Thursday, July 16, 2015

Chef Elmo Play Kitchen Birthday Party

I'm so excited to share with you photos from our Chef Elmo play-kitchen-inspired birthday party, which was featured on Hostess with the Mostess today!

Here are more details about the party:

“Chef Elmo”
a play kitchen-inspired birthday party

            Birthday girl, Aashi, loves to make-believe. She spends countless hours in her play kitchen making pizza, tea, lemonade and other tasty treats! With that thought in mind, we wanted to throw her a play kitchen-inspired 2nd birthday party. She also loves Elmo, so we decided to incorporate Elmo into the theme as well. We did not want to make the party Sesame Street-themed, per se, so we made Elmo the “head chef”, but we ditched the rest of the Sesame Street gang. Sorry, Cookie Monster! We opted for a sleek, modern (but girly) color scheme of black, white and red, coupled with hints of orange, a vibrant chevron pattern and chalk writing. 

Invitations:  The invitations for the party were created using premade, felt, Elmo invitations (from Party City).  We customized the invitations to add felt chef hats. Then we backed the invitations with chevron-print paper, layered with a vellum paper sheet imprinted with the party details.

Dessert Table: For the dessert table, we wanted to incorporate as much kitchenware as possible. The Elmo macarons were presented on wooden spoons; the marshmallows were served up in the bowl of a stand mixer; the Elmo-, chef hat-, and chevron-cake pops (from Faye’s Cake Pops) were displayed in box graters; and the Elmo cookies (from MJ Tabush) were served on cutting boards. Children always come up with the most creative ideas and our favorite idea for this dessert table came from Aashi’s 7-year old son: Elmo rock candy! Other treats included cupcakes topped with Elmo fondant toppers (from MJ Tabush). The two-tier birthday cake (by Cake Crumbs SA) featured Elmo popping out of the cake, wearing his chef hat and carrying a fondant wooden spoon. But the most amazing thing about this cake was the taste—one layer was watermelon flavor and the other was orange flavor. Yum!

On the big day, an Elmo wreath on the door greeted the arriving guests. Throughout the party area, we placed Elmo paper pompom decorations and hung paper lanterns. Custom printable signs were placed on tables to guide the guests through the various activities. We used inexpensive chevron gift wrap as runners on the tables. We also made “utensil holder” centerpieces for the tables.

Party Activities: When the guests arrived, each guest was given a personalized apron and chef hat to wear (and also take home as party favors). They were then free to explore the various activity stations:

1.      Aashi’s World—we created a play-food-centric, make-believe world for the young guests, featuring Aashi’s own play kitchen, plus a customized market, tea shoppe, lemonade stand and pizza parlor. For the grocery and produce in the market, we utilized recycled grocery containers and also made our own felt fruits, vegetables, pasta and lollipops. We even made felt teabags for the tea shoppe! Although it was a lot of work making these felt food items, Aashi is still playing with them now, so it was worth the effort! The tea shoppe, lemonade stand and pizza parlor cardboard standees (from Birthday Express) also doubled as awesome photo booths!

1.      Elmo’s Kitchen—we also translated the play kitchen theme into a taste of real cooking for the young guests.

a.       Let’s Cook: Pizza—we set up a station for them to top homemade pizza crusts with toppings of their choice. We pre-rolled and partially baked the pizza crusts so we could save some time and avoid a lot of very messy, floury fingers. We popped their pizza creations in the oven and served it to them as their meal.
b.      Let’s Bake: Elmo Cookies—we also set up an area where they could decorate an Elmo cookie to take home or eat at the party.

1.      Let’s Craft: Felt Pizzas—the final station was another pizza station—but this time a felt pizza station! Here, the children could top the felt pizza crusts with a variety of felt toppings of their choice. Each felt pizza was then packaged in a real, mini pizza box (from Paper Mart) to take home to play with in their play kitchens at home.

1.      Other activities included an Elmo bounce house, an Elmo piñata (from Party City, which, with the addition of a chef hat and paper apron become a Chef Elmo piñata), and a visit from the head chef himself: Elmo!

Food and Drinks:
In addition to an Elmo berry platter and an Elmo veggie platter, we made a platter of Elmo Mini Baby Bel cheeses. We also served dips in measuring cups, in keeping with the kitchen theme. Of course, we also had a bowl of goldfish crackers, since Elmo loves his goldfish! Dinner for the children consisted of their homemade pizzas, but for the adults, we served “Elmo Lagasse” meatballs and “Mr. Noodle” pasta. 


In addition to the felt pizzas, personalized aprons and chef hats, guests left with mini rolling pins (from Birthday Express) and “Best Chef” medals (from Party City). We also placed some Elmo take out containers near the dessert buffet so guests could “whisk away” some treats for later. 

Vendor Credits:

·         Photography by Kathie Tam                              

·         Birthday cake by Cake Crumbs SA                                                                   
·         Cupcake toppers and sugar cookies
by MJ Tabush Sweet Designs                             

·         Cake pops by Fayes Cake Pops                           

·         Invitations, piñata, rock candy, twirly pops
and jelly beans, Elmo and polka dot balloons,
paper pompoms, take out containers, chevron
tableware, and medals                            

·         Tea shoppe, pizza parlor and lemonade stand
cardboard standees, and rolling pins                  

·         Pizza boxes                                                        

·         Paper crates, wood crates, chalk board signs,             
chevron gift wrap and all other craft supplies    

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