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  • Writer's pictureNicole Buist

Create a Buzzing Good Bug Kid Theme Party

Our oldest son, Bowen, turned eight on Christmas Eve. I can't believe how fast he's growing up! Thanks to Dave, my husband and father extraordinaire, Bowen has spent a ton of time outdoors over the years and has developed a passion for bugs and bug collecting.

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The Inspiration for a bug kid theme party

This past summer I had the chance to have a one-on-one day with him and took him to an outstanding local bug museum Insectropolis. While we were there we noticed they offered in-home bug parties and Bowen thought that sounded awesome. I did too since I was already thinking of really cool ways to decorate the house and have a bug themed party! This ended up being a bit stressful as we scheduled it for the week between Christmas and New Year which meant our Christmas decorations had to come down and bug decorations had to go up in a very short timeframe. Looking back, I admit I probably did a few too many things on theme but with Dave's support, all the effort was totally worth it and Bowen and his friends had a blast.

On-theme decorations

Having a bug expert as the main entertainment does not a theme party make. Theme parties are so great because they allow you to get really creative with decorations, food presentation, and parting gifts for your guests. Planning and executing a bug kid theme party was so much fun.

Larger-than-life bugs

In our house, the living room, dining room and part of the kitchen are a pretty wide open space with a pitched ceiling. In the very center of the room, we have hook on a string which we have used to hang all sorts of things like mistletoe during the holidays or pinatas for other parties. I got it in my head that an oversized monarch butterfly would be perfect there suspended in the middle of the room. This turned out to be the most challenging project for this party.

I found a large wing-span costume but needed a lot of help from Dave to get it suspended properly to get the effect I was going for. He is such a good sport and not only figured out a system using wooden dowls to spread out the wings, but also built a torso, legs and antenna for it. It took a while, and this project turned out to be a bit more than I had bargained for, but it really had a huge impact.

The other oversized decoration we used was a 6 foot spider with artificial webbing. We tucked him in a corner as part of the backdrop for the bug show and we extended his webbing onto the fireplace and Hank's (Dave's buck) antlers.

The details

Our boys have their own impressive collections of pinned bugs they have found as well as various other bug related specimens and toys. I borrowed these items from their room and added a few purchased monarchs, roaches, and leaves to finish off the mantle. The little monarchs were awesome because they came with a magnet and also sticky tabs so they were easy to stick just about anywhere in the house.

Next we moved onto the tables. We needed to provide extra tables for the display cases that came along with the bug show. I had several extra leaves to add to these. I also transformed my Fall table box centerpiece to a bug sanctuary by covering the outside with brown paper and using foam blocks to stand up artificial leaves. I ordered this set of realistic bugs to add since there weren't many other opportunities for beetle decorations (one of Bowen's favorites). Finally, I used fake moss to fill it in. I was really happy with how this turned out and it was pretty quick to put together.

bug inspired table centerpiece

Dave also helped me by making a wooden frame with 1" chicken wire. I wrapped yellow silverware in yellow napkins and arranged them in the chicken wire to look like a honey comb. I was able to find artificial honey bees at a local craft store that were suspended on small wires so it looked like they were flying around the honeycomb.

Pulling the theme through with food

We also used these ant toothpicks for tomato, mozzarella and basil appetizers for the adults and ordered a set of these edible monarch sugar butterflies to put on his ice cream cake. They were really beautiful on the cake as you could really put a slight bend in the wings to make them 3D.

Getting creative with baloons

I made a series of balloon flowers to suspend from the ceiling with the giant monarch and also made several leaf cutter ants out of black balloons and black construction paper. On the day of the party I picked up a bunch of lady bug themed balloons that I had dropped off at Party City to inflate with helium and randomly clustered them around the room.

Bug themed favors

Of course, no kid party is complete without party favors. To stay on theme, we sent Bowen's friends home with a collapsible bug net and small magnifying observation tank. For the favor table, I used some of the left over fake moss in the bottom of 3 apothecary containers with some fake butterflies and sprinkled a few more roaches around.

I will admit I was completely exhausted after this one which followed so closely after Christmas. Even with making the centerpiece and silverware honeycomb several weeks in advance, I was beat the day of! But Bowen and his guests had a blast which is most important and made all the effort worth it.

Do you have any other ideas for a bug kid theme party? We would love to hear your ideas!

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