What little girl doesn't have a soft spot for polka dots? They're colorful and playful -- and most of all, they're fun! With that in mind, celebrate a birthday by having everyone see spots. Using dots as decorations and inspiration for games is inexpensive and easy to do. Just round up the essentials from an office-supply or crafts store -- circle punches, colorful paper, dot stickers -- and start thinking circular.
Set out supplies so partygoers can make their own dot creations; kids can dress up notebooks with stickers, and turn pretty paper into jewels for dangling on necklaces.
Colored dot stickers (various sizes)
Circle craft punches
For the Food
Polka-dot wrapping paper
For the Invitations and Activities
Alphabet stamp kit
Mini grommets and grommet kit
Embroidery floss or string
The party's invitations -- construction paper sprinkled with stickers and tucked into CD envelopes -- promise well-rounded activities.
Favor Bag How-To
Guests will look like "pop" stars with these shimmery bubble-purse favors packed with all the dots a girl needs; foil-coated padded envelopes are quickly transformed into purses by punching two holes at either end of each opening and tying polka-dot ribbons for handles. Fill the envelopes with polka-dot ribbon candy dots, gumdrops, gum balls or other round candies, rubber balls, yo-yos, paint sets, pots of lip gloss, or other round objects.
Before the party, put each kid's name on a circle so she can design her own necklace as an activity. With a circle punch, cut out a disc from construction or kraft paper. Punch a hole for embroidery floss or string; insert a mini grommet to reinforce the hole. Write the name or stamp it with an alphabet stamp kit. Kids can use round stickers and paper cutouts to create the rest of the necklaces' designs.
Jam Dot Glasses How-To
Seedless raspberry jam forms a temporary polka-dot design that can be prepared hours ahead. To make, use a clean paintbrush to paint jam circles on the insides of glasses. Let set at least 20 minutes before pouring in the smoothie. The dots will remain vibrant on the glass for about a half hour. If they dissolve into the smoothie, they'll just add to the flavor.
Polka-Dot Icing How-To
Write your sweet wish on a sheet of paper, with characters spaced well apart. Tape the paper to a work surface; tape parchment or waxed paper over it. Fill a pastry bag with royal icing; for each character, trace with icing, then pipe dots over the tracing. Let it dry for three hours or overnight. Peel the characters off the paper and place them on frosted cupcakes.