Adding a Little Extra Something to the Invites.

With Kate's Pokemon party, I tried something new. Along with the cool invitations, I included some coloring pages. The pages all include Pokemon characters, along with some handwritten lettering by me stating things like, "Kate is 6!," "Gotta Get to Kate's Party!," and "I love Pokemon!"

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To make these coloring pages, I searched Google images for "pokemon coloring pages." I found a few I liked, printed them, sized them on a copy machine to fit the page just right, embellished them a bit by adding a few things (like little stars, etc.) and lettering on the top, and then made as many copies as I needed. If you're not as confident with your hand lettering as you'd like to be, just use your computer for help. Type what you'd like at the top of a word document and then drop in an image of a coloring page and size it until it's just right.

For Kate's party, each child received all three coloring pages. Along with the coloring pages, I added some instructions. These instructions provide that the kids should have fun coloring the pages, chose their favorite, write their name on the back, and then bring it to the party. Then, I explain that the pictures will be hung in a gallery at the party, Kate will pick her top 3 favorites, and those three kids will win an awesome prize! I have no idea whether any kids will bring them back or whether parents will be frustrated about having to hang onto a coloring page and not lose it for a month before the party. We'll just have to see how it goes.

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Choosing to go with personalized coloring pages (whether you have the kids bring them to the party or not) is an inexpensive way to reinforce your theme and to get your kids' friends excited about the fun to come. I first thought of this idea when I found this awesome option from SugarPieStudio on ETSY for Kate's Superhero Party. For only $2 dollars, I received a personalized coloring page, and I was able to simply print/copy as many as I needed. I just checked and SugarPieStudio has added a bunch more options since I ordered last year, and they're great! For Kate's Superhero Party, I had the coloring pages and crayons set up at tables.

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I put together my own coloring page for the Puppy Party I threw using an image I found online, adding lettering on top and a "2" at the bottom.  Again, I set those pages and crayons on tables for coloring fun during the party.

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Apart from being fun for guests, these pages, colored by your own kids for their party (and their best friends, if those friends leave them for you), are a great keepsake!

If you're not sold on the coloring pages (or if you have a slightly older child who is out of the coloring phase), still thing about sending a little something special with the invite to get kids excited, even if it is just stickers. For Kate's 3rd birthday party -- a Disney Cars party -- I found these awesome invites/VIP passes on Etsy from thatpartygirl. They are so cute! Sending something like this -- that can double as an invite and an awesome VIP pass -- is just the kind of thing I'm talking about. It's totally not necessary, but it's super fun and gets kids jazzed about the party!

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Use some of these ideas and the kids you invite are sure to be excited about the party from the day they open the invitation! If you have other great ideas about what could be included with the invite, please leave a comment, as I'd love to hear it! Happy planning!