It was a blast, but we couldn’t have done it without a ton of help from Aunt Katie (who led the pom-pom making team) and our amazing babysitter (an actual high school cheerleader!) and two of her pals.
This post is long in coming, but here’s our insider secrets to throwing a totally fab cheerleading birthday party. . .
- How to Throw an Awesome Cheerleading Birthday Party: It all started with a weekend trip to a local cheerleading competition, where we crossed our fingers that our babysitter’s team would take the big win.
Maddy sat starry-eyed at the skill and strength of the competitors. Young women–and men–were building, dancing, flipping, and tumbling, and when Maddy got a hug from our favorite babysitter on the way out, she talked about cheerleading for days on end.
I asked if our sitter would be interested in roping in a few of her pals to be the stars of Maddy’s cheerleading birthday party. Without hesitation, she agreed, and she guaranteed me that they’d come up with a few cheers and a simple dance routine–complete with music–for Maddy and her pals. They did, and it rocked.
My sister and I got to work on pom-poms for the kids to use during the routine and to double as favors. With a bit of quick research, we had a general idea about how to make pom-poms at home.
Using kitchen-sized white trash bags, iridescent cellophane, and blue duct tape, Katie tweaked the plan and literally made several sets of poms in a week. We worked together on the rest, and they came out awesome.
- Here’s how we made the pom-poms:
- Megaphones: When the kids arrived, they decorated their megaphones. We used a basic template, too big to share here (sorry!), but traced on a manila folder and then cut out of bright poster board. We had stickers and markers for decorating, and when finished, a few staples did the job!
- Banner: The kids also worked on decorating and signing a Birthday Banner that served as the backdrop for the final ‘routine’. It just said, “Happy Birthday Maddy!” but the kids had a blast adding their names and birthday doodles.
- Activities: After everyone arrived, the cheerleaders warmed up the party-goers. They sat in a circle and did some basics to get their little bodies movin’! Then the kids learned a few cheers and got dancing. The cheerleaders had the music cut and motions ready, and the bulk of the party was practicing, both on ground and on stage!
Woot! Gorgeous megaphones!
- Snacks and Food: Candy Sushi was a big hit, and the kids made their sushi as we waited (oh, so patiently…) for the pizza to arrive. They tried a piece or two of sweet sushi, giggled as they squeezed as much candy in as possible, and we bagged the extras for take-home. The moms and dads helped us put each child’s sushi bags in megaphones so they’d be ready when it was time to go.
Candy Sushi was a HUGE hit. . . and why wouldn’t it have been?
- The Routine: After bellies were filled, the kids did a few more practice rounds and then we taped their final routine and cheers! With their new poms, with their new moves, the kids had a blast. And we’ve just finished dubbing the routine, complete with practices, onto DVD’s for each family. Talk about a cute take home gift!
- The Thank-You’s: I made a very basic Cheerleading Party Thank You Note template, with two thank you’s on each page. I printed them out and cut them, and they were ready. I felt that they required just enough writing for Maddy without being too much since she had a number to do. Plus, she’d just learning the basics of thank you note writing, so the structure is helpful; it gives her some flexibility and room for creativity (even though she needed to be reminded that each one needed to be personalized. . . ). The Cheerleading Party Thank You Notes are here to download if you’d like.
And after the thank you’s were folded, addressed, and sent, and after we worked on the copying of the routine onto DVD’s for each family, we were finished. We’re still distributing them, but I think they’re a cute favor for the kids and a great memory for Maddy.
The cheerleading party was a big success, but it was only possible with the help of a number of parents who stayed to help, real cheerleaders who spent time creating cheers and a routine for the kids, and with my awesome sister who totally nailed the pom-pom making process. Many, many thanks to everyone for making it work!
And that was that–our first-ever cheerleading party! Three cheers for our Maddy and for a super year ahead!