Our little baby turned two! After a busy month of weddings and family events, it was a couple days before the big event and I had no clue what I was going to do for her party. Invites were out. People were coming. Panic! Our daughter recently mastered reciting the alphabet (she is obsessed with letters!), so letters was a given. That gave me a general sense of the games and decorations, but I couldn’t come up with a specific theme that would tie everything together, especially food ideas. Then, as I was reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom for the millionth time (fortunately, it’s pretty catchy), I thought, duh, here’s my letters and a Caribbean theme to boot. The theme sounded festive and fun and perfect for a kid’s party.
I channeled a tropical island meets the alphabet vibe with the decorations. I originally envisioned a giant blow up palm tree centerpiece but my local party store had a tropical section with empty shelves and a sad-looking coconut bra (they told me the tropical theme was popular), so I trekked to the dollar store and found leis and some brightly colored containers and polka dot platters that worked perfectly with the color scheme of the book. The alphabet letters in the book fall out of a tree so I scattered magnetic letters and alphabet blocks around the table-so easy! Then I got my craft on and made a coconut tree that I used as a cake topper, and I did it in four steps! The chocolate cake with raspberry fluff was easy to make, fun to decorate, delish to eat, and it saved me at least forty bucks. A quadruple win! I also had a DIY snickerdoodle decorating station.
The menu featured kid-friendly and Caribbean-themed menu items that centered on her love of cream cheese, beans, and pizza. I had fun (maybe too much fun!) taking phrases from the book and turning them into menu items of her favorite foods: alley-oop pizza dunk, black-eyed peas and beans, chicka chicka jerk chicken kebabs, boom boom Caribbean rice and beans, knotted like a tie pesto pasta salad…
And there’s more: flip flop flee root beer floats, skit skat skoodle doot DIY snickerdoodles, chicka chicka chocolate cake with raspberry fluff, and boom boom sea salt and dark chocolate popcorn (see, too much fun).
I rounded out the menu with PB & J kebabs and alphabet cookies. Most menu items were prepared ahead of time and needed little to no prep once guests arrived, which made for a very happy hostess.
My daughter loves to dance and identify letters so I incorporated both into a game. I wrote letters on construction paper and put them on the floor. The children danced to her favorite songs, I would stop the music, and then pick a letter from a bag and give a prize to the kid who was standing on the corresponding letter (sort of like a cake walk). We also played guess how many M&M’s. In the end, it was a successful and inexpensive party-can’t beat that! I put it together last minute, didn’t spend much time or money on the preparations, and ended the day with my sanity intact. It’s a great book and a perfect theme for a kid’s party. Best of all, my daughter was one very happy birthday girl. One week later and she’s still singing happy birthday to herself, and when she accidentally drops something she exclaims, “oh no, chicka chicka boom boom.” It certainly made an impact.