When my daughter’s 3rd birthday was coming up, there was only one theme to consider – a Daniel Tiger Birthday Party. This awesome PBS series, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, with its wonderful characters, songs, and lessons are part of our daily life. Unfortunately, there aren’t really many official decorations you can purchase out there, other than the licensed paper plates & cups (be warned, the included tablecloth is solid yellow! You have to buy the themed one separately) a foil balloon, and a pricey life-size trolley standup. Luckily, PBS provides some amazing printables, right on their website – for free! So while it takes some elbow grease (and a lot of printer paper), it’s still possible to deck your halls with Daniel Tiger and friends.
Daniel Tiger Birthday Decor
My big decor item was making the pinwheels, from the design on the PBS site. I took the advice in the comments and picked double-sided wrapping paper from Walmart, and reduced the size from 22″ to 16″ strips. That way I only needed two per pinwheel, and believe me, they were kind of a pain to fold up evenly! The major challenge was attaching the printed circles. I borrowed a glue gun (I’m not a real Pinterest Mom, just faking it), but half of them fell off by the next morning. In the end, I just used tape, but it felt like a clumsy solution.
Taking another page from Pinterest, I created a backdrop for the gifts & favors table out of crepe paper (or rather, I tasked my helpful sister with it, and she pulled it off beautifully). She recommends not obsessing over the number of twists on each streamer ? Adding the horizontal one across the top really helped hide the taped edges of the vertical streamers,and brought the whole “look” together.
Daniel Tiger Birthday Party Favors
For favor bags, I grabbed the pinwheel centers from PBS but couldn’t bring myself to make 16 more pinwheels, however small, so I just taped the circles to the bags. I threw in the official Daniel Tiger sticker sheets, and two “Tiger Tails”. One was a orange- candy-dipped and -drizzled pretzel, based on the PBS recipe. The other was actually leftover Christmas candy canes full of Reese’s pieces ? I made a label to cover up the existing one and there you go!
Daniel Tiger Party Activities
Activities were all PBS-based! There was a guestbook paper chain and pennant/bunting, as well as “fold your own Trolley” and basic coloring sheets. I also made the masks and created the Stop & Go sign. To be honest … very little of this stuff was actually used! Two kids loved the masks, and most kids grabbed a coloring sheet to bring home. That’s it! We have a toyroom that grabbed a lot of attention, and the party just sort of flowed naturally, no activities required. It might have been different with older kids – who knows? But don’t knock yourself out with these.
That was doubly true for the Trolley “photo booth” cutout I made. It was by far the biggest hassle and least-used item I made for the party. I didn’t even get a good photo of it! Cutting out the windows from the foam tri-fold poster board was way harder and messier than I anticipated. I barely finished it the morning of the party, and then only one kid ever went near it. Sigh. Such is the life of a Fake Pinterest Mom.
We ordered a Daniel Tiger birthday cake from Lunds & Byerly’s, but I wasn’t impressed. It was only a photo cake, and the photo was uncentered with a greenish cast! Poor Katerina. (To be fair, Lunds offered me a conciliatory gift card when I complained). I made the bunting to spruce things up, and added a few of my daughter’s play figures on top to complete the cake. Good enough, but I wish Target bakery hadn’t been booked – they are the only ones offering a cool cake with actual cake topper figures instead of a printed image. I also got some tiger-striped cupcakes in case the cake wasn’t big enough.
Finally, we made some themed snacks. Some “Hi-ya Tootsie Rolls” for Miss Elaina, and tiger-striped fruit cups, as well as more Tiger Tail pretzels. I found all of these food labels on this helpful blog post, by the way. We served a taco bar to the adults, which has nothing to do with tigers but was awfully tasty.
A very successful party in the end, at least according to the birthday girl. Of course, she would have been happy alone in her room all day as long as there was cake involved.
Are you planning a tiger-tastic bash of your own? Consider hiring a photographer to commemorate all those gorgeous details while you actually enjoy your own party.
Reach out and see how I can help!