American Girl Birthday Party

Invitations
Option 1: Scan the cover of an American Girl magazine, remove the photo of the model and replace it with a photo of your daughter. Replace the titles on the cover with the party information. Ask them to bring an American doll or a favorite doll or stuffed animal.

Option 2: On red paper, place a large white star on top. Using a bold white font, write, you’re invited to an American Girl party. Place a photo of your daughter’s American doll. Add the rest of the party information beneath the photo. (It will resemble American Girl doll packaging). Ask them to bring an American doll or a favorite doll or stuffed animal.

Decorations
You can use a red, white and blue theme for balloons and streamers. Tie balloons to your mailbox. Hang an American flag on your front door. Make a sign that says “Welcome to (child’s name) American Girl Party” and place American Girl stickers on it. Make color copies of American Girl books and magazine covers and hang on the wall. Place American flags on the walls. For the tables, use American Girl dolls and books as the centerpieces. Purchase red and white flowers and tie blue ribbon around the vases. Use red, white and blue tablecloths, plates, cups, napkins and plastic ware. You can even put out teacups and saucers for a tea party. If you don’t have enough for all the girls, you can find them at thrift stores or eBay. You can serve an assortment of hot or iced teas.

Games and Activities
These are games that represent the different characters’ time in history. The girls at the parties I have given loved these activities.

Kaya (1764)—The Moccasin Game. Pair the girls off and have them remove their shoes. Give each pair a bead. Let them take turns hiding the bead under one of the shoes so the other could guess which shoe it is under.

Felicity (1774) Learning to Curtsy and “Hide the Thimble.” Colonial girls like Felicity had to learn how to curtsy properly. Show the girls how and then let them show you their best curtsy.

Hide the Thimble—A game they played in Colonial times, in which all the girls would leave the room except one, who stayed behind to hide the thimble. Then the others would return and search for the thimble.

Kirsten (1854)—Apple Dance—Pioneer girls enjoyed barn dances and this activity. Pair the girls off and give each pair an apple. When you start the music (try to download old-fashioned “pioneer” music) the girls have to hold the apple between their foreheads and dance. You can stop the music from time to time so they can switch partners. This can be somewhat difficult for kids, but they always seem to have a lot of fun with it.

Addy (1864)—Ribbon’s End—a game played by Addy and other girls of her time. All the girls but one formed a line and put their hands on the shoulders of the girl in front of the. The odd girl out becomes the Chaser. Her job is to catch the “ribbon’s end”—the last girl in line. The “ribbon” of girls can run, turn and twist in an effort to keep the chaser from catching the “ribbon’s end.”When the chaser did catch her, she becomes the new “ribbon’s end, and the girl at the front of the line becomes the new Chaser.

Samantha—(1904) Balancing Books and “Throwing the Smile”. In her books, Samantha had to work on her posture everyday by walking while balancing a book on her head. Let each girl a chance to walk the length of the room while balancing a book on her head. You can make it a competition by seeing who got the furthest without the book falling.

“Throwing the Smile” is a traditional Victorian-era game. Have the girls sit in a circle. One girl begins the game by smiling for a count of 10 while everyone else sits without smiling. Then the first girl “wipes off” her smile and “throws it” to another girl, who has to “catch it”, put it on, and smiles for a count of ten. Any girls who smile out of turn are out of the game. They ten stand outside the circle and try to make the remaining players smile by making silly faces and noises (no touching allowed, though). The game continues until there is just one stone-faced girl left—the winner!

Kit (1934)—“Three Deep”—This is a simpler variation of the game. All the girls but two are paired off, spread out, and each pair stands with their arms linked. They place their free hands on their hips, elbows out. The other two girls are the Chaser and the Runner. The object of the game is for the Chaser to tag the runner. The Runner can save herself by linking arms with any other girl. When she links up, the other girl in that pair becomes the Runner. If at any point the Chaser tags the Runner, they switch jobs and the Runner becomes the new Chaser.

Molly (1944)—Statues—One player is the Sculptor. She twirls each player around twice and then lets go. The player assumes a statue-like pose and holds it. When the Sculpture has twirled each player, she chooses her favorite statue, who becomes the next Sculptor.

Make Friendship Bracelets. Let the girls make friendship bracelets from pony beads and elastic wire for themselves and their dolls.

Decorate a Purse—Purchase purse craft kits. You can find kits with 3 or more purses with decorations on sites like Amazon and Oriental Trading.

Party Food
Use a star-shaped cookie cutter for sandwiches, cookies, fruit, brownies and Rice Krispie treats.

Goody bags
Purchase pretty gift bags and place large white stars on them and the American Girl logo. Include favors such as American Girl stickers, hair barrettes for the girls and their dolls, notepads, costume jewelry, lip gloss