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Toy Story Themed Children’s Birthday Party

Toy Story Themed Children’s Birthday Party

We survived the 3rd birthday party! Birthday parties may be the very reason why I can’t have a third child. (Not really but sometimes I think this is true!). I set my own standards high with my 5 year olds first birthday. The theme was polka dot – specifically pink and green polka dots. Everything  fit into the theme from the outfit she wore to the  table décor to the glass jars around the house filled with giant pink and green gumballs (yes, it was a 1 year old birthday party and she wasn’t allowed to actually chew the gum, but her cousins could!). The cousins (my nieces and nephews) may be half the motivation for my crazy parties.

My now 3 year old son made this birthday super easy and fun to plan. He chose Toy Story for his theme. It was easy because there are so many options.  Nothing like last year when the theme was sailboats or his first birthday where the theme was turtles. Those themes were generic, but not Toy Story! Here are some of the components we used to throw this themed birthday party.

Throwing a Toy Story Birthday Party

The Birthday Cake. My oldest nephew is fascinated with baking and loves to try out things he sees on TV shows such as Alton Brown and Cake Boss. However, his opportunities to express his baking creativity are limited. As I do each party, I get excited to pass on my baking leftovers to him so he can play, create and be inspired. I get so excited to show him my latest birthday party creation and challenge him to try something new. This time I made a cake with fondant accents for the first time (the Toy Story figures in this picture were actually bought though).  I gave him all the leftover fondant.  I’m looking forward to seeing the pictures of his imaginative creations over the course of the next few weeks (and I’m told he will be using the fondant to make a cake for his younger brother’s birthday!)

Buzz Lightyear Piñata

Party Games & Activities: The piñata was Buzz Lightyear. We’ve had many piñatas over the years. It always amazes me that we never get beyond the fifth or sixth person in line for hitting purposes but still all kids line up, 18+ deep, with anticipation of being able to break open the piñata. Either that or they just love the pure excitement of dashing for the candy. At parties when I’ve skipped the piñata, the regulars are very disappointed!

Since Mr. Potato Head is a key figure in the movie, I had a box of various Mr. Potato Head parts and a note instructing kids to get their creative juices flowing and create a unique Mr. or Mrs. Potato Head. Best creations would win a prize – a Toy Story Pez dispenser.

I ordered a giant cutout of Buzz & Woody. This inspired several photo opportunities and a picture frame making project.  Kids could decorate a frame and then I took pictures with Buzz & Woody and printed them on the spot so they could put them in the frame.

Finally, I created a “Guess Who Said That” game where I took 10 quotes from various Toy Story characters and put those phrases on a piece of paper. I put images of Toy Story characters on the left hand side and the kids were instructed to match the quote to the character. Top five kids to correctly match all 10 would get a Pez dispenser. This game was a bit tricky for the younger kids, which I anticipated. It was really designed to keep the older kids occupied for a little bit.

Toy Story Spaceship Cookies

Themed Treats & Beverages: I love to make and decorate sugar cookies. Sure it’s a ton of work but I love to do it to challenge myself.  For this party, I purchased a spaceship cookie cutter from Copper Gifts. I love Copper Gifts as they make very durable cookie cutters and have great decorating ideas on their website. After the birthday party is over, I repurpose the cookie cutters to cut sandwiches for my kids lunch!

Beverages are always tricky. We happen to have a spare refrigerator in our garage that is always stocked with beer, wine and other drinks. Over the years, we’ve found that at birthday parties, the kids will completely deplete (and frankly waste) a multitude of beverages. Toy Story Water BottleFor example, we don’t drink much soda but we always have soda on hand and we always have plenty of Vita Coco and Smart Water. It’s amazing how many ½ drank cans/containers we find during post party clean-up. One party I tried one of those giant drink dispensers but that just made a mess and the kids still drank all the individual drinks. So this year, I bought water and labeled the bottles with the “Toy Story” theme. We deemed the fridge off limits (except for adults) and provided the kids with drink pouches too. I’m happy to report this worked!  They loved drinking the Toy Story theme water bottles and there was definitely a limited amount of ½ drank beverages post party and a lot less waste.

Decorations & Favors: I made a birthday banner, thanks to the amazing Cricut Toy Story Cartridge (which was also used to create the party invitations) and hung this on the porch. It definitely added to the overall décor.

Toy Story Invitation

Party favors are always trickier, as I’ve discussed in the past. Let me start by saying I’m not a big fan of a bunch of junk that parents just can’t wait to pitch post party. So for this party, I bought all the kids Toy Story t-shirts from the Disney Store. I kept an eye out for sales and feel great about spending $7.00 on a t-shirt that will be used over and over again instead of being pitched for a future landfill contribution. The t-shirts were tied with a ribbon and a Toy Story themed “thank you” note.

So there it is. The Toy Story birthday party complete. I have a few months before I need to think about my daughter’s 6th birthday party. However, it may not surprise you that I’m already thinking about it!

Bright Birthdays: Share Your Child’s Birthday Photos & Win

Bright Birthdays Photo ContestIs your child celebrating a birthday this month? Get your cameras ready and snap a few pictures of the special birthday boy or girl! Upload your photo(s) on Facebook or share on Twitter or Instagram using #BHBrightBirthdays.

Bright Horizons will select one winner each month and send your child a fun birthday surprise. See more details.



  1. Heather June 22, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Looks like an amazing party!! Great job on the cake and cookies!!!

  2. Pingback: Pirate and Mermaid Themed Children's Birthday Party| Bright Horizons BlogThe Family Room |

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