be difficult to adapt games to fit the polka dot theme. Play “Pin the Spot on the Dalmatian” or “Music Dots” using large circles cut from poster board instead of chairs. Twister, Connect 4 and Tiddlywinks are great examples of board games with circular pieces, and you can play “Bingo” by making the cards yourself with colored circles instead of numbers and letters.
Trace the bottom of a can or use a compass to draw circles in magic marker on a large sheet of poster board and assign point values depending on how large or far away they are. Challenge the girls to toss colorful poker chips or other plastic discs into a circles like a game of “Skee-ball.” Award first, second and third place prizes to the guests with the most points.
A fun contest that doubles as a decoration is to fill a glass jar with round candies, gum balls or small rubber bouncy balls. Let the guests guess how many are inside, and the girl who gets the closest without going over wins a prize…Maybe even the whole jar!
Polka Dot Party Crafts
Younger girls will enjoy connect-the-dot puzzles. Let them color the pictures with crayons once they’re complete. Older guests will also love to assemble their own bracelets and necklaces with circular beads found at most craft stores.
Polka Dot Party Refreshments
As always, think circles when preparing the snacks and dessert! Cut peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in circular shapes with a cookie cutter, or make turkey and Swiss cheese pinwheels from sliced wraps. You can also serve Ritz crackers topped with strawberry cream cheese or mini pepperoni pizzas. Buy an ice tray that freezes ice in circular shapes to chill the drinks, and make a healthy fruit salad by using a melon baller to scoop bites of fruit along with already-round grapes and cherries and circular slices of apples and oranges.
Don’t forget the polka dot cake! Bake a round birthday cake and decorate with a polka dot pattern of gumdrops, malted milk balls, M&Ms or other circular candies. If cookies or cupcakes are more your style, artfully arrange them on the serving dish or table to look like polka dots!
After the Polka Dot Party
Goody bags are a wonderful way to say “thank you” when the party draws to a close. Polka dot bags aren’t difficult to find at stationery or party supply stores, or make your own by decorating colorful lunch sacks with marker or dot stickers. Fill with candies and toys like paper strips of candy “dots,” gum drops and gumballs, round rubber balls, costume jewelry with round plastic beads, pots of lip gloss, pinwheels and yo-yos. You can also include notebooks and pens with polka dot designs, decorated pencils with circular erasers and stickers and sticker books.
Don’t forget to take plenty of pictures of your polka dot princesses to send with personalized thank you notes afterwards!