A Berenstain Bears Birthday

In our house, we love the Berenstain Bears. We have a LARGE collection of the books, and we read them so often that I can recite many of them by heart. The kids look for them at the library and the bookstore, and they're often our go-to during story-time. And I love that our kids love them, because they are such a special piece of my childhood (some of the books in our collection were mine when I was young). So, you can imagine how excited I was when my daughter decided that she wanted to have a Berenstain Bears-themed party for her birthday!

I have to say that I really had a lot of fun putting this party together. Since the books and characters arent as prevalent today as they were when I was little, there wasn't much out there that was specifically Berenstain Bears-themed, so I had to get creative. It's a good thing my kids always start planning their birthdays like, a year in advance, because I was able to gradually pick things up over time. Since the bears are... bears... who live in a tree, I tried to stick with natural-looking elements. We happened to have several well-loved (read: falling apart) copies of some of the books, so I used a circle punch to cut out lots of pictures of the bears for decorations. I also used shades of pink & polka dots (for Sister Bear) and yellow (because, honey). I also tried to pull lots of details from the books, so I used lots of flowers (Sister Bear is always picking wildflowers for her Mama), and for favors, we gave each guest a berry box with a jump rope, a set of marbles, and a set of jacks (all games that Sister Bear plays often).

I wrote and drew out the invitation by hand (my drawing skills aren't the best, but they at least resembled  the bears). I thought it would be really neat for my daughter to have her very own "Berenstain Bear" book, so I outlined a short story that included all the party details, drew & colored the illustrations, then scanned the pages into my computer so I could lay out the book and print copies (rather than try to draw every single one). Then I cut them down to size and folded the pages together.

Emma really wanted to have food that the bears would eat (and also macaroni & cheese), so we served fried chicken, mac & cheese, baked beans, berries, and biscuits with honey. We als had Teddy Grahams (bears) and goldfish (because bears eat fish, get it?!). For dessert, we had cake & icecream and honeybuns.

My original plan was to host the entire party outside. We happened to have some trees removed from our yard last year and we haven't split the wood (it's just been chilling there under our deck), so I had Josh haul a bunch of the logs up to the deck for the kids to sit on and set up a low table for them. It turned out to be pretty chilly, so the kids played outside a little bit and ate out there by the fire, but we spent most of the rest of the party in the house.

All-in-all, I think things came together pretty well, and Emma was really happy with her party, so I'd call it a win! Check out the pictures below!