birthday butterflies and hide-and-seek game

sweet butterfly snacks & birthday fun

We celebrated Cora’s big #3 in springtime style this past weekend, with butterflies, her favorite hide-and-seek game ever, and pink and purple cupcakes.

With a warm, sunny day and lots of friends and family, how much better could a third birthday get?

I found this ‘butterfly bounty’ idea in the April 2010 issue of Family Fun Magazine, and although theirs has a healthy spin, ours absolutely did not.

I thought the idea was too cute, and I knew I could make it work for us.

Here’s the skinny. . .

  • Butterfly Birthday Favors: I wanted something very simple, something that all of the kiddos would enjoy. I wanted something that Cora and Owen could help me assemble and (okay, I’ll be honest) something that wouldn’t break the bank.
Owen’s beading up the butterfly antennas.
sweet butterfly snacks & birthday fun


Our springtime butterfly birthday favors required a snack bag, a pipe cleaner (cut in half), beads, a clothes pin, eyes (we had these gem stickers leftover from Valentine’s Day), and Fruit Loops and colored marshmallows.

Our unfinished Springtime Butterfly Birthday Favors

For butterfly antennas, Owen and Cora folded the pipe cleaners into a ‘V’ and strung two beads on the edges (two beads, ideally–Cora made some fancy-schmancy, and that was fine with me). Then they folded the tips down so the beads wouldn’t fall off. I hot-glued the antennas onto the back of a clothes pin, and we let them dry.

sweet butterfly snacks

Then we filled a snack bag with a handful of Fruit Loops and a half-handful of marshmallows, pinched it in the middle, and clipped it with the clothes pin. Owen put two eyes on each butterfly, and I drew their smiles. We wrote ‘love Cora‘ on the back, and they were ready to fly. . .

  • Where’s Cora Hide-and-Seek Hunt: It’s no secret that Cora loves Hide-and-Seek, so when I was sure that we’d have a great day for an outside party, I moved into game-planning mode with Hide-and-Seek on the brain.

Again, with the mixed ages of kids at the party, I didn’t want to interrupt their free play and the adults’ time to catch up with a ton of organized games. I wanted something exciting, engaging, and fun for everyone. Enter: Where’s Cora Hide-and-Seek Hunt.

I copied a dozen square head shots of Cora, a dozen photos of Cora standing, a dozen photos of Cora in her snowsuit, and a dozen ‘CORA’ names. This was super-easy and only took a few minutes of copying and pasting on my photo program. We cut them out, and that’s it!

Then I made a really simple sheet that the kids could use to keep track of how many Cora’s they found. We didn’t end up using it, but (shhhh!) I think it will be a perfect activity for Cora’s playgroup party on Wednesday morning. The Where’s Cora Hide-and-Seek Hunt is here to download if you’d like.

After we ate, a few of the parents went to work hiding the many tiny Cora pictures all around the yard, while the kiddos hung out front with our friendly toad.

When the kiddos returned, they gathered as many Cora’s as they could, and then everyone counted the number that they found. When it came down to it, we didn’t need to use the sheet; it seemed that everyone had more fun running around, searching for Cora pictures, and then grabbing what they could.

One wintertime Cora hid by the basketball hoop. . .

sweet butterfly snacks

. . . a Cora is by the slide. . .

. . . and here is Cora hiding by a rock.

Cora’s pink and purple cupcakes

After every child had counted (and sometimes re-counted) his or her number of found Cora’s, we celebrated by eating pink and purple cupcakes.

So that’s it. Just like that, my tiny Cora celebrated her big #3. It might be a party, but that doesn’t mean that this teach mama isn’t going to use it as an opportunity for a little bit of learning and fun along the way.




  1. Tech Savvy Mama says

    Happy 3rd birthday to Cora! What gorgeous weather for a fun filled birthday celebration! Those butterflies are so cute! I'm thinking I need to check out Family Fun more often.

  2. Amy from Occupation: Mommy says

    Happy birthday, Cora! Sydney will be turning three on May 1. I can't believe it, she still seems so little. But when Audrey turned 3, she seemed so big! Do you feel the same way?

  3. teachmama says

    Thanks, Leticia and Amy!
    Yes, I feel exactly the same way, Amy. Cora seems SO little compared to how I looked at Maddy when she turned 3. So strange. Birth order sure is something!

  4. Chelsea says

    Happy Birthday Cora! I hope you really enjoyed your birthday and your party. It looks like it was fabulous. May your fourth year be filled with even more fun, adventure, and discoveries than your third. Your mom sure has some awesome ideas, so I'm almost certain that it will be.

    All the best,

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