I love invitations. I obsess over invitations. I love stationery stores where they sell custom cards and invites. I cruise the internet looking for cute ideas - but I almost always end of making my own. They are so much more individual and I guess I love the whole creation of each invite too! I think it is accurate to say I spend more time obsessing over the actual invite, than I do about the details of the party. Although the cake has become another slight obsession, but I do not enter that realm until the invite are sent out.
Now I am not against the idea of a theme party- princess, pirate etc... But my kids are so young that I try to stay away from much else than a few friends. Characters are also out in my book. I do not want to take them anywhere until I think they are old enough to have an actual outing with a friend, possibly 5 or 6. It weird but in my head I have a lot of "rules" for birthday parties for my kids. I never, NEVER, had a "friend" birthday party. My birthday is 3 days after Christmas- so I always celebrated with family. I guess that is part of why I insist on keeping things low key and small.
This year, Lars is having a "Messy Party" . My choice -because he is just a messy kid. I think he will have fun making playdough and painting and anything else messy I can think of. He loves mixing and as you have seen - pouring. Last year he loved balls, so he had a "Bouncy Party". We filled the basement full of balls and a Jumpolene where kids could bounce. Perfect for the 1-3 year olds we had attend.
My daughter on the other hand has been totally different. Age one for her was a family party, "Cupcake", where we announced we were pregnant again. I loved this invitation becasue it swung open adn had velum which added a nice dimensional layer to the cupcake. I just could not find anything I loved like this so I made it! (Actually I think I made 25!)
Age two, we had an outdoor swimming party in the back yard with 4 neighbors. At age three, she loved pink, so a "Pink Party" it was. I did not stress to much on making too difficult of an invitation as I just thought a cute poem on a pretty card will be sufficient- and it was! She understands now that the party should be for her friends and things they will like to do as well as a reflection of her likes.