If you’re looking to amp your your kids’ birthday parties this year with a little more DIY, I feel you. While I’m not a huge crafter by any means, there’s something really gratifying about putting together goodie bags yourself around some crazy theme your daughter insists on, or planning an activity that the kids still talk about at the next year’s party. Or maybe my bar is just low?

If that sounds familiar, then you’ll want to check out Let’s Get This Party Started! : DIY Celebrations for You and Your Kids to Create Together from TV mainstay turned parenting app developer turned down-to-earth crafty mom, Soleil Moon Frye

Soleil has put together an engaging, helpful, technicolor-photo-packed guide that feels like your favorite craft blog: spontaneous, inexpensive, conversational, and very very likeable.

It’s filled with colorful photos and really helpful step-by-step instructions and inspiration for 15 party themes. You’ll find a few fun twists for the expected stuff like baseball, pirates and carnivals; plus ideas for throwing spa parties, sleepover parties, movie nights, and holiday parties of all kinds. I even discovered some new ideas I’ll definitely hang onto, like creating a craft station for handmade heart boxes filled with treats (we love craft activities that double as party favors) and make-your own “binoculars” for an outdoor adventure party.  I especially love her 80’s party ideas which go beyond karaoke to Madonna. Think Sloppy Joes, photo collages, and DIY lava lamps (kind of) in recycled bottles.

Clearly, Soleil is one creative mama. But she’s realistic too, which is what’s really special about this book. Unlike a lot of design guru party books, I feel like I can do absolutely anything in this book. And that’s saying something. Even the best of the craft projects, recipes, and decor look perfectly imperfect — things her kids and their friends created, not a team of 18 stylists.

DIY placecards for kids at the Moonfrye Blog

Paris Themed Treat Boxes DIY

DIY Feather Headbands

 I’d say the themes are most suited to grade-schoolers through early teens, though you could probably adapt a lot of ideas if you have a toddler. And while well-curated it’s not super comprehensive; there are a few nice ideas for each theme, but to go further you’ll definitely want to hit Pinterest as well as the DIY section of her blog, Moonfrye.

Also be aware that it skews fairly female, which isn’t too surprising considering the author is the mom of two girls; not that there isn’t plenty for boys in here too.

You’re guaranteed to get something out of this book for sure, including the confidence to do more yourself at your kids’ parties. In fact kids in the book look like they’re having so much fun, you may even forget how totally stressful it can be to throw a birthday party in the first place. I wonder if Soleil has any tips on getting guests to RSVP on time?

Find Let’s Get This Party Started! : DIY Celebrations for You and Your Kids to Create Together by Soleil Moon Frye at our affiliate Amazon or your local bookstore, and get tons more ideas and inspiration at her blog, Moonfrye

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