To say that our daughter, Carli, is a happy baby is an understatement. She entered this world with a smile and continues to brighten our days with her joyful spirit. While getting ready to plan her first birthday, the Little Miss Sunshine character from the beloved Mr. Men and Little Miss book series immediately came to mind. In the storybook, she turned a sad and unhappy place called Miseryland into Laughterland.
This theme is so fitting for Carli because wherever we go she brings a smile to all she meets. I set out to recreate what I would imagine Laughterland to be like by including lots of fun activities, entertainment, goodies, and bright & cheery décor.
The Setting: A private open field was the perfect backdrop to Carli’s Laughterland party. The bright and whimsical invitation set the tone for the event. Along with the details of the party, instructions were given to each guest to select a Mr. Men or Little Miss character that best represented them. Upon arrival, our guests were greeted with personalized buttons with their name and chosen character and our immediate family were given personalized shirts to be worn during the party.
The 1st year display was an idea that randomly came to mind when thinking of ways to arrange her monthly photos. I have these bookcases that make up 12 little cubicles when placed side by side and it served as a great way to display her monthly pictures, milestones/highlights that I had been documenting on a chalkboard and some tangible objects that summed up that month, almost like a year in review. I decided to highlight month 12 by displaying the actual chalkboard.
From the welcome sign to the themed activities, every last detail was carefully thought out to make Laughterland a fun, cheerful, and welcoming place where guests would want to revisit.
The Activities & Entertainment: Large 36” balloons in the perfect shade of yellow and hang tags with a brief description of the activity were placed throughout the field as markers for the different stations. I absolutely love the playful nature large balloons exude! Children were invited to make their own Mr. Men/Little Miss favor bag and fill it with favors of their liking. I printed faces on the colorful bags and cut out accessory pieces for kids to glue on. Custom favor labels were designed to match the theme. Favors included: Little Miss Fun Flying Discs, Little Miss Magic Bubble Wands, Mr. Messy Modeling Dough, Mr. Tickle Sticky Hands, Mr. Bounce Bouncing Balls, Little Miss Brainy Bookmarks, and Little Miss Splendid Hair Ties.
Story time and a balloon artist were held in Carli’s Corner for the kids and kids at heart. Story time was wonderfully done by a friend who read “Little Miss Sunshine” under a tented area with coordinating pink and yellow mats laid out for guests to sit on. The kids also enjoyed the balloon artist that kept them entertained for hours with balloon creations, tricks and fun games.
At the Mr. Perfect & Little Miss Splendid photo station, guests were encouraged to take silly pictures with a big printout of Little Miss Sunshine and various props of select characters’ hair, facial expressions, and accessories.
Additional activities included: Little Miss Twins Matching Game, Little Miss Magic Bubble Fun, Mr. Bounce Ball Pit, Mr. Happy and Little Miss Fun Frisbee Tic Tac Toe, Mr. Grumpy Nose Toss, and Mr. Strong & Little Miss Somersault Aerobics Corner.
The Goodies: Laughterland just wouldn’t be as merry without some sweet treats and goodies for all to enjoy. Assorted pink, yellow and white gumballs, candy sticks, unicorn pops, gummies, sour belts, marshmallow puffs, candy sours, lemonheads, airheads, mini cheesecakes, and banana pudding push pops and cups filled the dessert table. The adorable Little Miss Sunshine cake made by a talented friend added the sweetest touch. Aside from all the yummy treats, we had a full size lemonade stand that we served lemonade, pink lemonade and pink lemonade cookies on. Water and assorted fruit drinks and popsicles were iced in buckets nearby. The lemonade stand easily was one of my favorite projects because my husband and I worked on this and a mini version together. The smaller lemonade stand was sized perfectly for Carli to stand behind when we served her her birthday cake. Though building the lemonade stands seemed like a laborious task to undertake for just one party, we made them with the intention of her playing with them for years to come.
I had fun styling and planning this party and though each element of the party was special in its own way, the most memorable part for me did not occur during the planning stages or even at the party. It was after the party when we decided to take Carli to a local home for children to donate leftover favors in hopes to bring a smile to their faces. She may not have understood what we did that day but we plan to do something similar every year on her birthday to remind her that there are others in the world who could use a little bit of joy in their lives and who better to share the gift of glee than our Little Miss Sunshine.
Designs by Yu
Event Planner & Stylist, Invitations, Custom Items, Paper Goods, Paper Favor Bags, Paper Baking/Serving Cups, Desserts, Centerpieces, & DIY Lemonade Stands
Alice Tseng (Friend)
Little Miss Sunshine Smash Cake
Happy Days Entertainment