A Gem Themed Party- for a girl that ROCKS!

A Gem Themed Party- for a girl that ROCKS!

“So, what kind of birthday party do you think you’d like?”  It was a quick question, thrown out as I walked to the bus stop with my then six-year old daughter. She thought. We walked. She thought some more. A few steps before the corner she turned, thumbs hooked into her backpack straps, and declared, “A Petoskey party.”

A Petoskey party, my friends. I’ll wait while you look it up

It’s such a blessing to have quirky kids – kids who investigate, dive in with gusto, and live fully convinced that every friend shares their same passions. Their enthusiasm for the most random things gives life a glow that I’m sure I’d otherwise miss if it weren’t there. For my daughter and many other youngsters, one of those passions is geology. To be more specific - or rather, I guess, more vague – the passion is for straight up ROCKS. You know, the kind that line their pockets and roll around in your washing machine on a regular basis. And on this day for my burgeoning rockhound, it was Petoskey stones! 

 “Where”, I thought, “can I go with this?” My daughter was so convinced that this was an awesome idea, but I initially had some doubts.  However, I’m not one to back down from an obscure party theme – mostly because when I can pull it off it fills my kiddo’s bucket to overflowing. 

Keying into interests can be so rewarding when it comes to celebrating milestones.  Honestly, my favorite celebrations (as an organizer and as a guest) are those when things just feel so in tune with the person being celebrated. That outdoorsy couple who have custom trail mix as their wedding favor? Check. Grandparents celebrating a 50th anniversary surrounded by pictures of all their wonderful accomplishments together? Yes, please!  My four-year-old and all things dinosaur? As if that one wasn’t obvious.  And sure, kids are notorious for giving us a run for our money when it comes to attainable party ideas, but why not shoot for the moon when they give us so much to work with!

3 TIPS FOR KEYING IN ON INTERESTS AND TURNING THEM INTO THEMES

  • Get those open-ended questions going early!Translating kid-speak into an attainable party theme can take some time, so you might as well give yourself some buffer.
    • In my case, I asked about what some of my daughter’s favorite memories were over the last year (looking for rocks on the beach in Michigan with Grandma), what she thought some of her favorite items were (rocks, gems, minerals, sparkly pretty things), etc.
  • Take a look through their books, their toys, their POCKETS for ideas! Assuming we’re not talking about a teen or pre-teen here who needs their PRIVACY, MOM!, take a peek at their most beloved possessions. Notice any themes? Any color combos (or do they, ahem, sort by rainbow like a certain kiddo in my household)? Any school projects that they just went over heels for?
    • My daughter lines up crystals and rocks and gems on her windowsill and had just built a shoe box scale model of a rock museum for her school Civics project on “My Own Business”. So, yeah. We were heading in a specific direction here!
  • Pull back on the specifics until you find the bigger picture!Does your child home in on specific items when you ask about their favorite things? Like, green recycling trucks? Or the one specific monkey in their favorite book? What if you pull up a bit – expand that lens – to see more of the picture? You might find a recycling theme, or a truck theme, or even a zoo/book/wild child theme. There will be LOTS of ways to bring your child’s super specific favorite thing into play with party details, but a broader theme might let you build the basics with less stress.
    • Petoskey stones, she said. But what I pulled back to was rocks, geology, mining for sparkly pretty things. I even quickly landed on some plays on words – like “Of quartz” and “She’s a gem!” and “Turning 7 ROCKS!”

For the next few days I tumbled ideas around (see what I did there? 😉) in my head. Petoskey stones. Rocks. Gems. Minerals. Mines. Digging. Ohhhhhhh…here we go!

It started to come into frame in my mind, but I knew I’d need some help sourcing any items I didn’t plan to build or make myself. I reached out to Confetti Betti with my ideas and asked if they’d help create a custom party box. They were, of course, happy to help.

Our custom box included:

  • Plates
  • Cups
  • Napkins
  • Garland
  • 7 Candle
  • Geodes for cracking
  • Number 7 balloon
  • Balloon garland materials

In addition to the custom box, we bought or created a few other theme-related things:

  • Sign boards
    • We chalked up a few boards to welcome guests and introduce them to our Lucky #7 Mine!
  • DIY geodes for digging up
    • One of our outside activities for the day was to dig up buried gems in our (yet to be planted) raised garden beds – you know, our “mine”! 😊 I modified this recipe to DIY some rocks for the kids to break open and find their gems (we just replaced the hidden dinos in the recipe with gemstones we bought in bulk).
  • DIY rock candy toppers
    • We tried our hand at some hard candy geode cupcake toppers using this recipe.
  • Chocolate rocks and rock candy
    • Because sending kids home with rocks “to eat” is always fun – ha! We also used these to top cupcakes and the birthday cake we made ahead of the party for our family celebration.
  • Custom Cookies
    • We found a local baker who was excited to make gem cookies, and they turned out beautifully!

All in all, we made our little gemologist’s day by listening and leaning into her favorite things. We had so many compliments on the party and theme, to which I replied, “Of quartz! It was a gem of a day celebrating our rockin’ seven-year-old!” Too much?!  No way. 😊


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