It’s no secret that Emily loves bugs and wants to be an entomologist one day. So when I asked her what kind of party she wanted this year, she immediately asked if she and her friends could hunt bugs in the backyard. I love this kid.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t sure that this was the best idea. First of all, she wanted a pajama party like last year’s Owl Party, and I didn’t want the girls ruining their jammies and fuzzy slippers digging in the bushes for bugs. Then there’s the crazy unpredictable summer weather. And, of course, what on earth would we do with any bugs caught?
I had a ton of plastic bugs leftover from Emily’s Valentine’s Day cards, and decided that we would go on a bug hunt – for plastic bugs! I made the invitations up on my computer, using a free bug font I found online and including all the party info. To make sure everyone knew that it was a “fake” bug hunt, I included a plastic bug, a magnifying glass, and some paper Easter grass in the envelope.
I set up all of the activities on the dining room table. Since the main event was the bug hunt, I picked up a bug carrier for each girl at Target’s Dollar Spot. And, as every entomologist needs something to log their findings in, each girl also had her own bug journal. I made sure that the girls had plenty of bug stickers to decorate their journals with, including some foil scratch-off ones I found in a kit. The kit only came with one stick to scratch with though, so I broke some bamboo skewers in half and stuck bumblebee stickers on those too. And, of course, they each had a bug pencil to write in their journals with.
But the main activity was the bug hunt. The bag of plastic insects I’d found on Amazon had 12 different types in it (including non-insects such as spiders and centipedes), so I took a photo of each one and created a checklist for the girls to use as they hunted. I printed it up on cardstock, with six bugs on the front and six on the back. I’d hidden the bugs all over the first floor of our house, and the girls were so excited to start as soon as they arrived and saw them. Once they’d finished decorating their journals they headed off with their bug carrier, pencil, and checklist to find their bugs. They totally loved it – I only wish I’d made it harder!
Dinner was easy – pizza, chips, and of course, bug juice! I also made “mud pie,” although I blindly followed a recipe I found online that called for vanilla pudding. If I ever make it again, it will definitely be with chocolate! The gummy worms added that extra “buggy” effect.
I love it when the cake matches the theme of the party, and I love making them for the girls myself, just as my mom did for me when I was little. After last year’s party – where 8 little girls almost ate an entire owl cake by themselves – I decided to make cupcakes. Emily and I found insect sugar decorations at the grocery store, and I used green frosting to imitate grass. They turned out pretty cute, I think!
After the girls ate it was time for the movie. They looked adorable all piled up on our sofa and living room floor with their blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals. Emily chose to watch A Bug’s Life, and even though it’s not the most recent movie the girls were cracking up the whole time.
While they watched the movie, I finished putting together their goodies to go home. In addition to the bug carriers full of the bugs they’d found, I also gave each girl some bracelets with bumblebees and ladybugs and a couple of Blow-Pops. I didn’t want to overdo it, since they were also taking home their bug journals, stickers, and pencils.
This is the second pajama party we’ve thrown for Emily, and I can honestly say that they are just about the easiest parties I’ve thrown (except for last week’s pool “party”). The girls always have a blast, they take home things they’ve made or designed themselves, and I still get to theme everything. Who doesn’t love that?
Happy birthday, Emily – you are by far the coolest 8-year old we know, and we love you so much! ❤
* If you’re thinking of throwing a bug party too, check out my Bug Party Pinterest board!