by Kathie Sutin
Parties are a big part of childhood, but you don’t need to wait for a birthday to have a party. For little girls between roughly 6 and 8, there’s no more fun than a sticker party.
And if you’re blessed with a son, this party idea for the same age group can be adapted to use with his favorite collections of game cards. Follow the same general plan outlined in this article, but substitute cards for stickers, and substitute clear plastic card-holding sheets for sticker books.
On your own plus-side of child parenting, you needn’t spend a lot of time or energy in pulling off a successful sticker party. Let the little miss be part of the planning—that’s also a big part of the fun.
Since there are no presents to wrap or entertainment to line up, a sticker party needn’t be planned weeks in advance. In fact, some of the best ones we’ve had were almost impromptu events slated for after school.
This works most easily with a small group of girls—say four to six—but you can invite more if you want.
Planning the party
Get in the mood by making your own invitations. A sheet of construction paper cut or folded in half works just fine. Across the top announce, “It’s a sticker party!” Then list the time, place and hostess, with a phone number or email address for RSVPs. Across the bottom of the invitation, invite your guests to bring their sticker books and some stickers for trading with the other guests. Let your daughter decorate the invitations with—what else?—stickers!
Mail out the invitations and then wait for the mothers to respond and tell you what a cute idea this is. We’ve had to talk hard to convince some mothers that this was not a birthday party, and no, a present was not necessary.
Let your imagination run wild as you and your daughter plan the table. Use plain paper placemats on which you can write each girl’s name, and which your daughter—or the guests when they arrive—can decorate with stickers. You can use stickers to create a centerpiece or to decorate paper cups and plates (keep the stickers on the rims of the plates where the food won’t touch).
For party favors, fix little zipper-lock sandwich bags with lots of stickers for each guest. Another option is to provide each guest with her own little sticker book in which to put the stickers she collects at the party.
If while you’re preparing for the party you have trouble finding stickers beyond the ones at the grocery store, try craft stores, parent-teacher stores, and stores that cater to scrap-bookers.
Fun at the party
When the guests arrive, they’ll probably be excited, especially if this is the first party of this type they’ve attended. Give them time to trade the stickers they’ve brought with them and to put their new stickers and their party-favor stickers in their books.
Clear the table for refreshments to avoid any spills or messes on the sticker books. Keep the food simple and healthy. A bowl of strawberries or a fruit salad, veggie sticks, an oatmeal cookie, and orange juice are low stress and work well.
After the snack, allow a little more time for sticker-swapping and chatter. As an extra activity, if you have a color printer, you can use a digital camera to take a photo of each guest, immediately print it out and mount it on a card or piece of construction paper, and let the girls decorate the “frame” with stickers.
At the end of an hour or so, your guests will be ready to leave, and you can congratulate yourself on giving your daughter and her friends a bunch of new stickers for their books—and more important, a wonderful memory.
Kathie Sutin is an award-winning freelance journalist based in St. Louis, Missouri. She specializes in writing about medical issues, travel, parenting, education, business, food and people. She has three children.