July 16, 2013

Rewarding my little mathematician with a Disney Princess #DreamParty celebration

This week I set out to create a Disney Princess #DreamParty  celebration to reward Kayla and couldn't believe how easy it was to put together.   Just so you know, I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client. #DreamParty #cbias everything you see here is my personal and picky opinion.

Positive reinforcement.  I think it's safe to say that it works in so many applications in life starting with small children and going all the way up the corporate ladder.  You work hard, you accomplish things, you are recognized.  In my eyes how much of a fuss is made about what you've accomplished isn't as important as the fact that someone acknowledges it.  Kids need to hear "I'm so proud of you" followed by why and it's a surefire way to see the good behavior replicated.

Mommy Testers Disney Princess #DreamParty celebration
Lately there has been something going on in our home that has made me super proud as a mom and it all started with a few Disney Princesses.  I know, say what?  Yes.  Kayla still has another year of preschool but  has been working hard at mastering math.  It all started when I brought home these Disney Princess math flashcards thinking hey, why not?  The girl loves herself some princesses.  We added some counters for an additional visual counting tool and with lots of patience and some positive reinforcement she started doing very basic addition.

Mommy Testers Disney Princess math decorations for birthday party #DreamParty

Fast forward a couple of months (this part I credit entirely to dad) and she is adding much larger numbers and has learned to carry the one.  Which is great, but the best part is that she seems to truly enjoy it.  Her eyes light up with excitement when she's finished a problem and gets a high five from dad that indeed it's correct.  We don't make a fuss over too many things in this house, but personally I felt this called for celebration.  Professionally you know I love nothing more than a cute kid-centric celebration.  So I set out to see if I could make a super simple yet fun family party for my little mathematician.

Mommy Testers Disney Princess #DreamParty snack caddy with DIY popcorn cones

When it comes to parties and celebrations I like to keep my decor relatively simple and do a mix of homemade and store bought.  Nothing is ever planned far in advance and I craft as ideas come to me.   So I was super excited when I  was cruising the aisles of Walmart and saw that Hallmark has really stepped up their game and created this whole new Dream Party line of party supplies which go far beyond the thin poly goody bags of my childhood.

Mommy Testers DIY Disney Princess snack cones for party #DreamParty

I immediately fell in love with the Cinderella carriage inspired snack caddy above.  It was something I would never be able to pull off on my own and then I added my personal touch by filling it with these popcorn cones.  I just cut squares of construction paper, used a Disney Princess sticker to secure them and added some crepe paper streamers to the bottom to make them extra special.  I think the stuffed face below indicates they were a success.  Okay, she really likes popcorn too.

Mommy Testers DIY Disney Princess snack cones for party #DreamParty

Where did I get the cute stickers?  Well they came in this awesome little craft kit that Hallmark put together.  It contains enough supplies for 4 children to make their own princess wands with plenty of extra stickers leftover that I could use to decorate.  And I had a double take moment when I saw that it was only $3.49.  At that price I'd consider having these on hand for play dates or nights when we go out and I leave craft projects for a babysitter to do with Kayla.

Mommy Testers Make your own Disney Princess wand  #DreamParty

While I was getting crafty I decided our guest of honor needed a special princess hat.  I'm all about letting someone else doing the hard work for me and then adding something easy to make it look even better.  These cute hats came embellished with glitter and had some little plastic streamers coming out the top.  As a woman who can't leave well enough alone I added some strips of crepe paper and loosely curled curling ribbon to make it extra special for Kayla.  I found all of these add-ons in the party section at Walmart and none of them cost more than $1.

Mommy Testers DIY Disney Princess party hats for party #DreamParty

What to cover the party table with is often my biggest battle because it becomes the canvas for everything else you do.  In general I just go with a piece of white or brown craft paper but I couldn't ignore the super cute scalloped edge table cloth from the Dream Party collection.  I sat there eyeing it for a minute deciding what I would add and right at that moment Kayla came running by almost smashing into the corner.

Mommy Testers DIY tissue paper rosettes for party #DreamParty

So with the help of one sheet of pink tissue paper I created these rosettes in about 30 seconds flat and used some tape to secure them to the corner.  They look adorable and ensure that you won't deal with the dreaded head smack followed by the silent delayed cry of dread that is sure to ruin a party.

Mommy Testers Disney Princess #DreamParty Play Doh bar

Play-Doh always produces squeals of joy in our home. Two years and counting and Play-Doh never gets old.  I found these little sets in the toy section for $4.75 each.  If we were having a birthday party I think they'd make a great party favor.  I'm a big fan of giving one nice favor instead of a plastic bag full of stuff most parents want to toss in the trash.

Mommy Testers Disney Princess #DreamParty Play Doh bar

What impressed me about this set is it wasn't just a couple of cans of Play-Doh with a Disney Princess sticker slapped on something - there were some very custom feeling tools like this Cinderella carriage cutting tool.  How cute?

Mommy Testers Disney Princess favors #DreamParty

 When I found this Ariel bank in the toy aisle, it seemed like the perfect thing for Kayla to continue to practice match skills with.  It also seemed like a great place for her to save money for souveniers at Disneyland this fall.  Now I just need to restrain myself and actually hold her to that budget...unlikely!

Mommy Testers Disney Princess #DreamParty Cinderella DecoPac cake

And of course, the most exciting thing on the table in Kayla's eyes was this perfectly petite Cinderella DecoPac cake.  Did you know you can get these at most Walmart Supercenters in the bakery?  They just need about 24 hours notice and this cake was less than $10.  It says it serves 5, but that would be 5 monster servings.  We had 3 nice slices and it seemed like 2/3 of the cake was still left.  I think this is the perfect option for a small celebration or family party.

Mommy Testers #DreamParty blue frosting tongue

And of course, some things never change.  When Kayla turned two all she asked for were cupcakes with blue frosting.  Everything had to be blue.  This Cinderella cake clearly delivered in the blue frosting department.

The best part of this little celebration was that Kayla knew it was just for her and because she'd done something that made us so proud.  As much as I think she may be on a mission to drive me crazy some days, there is no doubt she also seeks the approval and attention of her parents.  The second best part was I only went to one store to get everything including the decorations, the cake, the little toys and the extra items I used to customize the decor.  One stop.  That's about 4 less than past birthday parties.  I could get used to this...
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