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Emma’s Birthday Party Activities

Disneyside birthday party

My oldest daughter Emma turned nine years old this weekend, and we had a wonderful time celebrating her birthday on Saturday with family and friends! Emma’s party got a boost thanks to a Disney Side themed party pack we were sent by Disney Parks and MomSelect. It made it really easy to plan a fun party for Emma and her friends!

Emma’s Disney Side Birthday Party

The kids were really excited about the streamers that we were sent in our party pack, and I was thrilled that I was able to hang them without violated our condo association’s clubhouse rules of no tape or other sticky materials! As I always do, we set the party up in stations, with our traditional cupcake decorating activity leading the way!

Decorating cupcakes is a favorite birthday party activity in our family!

We normally use buttercream frosting and decorate with m&m’s, but one of our guests had a peanut allergy and NO m&m’s are peanut-free! So we stuck with “safe” sprinkles and I made a new whipped cream frosting that the kids and I LOVED! Here is our recipe – this frosting needs to be refrigerated, which is why it isn’t sitting out in the photo.

Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting

  • 1 pint refrigerated heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa, sifted together with the powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  1. Stick your mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for 15-30 minutes before starting.
  2. Use your chilled bowl and beaters to beat the whipping cream until it is frothy (lots of bubbles)
  3. Add the vanilla and salt and mix briefly.
  4. Slowly add the cocoa and powdered sugar mixture. Beat until it is thick enough to stand in peaks.
  5. Keep refrigerated until you are ready to use it.

You can add unflavored gelatin to this mixture to make it “set”, but we didn’t have any unflavored gelatin to use. Next time. You are supposed to use the unset frosting right away, but we kept ours in the fridge except when we were using it, and the leftover frosting was fine the next day.

Nine-Year-Old Birthday Party Activities

Decorating balloons with Sharpie pens and other fun party activities

Nine-year-olds are fun to throw parties for, because you can give them things like Sharpie pens without worrying that they will be used inappropriately! We tied balloons to the chairs just as we had for Johnny’s party, and then included Sharpie pens so the kids could decorate their balloons. I actually got this idea from the kids at Johnny’s party putting their crowns on their balloons. The kids enjoyed it, but didn’t LOVE it. Mostly they were interested in a monster craft that gets its own post tomorrow and building with DUPLO bricks. DUPLO bricks are supposedly for kids up to five years old, but I would argue that kids over the age of five enjoy them at least as much as the target age range. These kids were building towers with flying buttress supports and other sophisticated architectural masterpieces.

Word searches and other fun Disneyside activities

I knew that some of the kids would have longer attention spans for certain activities than others, so it was nice to have these ready-made games for the kids to play while they waited (you can download them from the Disney Side @ Home Celebrations site). We also had Disney themed cards to play Go Fish and Snap (Johnny  and Lily are playing Go Fish while I work on party setup in the top photo for this post).

Since our condo neighborhood has a clubhouse we can use for birthday parties (there are trade-offs to losing a yard, even if I would still choose the yard), I had enough space to set up all the activities in rotating stations. I highly recommend doing this, if you can. It means that you can get everything set up before the party begins and then wait until the end to clean everything up.

Celebrating Emma's ninth birthday party

It was an easy party to pull together, and a big hit! Mike wound up having to work the entire day, and this was easy enough for the kids and I to put together on our own. I have two more posts coming up – one with our hit make-a-monster activity and another for the birthday banner above!

How does your family celebrate birthdays?

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

8 thoughts on “Emma’s Birthday Party Activities”

  1. Happy birthday, Emma! Looks like fun! We go all out celebrating birthdays. I’m about to start planning Joshua’s 13th!

  2. I love these kind of old fashioned birthday parties! Kids love doing these kinds of hands on activities that don’t have to be expensive or fancy to be fun! I think the key is just lots of them since some kids finish quickly and others take their time.

  3. What a nice space to host a birthday party! That whipped-cream frosting sounds delicious!! Looking forward to seeing more of the activities. Love the photo of the birthday girl jumping for joy, too. :) Happy 9th, Emma! :)

  4. We alternate big parties with smaller ones just because our big parties seem to be huge ordeals. I actually still need to write about last year’s party for all 3 kids…..

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