Planning an “A-mazing” Birthday Party

I love blogs! (Please keep reading because this really isn’t a self-promotion here.)

Thanks to “The Party Animal,” planning my daughter’s birthday party was especially easy and hassle-free!  Her “Zhu Zhu Pets Birthday Party” post includes links to everything from invitations and party favors to a list of activities that will keep a group of six, 9- and 10-year-olds entertained for 19 hours.  (Yes, 19 hours and counting!  As a veteran Girl Scout leader, I’ve learned that keeping a group of girls constructively occupied is key to maintaining their peace and my sanity.)

In a matter of minutes I’d planned the party and ordered all of the related supplies. Online shopping made it so quick and convenient!  I was pleasantly surprised when my customized Bingo cards arrived in my e-mail inbox within hours of placing my order.  Also within a matter of hours, an e-mail arrived with the customized party invitations.  It took me longer to get them addressed and delivered than it did to get them designed!  Finally, the Zhu Zhu Pets balloons and the Zhu Zhu Pets Activity Set shipped to me within days.  A few days later, I made a quick stop at Hobby Lobby and picked up all the supplies needed to make our “Hamster in a Ball” craft.  I e-mailed my neighbor, who also happens to run her own baking business, and placed my Zhu Zhu Pets cupcake order. I couldn’t have been happier with how they turned out!

The big day is here at last!  During my lunch hour, I’ll run to the local video store and rent “Bolt.”  (Remember, this movie features the cute little hamster in his own ball as Bolt’s sidekick.)  The girls will come home from school today with my daughter, and the fun will begin.   My mom, a former cosmetologist, will give mini manicures to anyone who’s interested.  Meanwhile, I’ll set up the obstacle course for Zhu Zhu hamster races and get out the craft supplies.

A plethora of fun-filled activities is just as important as a fully stocked fridge when it comes to hosting a successful slumber party.  Sloppy Joes are on the menu for tonight.

Tomorrow morning I’ll serve monkey bread (a hit at last year’s Zany Zebra party), and the girls will have a chance to make their own Breakfast Banana Splits.  Recipes for both are provided below.

What are your favorite kid-friendly breakfasts?  I’d also like it if you’d share your own tips for planning a successful birthday party.

Monkey Bread (Apple School)


  • ¾ c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 4 tubes of biscuits (cut into ¼’s)


  1. Place sugar in cinnamon in a plastic bag; shake biscuit pieces.
  2. Arrange coated pieces in Bundt pan.


  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • ¾ c. melted butter
  • 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon

Syrup Directions:

  1. Mix well.
  2. Pour over biscuits in Bundt pan.
  3. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes.
  4. Turn out on cookie sheet to cool.

Breakfast Banana Split



  • 1 small banana
  • 1 container, (4.4 oz.) Jell-o® Kid Pack Wild Strawberry Low Fat Yogurt (or any flavor)
  • ½ c. Post® Alpha-Bits Frosted, Letter-Shaped Oat and Corn Cereal
  • 1.4 c. berries, sliced (choose your favorite like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries)



  1. Peel and split the banana length-wise.
  2. Place in sundae dish or cereal bowl.
  3. Top with yogurt.
  4. Sprinkle with cereal and fruit.


Makes 1 serving.